Traffic Sculpting Basics for Google Ads

Copywriting and Ad Management need to go hand-in-hand. Like grilled cheese and tomato soup… They’re just not as good on their own.
They fit together in a lot of ways, but here we’re specifically talking about segmentation and traffic sculpting.

Segmentation (aka message matching):

If you don’t already know:

Segmentation is dividing up different audiences you’re speaking to, and having specific messages specific to each audience. So, if audience A wants orange juice, and audience B wants apple juice, you don’t chase group A away with apple juice, or group B away with orange juice. Each group is given exactly what they ask for.

Do the same in your messaging/marketing copy on all your landing pages, and you see a huge increase in performance. That means More leads, and More sales. 

When I worked at Viome as the lead copywriter, this being a focus of my copywriting process, we improved the sales numbers by upwards of 65% on a week to week basis.

That’s a big deal.

Traffic Sculpting

Traffic sculpting is how you can make sure segmentation happens in Google Search Ads.

So that people who search for orange juice, are always, and only, given ads for orange juice, and people who search for apple juice are always, and only, given ads for apple juice. 

It’s done using negative keywords to prevent searchers from seeing ads for similar items, that aren’t quite what they want. In this case, different types of juice.

Because all that research and work done by you expert copywriters out there doesn’t matter much if it’s thrown in front of the wrong people.

A more practical example:

Say you’re a mattress/bedding store with 3 main categories of products sold.

Each one of those categories, say, mattresses, futons, and pillows, gets their own campaigns.

The traffic sculpting will take place in the different ad groups of those campaigns, further dividing those categories up into sub-categories.

If campaign 1 is “mattresses,” the ad groups will include:

  • Cotton mattresses
  • Latex Core Mattresses
  • Green Cotton Mattresses
  • Foam Mattresses
  • Etc…

As illustrated in the diagram below, we can ensure searches for “cotton mattresses” are only given ads for cotton mattresses, and never for “latex core mattresses.” Similarly, searches for “foam mattresses” would only receive ads for “foam mattresses,” and never for any of the other subjects.

Segmentation / Traffic Sculpting Diagram

With each category funneled into it’s own ad group, you can begin to assemble hyper-specific ad copy speaking precisely to what the audience is looking for.

As of June, I’ve personally overseen a 950% return on ad spend of one client I work with by implementing this practice, and the profit just gets reinvested into larger ad spends, providing larger cash amount returns month after month. (this was originally written on July 8th, 2021)

When you combine the two practices, segmentation and traffic sculpting, you can extend the diagram above into including landing pages, email sequences and sales pages — all specifically tailored to the particular search query that the user originally entered, dramatically improving your sales numbers and the amount of leads generated.

Another tip, this improves the quality score of all associated keywords, meaning you pay less in every auction. We’ll talk about that next time.


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