Marin Software's official blog

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

Kamal Thakarsey
|
September 30, 2013
Google Adwords Remarketing Retargetting Marin Software

In July, we talked about a new feature that Google was rolling out of beta – Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA). For those still new to RLSAs, Google is now allowing advertisers to update their bids and creatives to people that have visited their website in the past. We were quite excited to try out this new feature out, see how easy (or hard) it would be to implement, and what the results would look like.

One of the hardest things about managing paid search accounts over time is staying up to date with new Google features and how it all integrates within AdWords. Account structure becomes vital as you look to keep your account organized to manage but also to generate the best possible results. While I mentioned my excitement earlier, I was also slightly stressed out over how difficult it may be to setup and manage results for yet another new campaign and set of rules.

Setup was surprisingly easy, albeit one catch:

  1. Make sure your Remarketing Ads tracking code is active on all the appropriate pages on your website. Build out the audiences that you’d like to track and remarket to. (For example, group the folks looking at shoes differently than those looking at apparel.)
  2. If you want to change your creative for the remarketing ads, you need to create a second duplicate campaign. The original campaign will remain as is, and the new campaign will show to anyone that is part of the cookie pool. I did not account for this originally so I had to go back and do this step.
  3. Once you've decided whether you are going to clone your campaign or not for step B, then you can go ahead and start implementing the remarketing campaign. You simply go to the audiences tab and click the +Remarketing button. Choose the ad group you want to use and then add the audience from your website you want to target.
  4. You’ll want to go in and make the appropriate bid adjustment. This works the same way as the enhanced campaigns functionality.
  5. Last but not least, go in and change the creative if you decided to clone the campaign from step B to show different ads.


I think the implementation was fairly easy. Cloning campaigns and creating new ads is simple enough. Again, the hardest part is potentially just managing another new campaign. This gets especially difficult for those of you managing intricate campaigns with hundreds and thousands of campaigns and ad groups.

Without divulging into too much detail on our performance, we’ve seen some good results. With the retargeting lists, we set up bid adjustments of return visitors on key ad groups and upped the bids anywhere from 20-40%. We also updated the copy and, in some cases, the offer. While the CPCs are naturally higher, the CTR and CPL are both improved for a majority if the campaigns. The volume is a lot lower than our main campaigns, but this will be mainly dependent on the number of visitors in your cookie pool.

In all, Google does a great job giving marketers the tools and resources they need to find their customers. This is another win for the advertiser. I hope many of you are taking advantage of this new feature and testing it out to see if it works as well for you. If anyone has any stories, tips, or best practices, we would love to hear them.

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