Using UTM Tagging and Google Analytics Audience Lists for Cross-Channel Retargeting

March 1, 2018

Your site visitors are more likely to convert after being exposed to your brand on both Facebook and Google than those only exposed to one or the other. Ideally you’re already advertising across both channels, but what can you do to most effectively combine the targeting prowess and visual appeal of social marketing with the advantages of search intent?

In this post, we highlight how you can use Google Analytics UTM tagging in your Facebook advertising to go after specific audiences on Google.

Find potential customers through Facebook to target
on Google

Facebook advertising is great for reaching new potential customers who aren’t actively searching for your product, but when they are, you’ll want to ensure ad visibility in those search results now that they’re aware of your brand.

One way to do this is to first create a campaign specifically designed for new user acquisition and tag their URLs accordingly (remember to exclude previous visitors). Then, create a remarketing list in Google Analytics making sure the traffic source matches that label. Finally, apply this list as a Remarketing List for Search Ads (RLSA) in AdWords, using the target and bid option, for campaigns and/or ad groups comprised of broad, top-of-funnel keywords.

This tactic not only helps to ensure search ad visibility to users who’ve already been exposed to your brand through Facebook—by applying the RLSA specifically to upper-funnel keywords, it also serves your broad match keyword strategy by adding that layer of qualification criteria to improve their chances for success.

Get Facebook converters back into the funnel
through Google

A previous purchaser is usually easier to convert than a new customer. Here again, cross-channel advertisers can take advantage of this fact by employing UTM tagging to distinguish likely converters from their most successful Facebook ads, and target them more aggressively on search using RLSA.

The steps here are similar: After running ads on Facebook, identify your top converting ad set and tag its URLs with UTM tracking parameters to label them accordingly. Then, create a remarketing list in Google Analytics based on the traffic source matching that label. From there, you can use this list as an RLSA across your relevant Google campaigns to modify the bids for those users when they search for your product, to increase the likelihood of getting these highly qualified users to your site—especially now that they’re demonstrating intent.

In sum

Of course, these approaches offer just a glimpse into the capabilities that URL tagging and search retargeting provide that will hopefully inspire you in your cross-channel advertising efforts. Good luck and happy converting!

Wilson Addison

Marin Software
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