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Campaign exclusions allow you to control when and where you don’t want to display ads at the campaign or ad group level, such as for geographical areas where you don’t do business, or for search terms that are similar, but unrelated to, your product or service.

After reading this training, you will understand how to:

  • Recognise available types of campaign exclusions.
  • Create campaign-level exclusions.
  • Create ad group level exclusions.


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 utilizing a combination of excluded regions, negative keywords and website lists, you don’t waste ad impressions on customers who will never convert. In some cases, minimising your audience is a more efficient solution than maximising your audience.

Targeting and campaign exclusions are, in a sense, similar functions of Bing Ads. Both allow you to display your ads to a select group. The distinction is a matter of whether you’re adding to, or subtracting from, your target audience.

The Campaign exclusions feature allows 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.

For example, let’s say your ecommerce site reaches everyone in the U.S., but doesn’t ship to Alaska. Instead of using targeting to choose every state except Alaska, you can choose to display your ad across the U.S. and simply make one exclusion: Alaska.

Exclusions at the campaign level

Exclusions set at the campaign level will apply to all of the ads in your campaign. To set up campaign exclusions, start on the Campaigns page and click the Settings tab. You will see a list of campaigns created in your account. To edit the settings of a campaign, click a campaign name from the list below to bring you to the Campaign settings page.

Screenshot of the Settings tab on the Campaigns page.

On the Campaign settings page, find the Locations subheading and click edit.

Screenshot of the Locations subheading on the Campaign settings page.

Two choices are then revealed:

  • All available countries/regions
  • Selected cities, states/provinces, countries/regions and postal codes

Select the radio button Selected cities, and you will see Search and Browse tabs. The Browse tab provides a list of countries, many of which you can expand to display states/provinces and cities/regions. To quickly find a smaller region, use the Search tab.

For example, suppose you don’t want ads to display in Bellingham, Washington. Click the Search tab and type, “Bellingham, Washington.” When you select the city name, you’re given the choice to either Target (which would target the city) or Exclude. When you click the Exclude link, “Bellingham, Washington (city)” populates the “Excluded locations” list.

Screenshot of the Excluded locations field using Bellingham as an example.

If you want to add more exclusions, scroll down to Advanced settings. Click Exclusions to reveal Website exclusions and IP exclusions options where you can enter specific websites or IP addresses into the text fields.

In the example below, ads will not be displayed on or at the IP address or the IP address zone 266.45.7.*. (The wildcard signifies all 255 IP addresses in the 266.45.7 zone.)

Screenshot of entry fields for Website exclusions and IP exclusions in Advanced settings.

Another type of campaign exclusion is negative keywords. Negative keywords are specific words or phrases that help prevent your ad from showing to customers who are unlikely to click your ad.

To add negative keywords at the campaign or ad group level:

  • Click Campaigns located at the top of the page.
  • Click the Keywords tab.
  • Select View: Negative keywords.
  • Click Campaign or Ad group.
  • Click Add negative keywords.
  • Select the appropriate campaign or ad group, then add your negative keywords as appropriate.

Exclusions at the ad group level

If you have certain ads in your campaign that you’d like to treat differently, you can override campaign exclusions with ad group exclusions.

Click Settings at the ad group level to adjust the exclusion properties of the ads just for this ad group.

Setting ad group exclusions works the same way as for campaign-level exclusions.

Additional exclusions

In addition to location exclusions, you can exclude websites and negative keywords. However, IP address exclusions are not available at the ad group level. Negative keywords set at the ad group level work in unison with those set at the campaign level. You would manage your negative keywords the same way you do your regular keywords by using the Keywords tab and selecting View: Negative keywords.

Be sure to click Save when finished to enable your targeting and exclusions.

Campaign exclusions are powerful tools because they allow you to easily black out areas where you don’t do business. By eliminating potential ad clicks that probably wouldn’t convert, you reach more people you can do business with, and lower your cost per conversion.

Remember these key points:

  • Exclusions can be set at both the campaign and ad group levels.
  • You can exclude geographical locations, websites and IP addresses, and specific search terms using negative keywords.

Thanks for reading this training on campaign exclusions. Continue your training or take the Bing Ads Accredited Professional exam to become accredited.


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