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How to Avoid Wasting Money On Your Display Campaign By Using Placement Exclusions

Difficulty: Intermediate

Display Campaigns are a great way to introduce potential buyers to the top of your funnel or bring back past website visitors to complete their transaction.

The network spans over two-million websites and apps, reaching 90 percent of internet users. The scope of such a platform means that no matter who you are targeting, you will be able to reach them via the Google Display Network (GDN).

The problem with such a vast network is controlling the quality!

Google goes to great lengths to remove nefarious websites but often many websites slip through the cracks. The sole objective of these websites is to scam clicks out of the visitors on their website. In the industry, this is called fraudulent traffic and it is more common than you might think. It is predominantly found on mobile versions of websites and in particular mobile apps.

If you have ever been scrolling down through content on your mobile device and randomly been taken to another website. Chances are you have accidentally click on a GDN ad. The owner of said ad, just paid for you to accidentally reach their website and immediately leave. This is the scenario we want to avoid. An indication that a mobile website might be or intentionally poorly designed will be highlighted by exceptionally high click-through rates.

Not all accidental clicks are the work of nefarious web developers. In fact, the source of many accidental clicks, especially on mobile apps, are the kids. Parents leave the iPad or tablet with their infant or young child to play with. The result is these kids unknowingly click on the ads without intending to. Annoying, and something that Google should be addressing.


How To Tell If Your Display Budget Is Being Wasted

Open your Display Campaign and check the placements. There are two signals that you should be looking for:

  1. A high click-through rate on certain placements. Google indicates that your Click Through Rate should be relatively low. Surveys show that the average CTR for display campaigns is roughly 1.5%. If your placements show high CTR’s, 10% or more, then it is most likely that your ads are being accidentally clicked on and will result in a high bounce.
  2. If you observe the following “Mobile App:(insert app name here)”. Although there might be some legitimate clicks, the majority will be accidental and will result in a bounce and wasted advertising spend. There are very few legitimate mobile GDN apps out there to make it worthwhile running the gauntlet with your Ad spend.

How to exclude Mobile Apps in Google Ads

  1. Navigate to your Display campaign and click Display Network/Placements and
  2. Scroll to the very bottom where you will find “Campaign Placement Exclusions”.
  3. Click the +Exclusions button and enter “”.
  4. Click save and you’re done.

Site Category Exclusions

  1. Same as above except beside Campaign Placement Exclusions you will find “Site Category Options”.
  2. Click on this and exclude In-Game, GMob and Error pages.

Find this tip interesting? Read more from Google's Support here.

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