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Use templates for website remarketing lists

While AdWords creates basic remarketing lists, you may want to create your own lists that are customized to your website and a specific audience. Templates customize your website remarketing list setup so that you can create lists more efficiently. This article contains best practices to help you use templates.

Before you begin

New to remarketing? You should read How remarketing works first. If you aren't familiar with your website's code, consider working with a developer or someone who has a technical background.

Remarketing to people based on their sensitive information is not allowed. Your remarketing lists shouldn't be associated with any personally identifiable or sensitive information. If you're setting up a remarketing campaign and placing the remarketing tag on your website, you need to follow the Policy for advertising based on interests and location.

Visitors of a page

Use the "Visitors of a page" template to create lists of people who visited a certain page or group of pages. This is the most common template, set as the default option when you create a new remarketing list.

Example

An airline creates a remarketing list of people who visited their website's flight deals section, and decides to show these visitors ads about discounts. They create a remarketing list of people who visited pages that have a URL which contains "example.com/flight-deals."

After selecting this template, enter the conditions that must be met in order for visitors of a page to be added to the remarketing list.

Example

An airline wants to create a list of people who searched on their website for flights from or to New York City. In the URL of the search results page there isn't any information about the origin or destination city, but just the IATA codes of the airports. To create the remarketing list, the airline creates a rule with three conditions:

  • "URL contains JFK" (for John F. Kennedy International Airport)
  • "URL contains LGA" (for LaGuardia Airport)
  • "URL contains EWR" (for Newark Liberty International Airport)

Anyone who visits a page with a URL that has any of the following codes would be added to the list: "JFK," "LGA," or "EWR."

You can add more conditions to your rule. Just start typing after the existing condition and a drop-down menu appears with suggested conditions. After adding a new condition and saving the list, visitors need to match any of the conditions in the rule but not necessarily all of them to be added to the list; this is an "OR" relationship. The order of the conditions doesn't affect which visitors will be added.

Example

An airline wants to reach people who searched for flights to or from New York or people who visited the site section about visiting New York City. They create a rule with these conditions:

  • "URL contains JFK" (for John F. Kennedy International Airport)
  • "URL contains LGA" (for LaGuardia Airport)
  • "URL contains EWR" (for Newark Liberty International Airport)
  • "URL contains www.example.com/newyorkcity."

To be added to this remarketing list, visitors need to match at least one of the conditions in the rule, but not necessarily all of them.

Although you can add as many conditions as needed to a rule, keep in mind that the rule should represent your audience. Adding more conditions means increasing the chances for visitors to be added to the remarketing list, and you could end up with a very large list that includes people who aren't your intended audience.

Narrowing down the conditions

Each condition used to define a remarketing list has information about a single page. People need to visit a page that matches the conditions in order to be added to the list. However, conditions like "URL contains" or "Referrer URL" may not be specific enough to define the characteristics of a page.

Example

An airline wants to create a list of people who are looking for flights from the JFK airport, but not to the JFK airport. The URL of the website for someone who's looking for flights from JFK to Mexico (MEX), for example, would look something like this:
www.example-site.com/search.php?origin=JFK&dest=MEX

Conditions like "URL contains" aren't specific enough to define that people are looking for flights from JFK but not to JFK. Instead, they need rules to specify that "origin=JFK" is accepted, but "dest=JFK" isn't.

Visitors of a page who did not visit another page

Available on the Display Network only

Use the "Visitors of a page who did not visit another page" template to reach people who have visited a certain page of your website and have not visited another page (or have not completed an action, such as a purchase).

Example

An airline wants to reach people who have come to their website to buy a plane ticket, but haven't purchased anything. They create a list of people who have visited their search results page but have not visited their purchase page.

When you create a list using this template, you narrow your audience. To be on your list, visitors need to visit the page defined in the first rule AND not visit any of the pages defined in the second rule. This is what makes this template different from the "Visitors of a page" template. When you create a list using the "Visitors of a page" template, you can add different conditions to the rule, but people who match ANY of the conditions (as opposed to ALL of the conditions) will be added to the remarketing list.

Search Network

"Visitors of a page who did not visit another page" is not available for remarketing lists for search ads. For remarketing on the search network, you can create a  custom combination list.

Visitors of a page who also visited another page

Available on the Display Network only

Use the "Visitors of a page who also visited another page" template if you think that a visitor is more likely to convert after they visit two different pages of your site.

Example

An airline offers two different flight packages. People who visit the two pages are likely to be comparing the two packages, and these visitors are potential converters. They create a list using this template to reach these customers.

This template lets you to create lists based on people who visited two pages, but if you'd like to create a list of people who visited three or more pages, you can create a custom combination. For example, to create a list of people who visited pages A, B, and C, first create a list of people who visited pages A and B using this template. Then, using the "Visitors of a page" template, create a list of people who visited page C. Then, create a custom combination using these two lists.

Search Network

"Visitors of a page who also visited another page" is not available for remarketing lists for search ads. For remarketing on the search network, you can create a custom combination list.

Visitors of a page during specific dates

Use the "Visitors of a page during specific dates" template to create lists of visitors who came to your website before, after, or in-between specific dates.

Example

Airlines see an increase in number of visits to their websites before Christmas. They create a list using this template to engage visitors before the Christmas season.

When creating lists with specific dates, lists' membership duration may also determine when people are removed from the list. Visitors are added to the list if they've visited the pages on the selected dates, and will stay on the list for the amount of time specified by the membership duration.

Visitors of a page with a specific tag

You may have some older remarketing tags implemented in a few pages. Although we recommend implementing the remarketing tag on all pages of your website, you can use the older tags to create remarketing lists of people who visited pages where these older tags are implemented.

Example

Awhile ago, an airline added a remarketing tag to sections of their website about popular routes. Creating a rule based on the URL for those sections would be too complex using rules. The airline could create a remarketing list of people who visited sections of the website about the popular route by using the "Visitors of a page with a specific tag" template, and selecting the tag that was implemented a while ago on those pages.

When you use the "Visitors of a page with a specific tag" template, you can select existing AdWords conversion tracking tags as well. Selecting a conversion tracking tag can be helpful if you haven't been able to add the remarketing tag to the conversion page but still want to reach or exclude this audience.

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