Ad Exchange remarketing guide

Create and edit a remarketing list

A remarketing list is a collection of cookies from people who visited your site. If you decide to set up a remarketing campaign, this is the list you'd target your ads to. Creating the list is the first step in setting up a remarketing campaign. At first, your list won't have any cookie IDs associated with it. Once you've added remarketing tags to your pages, as visitors come to your site, they'll start getting added to your list.

After you've created your list, you can edit it to make sure you're reaching the right audience for your products or services.

Create a list

You can create as many remarketing lists as you'd like. You can create a list from within your campaign or ad group, or you can create it independently, and then select your ad group.

Create a list from a campaign or ad group
  1. Click the Campaigns main tab.
  2. Click the Display Network tab.
  3. Click the Remarketing tab.
  4. Click the Change display targeting button.  
  5. Select the ad group you want to apply the remarketing list to:
    • If you came to the Remarketing tab from the campaign level, you can select the ad group from the "Select an ad group" section.
    • If you came to the Remarketing tab from within an ad group, that ad group gets selected by default for the remarketing list.
  6. In the "Remarketing" section, click the Remarketing lists link, if it's not selected already.

    Any previously-created remarketing lists are displayed.

  7. Click the Create and manage lists link at the bottom of the list of audiences.
Create a list independently from a campaign or ad group
  1. Click the Shared library link in the navigation bar, below your list of campaigns.
  2. Click the Audiences link.

Then, follow these steps:

  1. Click the New audience drop-down and select Remarketing list.
  2. Enter a descriptive remarketing list name, optional description, and the membership duration for your list (the default is 30 days).
  3. In the Tags section, click the Create new remarketing tag radio button if you want to create a new tag. You can also use an existing tag (see tip below).
  4. Click Save. If you haven't selected an ad group yet, you'll need to do it now.
  5. Copy the tag code and add it to your website. As people visit your site, their cookie IDs will get added to your remarketing list.

Tags are applied in an OR relationship, which means that if you add multiple tags to a list, at least one of the tags is applied.

You can use an existing tag for a new remarketing list. For example, you could do this if you wanted to group people based on how long they've been on your list. Using a single remarketing tag, you can create one group that has a membership duration of 30 days and another group with a membership duration of 60 days. Then, you could create specific ads to show to these two different groups.

Just click the Select from existing tags radio button as you create the remarketing list. Then click the add link of the tag you want to associate with the new list.

Edit a list

You can make changes to your remarketing list at any time. For example, you can edit the name of the list, the membership duration, the associated tags, or even deactivate the list. Just follow these steps:

  1. Click the Campaigns main tab, then the Shared library link.
  2. Click the Audiences link.
  3. Point your cursor to the list (remarketing or custom combination) that you want to edit.
    • Change the name, description, status (open/closed), or duration of the list: Click the field you want to change and make your edits.

      If you want to stop new users from being added to a remarketing list, you can close it at any time from the drop-down menu in the Open / Closed column. You may want to do this if you've set up, for example, a seasonal remarketing list that only needs to be actively adding visitors during certain time of the year.

      Closed lists aren't deleted, so you can continue to see the performance statistics these lists accrued while they were open by going to the Shared library. Closed lists won't appear as available remarketing lists on the Remarketing tab.

    • Add or remove tags: To add tags to or remove tags from a list, click the pencil icon in the Tags / Rules column, and scroll to the "Edit remarketing list" panel at the top of the page to make the changes.
    • Make your edits and click Save.

Pause a list

If you want to pause a remarketing list so your ad group does no longer target your list but continues to have new users added to it, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Display Network tab.
  2. Click the Remarketing tab.
  3. Point your cursor to the green dot next to the list you want to pause. A drop-down arrow appears.
  4. Click the arrow and select Paused.

    If you want to pause more than one list at once, you can select the checkboxes next to the lists and select Pause from the Change Status drop-down menu above the table.

    Pausing your list is different from closing your list because a closed list doesn't get new users added to it.

When you edit a list, you do not need to implement the code on your site again.

Differences between a remarketing tag and a remarketing list

  • A remarketing tag is a piece of JavaScript code that you place on your website. When a user visits a page on your site that contains a remarketing tag, Google places a cookie on that user's computer and adds the cookie to your remarketing list.
  • A remarketing list is a collection of visitor cookies generated from one or more remarketing tags. You can have multiple remarketing lists based off a single remarketing tag.
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