How to Utilize Negative Targeting

 negative targeting


Have you ever wondered about your Amazon campaigns’ vulnerability? In this blog, we will talk about campaign optimization and negative targeting, and explain how your campaigns are very vulnerable. If you don’t react in time, they will harm your business. 

High wasted spend, unprofitable sales followed by high ACoS, low click-through rate, and low conversion rate indicate that your campaigns need your attention! 

What can you do? 

Besides decreasing bids on low-performing keywords or decreasing budgets on the campaign, there is something more effective that gives you data about what your customers are looking for on Amazon. If you are thinking of the Search Term Report, you are on the right track!  

Search Term Report allows you to find what your customers are typing and catch your keywords in campaigns. Having insights into your customer search terms, you can start working on negative targeting

negative targeting

Negative Targeting  

Negative keyword and product targeting, if done correctly, can dramatically improve the performance of your PPC campaigns. It is crucial to identify the keywords and ASINs that are “hurting” you and add them to negative targeting. 

Let’s start by explaining what negative keywords are. As their name suggests, negative keywords are the opposite of what you are targeting. If you find a keyword in the Search Term Report that is not working or bringing sales, but it makes spend for a long period, you can add it in negative targeting. What will that do? 

In essence, you will tell Amazon that you don’t want to appear for that specific keyword.  

There are two types of negative keyword targeting — Negative Exact and Negative Phrase.

negative targeting

Negative Keyword Exact 

Negative exact targeting is, like we said, a way to tell Amazon you don’t want to be shown for certain keywords you found in the Search Term. 

For example, if you are selling a travel blanket and in your Manual keyword campaign, you have a keyword such as “Travel Blanket” targeted in Broad match type. In the Search Term, you find the keyword “Travel Blanket for Airplane” with spending without sales. You can use this keyword and add it to negative targeting as a negative exact keyword. 

This way, you will prevent your ads from appearing when someone types “Travel Blanket for Airplane.” This will improve not only your sales and ACoS but also the rank of your product since you will remove clicks that don’t bring sales. 

Negative Keyword Phrase 

A negative phrase is different from the exact phrase, so be careful when using this part of negative targeting. Negative phrase targeting works in a way that prevents your ad from appearing for keywords that contain a sequence of a certain word. 

For example, let’s use the travel blanket situation again. If the travel blanket that you sell is blue, and in the Search Term Report, you notice there are keywords that include other colors (travel blankets red, travel blankets blue, etc.), you can add all those colors in the negative phrase. It will prevent your product from appearing for those colors you have in the negative targeting phrase. 

You can add keywords in the negative exact and negative phrase in Manual keyword campaigns and Auto campaigns. That way, you can make your campaigns more profitable and specific in terms of targeting. And you can improve ACoS on keywords and the whole campaign. 

Negative Product Targeting 

When you open the Search Term Report, besides broad, phrase, and exact keywords, you will definitely see some ASINs. Have you ever wondered where and how these ASINs came into your report? 

The majority is from your ASIN offense campaigns, but some came from Auto and Category campaigns. Check those ASINs and see if they are relevant to your product. See if they are only making spend with a high number of clicks, and check if those are maybe some ASINs that you already advertise. If you believe that an ASIN is not profitable for you, you can exclude it by putting it in the negative target in your Auto and Category campaign.  

negative targeting

Is there negative targeting for Sponsored Brands? 

Yes, there are Sponsored Products and Sponsored Brands! We have explained negative targeting for Sponsored Products campaigns above, and it’s similar for Sponsored Brands. In Reports, you can find search terms for regular brand campaigns and video campaigns.  

You will find keywords in the Search Term that you might need to exclude. But pay attention; if you have Category or ASIN offense brand campaigns, you will find keywords in the Search Term. Amazon still doesn’t have the option to exclude keywords for product targeting campaigns for brands.

Make most of your negative targeting 

Performing negative targeting is beneficial to your account and brand. One of the main reasons we need to do this is that you can reduce most of your unprofitable spending. 

You increase your conversion rate by leaving good-performing terms that are highly relevant to your product. And you improve ACoS on your keywords and their campaigns, followed by the account’s ACoS improvement.

Adding a negative targeting strategy to your account will bring these benefits and improve overall performance. It will help your campaigns not spend on terms that are not converting. You will have more budget for terms that are making sales and improving click-through rate and conversion rate and for terms that are on your targeted ACoS level. 


About the author

Nikola Djordjevic

​​Nikola Đorđević is a PPC specialist at Sellers Alley. Since he joined the company, Nikola has continued expanding his knowledge and delivering outstanding results. Besides PPC advertising, he has a strong passion for writing and photography, and his creativity helps him solve different problems in the marketing world. 



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