Clear search
Close search
Google apps
Main menu

About remarketing lists for search ads

Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) is a feature that lets you customise your search ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they're searching on Google and search partner sites.

Before you start

Remarketing lists for Search ads are only available for the following campaign types: 

  • "Search Network only – All features" 
  • "Search Network only – Dynamic Search Ads 

The list membership limit for these lists is capped at 540 days. 

How it works

When people leave your site without buying anything, for example, remarketing lists for search ads help you to connect with these potential customers when they continue looking for what they need using Google Search. You can set your bids, create ads or select keywords, bearing in mind that these customers have previously visited your website. Remarketing lists for search ads use remarketing lists for these customisations.

There are two basic strategies for using remarketing lists with search ads:

  • You can optimise bids for your existing keywords for visitors on your remarketing lists. For example, you can increase your bid by 25% for those who previously visited your website in the last 30 days. Or, you could show a different ad to site visitors who have placed items in a shopping basket but have not purchased them.
  • You can bid on keywords that you don't normally bid on, just for people who have recently visited your site or who have converted on your site in the past. This can help you increase your sales. For example, you could bid on more broad keywords only for people who have previously purchased from your site.

To find out more, read About remarketing lists.

In-stream video

Watch a Google AdWords webinar to find out more about remarketing lists for search ads (available in English only).

How to set up your lists

To start using remarketing lists for search ads, you create a remarketing list and add a snippet of code that you get from AdWords, called a remarketing tag, to your site. You can add the new remarketing tag to every page in your site. The code tells AdWords to add every site visitor to your list. When people visit your homepage, for example, the cookies associated with their browsers are added to the remarketing list.

Once the remarketing tag has been added to your site, you can add the remarketing list to your existing campaigns and ad groups, and raise and lower your bids for customers on the remarketing list.

You can also create a custom combination list to target visitors who viewed certain pages on your website.

Bear in mind: a remarketing list for Google search ads needs to have a minimum of 1,000 cookies before the list can be used to tailor your search ads. This helps to protect the privacy of those who make up your list.


People looking for running shoes visit a sports clothing website to check out the available styles, and look at the shoe section of the site. The site could add these shoppers to a "Shoe category" list. Then, for example, the site could bid more for these visitors next time they search for running shoes on Google.

Best practices: Check mark icon Best practices

Read the Google Best Practices guide to find out tips on reaching highly qualified customers using RLSA. Topics include:

  • Set your remarketing ads up for success
  • Segment your RLSA audiences in AdWords
  • Bid for RLSA success in AdWords

Reach the Right Audience with RLSA: Google Best Practices

See how an advertiser used remarketing lists for search ads

Tirendo, a European online tyre retailer, saw a 161% conversion rate increase with remarketing lists for search ads, leading to a 22% overall sales increase. Read the case study (available in English only).

Strategies and optimisation for remarketing lists for search ads
  • Bidding higher for past site visitors can help you to increase your revenue and ROI. If you're using remarketing lists for search ads to adjust your bids, then focus on keywords that aren't yet in the top position. Remarketing lists for search ads allow you to adjust your bids for those customers that have been to your website before, and bid aggressively for this audience.
  • Bidding on new keywords can help you to increase conversions. With remarketing lists for search ads, you can drive conversions from new searches by bidding higher on generic keywords, or by changing existing keywords from narrower match types to broader match types. When your ads are targeted to your past site visitors, choosing a broader keyword match type can help you improve your campaign performance. Popular keywords that might not be profitable for most customers can often become profitable for people who already visited your site.
  • When you target more generic keywords, use ads to highlight products that are most relevant to people on your remarketing lists. For example, if you're creating ads to show to people who visited the pet food section of your site, you can highlight pet food in those ads.
  • Tailor your ad text to your past site visitors. You can highlight new products, recent deals and offers to people who visited your site before, or you can tailor your brand ads based on recent product lines your visitors viewed.
  • Use data. The statistics on the Audiences tab can help you monitor how your remarketing lists are performing, so that you can set or edit bid adjustments as needed.
Was this article helpful?
How can we improve it?
Sign in to AdWords

Get account-specific help and tips by signing in with your AdWords account email address, or learn how to get started with AdWords.