About remarketing setup

Remarketing helps you reach people who have previously visited your website or used your mobile app. Previous visitors or users can see your ads when they browse websites that are part of the Google Display Network, or when they search for terms related to your products or services on Google.

This article gives you a general overview of the four steps required to create remarketing campaigns.

Before you begin

Starting in October 2017, advertisers who set up the Google Ads tag for remarketing in the new Google Ads experience will see the new Google Ads tag that consists of a global site tag and an optional event snippet. If you have the previous Google Ads tag installed on your website using JavaScript, it will still work; however, it’s recommended that you use the new Google Ads tag. Learn about the Changes to the Google Ads remarketing tag.

The new Google Ads experience is now the exclusive way for most users to manage their accounts. If you’re still using the previous AdWords experience, choose “previous” below. Learn more

To use remarketing, you'll need to choose a campaign type that's supported.

Display Network campaigns

To use remarketing on the Display Network, choose "Display Network only" > "Marketing objectives" > "Drive action" > "Buy on your website" when you create your campaign.

Search Network campaigns

To use remarketing lists for search ads, choose "Search Network only – All features" as your campaign type when you create your campaign. If you have a 'Search Network only – Standard' or 'Search Network with Display Select – Standard' campaign, then you won't be able to add remarketing lists to your campaign.

Add the Google Ads tag to your website

To start using remarketing, add the remarketing tag snippets to the pages of your website or your mobile app.

The remarketing tag snippets are small blocks of code that you get when you tag your site for remarketing in Audience sources. Once you have the snippets, you can add them to your website or mobile app.

Getting started with remarketing lists

Once you tag your site for remarketing, you're ready to create a remarketing list.

You can create remarketing lists for different categories of visitors. For example, you can create a remarketing list for visitors to your most popular product category page and call it 'Popular category list'. The remarketing snippet tells Google Ads to save visitors to your "Popular category list". When people visit that page, their cookie ID is added to the remarketing list.

Learn how to create a website remarketing list.

Google Ads automatically created remarketing lists

When you set up your first remarketing campaign, Google Ads will create default remarketing lists for you. These generated lists allow you to immediately start targeting lists in your ad groups. Learn more about automatically created remarketing lists that are available for you.

Popular default remarketing lists to consider using for your first remarketing campaign are:

  • All visitors: This list populates using all values from all parameters in your remarketing tagging implementation and includes 'Are people who visited your pages with remarketing event snippets'.
  • All converters: This list populates automatically using your conversion tracking tag and includes 'Anyone who converted on your website'. If you haven't set up conversion tracking, this list will be empty.
  • Google Ads optimised list: This is a combination list, made up of multiple audiences from available audience sources into a single remarketing list. To create this list, you'll need to connect at least 1 data source in the Audience sources page.

Remarketing list rules

Once you've added the global site tag and optional remarketing event snippet to your website or app, you can define lists for different sections of your website or app using rules. For example, if you want to define a list for a web page where you sell stilettos, you can use this rule: "URL contains stilettos". Note that you must have 'stilettos' in the URL of the product pages, such as www.example.com/stilettos.

With rules, you can create as many lists as you want without having to add more tags to your website or app. It’s a best practice to start with the lists that are automatically created for you. You can also use the list rules to personalise your lists. Bear in mind that only lists with more than 100 active users will be eligible to run ads. Having many granular lists may not be effective if you spread your audience too thin for any list to be eligible for running ads since those lists may not meet the minimum requirements.

Learn more about how to use rules for website remarketing lists.

Custom parameters

The dynamic remarketing event snippet lets you send custom parameters that you can use to create your remarketing lists.

For example, you can send the product price and the page type (such as the purchase page) in the event snippet to create a list for people who bought any product above a certain price. In this case, the custom parameters that you'd include in the remarketing event snippet would be 'value' (price of the product) and 'pagetype' (type of page, which indicates how close to purchasing customers are).

Learn more about how to use templates for website remarketing lists.

Advertisers can’t use sensitive categories to target ads to users or to promote advertisers’ products or services. Read the Personalised advertising policy to learn more.


Disable the collection of remarketing data

You can choose to disable the collection of remarketing data for users who do not wish to view personalised ads using the parameter: allow_ad_personalization_signals. This parameter will let you disable the usage of the data for personalised ads and the default value of the parameter will be set to true. When you set the parameter’s value to false, it will disable the usage of the data for personalised ads. 
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