With the help of Google Ads target groups , we can target our campaigns more precisely to relevant users. Target groups can be easily created and assigned via Google Ads and Google Analytics. The use of negative target groups helps you guide the right users through the conversion funnel. Audience exclusions can also help keep the totally unwanted traffic from seeing your ads. The perfect combination of proper targeting and exclusions can go a long way towards achieving CPO as well as customer lifetime value goals.
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The target groups negatives
The target group exclusions can also be found under the Google Ads navigation area target groups. For many accounts, it makes sense to set negative target groups before the start of the campaign.
- Pages visitors (on certain days)
- App users
- Site search inquiries
- Event promotions
1. Specific pages visitors
Black Friday is the day all advertisers prepare for. For some of the AdWords accounts we manage, Black Friday wasn’t always good for business growth. Yes, it helped to increase traffic in the short term, but many users come to the homepage as part of a lure and never have the intention of ever returning to the website. We always want to market to committed site visitors, but not to those who came for a one-off attraction. So we set up a new remarketing target group to use it as an exclusion target group. When creating your page visit target group in Google Ads Audience Manager, you can change the list members so that page visits are only taken into account on certain dates.
The users who are less valuable for our CLV goal are excluded.
Black Friday is only intended as an example here. You may want to exclude certain holidays. Perhaps you know that bad press is imminent and you want to proactively rule out the imminent increase in traffic. Whatever makes sense for your business.
2. App users
We manage several accounts that have a corresponding app for your website. What is always surprising is that many of these accounts don’t have Google Analytics tracking set up for their apps. Ultimately, this leads to us telling the customer that we are most likely still showing our remarketing ads to users who are already customers or who have already downloaded the app. This is unacceptable because in Audience Manager we can easily create user groups for apps that we can later use as exclusions in our campaigns.
We don’t have to block all users. We can exclude users who have carried out certain actions within the app according to certain criteria. An example would be that your company and / or your app operates a freemium model with the aim of getting free users to switch to a paid model. You don’t want to exclude all app users from your campaigns. You just want to exclude the users who took actions on the app that only paid users can take. If you want to create audiences for certain actions in your app, you need to make sure that your app analytics platform is linked to your Google Ads account in your settings.
3. Site Search Inquiries
Assuming that you have set up the site search in Google Analytics, you can see in the reports which search queries the users enter on the search function on your homepage. Getting information about what people are looking for when they browse your website can be extremely valuable in determining customer intent. Not only do we get the data from the Google Analytics site search report, but we can also create Google Analytics audiences from the website’s search queries.
Take a look at the search terms that appear in the reports. During this period there were 863 users who searched for “forgot password”. In most cases, I don’t want to retarget existing customers.
“But that’s what the target group exclusions are for.”
Now let’s go to the “Audiences” page in Google Analytics to create our own Site Search audience. When creating the new target group, select “Conditions”. Then use the filter for search terms. You will then find each search query from your Google Analytics Site Search report.
You can continuously add users who have just forgotten their password. The Site Search report can help you get a better understanding of the intention of your users when they visit your website. Yes, you can use these audiences for remarketing, but we can also block out users who are looking for products, services or topics that have nothing to do with the goals of your Google Ads campaigns.
4. Event promotions
I was just talking about user intent in the previous section of this post, and I will continue to delve into user intent. Google Tag Manager is a nice tool to understand user intent as we can set up a variety of tracking tags to track user actions. These user actions can then be made measurable as events in Google Analytics. Here is an example:
For this particular customer, the users wanted to exclude those visiting the login and support pages of the website. We could not exclude visitors to the pages as these areas of the website were run through a system that did not have Google Analytics tracking. For legal reasons, we were also unable to get a list of email addresses to upload to Google. So the best we could do was track the users who tried to access these pages with event clicks.
And just like we created Google Analytics audiences from searches on the website, we can also create audiences from any event category, action or label you’ve set up.
Here are just two options out of many that you can use for target group exclusions:
- Drop-down menu selection: With Simo Ahava’s Tracking Selection Custom HTML tag , we can track the menu options that users use on your website or in your forms. Perhaps your form will ask users what products they are interested in before they sign up for your newsletter. You can create a remarketing audience for the options the user chooses, and then add exclusions for the remaining options to keep your audience as clean as possible.
- Low-Engagement User: With Scroll Depth Tracking, you can set up events that track how far users have scrolled down or across your pages. If people come to your pages who don’t take any action and don’t even move the page, they’re probably not interested in what you have to sell either. Exclude these users from your campaign.
For Google Ads target group exclusions, user intention and your campaign goals are crucial
We have given you four of our common target groups that we are happy to exclude from our campaigns in Google Ads. Whether you use this or other exclusion options depends heavily on the user intention and your campaign goals. Exclude the users who are irrelevant to your conversion funnel. What other types of audience exclusions would you like to create? Let us know in the comments!
Also Read: 5 Ways To Seduce Google And Get Benefitted