Dynamic remarketing campaign set-up guide

Dynamic remarketing can help you reach your site visitors and show them an ad tailored to them, with a message and bid customized based on how close to purchasing they were. To take full advantage of dynamic remarketing, you can use every ad size and format. This can increase your chances of showing across Google Display Network websites to reach your visitors at the right time.

When you create a dynamic remarketing campaign, AdWords sets the default options to help you optimize your campaign.

Reaching people based on how close to purchasing they were on your site

Knowing how close your visitors were to completing a purchase on your site can help you tailor your bid and ads to maximize performance.

When you set up your first dynamic remarketing campaign, in addition to the "All visitors" list, we automatically create four lists for you, which represent four groups of site visitors:

  • General visitors - People who visited your website but didn't view specific products
    The dynamic ad will include the most popular products from your site.
  • Product viewers - People who viewed specific product pages on your site but did not add them to the shopping cart
    The dynamic ad will show the products that your visitors viewed and mix in recommended products.
  • Shopping cart abandoners - People who added products to the shopping cart but didn't complete the purchase
    The dynamic ad will prioritize items added into the shopping cart, and will mix in a few other viewed products and recommended products.
  • Past buyers - People who purchased products from you in the past
    The dynamic ad will show related products by looking at popular items and items commonly purchased together.

By default, visitors will remain on these lists for 30 days. Bidding is automatically optimized (when using CPC or Conversion Optimizer), keeping in mind how much time has passed since the visitor left your site. The system drives bids up and down in real time based on predicted performance, and adjusts these bids to each of the four lists individually.

These lists don't overlap, so visitors will be on only one list at a time, depending on how close to purchase they were when they visited your site. People who browsed your homepage, and then viewed a product, will be on the product viewers list. If they added items to the shopping cart, they'll be on the "shopping cart abandoners" list, and if they purchased, they'll be on the "past buyers" list.

Campaign setup

Dynamic remarketing requires a Google Merchant Center account. Google Merchant Center is available in these countries: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, the U.K., and the U.S.

Linking your Google Merchant Center and AdWords accounts

To use dynamic remarketing, you'll have to link your Google AdWords and Google Merchant Center accounts. This allows your dynamic remarketing campaign to use the product data you submit in your Merchant Center account. Here's how to link both accounts:

  1. In your Merchant Center account, click Settings.
  2. Click AdWords.
  3. Enter your AdWords Customer ID.
  4. Click Add.

Tip

You can add multiple AdWords accounts to a single Google Merchant Center account.

Follow these steps to create your first dynamic remarketing campaign, create an ad group and dynamic ads for your ad group:

Step 1: Create a new campaign

  1. On the Campaigns page, click the +New campaign drop-down menu, and select Display Network only.
  2. Add a name for your campaign. To help you later find your campaign, you might want to indicate in the name that this is a dynamic remarketing campaign.
  3. Choose the campaign type Display Network only - Remarketing. This campaign type will let you take advantage of all the built-in optimization tools. Your campaign will have one ad group that will target the four lists that were created for you by default.
  4. Click Set up dynamic remarketing.
  5. If you haven't linked your Google Merchant Center and AdWords accounts yet, you'll see a message that you need to do so. Follow the instructions above to link both accounts (you'll need to do this from the Merchant Center).
  6. Once you're back in your AdWords account, enter your or your webmaster's email address, and click Send and continue. You'll receive the tag in your email inbox.
  7. Click Continue and then Return to campaign. AdWords will create four lists for you.
  8. Set bidding and budget options.

    Tip

    You have a variety of bidding options to choose from when starting a new campaign. AdWords will select a default bidding option for your campaign, depending on whether Conversion Tracking is on (eCPC) or not (CPC), and whether you have enough conversions in your account (target CPA). Learn more about bidding options.

    Selecting the Target CPA option, if available, allows AdWords to use real-time bidding based on predicted clicks and conversions to maximize the number of conversions you get at your target CPA.

  9. Make sure that the "Enable dynamic remarketing" checkbox is selected.
  10. Choose the Merchant Center account you want to use.
    Note: If you'd like to limit the products you want to advertise in your campaign based on product attributes from Google Merchant Center, such as category, brand, or product type, select the "Product filter" option. You can find this option on the Settings tab, after you create your campaign, in the "Dynamic remarketing" section. Using product filters can limit the number of impressions, so you might want to do this only if you have different bids, budgets, or ads for different categories of products in the feed.
  11. Adjust location and language if needed. You might want to target all countries and languages, unless there are any shipping restrictions or language barriers.
  12. Select Save and continue.

Step 2: Create an ad group within your dynamic remarketing campaign

  1. Create a new ad group that you can call it "All Visitors."
  2.    
  3. Set an ad group bid.
  4.    
  5. When you create your first ad group in your first dynamic remarketing campaign, by default, we'll add to your ad group these four remarketing lists that we created for you:
    • General visitors
    • Product viewers
    • Shopping cart abandoners
    • Past buyers
    The default membership duration for these lists is 30 days. To add these lists to other ad groups, just click the >> button next to each list.
  6.    
  7. Click the Save and continue button.
  8.    
  9. On the next page, you'll find a text ad and a display ad that AdWords has automatically created for you. Both ads will include product details from your Google Merchant Center account. Below are instructions on how to edit the display ad for your ad group. When you click Done and Save ads after following the steps below, you'll be saving both the text and the display ad.

Step 3: Create dynamic ads for your new ad group

  1. Upload a logo using the Select image drop-down menu. You can select the "My Site" option to upload a logo directly from your site.
  2. Customize the ad. Update the headline for any promotions, and adjust background colors to match your brand.
  3. Click Review and finish and select the ad sizes. AdWords will automatically create dynamic display ads for you in every ad size and format to maximize your reach. The option to automatically select the best layout and include all ad sizes will be selected by default. Keep it selected so AdWords can experiment across all layouts to maximize your performance.
  4. Click Done, and then click Save ads. The text and display ads that were created for you will be saved. We recommend adding both text and display ads to your campaign, to increase the range of placements and sites where your ads may appear. Here are some sample dynamic display ads:

Optimizing further

The four remarketing lists that AdWords creates for your dynamic remarketing campaign are designed to show you performance on each group of site visitors based on how close they're to completing a purchase. Once you've implemented your first campaign following the best practices in this article, you can further experiment to drive performance. You can tailor bids to each list, create new lists, move lists into new ad groups, and test other ideas for ads.

Tip

You can set target ROAS as your bidding strategy for your Display Network dynamic remarketing campaign to maximize your conversion value (for example, revenue), while trying to reach a target average return on ad spend that you set. This bidding strategy works effectively with dynamic remarketing because in order to maximize your conversion value, AdWords can look at the value of the products in your Merchant Center feed that have actually been viewed. Learn more about the target ROAS flexible bid strategy.