How to Use Negative Targeting on Amazon

May 18, 2022

In this blog, we will talk about campaign optimization, negative targeting on Amazon, and explain your campaigns’ vulnerability. In fact, if you don’t react in time, they will harm your business. 

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


The Solution


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


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

negative targeting on Amazon

Negative Targeting on Amazon


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

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 isn’t working or bringing sales but makes spend for a long period, you can add it to negative targeting. What will that do? 

Essentially, you will signal 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 on Amazon

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. 

Let’s say you’re selling a travel blanket, and in your Manual keyword campaign, you have a keyword such as “Travel Blanket” targeted in Broad match type. You found the keyword “Travel Blanket for Airplane” in the Search Term Report with spending and 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 your sales, ACoS, and your product’s rank since you will remove clicks without sales. 


Negative Keyword Phrase 


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

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 some keywords include other colors (travel blankets red, travel blankets blue, etc.), you can add all those colors to 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 


You will definitely see some ASINs when you open the Search Term Report, besides broad, phrase, and exact keywords. The majority is from your ASIN offense campaigns, but some are 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 isn’t profitable, you can exclude it by placing it in the negative target in your Auto and Category campaigns.  

negative targeting on Amazon

Negative targeting on Amazon for Sponsored Brands 


We have explained negative targeting for Sponsored Products campaigns above, and it’s similar for Sponsored Brands. You can find search terms for regular brand campaigns and video campaigns in reports.  

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.




Your account and brand can benefit from performing negative targeting on Amazon. One of the main reasons to do this is to reduce most of your unprofitable spending. 

You increase your conversion rate by leaving good-performing terms that are highly relevant to your product. Also, 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 avoid spending on terms that are not converting. You will have more budget for terms that are making sales, improving click-through rate and conversion rate, and for terms that are on your ACoS target level. 


About the author

​​Nikola Đorđević

​​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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