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Campaign exclusions allow you to control when, who and where you don’t want to display ads at the campaign or ad group level.

If you want to prevent your ad from appearing in specific locations, to certain audiences, on specific web sites within the syndicated partner network or prevent your ads from displaying to certain IP addresses, you can make specific exclusions.

After reading this Study Guide, you will understand how to:

  • Prevent your ad from showing in specific locations.
  • Prevent specific websites from showing your ad.
  • Block specific IP addresses from seeing your ads.
  • Use remarketing exclusions for your ad group

Basics

So, what is the benefit of not displaying an ad? You want to be sure people who see your ad and visit your website are your target consumers. By using a combination of excluded regions, website lists and IP addresses, you don’t waste ad impressions and spend on customers who will never convert.

For example, let’s say your e-commerce site reaches everyone in the U.S., but doesn’t ship to Alaska. Instead of using targeting to choose every state except Alaska, apply a Microsoft Advertising location exclusion to your ad, and choose to display your ad across the remainder of the U.S.

How do I prevent my ads from showing in specific locations?

To prevent your ads from showing in specific locations, first click Campaigns located at the top of the page. To exclude specific websites at the campaign level, click the Campaigns tab. Click the name of the campaign (in the Campaign column) that you want to edit. Click the Settings tab.

To exclude specific websites at the ad group level, click the Ad groups tab. Click on the ad group title (in the Ad group column) that you want to edit. Click Settings. Click Edit location targets next to Location and then select Let me choose specific locations.

Select locations you want to exclude – cities and metropolitan areas within the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France and Australia; states/provinces; countries/regions; or postcodes – by searching for your specific location and clicking Exclude from the search results. (Note: You cannot exclude using radius targeting.) Click Done.
Screenshot of the Excluded locations field

How do I prevent specific websites from showing my ads?

The Microsoft Search Network is more than just Bing, Yahoo and AOL. It also includes a wide network of syndicated search partners. To prevent specific websites on the syndicated partner network from showing your ads, first click Campaigns located along the top of the page.

To exclude specific websites at the campaign level, click the Campaigns tab. Click the name of the campaign (in the Campaign column) that you want to edit. Click the Settings tab.

To exclude specific websites at the ad group level, click the Ad groups tab. Click on the ad group title (in the Ad group column) that you want to edit. Click Settings.

Select the tick box next to the campaigns or ad groups where you want to add the exclusion. Click Edit, and then click Other changes. In the Campaign settings list, select Website exclusions.

In the Website exclusions box, enter websites that you do not want to show your ads, one website per line (for example, www.contoso.com). To exclude your ads from an entire domain, leave off the ‘www’ prefix (for example, contoso.com).

After you have finished making your changes, click Apply.

Screenshot of entry fields for Website exclusions in Advanced settings.

Note:

  • You can specify a maximum of 2,500 URLs to exclude.
  • Each URL must specify the domain name and can specify one subdomain name and a maximum of two directories.
  • Duplicate URLs are not added.
  • Ad-group-level website exclusions override campaign-level website exclusions.

How do I block specific IP addresses from seeing my ads?

To block specific IP addresses from seeing your ads, first click Campaigns located along the top of the page. Click the Campaigns tab located in the middle of the page. Select the tick box next to the campaigns where you want to add the exclusion.

Click Edit, and then click Other changes. In the Campaign settings list, select IP address exclusions. In the IP address exclusions box, enter the IP addresses that you want to be blocked from seeing your ads. Enter one IP address per line. You can also add a range of addresses using a wildcard character (*). After you have finished making your changes, click Apply.

Note:

  • All Microsoft Advertising IP exclusions must be added at the campaign level, not the ad group level.
  • You can exclude a maximum of 100 IP addresses (or IP address ranges) per campaign.

Screenshot of entry fields for IP exclusions in Advanced settings.

Use a Negative keyword list to prevent ad display

You can use negative keywords or keyword phrases to help prevent your ad from being displayed when a search query or other input contains your keywords but is irrelevant to your landing page content.

For example, if your ad sells shoes and you have specified tennis shoes as a keyword, you can prevent your ad from being displayed in response to a search on tennis courts by using courts as a negative keyword.

This chart shows the two ways you can add negative keywords:

Add negative keywords

For more information, watch a video about negative keywords.

Ad group remarketing exclusions

Ad group remarketing exclusions let you exclude different audiences from any of your remarketing ad groups.
Here are some examples of remarketing exclusions, along with remarketing targeting:

  • Travel advertiser: Bid boost my ad to users who (+) added a flight to their basket but have (-) not yet purchased it.
  • Banking advertisers: Show my ad to users who have (-) not logged in as a current customer.
  • Retail advertiser: Bid boost my ad to users who have (+) been to the site in last 30 days but (-) not in the last 7 days
Things to know about remarketing exclusions:
  • Exclusions will always take precedence (will be enforced) over all other targeting options.
  • Exclusions are set up as a remarketing list first, and then associated to ad groups as an ‘exclusion’.

Add negative keywords

Creating a remarketing list

Before an exclusion can be made to an ad group, it needs to be created as a remarketing list first in the Audiences section of the Shared Library.

Creating a single remarketing exclusion

Once a remarketing list is created, it can be ‘targeted’ or ‘excluded’ to any ad group by clicking Create association in the Audiences tab.

Within the Create association setup screen, select an ad group you want to ‘target’ or ‘exclude’ with your remarketing lists. Then select any of your remarketing lists as Ad group targeting or Ad group exclusions.

Review any targeting and exclusions you have made from within the Audiences tab.

Creating remarketing exclusions in bulk

Select any ad groups from within the Ad groups tab and under the Edit menu, click Associate with remarketing lists. Add any exclusions or targeting to the selected ad groups. (You can add several exclusions to the same ad group.)

Converting associations to/from exclusions

Convert any targeting to an exclusion by clicking Exclude (ad group). Or from an exclusion to targeting by clicking Enable.

Creating remarketing exclusions in Microsoft Advertising Editor

Do this by selecting Negative Audiences under Keywords and targeting from the type list in the left panel.

In the Manager pane, click Add Negative Audience Association, and select one or more ad groups you want to exclude the audiences with and click OK.

In Choose audience, select the audiences you want to exclude and click OK.

Summary

Campaign exclusions allow you to begin with a large target audience and selectively reduce it to just the customers who can benefit from your offering, thereby increasing the effectiveness of your ad spend.
Remember these key points:

  • You can set up ad display prevention at both the campaign and ad group levels.
  • You can set ad display prevention for geographical locations, websites and IP addresses.
  • Creating a negative keyword list can help prevent your ad from appearing in searches.
  • Audience remarketing is a good way to select the appropriate customers to see your ad.

Thanks for reading this Study Guide on campaign exclusions. Continue studying or take the Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional exam to become certified.

Please note all features in this Study Guide may not be available in your market.