Advanced Remarketing Techniques in AdWords

By Jordan Silton, SEO Strategist

Remarketing can reach a very targeted segment of your customers and drive ROI figures that are stronger than the display network and close to, if not higher than your PPC campaigns. That said, many remarketing campaigns are not optimized to their fullest potential and have a lot of room for improvement. Even if you’re getting a great ROI, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re done optimizing and there still may be a lot of room for growth.

In the most basic setup of a remarketing campaign, there are two different remarketing codes setup on a website: one for all pages on the site, and another for thank-you or conversion pages. This is a great starting point because you are able to serve ads to two unique user groups. One group has been to your site, but not purchased a product, downloaded the whitepaper you have stuck behind a form, filled out an application, or converted in some way or another on your site. You can remarket to this group by encouraging them to come back and give you a second chance, or in may cases, just by staying present so when they are ready to convert your site is top of mind. The second group has been to your site and converted already. For these customers, you may be thanking them for their purchase and showing them a similar product that goes with the one they already bought. In other industries, you may be encouraging the customer to start using the credit card they applied for or to return to your restaurant after making a reservation to try it for the first time.

In this basic setup, you’re able to do something that was not possible a decade ago– target ads to specific consumer segments based on their actions on your site. It’s quite remarkable if you think about it; you’re able to serve ads to only your customers while the browse the entire web. This is an excellent use of remarketing, and we love when are clients are setup using this functionality to better reach their customers. Now, let’s take this to the next level.

Layering Audiences and Keywords

Keywords are are a form of contextual targeting that Google uses on the Display Network. If you are running retargeting, there’s also a good chance that you are running display advertising via text or image ads on Google’s Display Network as well. As you have run your display campaigns and ad groups, you probably have narrowed down a few ad groups of keywords that are your best performers to drive new customers. What would happen if you separated out the ads you serve to your remarketing lists/audiences for these specific keywords? If they have a better ROI on in general on the Display Network, there is a good chance they will perform better for remarketing as well. With a solid ROI, you now have more flexibility to change your bids. If you have a great performing group of keywords, you will want to be omnipresent for customers on these sites. Make sure to check your impression share and think about adjusting your bids to maximize your visibility to your customers.

Layering Audiences and Topics

Topics behave similarly to keywords. A topic is essentially a group of keywords that relate to a certain theme. Layering a topic on top of an audience can target a more relevant ad to them based on the website they are on. For example, if you’re in the auto industry, there’s an “Autos & Vehicles” topic. Google even dives deeper into more precise subtopics, such as “Trucks & SUVs,” “Commercial Vehicles,” or “Motorcycles.” Topics are a quick way to test how customers behave while they are on different types of sites. Let’s say you are in the auto industry and you sell both cars and motorcycles. One of your remarketing lists targets customers who viewed a SUV car page on your site, and you are serving ads to encourage those customers to come back and price out that car with your sales team. If that customer is on a site in the “Trucks & SUVs” topic, this makes a lot of sense, but maybe not in the “Motorcycles” topic. Have you thought about informing them you also sell trucks when they are browsing motorcycles? Many of your customers could benefit from more than one of your products or services.

Advanced targeting techniques with remarketing can help in a number of ways. You can cross-sell other products, improve your campaign efficiency and increase sales. Please share your experiences in the comments. We’d love to hear what interesting layering strategies are working for you.

If you would like to give this a try for the first time, contact your Search Discovery team to learn more!

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