How remarketing works

Remarketing can help you reach people who have previously visited your website. You can even show these previous visitors ads that are tailored to them based on which sections of your site they visited. Your ads could appear to them as they browse other sites that are part of the Google Display Network or as they search for terms related to your products on Google.


Add the remarketing tag to your site
To start using remarketing add the remarketing tag, a small snippet of code that you get from AdWords, across all pages on your site. Many sites have a single footer for all pages where you can place your remarketing tag for use throughout your site.

Create remarketing lists
Once you've added the remarketing tag to your site, you can create remarketing lists for any of your webpages. For example, you could create a remarketing list for visitors to your most popular product category. The remarketing tag tells AdWords to save visitors to your "Popular category list." When people visit that page, their cookie id is added to the remarketing list.

Build remarketing campaigns that use your lists
Then build an AdWords campaign with a specific message to show only to people on your "Popular category list" while they search on Google or browse other Display Network sites. Your remarketing messages won't be shown to people who aren't on the list.

Because the remarketing tag is on all of the pages of your website, you can develop more detailed audiences. For example, you could create lists not only for your most popular product category, but also for each of your other product categories or your shopping cart.

Infographic of how remarketing works

Example

People looking for stilettos visit your online store to check out the available types of stiletto shoes. These shoppers could be added to a "Dress shoes" list to show them ads about related products. Then, your ads can be shown to these shoppers while they browse other websites on the Google Display Network.

Or, in case these shoppers are actively looking for stilettos, you can set a bid adjustment for this remarketing list on Google Search. Instead of showing these customers a standard ad about your store, you could show them an ad that offers a special discount on stilettos. This ad might encourage them to return to the website to buy a pair.

To use remarketing on the Display Network, you may want to choose "Display Network only - Remarketing" as your campaign type when you create your campaign. The default settings in this campaign type can help you achieve better performance by keeping your targeting broad enough but focused on the right audience.

To use remarketing lists for search ads, you may want to select "Search Network only - All features" as your campaign type. If you have a "Search Network only - Standard," "Search Network with Display Select - Standard," or "Search & Display Networks - Standard" campaign, you won't be able to add remarketing lists to your campaign.

Cookies

As people browse certain Google services and websites that have partnered with the Google Display Network, Google stores a number in their browsers (using a "cookie") to remember their visits. This number uniquely identifies a web browser on a specific computer, not a person. Learn more about cookies.

Tags

A remarketing tag is a small snippet of code that you get from AdWords that you can add to your website to start using remarketing. Learn how to add the remarketing tag to your site.

Remarketing list definition rules

Once you've added the remarketing tag to your site, you can define lists for different sections of your site using rules. For example, if you want to define a list for a page of your site where you sell electronics, you can use this rule: "URL contains electronics."

With rules, you can create as many lists as you want without having to add more tags to your sites.

The remarketing tag also lets you send custom parameters that you can use to create your remarketing lists. An online store, for example, can send the product price and the page type (such as the purchase page) in the tag to create a list for people who bought any product above a certain price.

In this case, the custom parameters that the online store would include in the remarketing tag would be value (price of the product) and pagetype (type of page, which indicates how close to purchasing customers are).

Sensitive categories of sites can't use remarketing. If you're setting up a remarketing campaign and placing the remarketing tag on your site, you need to follow the Policy for advertising based on interests and location.