by Tim


Internet Marketing

AdWords Cross-Account Sharing: Audiences & Negative Keyword Lists

If you’re relatively new to AdWords, or you’re looking for ways to make your daily account management less time consuming, the shared library is where it’s at. But, what could be even better than sharing audience lists and negative keywords between campaigns? Sharing them between accounts of course! This is where the AdWords Manager Account (formerly My Client Centre / MCC) shared library comes into play.

Cross-Account Audience Sharing

There are literally thousands of guides online explaining the benefits of using audiences in AdWords, so I won’t waste your time with another one. However, there’s considerably less material on how to successfully share audiences between two or more AdWords accounts.

Sharing audiences between accounts can be great for companies with multiple franchises/domains. They may want to bid up for visitors who converted on their other websites, create lookalike audiences from them or exclude previous visitors to a specific domain etc. When sharing audiences across accounts you can really tailor to whom your ads are displayed to. Here’s how it’s done …

Phase One

You’ll need to carry out the following preliminary steps to ensure you have the administrative rights to actually set up cross-account remarketing lists:

  1. In the AdWords Manager Account (from hereon called the AMA) click the tick boxes of the accounts you would like to enable audience sharing for.
  2. Click the Edit button and then select Change Client Manager.
  3. Ensure the Client Manager selected is the AMA you’re currently signed into.
  4. Next, you will need to set the Client Manager as an Administrative Owner. To do this login to one of the accounts you’d like to enable audience sharing for as an administrative user i.e. not through the AMA … If you do not own the account, you will need to ask your client to do the next step for you.
  5. Once in the account visit the account access settings page (click the cog in the top right-hand corner > account settings > account access) and click the Administrative Owner switch. Once done it will look like this:

Phase Two

OK, with phase one out of the way, let’s get on with the good bit:

  1. From your AMA open the account containing the audiences you’d like to share.
  2. Go to Account Access settings again.
  3. Switch on Remarketing list sharing. It looks like this:
  4. Open the AMA that contains this account and the account you’d like to share to and visit the AMA level shared library (in the grey left-hand column, below Attribution, above Pending invitations) and click Audiences.
  5. Select the lists you’d like to be available for sharing and allow up to two hours for this to be processed.
  6. Open the account that you’d like to share audiences with and repeat steps 2 -3. The shared lists should now be visible in the account-level shared library.

Cross-Account Negative Keyword Lists

Earlier this year Google allowed for the creation of AMA level Negative Keywords lists. Thankfully they’re a lot easier to implement than cross-account audiences.

Anyone using broad, broad modifier or phrase match keywords will know only too well how easily unexpected search terms can find their way into search term reports. If left unchecked they can really have a negative impact on an account’s performance.

Sometimes you’ll find a search term so bizarre and out of place that you’ll want to add it not just at ad group, campaign or even account level. You’ll want to add it to every account you currently manage! The next time this happens, just follow these simple steps:

  1. Open your AMA and open the Manager-level Shared Library and then click Negative Keywords Lists.
  2. Click the red +LIST button.
  3. Name your list and enter the keywords you’d like block across multiple accounts and click the blue save button
  4. Open one of the accounts you’d like to add this negative keyword list to, navigate to the shared library and select campaign level negative keywords.
  5. From here you will see your negative keyword list and can add it to any of the campaigns in the account. These cross-account lists will have the following text appended to them: “shared from a manager account”.
  6. Whilst cross-account negative keyword lists are not quite as revelatory as shared audiences, at the very least consider creating a general “words I never want ads to appear for” list in your AMA and applying it to all your accounts at campaign level. Don’t forget to add in any negatives from your existing account-level shared libraries too.

    Finally, yes, sharing audiences across accounts is a fiddly process but remember it’s one that can save you time and potentially the conversions that you might miss whilst waiting for newly built audiences to populate.


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