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Fix website remarketing lists, tags and ads

If you find that your remarketing campaign isn't performing as expected, it may be due to specific problems with your remarketing lists, tags or ads. For more information, you can review our list of common problems and find out how to fix them.

Before you start

For Display campaigns, there's a simple place to find and fix many remarketing set-up problems. To see how to find your account set up health dashboard, read how to fix issues with Display campaigns.

No visitors on the list

You may not have added the remarketing tag correctly.

  • You edited the tag in some way when you copied and pasted from AdWords to your site. For example, if you paste the code into an email before implementing a copy of it on your site, the spacing of the code often changes.
  • You didn't paste the tag above the "</body>" tag of your site code.
You can check your code using Tag Assistant, a Chrome extension that automatically verifies Google code snippets on any page. Download and install Tag Assistant via the Google Chrome Store.

The rule that you created is incorrect or doesn't match your site URL. For example, you create a remarketing list using "URL contains television" but the URL of the televisions section of your site includes the term "televisions" (in plural). So the list doesn't match your URL.

A list isn't growing in size

A remarketing list may not be growing because of a tag modification. If you've exchanged tags by email, for example, bear in mind that email programmes modify the formatting of tags. We suggest sending tags as file attachments and using a programme that doesn't change the formatting, like a plain text editor (for example, Notepad for PC or TextEdit for Mac).

It's also possible that you didn't add the tag correctly on your website. If that's the case, you can find more information on how to add the remarketing tag to your site.

If your list remains steady, with very few cookies, here are some recommendations:

  • Check that the traffic for the pages with remarketing tags is high enough. If the traffic is low, maybe your lists are too specific. Consider removing targeting restrictions (for example, country and language) or tagging site pages that have higher traffic volume.
  • Make sure that the membership duration of the remarketing list is long enough. If you set a short duration, the list might not accumulate enough cookies. You can edit the membership duration of the list at any time.

Ad isn't showing

Here are some possible reasons that your ad isn't showing and some troubleshooting tips:

  • We'll only show ads to remarketing lists that have more than 100 users. You can check your list size by clicking on the Shared library link in the left navigation bar, and then the Audiences link.
  • For newly created lists and custom combinations, it may take up to 24 hours for a campaign to show impressions.
  • If it's been longer than 24 hours:
    • Check that your budget is still active.
    • Check your ad status. Make sure that your ads aren't classified as Non-family safe or Adult.
For advertisers who have the previous version of the remarketing tag – Can't view the remarketing tag

In the past, when you created your remarketing tag, you could view and copy the tag by clicking the link in the "Tags / Rules" column in the Audiences table, in the Shared library. In the new version, you'll see this link only for your older lists and the "Main list" AdWords created for you.

In the new version of remarketing, you'll see different types of lists on the Audiences page. Here are some of them:

  • Tag-based
  • Rule-based
  • Combination

The tag for your Main List and any other remarketing lists that you had created in the former version of remarketing will be labelled as "Tag-based".

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