Negative Keywords for Garage Door Companies

Match Type Changes Require More Negative Keywords in Google Ads and Microsoft Ads

Using Google Ads for Garage Door Repair is still one of the best ways to get your company in front of a potential customer. If you haven't already, please check out our post on keywords for garage door repair. That will get you started on choosing the right keywords to trigger your ads.

Unfortunately, the Google Ads platform continues to make the effective use of keywords more and more challenging. You'll need to make heavy use of negative keywords due to all of the changes that Google has been making to the Google Ads platform.

The broad match modifier has gone away.  The meaning of the phrase and exact match types has morphed over time to the point that "exact match", "phrase match" no longer represents how the keywords are actually used in practice. 

While these match types should be simple to understand now requires a multiple-paragraph explanation for each in Google Ads official documentation.  New users to the Google Ads platform are bound to make serious mistakes if they take these match types at face value.

Exact Match Keywords Changes

Before - your ad would only trigger if someone typed in a search that exactly matched an exact match keyword in your search campaign.


If your exact match keyword was [garage door repair]

Your ad may be eligible to show for this search:

A search for garage door repair on Google

But not this search:

A search for garage door repair discount won't trigger an ad for an exact match [garage door repair] keyword

Now - your ad may show on searches that have the same meaning as your keyword.  This is the most restrictive match type, but even this relies on Google's algorithms to determine if the meaning of the search terms is the same as the meaning of your keywords.

So now, your ad might show for "garage door repair discount" or "repair garage door handle" or a variety of other searches that aren't an exact match for your keyword. This can result in your ads showing for irrelevant searches and result in wasted clicks that cost you money.


Phrase Match Keywords Changes

Before - your ad would only show if someone typed in a search term containing your phrase match keyword


If your phrase match keyword was "garage door repair"

Your ad would show for this search:

A search for garage door repair Cleveland contains is eligible to trigger an ad for the phrase match keyword "garage door repair"

But not this search:

A search for repair my garage door emergency doesn't contain the phrase "garage door repair" and won't trigger an ad.

Now - your ad may show on searches that include the meaning of your keyword.  Again, this is very open to interpretation on the part of Google, and you'll likely see some impressions and clicks for your ads that are unrelated to your service offerings.

So now, your ad might show for "fix garage gate door" or "repair and paint garage handle" or a variety of other searches where your phrase match keyword isn't contained within the user's search phrase.

Will Effective Ad Copy Help?

Making sure that your paid ads have ad copy that makes it clear that you're a competent garage door services provider can help to keep some people from clicking. Unfortunately, crystal clear ad text won't prevent your search ad from showing on the search engine results page. Some people will click on your ad anyway - eating up your budget in the process.

The Answer: Negative Keywords for Garage Door Services

You must effectively use negative keywords as part of your overall garage door repair Internet marketing strategy. As match types become more and more ambiguous and up to the discretion of Google Ads algorithms, it is up to you to keep your ad campaign on track and prevent your ads from showing for searches unrelated to services that you provide.

You need to make heavy use of negative keywords.  For ongoing campaigns, one of the best ways to find and add negative keywords to your campaigns is to garage door services campaigns. 

You can do this by going to "Keywords" - "Search Terms" as shown in the screenshot below.  This will provide you with some of the actual search terms that people used that resulted in your ads being triggered.

Finding negative keywords to use by analyzing search terms

You may find that some of the search terms are people that aren't a good match for your services.  For example, if you're running ads for broken garage door springs and you see a search term of "broken tailgate spring" - this is someone who has a problem with their truck - obviously not a prospective customer. 

You'll want to make "tailgate" a negative keyword - and while you're at it,  you may wish to examine your keywords to try to prevent such related searches from occurring in the future.

Where to Add Your Negative Keywords

You can add negative keywords in one of three places: on a negative keywords list, campaign level, and ad group level. You can add all types of keywords as shown in the screenshot below:

Add negative keywords and create negative keyword lists by goint to "Keywords - Negative Keywords" in your ad account.

Negative Keyword List - You can create a negative keyword list and apply it to one or more ad campaigns. Creating a keyword list is the easiest way to add a negative keyword globally across your entire account by applying that list to all of your campaigns.

Campain Level - negative keywords added here will be applied only to the ad groups that are part of this specific PPC campaign

Ad group level - keywords applied here will apply only to this specific ad group. There may be situations where you would use negative keywords in one ad group to force ads from a different ad group to show. This is a strategy that you may wish to use for slightly different job types - like garage door opener and garage door opener remote controls.

Account Level - applying keywords here will apply to your entire account (all campaigns and ad groups)

Negative Keyword List Ideas

Here are some negative keyword lists and ideas for garage door professionals. You can use these on your Google Ads Campaign as well as in your Microsoft Ads Account.


A quick note about the lists.  You may wish to only use portions of a list item, or add multiple variations of the list item as keywords.  People search in a variety of different ways and you want to capture all of those irrelevant keywords and add them to your negative keyword lists.

As an example, if you wanted to add negative keywords for Tractor Supply, ProLift Garage Doors, and Aladdin Doors, this is what you might add to your negative keywords list:

  • Tractor
  • ProLift
  • "Pro Lift"
  • Aladdin

I just used a one-word negative keyword for Tractor Supply and Aladdin, because those words on their own aren't related to garage door repair. By default, Google negative keywords are broad match - meaning any search phrase containing your negative keyword won't trigger an ad.

When I can, I like to keep my keywords short to prevent ads from showing for typos.  For example, if my negative keyword is "Tractor Supply" and the user types in "Tractor Supply garage doors", it is possible that my ad will show.

I include both ProLift (negative broad match) and "Pro Lift" (negative phrase match) - because consumers are likely to search in both ways - with and without the space.  Including both will help to prevent unrelated searches.

Now on to the lists...

1) Big Box Home Improvement Stores

There are a lot of big box stores that either provide garage door-related services - or at least consumers think that the big box stores offer these services.  You may wish to consider adding these (and others that you can think of) to your negative keywords.

  • 84 Lumber
  • Ace
  • Costco
  • Empire Today
  • Harbor Freight Tools
  • Home Depot
  • Lowes
  • Lowes
  • Menards
  • Sears
  • Tractor Supply
  • True Value

2) Garage Door Franchises and Competitors

Competing Garage Door Companies

Many home services contractors think it is exciting to get their ad out there when someone searches for a competitor.  The truth is that it is usually a very bad idea.

Usually, when someone is searching for a competing garage door company, there's a good chance that they already have an existing relationship with that company.  Accidental clicks on your ad probably won't result in new business for you.

I would strongly advise that you collect the names of all of your direct garage door competitors and make all of them negative keywords.  Searches on Google are one of the best ways to find your direct competitors.  You can also check out your local library's Data Axle database (formerly ReferenceUSA) and search for competitors by surrounding zip code.

Franchises and Multi-Location Companies

Here is a list of garage door franchises that may be your competitors.  As mentioned above, someone searching directly for one of these franchises is probably either a customer with an existing relationship to the local franchisee - or - they're looking at franchise opportunities.  Either way, they aren't a good prospect to target.

  • Access Garage Doors
  • Advanced Garage Door Services
  • Aladdin Doors
  • Garage Door Medics
  • GarageTek
  • Global Garage Flooring & Design
  • Overhead Door
  • Potomac Garage Solutions
  • Precision Garage Door Service
  • ProLift Garage Doors

3) Brands You Don't Service

It is possible that you don't service popular garage door brands or part suppliers.  Here's a list of potential brands to exclude:

  • Amarr Garage Doors
  • Anderson Door Co
  • Broten Garage Door Sales
  • CHI Overhead Doors
  • Cloplay
  • Craftsman
  • Delden Garage Doors
  • Doorlink
  • Eden Coast
  • Everite
  • Genie
  • Hormann Garage Doors
  • Liftmaster
  • Martin Door
  • Midland Garage Door MFG CO
  • Raynor Garage Doors
  • Unique Garage Door
  • Wayne Dalton Garage Doors
  • WD Door
  • Windsor Door

4) Additional Negative Keywords

There are additional negative keywords that I'll be adding to the site soon.  The negative keywords will help you to avoid undesirable categories like do-it-yourselfers and bargain hunters.

Frank Salvatore

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

About Me

Hey there - I'm Frank Salvatore. I've been helping small businesses - including home services contractors - get more business online for over 17 years.

This website is dedicating to helping home services contractors to grow their businesses by implementing effective marketing, systems, and processes. 
Learn More About Me

Related Blog Posts