Have you ever clicked an online ad and thought, “Wow, how did they know?!” As you read email, use mobile apps, and browse the internet, Google will show you ads through their “Display Network.”
While personalized ads are based on many factors, the method is almost always remarketing. The best and most highly targeted ads come from devoted marketing teams that optimize and adjust campaigns every day.
Still, it’s important to know the best remarketing strategies. Keep in mind that different businesses and ad campaigns will use a strategic combination of the following tips and suggestions to fit their needs.
Before you start thinking about ways to improve your remarketing strategy, learn what remarketing is and the various types of remarketing available to you and your business goals.
After getting acquainted with remarketing, the following strategies will give you an edge up on the competition as we head into the holiday season and beyond.
Create a remarketing list for all your landing page visitors
If you are spending money on pay-per-click (PPC) or send any users to a landing page, it’s essential to create a remarketing list so you can remarket to these visitors in the future.
Create a remarketing list for all your website visitors
Create another remarketing list for your website visitors. All you have to do is add your domain name (example.com) or your homepage URL (http://www.example.com) in the URL of your remarketing list.
Create separate remarketing lists for customers who do and don’t convert
Create a separate remarketing list for customers that did not convert. For instance, you may think it strange that sometimes you see an ad for something you just bought. These days, you expect online advertisements to be so targeted that they should know whether or not you already have the products/service or not.
While this can be hard to do, you can help prevent it by setting up a remarketing list for visitors who don’t convert.
Create custom combination lists for to reach website and landing page visitors that did or did not convert. Then you can create a custom advertising strategy for conversions and non-conversions.
Additionally, if you have a site with an online shopping cart, you can create one list for those who abandoned their shopping cart and another for those who completed the purchase and came to a Thank You/Order Fulfillment page. If you have a sign-up form, you can do the same thing—one list for those who reached the form page (/contact/) and another for those who completed the form.
Customize remarketing ads for different lists
If you are so thoughtfully setting up different lists for different groups of visitors, make sure you customize your ads for each group. If you decide to use the same ad for multiple groups, it should be ideally suited to the target list.
For example, target visitors who do convert (subscription, sale, etc.) with extra products/services they may also be interested in, traditionally known as up-selling and cross-selling).
If you have an ecommerce site, you can create different lists based on specific products, then upsell related products while preventing ads for the exact same product from showing up.
Set remarketing time limits
You can choose specific ad durations, setting time limits on the ads. Create different remarketing lists with specific membership durations. For instance, target someone who bought a product/service with an ad for the same exact product 30-90 days later.
Tips for tailoring your ads to remarketing lists
You can have the best retargeting/remarketing strategies in the world, but if the creative is lacking, or if your website/landing page isn’t appealing and functional, you simply be successful in your efforts. As with most things in life, success depends on a combination of art and science.
- Make sure ads make sense for the remarketing list it is targeting.
- The ad should match the vibe of your website or landing page. Use colors, fonts, and other distinctive signifiers of your company. Regardless of whether anyone clicks on your ad, the ad will help build brand awareness.
- Create a clear and compelling call-to-action.
- Promote ads that are relevant to your remarketing lists. Don’t show ads for sandals to someone who browsed the jacket section of your website.
- Test various sizes and ad formats (text, image, video, rich media) to see which ones work best for you. To reach the greatest amount of people, create ads that fit the different available ad sizes.
- Consider using the Ad Gallery, a free AdWords tool where you can select from hundreds of ad templates. Simply customize the template with your brand’s aesthetic and messaging for pretty and relevant ads for each of your remarketing lists.
Strategize bid strategies depending on your remarketing lists
As with bid strategies for pay-per-click marketing, what you bid will highly depend on the thing you are trying to sell. For instance, if you trying to sell a brand new HVAC system, which is much more profitable than a maintenance tune-up, you’ll want to bid higher for the remarketing list that sends visitors to new system installation pages.
You should also bid higher for remarketing lists that include people who have abandoned forms or carts than people who have simply visited your website or landing page.
If you are enjoying a successful remarketing campaign, consider raising your bid to reach even more customers and thus increase overall ROI. Basically, raise your rid for the remarketing lists and campaigns that are more valuable to you.
Expand your audience and reach more people on your lists
Depending on whether or not you do business internationally, target all languages to reach multi-lingual customers who have visited your website no matter where in the world they are.
Keep in mind that when you choose your location targeting, you will only show your ads to customers in the regions you target. If you are a local service business, this makes sense. If you an ecommerce site that ships nationally or internationally, you are severely limiting your audience.
You can also expand your audience by extending the membership duration of your lists, such as increasing it from 30 to 90 days. While this will increase the number of customers you are likely to reach, it could also affect conversions. Experiment to see which durations work best for each of your remarketing lists.
Don’t waste ad impressions
In addition to not showing ads for an already purchased product/service (you probably don’t need two Finding Dory Blu-rays), you can also choose to set a cap on how many ads each user is shown and schedule ads to only show up when a customer is most likely to click on them.
Many people get annoyed with remarketing ads because marketers are not discriminating enough about when, where, and to whom they show their ads. For instance, if you are a clothing company, you may want to restrict your ads to the nights and weekends when people are more likely to be shopping for clothes. We also highly recommend frequency cap limits which limits the number of times a person is exposed to an ad per day.
Basically, use cap limits and strategically schedule your ads to show up at the best time (specific hours and days).
Exclude websites that aren’t converting or you don’t want to associate with
If you are spending a lot of money on remarketing and notice that conversion rates are really low for some websites, you can increase your ROI by excluding these sites from your remarketing campaigns. Conversely, you should increase your bids on websites that are performing well (higher conversion rate and low cost-per-acquisition).
You may also want to exclude sites that you don’t want to be associated with. Since remarketing ads follow visitors around as they browse the web, they can show up nearly anywhere (anywhere in the Google Display Network that is).
If you want to protect your brand’s image by avoiding certain sites, you have four blocking options:
- Site category
- Placement (specific domain)
Learn more about excluding specific webpages, videos, and apps.
Don’t forget about Facebook Remarketing with Facebook Pixels
You can also remarket to Facebook users with Facebook Custom Audiences. To improve your Facebook advertising success, start building Custom Audience Lists based on people who have visited your website. Learn more about Facebook Pixels.