[UA] Troubleshoot Analytics Remarketing issues

If your Remarketing Audience is smaller or larger than you expect, then you can follow the steps below to troubleshoot the issue.

In this article:

Ensure that all usage requirements have been met

Comply with Analytics Terms of Service and Analytics Advertising Features Policy.

Make sure you have the Editor role for each Analytics property in which you want to enable Remarketing and create and edit audiences.

Ensure that your Google Ads account is linked to your Analytics account.


Verify that Advertising Features are enabled

To verify that you have enabled Advertising Features:

  1. Sign in to your Analytics account.
  2. Click Admin, and navigate to the property for which you want to enable these features.
  3. In the Property column, click Tracking Info, then click Data Collection.
  4. Under Data Collection for Advertising Features:
    • To enable Remarketing, set Remarketing and Advertising Reporting Features to ON.
    • To enable only the Advertising Reporting Features, set only Advertising Reporting Features to ON.
If your remarketing audience is accumulating users for Display only (and not Search), make sure that Remarketing is set to ON. If it is off, your audience can still accumulate users for Display if you have a) manually updated your tracking code to support Advertising Reporting Features, or b) set Advertising Reporting Features to ON.


Check the estimated audience size

To check the estimated audience size:

  1. Sign in to your Analytics account.
  2. Navigate to the account and property in which you have enabled Advertising Features.
  3. In the PROPERTY column, click Remarketing > Audiences.
  4. In the list of audiences, click the name of the audience.
  5. Next to Define Audience, click Edit.
  6. Check the value under Users over last 7 days.

There are a few things to keep in mind when you compare the estimate to the actual size in Google Ads:

  • Historical data may not accurately represent future behavior. The Estimated size feature is intended only to provide a general idea of the number of users on your site who match your audience definition. This estimate is based on historical data, not the actual data your site may receive moving forward, and so is not expected to exactly match the size of your audience in Google Ads.
  • Estimates are based on the previous seven days. This estimate is based on the number of unique users during the past seven days who match your audience criteria. Analytics attempts to backfill the list with up to 30 days worth of data, though your list might initially have fewer than the Analytics estimate. As time passes and the Google Ads list has been active for more than seven days, the list may have more users than the estimate, depending on the membership duration. You may want to try shortening the date range in Google Ads to the last seven days when comparing the list size to the Analytics estimate.
  • Advertising cookies are required for remarketing. Not all of the unique users included in the Analytics estimate will have the cookies necessary to include them in the Google Ads remarketing list. Since the remarketing feature uses both first- and third-party cookies, users who do not have both of these cookies will not be included in your remarketing list.
  • Make sure you've enabled data collection for Remarketing. You can enable data collection in Analytics Admin or by modifying the tracking code for your site or app. Learn more


Adjust your remarketing strategy

If the number of users estimated for your audience is lower than expected, you may want to broaden your target audience. For example, you might want to add users who visited other pages, completed other actions, or are in other geographies.

If Analytics shows a significantly larger estimate than the actual number that Google Ads shows in the list, check the Analytics data to see if there have been recent changes in user behavior that might be causing fewer users to be added to that list. You may want to adjust your remarketing strategy to align better with these behavioral changes.


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