Remarketing Strategies In Its Advanced Form For AdWords Users!Posted on 13 May by

Remarketing Strategies In Its Advanced Form For AdWords Users!


Remarketing is an incredibly powerful tool for online advertisers, particularly if the website gets high traffic. AdWords remarketing has gone from strength to strength with its new features and functionalities since they launched it in 2010.

Remarketing is basically when we tag our website landing pages to give cookies to our visitors. We could target those visitors with custom tailored ads based on their website activity. Those ads follow them around throughout an advertising network. Remarketing is not as simple as starting regular AdWords Search or Display campaigns. The success of our remarketing campaigns eventually depends on how well we’ve set up our remarketing lists and how we’ve tagged our website.

This post covers some useful remarketing tactics that are now available and briefly touches on some tips for optimizing our campaigns. Let’s get started.


Split Up Remarketing Campaigns

One of the common mistakes people makes when commencing remarketing is, creating a remarketing campaign in Google AdWords and targeting all their website visitors. This generic approach won't help us a lot, and so we shouldn’t treat all our website visitors the same. Always, try to segment our remarketing campaigns so that we could directly target the wants and needs of our customers. For each segmented ad group, we could create different Call to Actions with links to objective based web pages. Factors like how much time a visitor spends on our site, how many pages they view, and what pages they visit can determine how aggressive we should be in our remarketing. So we may split our remarketing campaigns based on these factors.

For example, for an e-commerce store, the following segmentation may be done:

  • All Visits (Excluding the rest of the segments)
  • Category Visits
  • Product Visits
  • Abandoned Shopping Carts
  • Converted

With the above structure, we could see a clear difference in CTR and conversion rates between the segments with high conversion rates for ‘Abandoned Shopping Carts’ to low conversion rates for ‘All Visits.'


Follow Ad Creation Best Practices

Our creative strategy is just as important as our remarketing list strategy. Here are some general recommendations for remarketing ads:

  • Ensure that the ad creative is as relevant as possible to the audience we are targeting.
  • The ad should have continuity with our website design and include our logo so that the user is aware it’s an ad for the same website they have already visited.
  • Ensure that we have a still version of the ad if there is also an animated version, as not all sites support animated ad formats.
  • Ensure each creative works across all the different ad sizes, so that we can include one of every ad size in each ad group. Not all sites support all ad formats, so this ensures that we will have the opportunity to show if we are eligible.
  • Include a text ad in each ad group as some websites won’t support image ads and this ensures you’ll have the opportunity to show. You can always remove the text ad later if it performs poorly.
  • You should include a call-to-action button and demonstrate any USPs or offers within the ad creative.


Don't Treat Conversion Abandons & Homepage Visitors The Same

We should never treat conversion abandons and homepage visitors the same. We should bid more on shopping cart and conversion abandons & bid lesser on homepage and non-converting page visitors. We know a visitor is more interested in our business and products when they’ve visited particular landing pages. This includes bounced traffic from shopping carts and lead generating pages like ebook and webinars. As soon as they’ve left, it’s time to keep reminding those lost leads to come on back and continue our conversion process. We may adjust our remarketing bid strategy to spend more on our warmer traffic by increasing our ad spend and decreasing frequency capping on conversion landing pages.

On the flip side, we may lower our ad budget for bounced traffic from our homepage and other information pages. If a visitor is still in the “checking us out” stage in the sales funnel, we should still try to bring them back. But, they’re not worth as much to our company - yet. We may target our non-converting traffic with ad campaigns to landing pages with a soft CTA (such as a webinar or ebook download) or our information pages and blog. Spending less on our early stage visitors will help us to increase our remarketing ROI.


Consider Google Remarketing Member Duration

How long we’ll have to follow each visitor will vary based on our sector and for each campaign we’re running. By default, Google gives a member duration of 3 months. This duration is safe if we have a long sales funnel such as a B2B and our objective is to increase brand awareness. But, if we’re in a short sales funnel, and we want an immediate sale, we may consider it is changing to 30 days. We may make use of the Time Lag to Conversions report to make a decision on remarketing member duration.

Remarketing list sample

Time Lag to Conversion Report: This can be found by going to our account in AdWords then selecting Tools > Attribution (search funnels) > Time Lag. This feature is great because we could select different types of conversions from a drop down to analyze these separately. We could even adjust the conversion window to be 30-90 days to give us another level of detail.

This is a useful tool for strategizing our remarketing audiences and also judging success. Before we kick off remarketing or adjust our strategies, we may look at this time lag report to see how long it takes people to convert after their first click. This then indicates how long our lists need to be to catch people and try and get them to come back sooner.

remarketing conversion


Consider Google Remarketing Frequency Capping

Similar to remarketing duration, we should consider our remarketing frequency capping also. This is how we set the number of times our ad gets displayed in a day, month or week to our targeted visitor. It doesn’t work when someone have been followed by the same ad from the same company all day! So we have to set up a frequency cap that gets our brand seen but doesn’t annoy the crap out our market.

frequency of remarketing

Every advertiser will have different needs for remarketing frequency capping:

  • An online retailer promoting a limited time coupon should make sure that the ad gets seen more frequently immediately.
  • An enterprise company developing relationships and leads should tone down the frequency of ads, and keep them longer term.

So we should determine the best frequency options for our business campaign objectives.


Target Existing Customers

They said, if you have excluded your converted customers from your remarketing, you have followed a standard best practice. However, the advice shouldn’t end there. We still need to use our existing customers to continue our marketing. Both in Display and in Search, it can be highly beneficial to retarget them in due time.

Examples of situations where we could retarget our existing customers:

  • If we are planning an upgrade to an individual item we have sold, we could retarget the current customers.
  • If the wallets we have sold tend to get worn out after 12 months, we could retarget 50% off for repeat customers after 12 months.
  • In case we are selling subscriptions, we could target those whose subscriptions are about to expire.
  • If we sell a product like fashion or other products that could be sold year-round, it’s tough to decide exactly when we need to start retargeting to existing customers. If we have a definite season or if our products have an expiration date, we will be able to retarget very efficiently.

Upselling: If our visitor is purchasing a lower ticket item, we could use this opportunity to upsell them with a higher ticket item via remarketing.

For example, if a visitor bought an iPhone case, we could target them using remarketing with ads for iPhone speakers. We’ve got a much better chance of getting a sale in this instance because the consumer has already purchased through us and already has trust in our service. This isn’t the easiest tactic to use with AdWords remarketing because you would need to have individual product specific Thank You pages which the user would be taken to at the end of the purchase. This would also cause difficulty when a visitor purchased more than one item at once.

Cross Selling: Like upselling, this tactic is great if we are using another Remarketing platform other than AdWords, or if we have specific product landing pages.This is about suggesting similar products that match or are suited to the product the user has chosen to purchase. For example, if a visitor purchases shoes from a fashion retailer, he may remarket them with the matching bag.


Offer Coupons To Repeat Visitors & Special Incentives For Repeat Purchasers

Use coupons and discounts to incentivize a lost shopping cart visitor to return to our product page. Someone who has visited our online store and has clicked through to a particular product page is likely very interested in purchasing that item. For whatever reason (they got distracted, the price point was high, they were comparison shopping, etc.), they left our sales funnel. This is an ideal time to reach out to those lost sales by remarketing with a coupon offer. When our potential customer sees our special offer - just for them, wherever they are online that person is more likely to convert.

remarketing in search ads

Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) is a feature that let us customize our search ads campaign for people who have previously visited our site, and tailor our bids and ads to these visitors when they're searching on Google. A great tactic for getting the most out of RLSA campaigns is to try out new ad messages. The searchers who see our RLSA ads will already have seen our original ads. We may try different ad messages to nail down further benefits of choosing our site to do business with. We shouldn't just assume that our current ad message is the best, but instead, we should focus on evolving our ad message and allow repeat users to see the entire spectrum of benefits.


Consider How We Could Exclude Lists for RLSA

When I mention excluding remarketing lists, please don't think that I am advising not to utilize these amazing lists for Search Ads to try and re-engage with the visitors and get them back to the site. The fact is, though, that not all businesses want to target users who have carried out a particular action.

Consider the example that we are running a dating site, and once our members log in, they reach a unique URL such as member login. We could create a remarketing list around these members and then exclude them from our brand search campaign so that we may avoid paying for clicks from users who are already members of your site. With dating sites, people may search countless times to simply log in, and do we need to pay for this traffic!!?


Start Using YouTube As A Remarketing Platform

We have a lot of ad opportunities on Youtube. We may try:

  • Display ads that appear on the right of the feature video or above video suggestion list.
  • Overlay ads which are semi-transparent ads that appear on the lower portion of the video.
  • Skippable video ads that allow viewers to skip ads after 5 seconds.
  • Non-skippable video ads that can appear before, during or after the main video.
  • Sponsored card display content that may be relevant to the video such as product featured in the video.

Remember, YouTube is the second largest search engine and the third most visited site on the Web. We may try to explore more from it.

remarketing in youtube ads


Dynamic Remarketing Using Product Listing Ads

Dynamic Remarketing is the latest feature from Google in remarketing. Dynamic Remarketing uses your Google Shopping feed to show specific products to users who have previously visited those products on your website.

Let’s take an example that I have visited to find some dress materials. I chose not to buy the one I was looking at. When I then start browsing other websites, Dynamic Remarketing will show the specific product to me again and again in the same style as regular Product Listing Ads. The ads include an image of the product as well as the price. There are several different layouts that you can choose from, but in general, the ads look good and are super easy to set up.


Dynamic remarketing isn’t just for retail sites that have merchant center accounts. We can upload our custom feed into AdWords in the business data section! We could make these amazing ads that showcase areas such as travel, recruitment, education, real estate, jobs and local deals! To set these up, we need to adjust your dynamic remarketing code to include some more custom variables for our business sector. Once we’ve done that and uploaded our feed, we may start creating ads using the templates on offer within AdWords. Dynamic remarketing ads almost always gain higher conversion rates than static remarketing ads, so this is definitely worth setting up for our business even if it is a little extra effort.



If we have a high traffic website, our business can benefit by using remarketing to increase clicks to our non-lead generating landing pages also. We may focus on nurturing our bounced traffic to educate them about our business, our products and how we solve their problems. Our ultimate goal is to get leads and sales. But, by driving interested consumers to a ‘free’ page, on which we’re not asking for anything in return, we build brand awareness and nurture lost leads. When they are ready to convert, this priming often results in a higher cost sale - and a more loyal customer.

Now it's time for Test, Test, and Test! We may always A/B test our remarketing campaigns. Monitor our views, CTRs and conversions. Sometimes the smallest of changes to our ads can multiply conversions. We may adjust our Budget, CTA, Images, Campaign landing pages or Ad messaging. By testing our ads, we could increase our ROI without breaking the budgeting bank.

Hopefully, you’ve found some of these tips useful in advancing your remarketing efforts! If you have any of your own tips to share, feel free to add them to the comments.

This resource was published by
13 May 2016
  • Akhil is a Search Engine Marketing specialist at Webdura Technologies. He is a Bing Ads Accredited Professional with AdWords, Analytics and Hubspot certification.


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