How to save money by preventing Google AdWords display campaigns from showing ads in mobile apps and games

Unless you have paid special attention to this already, I bet you if you look at placements in your Google AdWords account, you will see a whole lot for mobile apps.

Now, what’s worse, look at the Cost column. Yikes!

How many times have you accidentally tapped an ad in a free game or app? Even if you haven’t done this, it is presumably a common occurrence—and leads to a lot of wasted ad spend.

Unless you feel there is real value in your ad showing in games and apps, you’d be wise to prevent your ads from showing in apps.

Turns out it’s easy to rectify this.

How to prevent Display Network ads from showing in mobile apps and games

  1. In your Google AdWords Display Network campaign, go to the Display Network tab.
  2. Click on the Placements sub-tab.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and click on + Exclusions under Campaign placement exclusions.
  4. Optionally choose an ad group—or leave blank to apply to the entire campaign (recommended).
  5. Under the Placements heading, click on Placements and enter into the text box.
  6. Click Add placements.
  7. Next, scroll further down to the Add campaign exclusions menu and choose Site category options.
  8. There are a number of categories you might choose to exclude but it is recommended you at least exclude Parked domains, In-game, Gambling, GMob mobile app non-interstitial, and perhaps all video ones, too, if you’re seeing a high cost and limited or no conversions for video ads.
  9. Be sure to scroll further down and click Save.

It would be really interesting to hear how this has worked for you—have you seen a cost savings and an increase in conversions (due to more efficient ad spend), a decline in conversions, or something else? Please share your experiences in the comments.