Remarketing Guide Part Two

The Extensive Guide to Successful Online Remarketing: Part 2

Part one of this extensive remarketing guide has taught us what remarketing is, where remarketing ads can show up, and we’ve established how valuable it can be. The next natural step is to start setting up our PPC advertising accounts for remarketing. Let’s continue our remarketing guide.

Part Two of the Extensive Remarketing Guide

  1. How to Set Up Remarketing
  2. Audience Lists
  3. Remarketing Practices to Avoid

4. How to Set Up Remarketing

Understand the Realities

We have said a good deal about why remarketing is great, and it is. However, a certain level of realism has to be applied as well.

Expectations for traffic that is similar to search PPC will never be met. Remarketing shows ads to previous visitors of your website, which is already a smaller pool to reach into, and you have to understand that not all of these visitors will become repeat traffic because of remarketing. Still, this does not mean that remarketing is not working.

A past visitor might see your ad, be reminded of the product they wanted, and then search for your product a few days later. The remarketing ad would not record direct traffic, but it has influenced a potential customer to re-engage with your brand.

Conversion attribution helps you understand the importance and profitability of your online remarketing.

Update your Privacy Policy

Update your privacy policy for remarketing guide
You know that remarketing requires a small bit of code, but before you implement it, we advise that you update your site’s privacy policy by including information on the nature of the cookies creation and purpose. Within the updated policy, you must include:

    • A description of how you’re using remarketing to advertise online
    • A message about how your ads are shown across the internet
    • A message describing how cookies are used to serve these ads based on someone’s past visits to your website
    • Information about how your visitors can opt out of cookie advertising via Google’s Ads Settings or the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page

You can look at our privacy policy for a simple example.

Create and Place the Code

The major networks offer automated creation of remarketing code whenever you create an audience that you would like to remarket to.

For details on Google AdWords remarketing code, go here.

For Facebook, here.

And for Bing, here.

5. Audience Lists

Remarketing audience list reenactment
You now have code in place to follow users around the various networks and much of the web. It is time to decide who sees what ads. The way you will decide this is with audience lists. These are lists of people who fit a certain audience criteria or set of criteria for which you want to show a specific ad

Let us look at examples for a law firm:

#1: Someone visits the injury lawyer section of the law firm website, leaves, and is later served your injury related lawyer ads on a blog.

#2 A visitor who visited the injury lawyer section clicked through to a specific type of injury and is later served ads which revolve around the specific injury and perhaps show a legal specialist who handles them.

You can see how the two visitors are in different stages of the conversion funnel, and, with audience lists, you can recognize these stages and cater to them.

The lists also have customizable membership durations. This means that you can take advantage of your industry’s sales cycle to display remarketing ads only at the right times. You can also use product life cycles to send customers remarketing advertisements the predicted moment their previous purchase ends its life cycle.

So how do you make sure you have the right audience lists? Segment them. Segmentation is the name of the audience list game. Not only will this help you recognize different types of customers, it will also let you recognize how valuable these customers are.

An example of simple segmentation for an eCommerce website might look like this:

audience lists

Your first audience list captures everyone who visits the web page, and they will be served general remarketing ads.

The next list captures anyone who visits a specific product, and they will be served ads relevant to the product they were interested in.

The third list is for those who abandoned their shopping carts, and they will be served ads that remind them of the items they have in the cart, or even offer further discounts on what they were interested in buying.

Those who have made purchases from your brand populate the final list, and they will be served ads that promote other great deals you have.

How do we create these remarketing audience lists:

  1. Go to your shared library in the navigation bar, below your list of campaigns.
    shared library adwords
  2. Click “View” under Audiences
  3. Click +Remarketing List
  4. Name your remarketing list. We suggest you use naming conventions like a + or – sign for inclusion or exclusion, a description of what it tracks, and for how long you plan on keeping the information, e.g., +shopping cart abandons [30 days]
  5. Define who to add to your remarketing list
  6. Choose the membership duration. Think about how long you want your ads to show or not show depending on if you’re excluding or including people in your remarketing.
  7. If you’ve set up a remarketing tag prior to this, leave “include past visitors that match these rules” selected so that recent visitors who match your list’s criteria get included on it.
  8. Save!

Audience List Best Practices

Remembering that audience lists are created so that you can serve relevant ads to the most suitable visitor of your website, let’s look at some tips:

    • Exclude people who have spent less than 10 seconds on your website. The interest is likely not there.
    • Create lists with memberships of at least three sales cycles. This is a number that allows you to serve ads while you are relevant.
    • Create exclusion lists, if a user purchases a product; put them on an exclusion list that will not be shown ads for that product. In addition, use the product’s life cycle as a membership duration for this exclusion list, so that when they need your product again they can be served your ads.
    • Create an audience list for organic traffic. It could be possible that this traffic responds better to a certain type of advertisement.
    • Create an audience list for social media sourced traffic. Like organic traffic, this traffic might respond better to a certain type of advertisement.
    • Use Custom Combination audience lists to hone in on specific customers, e.g., you find that people on two of your existing lists are prone to click and buy from a specific promotion, so you create a custom combination list of the two existing lists and bid appropriately, possibly reducing your bid prices and gaining more conversions.
    • Use Remarketing List Search Ads (RLSAs) to create search engine advertisements that take into account where the searcher previously visited your website. This allows you to alter bids for search queries coming from people who have visited your website before.

6. Remarketing Practices to Avoid

Bad remarketing
It’s important that you not only be realistic about your retargeting strategy but that you also understand some of the practices that can make it ineffective.

Over-serving Ads

In a study done by inskin media, the acceptable frequency of a remarketing ad showing up while a potential customer browses the internet was observed. As you can see, 3 or less is the most accepted, 4-5 tempts fate, and 10+ is straight up infuriating.

Reaction to frequency of retargeted online ads

Use frequency caps on your retargeting campaigns to limit the chances that you will infuriate past and potential customers with your consistency.

Irrelevant Placements

Cruise ship ad fail
It’s important for your remarketing ads to still be relevant to what the person is browsing.

From the above mentioned inskin media study:

“Ads served on unrelated sites are over 11x more likely to discourage than encourage a purchase.”

Add negative placements to your remarketing campaigns to focus their targeting. It can be damaging for your brand if your products are showing up in irrelevant, or, as in the example above, unfortunate places.

Repetitive Messages

It is also important that your remarketing ads are various and routinely updated, or at least switched up. Exposure to the same ad repeatedly, even if it is only three or four times a month, will still exhaust its efficacy. This becomes a combination of intuitive audience membership settings and consistent ad creative. And for the love of all that is good on this earth—use a frequency cap!

Onwards to Part Three of this Extensive Remarketing Guide

Use your newfound retargeting knowledge to set the foundations for solid campaigns. In the next installment of our remarketing guide and PPC fundamentals series, you’ll learn how to take your remarketing to new levels with email remarketing, social media, tips & tricks, and dynamic remarketing ads.

If you have any more questions on retargeting, or want an expert opinion, you’re more than welcome to contact us for a free PPC consultation. Suggestions for our remarketing guide are always welcome too!

The next segment of our remarketing guide will tell you how to really make your retargeted ads perform.

Read the next PPC Fundamentals article: The Extensive Guide to Successful Online Remarketing: Part 3
Read the previous PPC Fundamentals article: The Extensive Guide to Successful Online Remarketing: Part 1