Google Ads Audience Exclusions

Difficulty: Beginner

Audience exclusions in Google Ads are often an overlooked element that can be used to get granular with your campaigns.

Why would you want to exclude an audience?

This is highly beneficial to businesses whose customers will only ever have to purchase their product or service once.

Examples of this might be online courses or asbestos removal. After purchase, or even after the first click, there are instances where we want to avoid showing ads, both Display and Search. This means you can avoid paying twice for the same visitor, consequently saving money.

To do this we need to create an audience in Google Analytics and then add them into Google Ads as an excluded audience. This audience will be used to identify people who have converted on your website.

There are many post sales tactics surrounding this, but we are just focusing on preventing people from clicking on our ads and preferably clicking on our organic listing. This is especially important for markets such as Personal Injury Claims where you can’t afford to waste clicks due to the high cost per click.

Campaigns where you can exclude audiences

It is important to keep in mind that audience exclusions are only available within certain types of campaigns.

Check if you’re using one of these campaigns before attempting to exclude an audience:

  • “Display Network only” > “Marketing objectives” > “Drive action” > “Buy on your website”
  • “Display Network only” > “No marketing objective” > “All features”
  • “Display Network only - Remarketing”
  • “Display Network only - All features”
  • “Search Network with Display Select - All features”
  • “Search Network only - All features”
  • “Search Network only - Dynamic Search Ads”

How to exclude audiences

How do you exclude an audience on Google Ads?

To exclude people who convert retrospectively, you can follow these steps:

  • Sign in to your Google Ads account
  • Click on the 'Campaigns' tab
  • Select 'All Campaigns'
  • If you’re excluding audience from a Display Network campaign, click the ‘Display Network’ tab and select "Interests and Remarketing"
  • To exclude audiences from a Search Network campaign, click the ‘Audiences’ tab
  • Below the statistics table, click on +Exclusions
  • Select either “Ad Group Targeting and Exclusions” or “Campaign Exclusions
  • Within either option, from the drop-down menu select “Interests & Remarketing
  • Select the audiences you want to exclude. You can do this by using “Search by list name” or click the double arrow on the right of each audience. Excluded audiences will appear in the “selected” column
  • Click “Save”.

This tactic is recommended for anyone running a remarketing campaign as we don’t wish to continue spamming clients who have converted.

Remarketing can be perceived as “stalkerish”, don’t let that be your client's perception of your company post-sale. Using audience exclusions means you can leave a positive lasting impression on your client, while also saving your company money.

Audience exclusions highlight the importance of having a thoroughly thought out campaign. Before starting your campaigns, make sure to carefully consider who you are targeting, and whether or not they will help you achieve your goals and make a profit.


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