19 strategies for better remarketing

How you set up your remarketing campaign depends on your business goals and the types of customers that you'd like to reach. To help you meet your goals, here are some tips and suggestions to bear in mind as you set up your remarketing campaign.

Remarketing list strategies

1. Target all your website visitors and app users

The most basic way to remarket is to reach an audience that has visited your website or used your app. The recommended approach is to use the 'Google Ads optimised list', which will reach website visitors, app users and other audience sources in the future that perform well. 

2. Use bid strategies that optimise conversions  

Smart bidding strategies
Enhanced CPC (Enhanced cost-per-click) will automatically adjust your manual bids for clicks that seem more or less likely to lead to a sale or conversion on your website. Note: This option is recommended when you have few conversions; otherwise, use Target CPA or Target ROAS bidding.
 

Target CPA (Target cost-per-acquisition) bidding is an optimisation tool that can help you maximise your return on investment (ROI) by optimising bids in real time, impression-by-impression. With Target CPA bidding, you no longer need to adjust your bids manually to reach your conversion goals.


Target ROAS (Target return on ad spend) helps you convert customers by setting a maximum cost-per-click bid while trying to achieve an ROAS equal to your target.
 

Maximise conversions will seek to obtain the most conversions for your specified budget, independent of ROAS or a target CPA.


Manual bid strategies
If you prefer to manage your remarketing campaign bids manually, we recommend setting a maximum CPC bid.

Here are a couple of bid strategies that can help you improve your remarketing performance:

If you're happy with the performance of your remarketing campaign, you should consider raising your bid to reach more customers and improve your ROI. Raising your bid can help you improve your ad's position, increasing your chances of appearing consistently on Display Network websites to people on your remarketing list.

If you've created remarketing lists with various membership durations, you can use bid management to your advantage. Say that you want to reach visitors who came to your website in the past 30 days separately from people who visited your site in the last seven days. You can create two different lists, each with varying durations, and then bid more aggressively for the list that's more valuable to you.

Example

 
Nina owns an electronics site and knows that customers are more likely to purchase a television within the first week after viewing her television pages. She bids more for people who've joined her list within the last seven days. People who visited her site within 30 days might still buy products, but she doesn't want to bid as aggressively for these customers.
To do this, she creates a list of television page viewers with the membership duration set to seven days and targets this list with a more aggressive bid. She also creates a second list of television page viewers with membership duration set to 30 days. To prevent reaching seven-day visitors with both lists, she then creates a custom combination to target the 30-day membership list, excludes the seven-day list, and uses a less aggressive bid.  

3. Target similar audiences

When you create a campaign, or when editing your targeting options for an ad group, you can choose to target 'Similar Audiences' to a remarketing list, such as all your website visitors. Learn more about Similar Audiences

4. Use auto-targeting

By default, campaigns on the Display Network use conservative auto-targeting, which shows your ads to an audience similar to the one that you’ve targeted. But you can also extend the reach of your ads with aggressive auto-targeting. Learn more about targeting options 

5. Use dynamic remarketing

A Google Ads product suggestion engine can show products and services to people who previously viewed those products and services on your website. The suggestion engine will also decide which type of ad layout is likely to perform best, based on the person and device that they're using. Learn more about dynamic remarketing 

6. Re-engage visitors with abandoned shopping baskets

Sometimes people will place items in their online shopping baskets without completing their purchase. Since these customers are often very close to making a purchasing decision, it can be a valuable opportunity to contact them and help them purchase. To reach this audience, set up your remarketing list to target 'Visitors of a page who did not visit another page', and specify the URL of your shopping basket page and order confirmation page.

Example

 

Nina runs an online electronics shop. She finds that her customers put big-ticket items in their shopping baskets but don't always complete their purchases. Nina decides to set up a remarketing campaign to attract these customers back to her shop and hopefully complete the sale. 

7. Up-sell or cross-sell to existing customers

Customers who've already purchased items from your website may also be interested in complementary products or services that you offer.

By creating a list of 'converted customers', you'll reach a smaller group of your website visitors, but these customers will already be familiar with, and interested in, your business. Make sure that you customise your ads for this group.

You can also create remarketing lists for certain products. If customers have viewed certain items and then made a purchase, you could show them ads for another related product.

Example


Jason owns a gardening supply shop and wants to reach customers who've already viewed the plant seeds section in his shop and then made a purchase. He knows customers who purchased plant seeds are often interested in plant food products, so he sets up a remarketing campaign to advertise these related products to those existing customers.

8. Showcase different product categories

To showcase different product categories, create a remarketing list for each product category where the URL for each list contains the category name.

Example

 

Jane owns an online clothes shop and would like to show different remarketing ads to customers shopping for women's clothing and customers shopping for men's clothing.

She creates an ad that appears for customers who browsed her 'Women's Clothing' page and a different ad for customers who browsed the 'Men's Clothing' page. 

9. Reach customers within a certain time period after they complete a purchase

If you anticipate that customers are likely to purchase from your business within a certain time period after their initial interactions, you can create a remarketing list with a specific membership duration.

To reach customers who made a purchase within the last 30 to 90 days, create two remarketing lists: one with a 30-day duration and one with a 90-day duration. Then use a custom combination list to reach all customers on the 90-day list, but not the 30-day list.

Example

 

Mark owns a video game website. He knows that customers who buy a games console from his site often buy more games 30-90 days later, but those who exceed the 90-day duration are unlikely to make another purchase. Mark decides to set up a remarketing campaign to sell video games to all customers who bought a console in the last 30-90 days.

Ad strategies 

10. Tailor your ads to your remarketing strategy

Your creative strategy is just as important as your remarketing list strategy. Here are some general recommendations for your remarketing ads:

  • Relevant to the audience that you'd like to reach
  • Same look and feel as your site
  • Compelling call-to-action

Example


Jane's remarketing ads to people who visited the women's outer garment section of her website would be more relevant if they promoted women's down jackets instead of a generic message.

11. Use responsive ads

Responsive ads can automatically adjust their size, appearance and format to fit just about any available ad space, whether that’s a banner ad on one website or dynamic text on another. These ads save you time and ensure that the best ad format shows across different ad spaces. Learn more about responsive ads
 
12. Use the Ad gallery to create display ads more easily

When you're ready to create display ads for your remarketing campaigns, use the Ad format gallery, a free Google Ads tool that helps you build your ads.

You can select from over 100 ad templates. By adding text, customised colours, images and your logo, you'll have professional-looking display ads specifically designed for each remarketing list.

13. Bid on lists that are more likely to convert

Higher bids increase your ability to reach more people on your remarketing lists, maximising your exposure to this valuable audience. When determining what bid to set, consider the value of your customers in each of your remarketing lists.

Example

Reggie sells electronics. Since TVs are more profitable than cameras, he bids higher for a remarketing list that targets visitors to TV pages than for a list created for camera pages.

He's also set up two custom combinations to target two sets of customers:

  • Those who've visited his website but haven't initiated a purchase
  • Those who've already begun the checkout process on his website but abandoned it without completing a purchase

People who have already added products to their shopping baskets are more likely to complete a purchase, and therefore are probably more valuable to him. In this case, he bids higher for the ad group with this remarketing list.

General strategies

14. Broaden your location and language targeting

Since remarketing can help you reach your ideal customers, you should be able to show them ads no matter where they are on the web. Your website visitors may be multilingual and may access your website from around the world, so make sure that in your campaign settings you select to target all languages.

When you choose your location targeting, bear in mind that you should be able to serve customers in the regions that you target.

15. Extend the membership duration of your lists to reach more visitors

Increasing the duration of your list (e.g. from 30 to 60 days) allows you to engage with people who visit your website within the specified time period. In most cases, the longer the duration, the more users you'll have on your list.

16. Decrease the duration of the list to get only the most recent visitors

To potentially increase conversions from your list, you could decrease its membership duration to get only the most recent visitors. However, decreasing the duration could limit the number of potential customers whom you're able to reach.

17. Cap the number of times that your visitors can see your ads

Frequency capping limits the number of times that a person is exposed to an ad per day, which could reduce your impressions.

18. Schedule ads for when your visitors are likely to see them

Ad scheduling lets you specify certain hours or days of the week when you want your ads to show so that you can reach your customers while they're awake and online to see your ads.

19. Accelerate ad delivery so visitors see your ads sooner after coming to your site

Accelerated delivery tries to show your ads more quickly until your budget is reached. With this option, you'll be able to reach people on your list and deliver your ads as soon as your customers are browsing the Display Network.

Long-term strategies

20. Invest your ad dollars on websites that show results

If you're spending a large percentage of your budget on one or two websites but aren't getting enough conversions to justify the investment, you could decrease your bid for such a website or exclude the site from your campaign.

Conversely, if a handful of sites are performing exceptionally well and delivering a low CPA, you may want to increase your bid on these sites.

Conversion tracking lets you see how many conversions you're getting from your remarketing campaign. You can also evaluate your performance on Display Network sites that showed your ads compared with the performance on the Search network and decide how to bid and optimise based on this data.

21. Grow list size by growing your website traffic

Use a complementary online advertising strategy to attract more people to your website so that you can add them to your list. Display and search campaigns are effective ways to achieve this.

 

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