A blue graphic with three shoe icons and the text caption, "Ad Group Negative Keywords: Increasing Your Efficiency with Google AdWords."

Ad Group Negative Keywords: Increasing Your Efficiency with Google AdWords

When digital marketers build out campaigns, it’s easy for them to miss the small but important details. Most think because they’ve looked through the search terms and posted Campaign Level negatives, they’re in the clear. If you’re one of these people, you may be overlooking something that can potentially cost your business time and money.

In this blog article, we’ll discuss what Ad Group level negative keywords are, the importance of them, why they’re often overlooked, and provide an example of how they’re often overlooked in digital marketing.

 

What are Ad Group level negative keywords?

Ad Group level negative keywords are similar to Campaign level negative keywords except for ad group level negatives add a level of organization. If you add the negative keywords at the Campaigns level, it will apply to all the Ad Groups. However, if you add the negative keywords at the Ad Group level, it will apply only particular one ad group.

 

The importance of Ad Group level negative keywords

Campaign level negative keywords are great for keeping irrelevant searches out of all the ad groups associated with it, but what they don’t do is keep out searches tailored to each specific ad group. This is where the importance of Ad Group level negative keywords comes in.

There is no doubt that negative keywords are beneficial, but some digital marketers tend to just use them at the Campaign level. Some don’t add Ad Group level negative keywords to keep out searches tailored to each specific ad group, and this can cause problems.

You may ask yourself, ‘Why would I need to do that in the first place?’ The answer is if you fail to do this, you may find searches coming into your ad group that should be going to another. This can cause problems that when looking at from a higher level you may not notice.

 

Why Ad Group level negative keywords often overlooked

  • The search results are still relevant to your product
  • Digital marketers don’t understand the actual importance
  • It isn’t directly hurting your revenue

 

1.) The search results are still relevant to your product

Maybe the search results that came into your ad group are still relevant to your product but not to that actual ad group. When this happens, it’s easy to look past it. An example of this is if you have an ad group for “white bed sheets” and you notice there are searches for “black bed sheets.” Even though this is still a bed sheet related search, it’s not technically accurate and can cause skewed data.

2.) Digital marketers don’t understand the actual importance

Some marketers don’t use ad group level negative keywords because they don’t realize or understand the importance of them. Granted, digital marketers don’t notice the impact negatives create until they have them in place, helping to organize ad groups.

3.) It isn’t directly hurting your revenue

More than likely you won’t be able to notice the lack of ad group negative keywords hurting your revenue directly. Instead, it can cause complications down the road. There isn’t going to be a glaring issue pointing out the fact you aren’t using ad group level negatives, which is why it’s one of the important small tasks to take care of.

 

Example of not using Ad Group level negative keywords

It’s hard to understand the implications of not using Ad Group level negative keywords without an example. Here we provide a real-world example:

Example:

Don has a campaign with different shoe color ad groups and a generic shoe ad group. He decides to keep all of his negative keywords at just the Campaign level, which will look like the following:

  • Shoes Generic
  • Blue Shoes
  • Orange Shoes
  • Purple Shoes

When Don reviews the search terms, he notices that the “Shoes Generic” campaign is picking up searches for just “Blue Shoes,” “Orange Shoes,” and “Purple Shoes.” Don thinks everything is fine because all of the searches are “shoe-related.” However, what he doesn’t realize is by not having negative keywords on the Ad Group level, he could potentially be hurting his account.

Don starts to notice a problem. He only set campaign level negatives, so his ad groups will be allowed to pull in traffic from the other ad groups. This is a problem because it skews the data. Example: “Blue Shoes” could be doing great, but there is a pile of searches in “Shoes Generic” for “Blue Shoes” that didn’t convert.

This example shows why it’s important to include Ad Group level negative keywords. Don’s solution is to do just that: Add Ad Group level negative keywords. If he would’ve done so, he could’ve added “Blue Shoes,” “Orange Shoes,” and “Purple Shoes” as Ad Group level negatives to “Shoes Generic.”  This is beneficial because it keeps those searches from showing up in the incorrect ad group campaign.

 

What "Shoes Generic" Ad Group Level Looks Like In AdWords

In conclusion

Including Ad Group level negative keywords are important because it can help prevent skewed data. In this blog article, we discussed what Ad Group level negative keywords are, the importance of them, why they are often overlooked, and provided an example of how they’re often overlooked in digital marketing.

The next time you decide to review your account and want to try and find areas to improve efficiency, understanding the importance of Ad Group level negative keywords is a great place to start. It’s easy to do, and if you apply them correctly, it should help organize your account and relieve some of your headaches.

 

Additional questions

Have you overlooked negative keywords at the Ad Group level when building campaigns? Let us know your experience in the comments section below!