Google Ads Remarketing Guide

Google Ads Remarketing is a remarketing service that uses static photos, moving images, video, responsive advertising, and text advertisements. The targeting aspect of remarketing sets it apart from standard Display and Search advertising.

Remarketing is a method for targeting individuals who have previously visited your website and saved their contact information, using cookies placed on their computers to identify them. It may be an essential element of a PPC campaign.

The main goal of google ads remarketing is to discover people who have shown enough interest in your products or services to visit your website. People who have not yet visited your website are more inclined to do whatever activity you’re contemplating a conversion than people who have.

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Your Google Ads Remarketing strategy can be broken down into the following:

  1. Type of remarketing, search, display, video, dynamic, etc
  2. How to segment website visitors into separate audiences
  3. What to test when remarketing
  4. How to optimize your Google ads remarketing campaigns.

In this article, we’ll go over these subjects and offer best practices based on our own experience and Google recommendations.

#1: Google Ads Remarketing Options

  • Standard remarketing: This feature allows you to show advertisements to past visitors who are browsing on the Display Network. The Display Network is a network of websites and apps that can be targeted with Google Ads
  • Dynamic remarketing: A feature of Google Ads that lets you show ads, to past visitors, of any products or services that they viewed on your site
  • Remarketing for mobile apps? When someone opens your mobile app or website using a different mobile device, Google Ads will allow you to show advertisements to them.
  • Remarketing lists for search ads: RLSA is a Google Ads feature that allows you to target past visitors on the Search Network. You may target and personalize search advertising for these previous visitors while they look on Google and other search partner sites.
  • Video Remarketing: You can now display YouTube videos on Google Ads, which will allow you to show ads to people who have engaged with your YouTube channel or other videos. You may serve them advertisements on YouTube or through Display Network videos and websites.
  • Email list remarketing: If you have a list of emails from your consumers, you may upload them to Google Ads through Customer Match. This function allows you to deliver advertising to them if they are signed in to Google Search, Gmail, or YouTube.

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#2: Selecting Your Audiences

The first step in remarketing, as with other paid advertising activities, is to analyze your data and devise a plan. You’ll need to pick which site visitors you want to retarget with advertisements. Audiences are the audiences you want to focus on separately and those you don’t want to target at all. There are an infinite number of options for targeting these audiences, including:

  1. Based on the product page visited
  2. Based on visiting a certain page of your checkout process
  3. Based on not visiting a certain page (like a ‘confirmation’ or ‘thank-you’ page)
  4. Time on site
  5. Number of pages visited
  6. Demographic targeting
  7. Geographic targeting

There are also bespoke combinations that we’ll get into later, which enable you to target visitors who have visited one page but not another. To do so, for example, you could aim people who viewed the first page of your checkout flow without visiting the thank-you page.

This would refer to users who were interested enough in your product to put an item into their basket but didn’t finish the transaction.

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You may target any audience based on URLs. You might use the URL of that thank-you page for remarketing if you have a “thank-you” page following people who submit their email addresses to receive more information or sign up to see a special offer.

Here are some possible steps you can use as you’re getting started:

  • Consider all of the URLs on your site that you wish to reach and create a list in Excel. For future reference, name the audience and provide the URL.
  • Include all of your custom combinations of audiences.
  • If you’ve set up Google Analytics goal funnels, analyze and find points in the consumer pathway to remarket based on the data.
  • Here’s a blog article we wrote about how to set up Google Analytics funnels if you haven’t already.

How To Set Up Google Ads Remarketing Tag?

If you have a Google Analytics account, you don’t need to update the code, at all! You simply need to change a setting in the Admin section of GA. Go to Admin > Tracking Info > Data Collection. Toggle the Remarketing button.

If you don’t have one, we recommend obtaining one; nevertheless, we’ll show you how to make a Google Ads tracking code without one.

The primary reason for creating a remarketing code in Analytics is the ability to create remarketing lists based on goals rather than simply pages viewed.

For those who have visited at least four pages, spent at least five minutes on your site, and so on, you may create a promotion.

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How to Create Remarketing Lists In Analytics?

If you’re using Google Analytics to re-market, here’s how to get that code up and running. Click on the “admin” menu in your Google Analytics account after you’ve logged in.

Google Remarketing in Google Analytics admin section

Click the link labeled “audience definitions.” If you don’t see anything about audience definitions, it’s possible that you’re not logged in under a user with admin access to the Analytics account you’re using. If that’s the case, ask for access and come back later.

Google Analytics - audience definitions

Click the button that reads “audiences”.

Google Analytics audiences - Google Remarketing

Click on the “new audience” button.

Google Analytics new audience - remarketing list

You may name your list, pick an Analytics profile and Google Ads account to use with it, choose the kind of remarketing you want to opt into (all visitors or those who visit particular pages), and change membership duration.

google analytics audience creation for Remarketing

Name your list of anything that reflects the purpose for which you’re creating it. Custom combinations will be discussed in more depth later, but you might call it “All site visitors,” “cart abandoners,” and so on. Later on, we’ll talk about custom membership durations.

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You’ll need to handle a few more things once you’ve created your audiences.

  • Have at least one active Google Ads or Display & Video 360 account that is linked to your Analytics account (admin access required)
  • Agree to the Analytics Terms of Service
  • Adhere to the Policy requirements for Analytics Advertising Features.
  • Enable Remarketing and Advertising Reporting Features.
  • Update your privacy policy and make sure it includes a clear description of how you use remarketing in online advertising.

You can create and manage remarketing lists directly in Google Ads if you don’t have access to Analytics, don’t want to agree to the terms of service, and/or don’t want to use Analytics for Remarketing.

How to Create Remarketing Lists Directly In Google Ads?

To do so, go to your Google Ads account and select “Shared Library.” Select “Audience manager” from the drop-down menu.

shared library audiences

In the Audience lists area, be sure you’re viewing the Remarketing tab.

remarketing tab google ads

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Then, click the ‘+’ button and choose ‘Website visitors.

Google remarketing website visitors
new google ads remarketing audience setup

How To Choose Your Membership Duration?

The membership duration is the length of time a cookie will be kept in someone’s browser. There are numerous options for setting membership durations.

Consider your company and objectives when deciding on membership duration. They might endure up to 540 days.

  • Do you have an e-commerce website that generates only three months’ worth of revenue per year You should extend your membership duration to 90 days?
  • Is there a service that requires users to sign up again after 30 days? If they forget to renew directly after 30 days, try offering a 60-day membership so you know they’re receiving extremely targeted advertising.

Another item to keep in mind is that you are always at risk of annoying people if you show them your ad too often.

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Frequency Capping

Frequency capping, in a similar approach to membership duration, is another option. This feature is available in the campaign’s Settings.

frequency capping settings

You may use the frequency option in your ads to limit how often an individual user can view your ad during a given period. Remember that if you show your ad too frequently to individuals, you risk crossing the line and making them irritated with your product or service.

You don’t want this to happen with your advertisements and remarketing audiences, so pick a cap that seems fair for your objectives. If your typical consumers have a long time between conversions, you’ll need fewer impressions to gently remind them of your brand from time to time.

If your company is focused on retaining clients, you may wish to concentrate on impressing them as much as possible. For example, Jimmy John’s restaurants want people to buy their sandwiches every day.

Customers are not going to be interested in burning you out, because it’s possible that they’ll order from them several times a week. They value repeat business, therefore they show advertisements to customers on a regular basis.

The main point is to pick a frequency cap that makes sense for your business goals.

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How To Set Up Custom Combinations

You may use the Shared Library in your Google Ads account to create personalized combinations, utilizing the Remarketing tab where you will create remarketing for your Google Ads-based remarketing.

Create a new audience, but this time it will be a Custom Combination.

google ads custom combination
custom combination setup

If you want to target users who reach the first page of your checkout process without reaching your order confirmation page, you should create a custom combination.

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Select the remarketing audience you’ve created for people who visit your checkout page’s first page. You may do this by creating a new remarketing audience and appending the URL of that page to it.

Then, choose ‘nothing of this audience’ and pick the remarketing audience you created for users who have visited the thank you page. You may also pick anyone who has converted. After that, save this as a custom combination and use it as your ad group’s audience.

custom combinations and or none in Google remarketing

You can also build custom combination audiences with the following audience types:

  • Customer lists (Customer Match)
  • App users
  • Video users
  • Similar Audiences

The most important thing to remember is to evaluate all potential solutions for your website!

Using Custom Combinations And Membership Duration Both

Delayed targeting is another approach that may be utilized by marketers.

Let’s look at a scenario. This is a client who offers a subscription-based service. Some members choose to pay on a month-to-month basis. As a result, we created an audience that focuses on people who have joined with a 30-day membership duration.

For 90 days, we built another identical audience. We then created a bespoke combination by setting our goal of 90 days and ignoring the audience for 30 days. This indicates that we’re aiming at people who have converted, 30-90 days following their conversion.

The length of your membership will also be affected by your advertisements’ messaging. If you have offers that provide people with a seven-day free trial, you might target converts who start their membership after seven days.

Think of inventive methods to make the most of the targeting remarketing gives you. Users consider your business 30, 90, or even 180 days after first being exposed to it. Advertise your messaging in line with these findings.

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How To Optimize Remarketing Campaigns

Optimization in remarketing comes in a few different forms:

#1: Ad testing

Your brand may work well in your advertising. Begin with a baseline, but experiment with various messages. Treat remarketing advertisements similarly to any other ad, but keep your target audience in mind.

Users who have previously checked you out are more likely to trust your site again. You may need to go a step further than usual in order to reclaim them as customers. Experiment with a variety of offers, calls to action, photos, and anything else you can think of.

#2: Custom combination testing

When you mix and match different remarketing categories with comparable audiences, you may obtain various outcomes. Continue experimenting and see what works best for your account.

Experiment with a variety of cookie durations. Messages for visitors who visited between 7 and 30 days ago may become ineffective for users who visited between 30 and 60 days before that.

#3: Frequency cap testing

You don’t want to be too annoying, but you also want to get the most out of your remarketing ads. Keep an eye on the number of people who visit your site in conjunction with how many times your remarketing ad groups are seen.

Perhaps you’re aiming too high and nothing is being restricted. Perhaps you’re setting it way too low and severely restricting your advertising’s visibility.

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#4: Bid testing

In a remarketing campaign, the impression share is something to keep an eye on. You’re not tracking websites; you’re following people, so if you reach 100% IS, some of those people will be irritated.

Keep an eye on your bids for cost-effectiveness as well as return on investment, but also for impression share.

#5: Landing page testing

You already have a certain level of familiarity with the person you’re trying to bring back to your site. You should test sending them to the same page and a completely new location.

Is your content geared toward someone who has already been there? Is the landing page you’re building asking questions that a previous site visitor would be able to answer? To figure out which sort of material connects most strongly with past visitors, test it.

FAQ on Google Ads Remarketing

Where is Google ad remarketing?

Google ad remarketing is located under the Shared Library tab. Use Audience Manager in the Shared Library. Choose Audience Sources from the menu on the left. Select Details from the Google Ads tag card. If you haven’t yet added the remarketing tag, do so now.

How do I enable remarketing on Google Ads?

In order to enable remarketing on Google Ads, you will first need to create an account and then set up your campaign. After that, you can activate the remarketing functionality for your campaign.

To start setting up a new campaign, click on the AdWords button in the toolbar at the top of any Google page and select Create Campaign from there.

An overview of your ad targeting options will be displayed; under Targeting Options (under “ad group”): Under Remarketing Settings, select Enable Remarketing and enter a name for your re-marketable audience.

Select the property you want to enable these features from the Admin menu. Click Tracking Info and then Data Collection in the Property column. Set Remarketing and Advertising Reporting Features to ON under Data Collection for Advertising Features.

What is Google Ads remarketing?

Google Ads remarketing is a remarketing ad served by Google. By presenting relevant ads when people visit other sites or search on Google, Google Ads Remarketing allows you to advertise to individuals who have previously visited your site, used your mobile app, or are in your CRM databases.

What types of remarketing can be used on Google display ads?

There are 2 types of remarketing can be used in Google Display Ads. they are  Standard remarketing and Dynamic remarketing Google Display Ads.

While your results may vary, we’ve discovered that remarketing advertising is most effective when they are brand-focused. This is because the people you’re after are familiar with your website.

They may or may not pay attention to a random creative ad, but they are more likely to notice an advertisement for a brand that they are familiar with.

If you’re interested in testing special offers for remarketing visitors, this is especially important. They may not notice a discount or sale if they don’t realize it’s for a website that they’ve previously visited. Our greatest recommendation is to start with control ads that match your website and brand, then test from there.

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For the most part, you can probably send back your remarketing visitors to where they came from. If a consumer got a remarketing cookie while on a product page, it’s safe to assume they’d return there.

However, if you want to give them special deals, you’ll need a unique landing page that reflects that. If they return to the site and don’t see anything about the offer they saw in the ad, they’re likely to leave.

It’s difficult to apply placement exclusions for remarketing. If you aren’t familiar with what we’re talking about, placement restrictions occur when you download a placement report and remove certain sites from displaying your advertisements because they are performing poorly.

When it comes to the Display Network, this is a very simple procedure. Then you may just look at performance and relevance at face value. However, when it comes to audience targeting, such as remarketing or interest category marketing, you’re targeting people who happen to be on that website.

While the page’s content relevance may not be as crucial in a remarketing campaign as it would be in other Display campaigns, it is still important.

So, what are your options? You’ll still have websites that aren’t performing well, and you should continue to exclude them.

Even though we’re focusing on people who have visited your website, some websites with ad placements attract the wrong sort of individuals (i.e. those that don’t want to give you money) in greater numbers than others, and so forth.

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We recommend being more generous with your remarketing placement success. Within the constraints of your objective margins, provide those websites as much leeway as you can.

Google Ads remarketing is a very effective targeting technique. The return in your accounts may be tremendous if you customize your ad text and bids to the extremely particular audience you’re after.


CEO and co founder of AdNabu. Exploring the intersection of data and marketing