Remarketing with Google Analytics

Remarketing Lists in Google Analytics

Remarketing with Google Analytics lets you follow up with people who have already visited your website, and deliver ad content specifically targeted to the interests they expressed during those previous visits. For example, a group of users who spent time investigating specific products but didn’t add anything to their shopping carts might be swayed by additional ads for those same products. A group of users who added items to their shopping carts but didn’t complete the purchase cycle might be enticed with a coupon for free shipping or a discounted price. A group of users who have made purchases have demonstrated not only an interest in your products, but a willingness to buy, and so you have an opportunity to cross sell other products in which they may be interested.

Remarketing with Google Analytics lets you set the foundation for your remarketing lists by replacing just one line (one time) of your Google Analytics tracking code. With that one line in place, you can then create as many different remarketing lists as you like, and not be bothered with any additional changes to your code.

Unless you manually configure sampling via sampleRate (analytics.js) or setSamplingRate (ga.js), and thereby sample the data before it is sent to Analytics, Analytics sampling has no effect on users being included in your remarketing lists.

The changes you need to make depend on which tracking code you’re using. See if you have Classic Analytics (ga.js) or Universal Analytics (analytics.js).

When you create your remarketing lists, you can use one of four predefined segments, or you can use a fourth option to define your own segment of users:

  • Users that Google determines, via machine learning, to be viable candidates (Smart Lists)
  • All users to your site
  • Users to a specific page or area of your site
  • Users who completed a specific conversion goal
  • Users who match the criteria of a Segment

Remarketing works by letting you define a remarketing list, a set of criteria that identifies the segment of users to whom you want to serve remarketing ads. When you create a remarketing list, you specify in which of your AdWords accounts that list is available. The list should then appear in that account within minutes. Analytics subsequently updates the list whenever additional users meet those criteria.

Any remarketing list that you create in Analytics and then make available to an AdWords account thereafter functions in AdWords in the same fashion as any remarketing list created within AdWords.

Each visit to your site is evaluated against those criteria. When a visit meets those criteria, the associated cookie is added to the remarketing list (unless it is already on the list). When a user associated with one of those cookies visits a site on the Google Display Network, that user may be served one of your remarketing ads (depending on who wins the auction for the ad).

A remarketing list must include a minimum of 100 unique cookies in order for the Google Display Network to serve ads to that list. This minimum is imposed by AdWords, not Analytics.

The integration with AdWords offers three additional options that augment standard GDN Remarketing:

  • User interface: You can build and edit remarketing lists in an intuitive user interface.

  • Unique list types: You can take advantage of Google Analytics data to build unique list combinations. Use Analytics metrics and dimensions like Session Duration, Browser, Operating System, Country/Territory, City, and Goal Completions (User Based). In addition to behavior that matches specific dimensions and metrics (like using a particular Browser or visiting from a particular City), you can identify users who performed a specific sequence of actions on your site, like visited a specific Page, and then performed a specific Event Action.

  • Simplified tagging: The Google Analytics integration with Remarketing lets you set the foundation for your remarketing lists by replacing just one line (one time) of your Google Analytics tracking code. With that one line in place, you can then create as many different remarketing lists as you like, and not be bothered with making any additional changes to your code or with adding any additional remarketing tags.