Save Some of Your Budget by Excluding Categories on your GDN Campaigns

Improve your GDN Campaigns

If you are running Google Display Network (GDN) campaigns you should be excluding certain categories, otherwise it is money down the tubes. A lot of people seem to miss this easy setting. GDN campaigns can be tricky and usually always convert less than search campaigns. Follow the instructions below to exclude categories on your GDN campaigns and make every penny count.

Step 1

Click into your GDN campaign. You can see below one of my GDN campaigns is a branding one. If you aren’t bidding on your own brand name you really should be. Read this article from WordStream on Five Reasons to Bid on Branded Terms in PPC. This applies to your search campaigns as well.

branding gdn campaign

Step 2

Click into the “Display Network” tab.

display network

Step 3

Scroll down to the very bottom and click on the “+ Options” button under site category options.

adwords site category options

Step 4

You will then see a list of categories in which your GDN ads will show on. By default “Gambling” is the only one excluded. However, I highly recommend excluding Parked Domains, Errors Pages, and In-game. The In-game won’t usually convert at all for businesses. Unless you are advertising gaming products then you might want to leave this one on. Error pages and parked domains tend to have an incredibly high bounce rate and people usually tend to click away almost instantly upon seeing these. Depending on the nature of your business you might be able to exclude more as well. I have another post about using the ad location: Increase CTR on Display Network by Disabling Below the Fold Placements. After excluding these press “Save.”

adwords exclude type of placement

Your exclusions will then appear at the bottom. Since gambling is excluded by default it will never show here.

display network exclusions

That’s it! Go through all your GDN campaigns and exclude these categories. You should now be able to squeeze a little more out of your current budget!

Make sure to check my PPC Checklist for other great ways to save and improve the ROI of your PPC campaigns. And as always, I love to hear what you think below in the comments.

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Brian Jackson

Co-founder at forgemedia. Blogger and entrepreneur obsessed with SEO, marketing, and web performance. Connect on Twitter @brianleejackson.

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