Remarketing, What it is, How to do it and How it Helps Your Business

This article explains what remarketing is, how to do remarketing and how it will benefit your businesses online marketing efforts.

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing your products or services involves using cookies to continue promoting your products or services to users after they have exited your business website. Remarketing ads offers a great opportunity to reach and influence your website visitors again. Visitors to your website will be shown your text or image ads on other websites they visit, as well.

How Does Remarketing Work

Remarketing works by your Google AdWords manager instituting a code on your business website. This code adds a cookie to each visitor’s browser who comes to your business website. Later, when they visit other business websites that belong to Google’s Display Network, ads will be shown in the available ad space. When the user clicks on the ad, he or she will be led to the desired page on your business website. Similar remarketing techniques are used in mobile phones and tablets.

You may have encountered remarketing in action when browsing the internet. For instance, when you visit a website and look at a product or service, you continue to see several references to that product or service in display ads as you keep on browsing elsewhere. In essence, this is how remarketing works.

Remarketing – How to do it?

Since 2010, when Google AdWords remarketing was launched, new features and functionalities have been incorporated from developing lists with Google Analytics to advanced Dynamic Remarketing. These ground-breaking functionalities have compelled advertisers to create and optimize remarketing campaigns bearing best practices in mind.

Listed below are some best practices to adopt for deriving maximum benefit from your Google AdWords remarketing campaigns. Carefully consider these tips before creating your remarketing lists.

Manage Client Expectations by Framing Clear Remarketing Objectives

Before diving into remarketing, you must know your objectives clearly. This helps you in managing your client’s expectations and needs (or your boss’s, as well) and ensure that everyone is using the same hymn sheet to sing! For instance, your client might have used only standard PPC until now, and anticipate remarketing to deliver similar results.

Make sure that your client is aware of the fact that remarketing won’t accomplish tons of one-per-click conversion. Besides, remarketing doesn’t draw large traffic as your PPC ads do. Inform your clients that remarketing is only helpful at influencing conversions, and reinforcing their brand to potential customers who have previously visited their business website.

Planning Your Remarketing Strategy

A major chunk of your time for starting the remarketing project goes into planning your remarketing techniques and the lists you intend to build. How far remarketing works for your business is dependent on the lists you design and how you employ them – so you shouldn’t rush this. Your targets for the project will decide the lists you’ll create. Listed below are some helpful examples.

Update Your Privacy Policy & Include Cookie Information

Ahead of adding your remarketing code to your business website and building lists, updating your Privacy Policy is the best practice. This declares that you are using the “DoubleClick” cookie. You should include a note like this to your business website policy:

“DoubleClick: We use remarketing codes of Google Analytics to log when visitors view particular pages or take particular actions on our business website. This permits us to deliver targeted advertising in the foreseeable future. If you aren’t interested in receiving this kind of advertising from us at all in the foreseeable future, you can just opt out using the “Network Advertising Initiative opting-out page” or “DoubleClick opting-out page”. 

Check out “Google’s Privacy Policy guidelines” and ensure that your Privacy Policy fulfils the requirements for using other Google AdWords products.

Placing Your Remarketing Code On Your Business Website

Google AdWords remarketing code and Google Analytics remarketing code are the two sets of code for installing AdWords remarketing.

Google Analytics remarketing code has the added advantage of permitting you to use visitor behaviour within list criteria. For instance, you could design a list targeting users in a specific geographical location who remained on your business website for a minimum of 3 minutes employing the Google Analytics code. It is to be noted that the Google AdWords code only permits for building lists based solely on specific pages visited on your business website.

Google AdWords Remarketing Code

If you plan to use “Dynamic Remarketing”, you’ll need to use the Google AdWords remarketing code. Nevertheless, if your preference is for running standard remarketing employing the Google Analytics code, both sets of code can be used to permit for standard and dynamic remarketing.

Google AdWords has confirmed that the codes never conflict. The sole limitation of using both sets on your business website simultaneously is that you detect certain visitors being placed on more than one list, and being presented ads from more than one campaign. You should consider this carefully when you set your frequency capping, as employing both the sets of code simultaneously will result in users appearing on multiple lists more frequently.

Select The Right Profile Inside Google Analytics

Choosing the right profile in Google Analytics enables you to avoid chasing your employees with ads. Your employees are never going to convert, and following your employees leads to wasted impressions.

When you create a remarketing list, the first thing that Google Analytics asks you is to choose the profile that you desire to credit your remarketing list. You should exclude visits to your business website from your internal IP. This will indicate the amount of traffic your business website generates without taking your organisation into consideration.

Based on this, when choosing the profile to assign your remarketing list, you should choose a profile that does not consist of visits from any of your internal IP.

Set Your Membership Duration

If you have a business website that has several thousand visitors a month, you can set the membership duration for visitors in your remarketing list at 30 days (the default membership duration). Nevertheless, if your business website doesn’t drive this amount of traffic, you’ll lose people from your remarketing list every 30 days.

Ordinary internet users don’t clear their cookies frequently as they are not proficient at it. Google Analytics permits you to alter the membership duration to up to 540 days. You should set your list duration depending on what you intend to accomplish. For example:

  • If you are targeting visitors for an annual purchase (motor insurance), then opt for a remarketing membership of 13 months’ duration.
  • Services requiring potential customers to sign up after the expiry of 30 days (when you offer a free 30-day trial) need lists with a remarketing membership of at least 60 days. This will enable you to target potential customers for at least a month after the free trial to promote sign-up.

Get the Right Naming Strategy In Place

It is essential to get the right naming strategy in place before you build remarketing lists. This is because you cannot change the name of a list after creating it. This may not cause you any inconvenience if you are creating only a few lists. Nevertheless, if you are creating multiple targeted lists, you should name them in such a manner that each list clearly indicates what it contains. This facilitates easy use of the list in the future.

Before Starting Remarketing, Build a List of At Least “100” People

To begin a remarketing campaign, there should be at least 100 people on your list. The quicker you install the code on your business website, the quicker you can begin building your lists. Lists take time to reach this “magic” number. Hence, to get a head start, you should implement the code swiftly.

Build Custom Combination Lists Into Google AdWords

Advertisers use custom combination lists for de-duping one list from another. For instance, you may have two different lists. Just assume that one list contains visitors to your business website and another list contains people who have already converted. Now, to target all the visitors that are yet to convert on your business website, you need to build a custom combination list.

Advantages Of Creating Custom Combination Lists In Google AdWords

Although you can build a custom combination list in Google Analytics, it is much better to use Google AdWords to accomplish this. It is not only easier to create a custom combination list in Google AdWords, but it is also easier to see how many people are there in your list once it is running.

Lure Visitors Back to Your Business Website Using Targeted Ads

Create eye-catching ads that are apt to the visitor. Product/Service Listing Ads convert better and have a higher ROI when compared to text ads. This is the surest and easiest way to pull back visitors who have left your business website.

Frequency Capping In Your Remarketing Campaign

Possibly the most elementary attribute among all remarketing best practices, frequency capping is the difference between gently reminding visitors about your brand, and deliberately stalking them until they develop an aversion to your brand.

Locate it in the Settings section of your campaign, and set it at the ad group, campaign, or ad level. Select whether to cap it on daily, weekly, or monthly limits.

The Right Setting For Your Frequency Capping

When deciding about the right level to keep your frequency capping at, consider the number of remarketing campaigns you have. If you have only one remarketing campaign, consider the number of ad groups within that campaign.

When you have several campaigns, capping the frequency at two impressions every week, per campaign would be ideal. Assuming you have five active campaigns, if your business website visitor (who hasn’t yet converted) is a member in one of these campaigns, he or she will receive a maximum of 14 impressions every week. This number is quite high. However, considering the likelihood of all users not being on any list of your campaigns, the average frequency will be lower.

Review Your Frequency Capping Periodically

Once your remarketing campaigns have been functioning for a while, you will accumulate significant data. Review the frequency and reach data inside the “Dimensions” tab. You can clearly see how often visitors to your business website are served your remarketing ads and evaluate whether it’s too often. You can determine whether you have to adjust your frequency capping.

Remarketing Techniques: Additional Targeting For Remarketing

Essentially, remarketing is behavioural targeting. When you have budget constraints, you should target visitors who have the highest chance of converting. You should attempt using diverse targeting methods along with remarketing audiences. For instance, you should try demographic targeting for a particular gender and age group.

Assuming that you were selling cosmetics for females only, you should set the “gender” option targeting only females. Remember to select the “Bid Only” option. Now, you will get an opportunity to increase your bids for females.

Understand That All Google Assumptions Is Not Perfect

Every one of Google’s assumptions about demographics need not always be correct. Hence, you should target “Unknown”, as well. This will ensure that you avoid missing out on a single potential impression for females. Click the green coloured “+targeting” button inside the “Display Network” tab that is located in the top left of your screen.

Remarketing techniques for targeting visitors of particular age groups involves following the same process.

Fine-Tune Your Targeting: Remarket Exclusively To “Quality” Visitors

Narrowing down your remarketing, another effective remarketing technique, targets visitors who have had a positive interaction with your business website. Add the following norms to your remarketing lists:

  • General Visitors: Exclude visitors who visited your business website but didn’t view any product/service pages.
  • Exclude visitors who have spent fewer than ten seconds on your site.
  • Product/Service Viewers: Include visitors who have viewed specific products/services on your website.
  • Shopping Cart Abandoners: Visitors to your website who have added a product/service to their shopping cart, but have left your business website without concluding the purchase.

To apply this remarketing technique perfectly, you’ll have to create your remarketing lists within Google Analytics. Later, create custom combination remarketing lists within Google AdWords which omit them.

Bar Your Remarketing Ads From Showing on “bad” Content

There are diverse content “categories” that you presumably don’t desire your remarketing ads to be shown on; especially, unprofitable and worthless websites. Exclude website categories to prevent your remarketing ads from being displayed around content that you dislike being associated with your brand.

To do this, you should go inside the “Display Network” Tab. Next, scroll to the lower end of the page. For arriving at campaigns, click on the green coloured “+Options” button.

Places To Bar From Showing Your Remarketing Ads

Click on the “+Options” button to glimpse the page from which you can eliminate unsuitable site categories. Exclude forums, error pages, and parked domains as these tend to have inferior content that you may not desire to be associated with your brand.

Profitable Remarketing Technique: The Right Placement of Your Ad

Ensure that your remarketing ads show above the fold of the website page. This undoubtedly delivers positive results to your business. Above-the-fold placement of remarketing ads involves bidding higher amounts.

Review your remarketing ads placement report, and refine your remarketing techniques further. Exclude all inappropriate placements.

Structure Remarketing Campaigns Correctly

Ideally, you should have a separate remarketing campaign for each of your list. If this is not feasible, you should at least have separate campaigns for every type of strategy. For instance, you could have two unique campaigns for ad groups:

  • The first one to generate secondary up-sells and purchases.
  • The second one to target visitors who viewed a specific product/service category but didn’t convert.

Whenever it is difficult to structure your remarketing strategy in this manner, you should at least make certain that each strategy has its distinct ad group in one committed remarketing campaign. As you gather enough data to evaluate their performance, you should break-up the best performing list into a separate campaign. This will enable you to allocate specific daily budgets for the top performing list.

Ensure That Your Remarketing Ad Is Relevant To Your Targeted Audience

A bespoke remarketing ad designed for each strategy is the perfect remarketing technique. This ensures that the creative ad is completely relevant to your targeted audience. For instance, if you are targeting a hesitant first-time buyer who has visited your business website several times, your ad could include a discount code. Similarly, if you are targeting a visitor who viewed a particular product/service page but didn’t make a purchase, your remarketing ad should feature that product/service.

Important Criteria for Remarketing Display Ad Creation

  • Your remarketing ad should include your logo and have continuity with your website design. This reminds users that the ad is for a product/service whose website they just visited.
  • Since all sites do not support animated ad formats, you should have a still version of all your animated remarketing ads ready.
  • Create remarketing ads of different sizes to fit all ad sizes in every ad group. All website designs do not support all ad formats and sizes. Hence, this provides you the opportunity of displaying your ads whenever you are eligible.
  • Add a text ad in all your ad groups. Several website designs don’t support image ads. In these places, you will have the chance to display your text ads. Remove the text ad if you are not satisfied with its performance.
  • Demonstrate your USPs or special offers inside the ad creative. You should incorporate a call-to-action button, as well.

Conversion Tracking For Remarketing: Use Google AdWords

This is set up in the same manner as standard Google AdWords campaigns. Nevertheless, if you opt to import e-commerce or goals tracking from Analytics to be followed as conversions in Google AdWords, they will not record View-through-conversions.

This can be restrictive because remarketing contributes to a robust rate of View-through-conversions. There will be no clear visibility of this if you opt to import e-commerce or goals tracking from Google Analytics.  Therefore, for tracking conversions of your remarketing techniques, you should use standard Google AdWords conversion tracking code.

Remarketing Optimization Best Strategies

You should implement the following strategies for testing and enhancing your remarketing productivity.

  • Test your list standards and custom combinations
  • Test your landing pages
  • Monitor lost impression share because of rank
  • Test your ad creative
  • Don’t overlook normal optimization techniques
  • Check out newer formats

Remarketing Advantages For Your Business

Remarketing Techniques Deliver Higher Conversion Rates

Over 97 percent of the viewers to your business website do not convert during their very first visit. With remarketing, your conversion rates are enhanced significantly – up to 125 percent. This results in improved business and profits.

Your Reach Is Considerably Broadened

The most important remarketing advantage is that your reach is broadened considerably. Your remarketing ads can reach almost 98 percent of visitors who left your website without taking any action. Regardless of which websites they choose to visit, you can still reach them.

Your Cost Is Substantially Lower

Another remarketing advantage is the lower cost. Remarketing campaigns cost you money only when they work. Your ads are displayed only to viewers who are your potential customers. Adopting the right remarketing technique enables you to filter out uninterested viewers. This ensures that there are no “useless” or “unprofitable” clicks on your ads.

Remarketing Delivers Higher ROI

Remarketing is a ploy that enables you to persuade the previous viewers of your website to revisit your products/services page. Since you target people who are most likely to convert, your remarketing campaigns deliver a higher ROI.


There are no obvious disadvantages to remarketing. Nevertheless, there is a possibility that if you don’t monitor your frequency cap, you may annoy some people with your remarketing ads. For this sole reason, you should monitor your frequency cap frequently.

We hope this article has been of use to you and shows you how to utilise Remarketing in your online advertising strategies. If you require assistance with remarketing, or other online marketing techniques, please contact us .

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