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Save Money with Negative Audiences

Published: February 9, 2016

Author: Heather Scott

Likely you are leveraging Audience targeting for RLSA or Display Retargeting, and you may even have audiences attached to all ad groups as bid-only to see what different cohorts are up to. That’s all good, but are you negging out audiences that you don’t wish your ads to serve to? If not, add these in now to start saving!
Let’s say the goal of your campaign is to generate signups. Once users have signed up, you don’t want them to continue clicking on your ads, which may happen more often than you realize (such as when someone Googles your brand and then clicks on your ad simply to log in).
There are a few different approaches to negging out these users. To start, go to the Shared library on the bottom left in the UI and click on “Audiences.” Then,

  1. If you are tracking your signups within AdWords, you can simply use the automatically created audience “All Converters” as your negative audience:

Note that this is new, so I have yet to use it to block converted users in Search; however, our Google rep assured me that this list can be used to successfully block converters in Search even though only the Display Network list size is populated. If you are tracking multiple conversion types, some of whose audiences you do want to continue to show your ads to, then you would want to go with one of the following negative audience options instead. Finally, be aware that this list is based on converters who came from your Paid efforts only; in other words, if you want to block converters from other sources, then you should use either the “URL contains” or the Customer Match audience lists.

  1. You can also create a remarketing list based on the URL of your confirmation page or on the tag used on the conversion page:

(As in option 1, if you create your list based on the AdWords conversion tag, then your list will only contain users who converted from your SEM efforts.)

  1. Finally, you can create a customer emails list, which can then be attached as a negative to your campaigns. This list would likely need to be updated regularly to include new members, so I would recommend including it as an additional layer on top of one of the above options.

Once you have chosen your negative audience(s), go to the Audience tab, scroll down to Campaign audience exclusions, click on +Exclusions, choose your campaign and then either Remarketing lists or Customer Email lists, choose your audience, hit save, and you’re done!
If you have multiple campaigns to add negative audiences to, you can also do a bulk upload from AWE. Just go to Keywords and targeting>Audiences, Negative>Make multiple changes, and add in your Campaigns and Audiences.
Negative audience targeting is not yet available in Bing, but please vote for it here!

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