play watch

Using negatives to shape traffic

Section 1.7: Shaping traffic with negatives

While it may be our best practice to set up tightly themed ad groups in order to serve the most relevant ad to the shopper and send them to the most relevant page, Google doesn’t usually conform to our plan.

For example, let’s say we set up two ad groups for traffic that we know behaves differently over time, statistically speaking.

Shaping traffic with negatives

Google, it can be guaranteed, will match some shoppers searching for “buy dozen red roses” to the Red Roses ad group. That’s because its machine learning doesn’t care (or know about) your frail human assumptions, and it wants to see what works and what doesn’t work over time so that it can put together its own model of what to do.

This is where human can still outperform machine. You’ve written your ad in the Dozen Roses ad group to do what a great ad should do, (be relevant, prequalify, and entice) for searches around “dozen roses”, you’ve set your landing page to where you sell roses by the dozens, and you’ve bid on the terms (or set automated bidding) according to your expected returns.

As brilliant as Google’s AI is, and as convincing the arguments are to get out of its way, you’re probably right to have to have your way and try to shape the “dozen roses” traffic to the ad group you want it to go to.

By adding “dozen roses” as a negative to the Red Roses ad group, you’ll prevent Google from getting too experimental for “dozen roses” traffic going to it.

Add Your Comments & Questions Below
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors

Subscribe to Our Newsletter to Improve Your eCommerce Digital Marketing!

Thank you for your interest in our newsletters. We will send you only the most important news and updates. No spam, we promise.

We are committed to protecting your privacy, as described in our Privacy policy.

What’s your goal today?

1. Hire us to grow your ecommerce store

We’ve generated millions for our clients, using the methods we’ve developed over years with a singular focus on Google Ads for ecommerce. To discover how we can help grow your business:

Claim your FREE website strategy session with one of our renowned experts.

2. Learn & develop your ecommerce skills

Watch our highly regarded YouTube channel, followed by over 23,000 store owners and ecommerce learners from around the world.

You can also subscribe to our weekly email newsletter to get real-world tested growth and optimization strategies, as well as notifications on anything you may need to know as an ecommerce store owner.

Browse our blog, written and structured to be the best resource in the world for anyone starting and growing their online store. It includes strategy guides, setup instructions, checklists, and tools.

Explore our KeyCompendium, which is a comprehensive wiki of digital marketing terms. Many readers have commented on the usefulness of this content.

3. Join our team

If you want to join our team—or discover why our team members love working with KeyCommerce—then see our “Careers” page.

4. Contact us

We help ecommerce store owners around the world, so get in touch!