Tip: Reduce the amount of retargeting clicks on Google Adwords

I knew something wasn’t right when it came to retargeting ads I recently created. Our client was getting a ton of clicks and impressions from a retargeting campaign which didn’t make sense based on the amount of website traffic their site received. I figured some sort of audience expansion was turned on and I was unable to locate it.

If you are having a similar issues, I recorded a video showing you how to reduce the amount of retargeting clicks within Adwords by turning off audience expansion. If you want the step by step directions with screen shots, I included an example below the video.

Below, you can see the “all users” audience is the retargeting audience and there were 6 clicks in a day, which is normal. At the bottom, you’ll see there were an additional 154 clicks and 23,104 impressions in one day coming from the same display campaign! I saw this data early in the morning on May 18, 2019. At this point in the day, our clients website hardly received 200 visits so clearly something was wrong.

According to Google, you should follow the steps below. I wanted to highlight each step to make it easier for you and add more clarification on the final step.

  1. Click Display campaigns in the navigation panel.















2. Find your campaign and click on it.

3. Click on the ad group you’d like to adjust targeting for
(Note: I was having the issue initially because I’d be looking for the settings at the campaign level and not the ad group level. Make sure you click into the ad group so you actually see your display campaign before clicking into settings, which is outlined in the next step)

4. Click Settings in the page menu.















5. Click Edit ad group targeting.

6. Turn off targeting expansion or change your settings to “no automated targeting”. 
(Note: Depending on the way you set-up the campaign, it can be one of the two options but regardless, just turn this off).