Set up cross-channel remarketing for social, search, and display

About cross-channel remarketing in Search Ads 360

Search Ads 360 can work with search and social engines to build lists of customers who click your search ads and social ads. Once the lists contain enough users to satisfy engine requirements, you can use the engines or Display & Video 360 to re-engage your customers on search, social, or display channels. 

Remarketing for search and social ads

Here's an overview of how Search Ads 360 helps coordinate cross-channel remarketing on the search and social channels:

  1. In Search Ads 360, you create a remarketing list and indicate which search or social ads should be used to build an audience for the list.

    For example, you can specify that search ads focused on the safety features of a car should build an audience for the "Safety-conscious" remarketing list, while search ads that focus on a car's performance should build audiences for a "Performance list".

    In the search engine or social engine,  you create a parallel remarketing list. Then you set up rules that automatically add customers to the engine's list if the customer clicked an ad in a Search Ads 360 remarketing list.

    In Google Ads accounts in the same advertiser, you're not required to create a parallel remarketing list because Search Ads 360 can automatically create a remarketing list for search ads (RLSA) that is shared in the advertiser.

  2. Search Ads 360 adds a URL parameter named ds_rl to the landing page URLs of the ads you specified in the previous step. The parameter identifies the remarketing list the ads are helping to build. Make sure your landing page URLs are ready for this parameter.

  3. On the ad's landing page, you add a remarketing tag generated by the search or social engine. 

  4. When a customer lands on this page, the special URL parameter added by Search Ads 360 tells the engine to add the customer to its remarketing list. 

Once you start building an audience, you can sign into the engines and use the list to target ads to interested customers. Note that for Google Ads remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA), you can set up targeting either in Google Ads or in Search Ads 360.

Remarketing for display ads

Remarketing on the display channel is slightly different. Because both Search Ads 360 and Display & Video 360 are part of Google Marketing Platform and share the same cookie space, Search Ads 360 itself builds the remarketing lists and shares it with Display & Video 360. This solution doesn't require any tags on your site, but you do need to sign into Display & Video 360 to target the list in display networks.

Here's an overview of how Search Ads 360 helps coordinate cross-channel remarketing on the display channel:

  1. You set up Search Ads 360 to add cookie IDs to a remarketing list when users click search or social ads that you specify.

    Note the following:

    • Search Ads 360 adds the cookie ID to its list when a user clicks search or social ads. These users may or may not convert on your site after clicking the ad.

    • The cookie IDs in the list are random and non-identifiable, so they can't be used to track or share any personally identifiable information.

  2. You share the list with specific Google Ads accounts and Display & Video 360.

  3. You set up Google Ads and Display & Video 360 to do any of the following with the list:
    • Target relevant display ads to the users in the remarketing list. Because the users in the remarketing list have shown interest by clicking on the paid search ad managed by Search Ads 360, re-targeting them via display channels can lead to increased CTR and conversion rates.
    • Exclude users in the remarketing list from seeing your display ads.
    • Use the Search Ads 360 list in combination with lists collected by Google Ads or Display & Video 360 to customize targeting.

      For example, a user left a pair of shoes in the shopping cart, but did not check out. If Display & Video 360 or Google Ads has a remarketing list of users who have added items to the shopping cart, you can use Display & Video 360 or Google Ads custom targeting to target display ads only to users who are on both the Search Ads 360 remarketing list and the shopping cart list.
  4. View reports in Google Ads or Display & Video 360 to measure the effect of your remarketing.

As part of Google's ongoing efforts to protect user privacy and commitment to comply with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), users located in the European Economic Area (EEA) won't be added to search-to-display and social-to-display remarketing lists.

Required number of list members

A remarketing list maintained by the engines usually needs to contain at least a minimal number of users before the list can be used to re-engage the users in the list. Here's information about the minimal number of users required by each engine:

In addition, Display & Video 360 requires at least 100 users in a remarketing list before the list can be used to re-engage users. You can see the number of users in a list that Search Ads 360 maintains and shares with Display & Video 360 by viewing the Global Users column.

Search Ads 360 doesn't report on the number of global users in its remarketing lists that target social or search engines. The social or search engine may report the number of cookies in its remarketing list, but the Search Ads 360 list and the social engine's list may not match.

How does Search Ads 360 add the ds_rl parameter?

To build an audience of customers who click specific ads, Search Ads 360 adds a URL parameter named ds_rl to the ads' landing page URLs. Remarketing rules you set up use the value of the parameter to add customers to a specific remarketing list.

In social engine accounts and search accounts that don't support parallel tracking, Search Ads 360 adds the ds_rl to the ad's landing page URL just before redirecting to the landing page. That is, when a customer clicks your ad, the click is redirected to Search Ads 360. Search Ads 360 adds the ds_rl to the ad's landing page URL, and then redirects the click to the landing page.

In search engine accounts that do use parallel tracking, here's how the ds_rl parameter is added to landing page URLs:

  1. When you create a remarketing list in Search Ads 360, Search Ads 360 creates a custom parameter that looks like this:
    {_dsmrktparam}=ds_rl=9876543
  2. Search Ads 360 adds the custom parameter to a Final URL Suffix in the engine account and traffics the changes to the engine.
  3. When the engine serves an ad, it appends the Final URL Suffix to the final URL and provides a value for the {_dsmrktparam} custom parameter. For example, the landing page will look something like this:
    http://example.com/shoes?gclid=123445&gclsrc=aw.ds&ds_rl=9876543 

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