Alexandra Karaoutsadis
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Everything You Need to Know About Google Re-marketing

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Do you feel like products are following you? Like whatever you view online magically appears displayed to you on a completely different site, taunting you into rethinking your choice to not buy it? Is it sorcery, or something more auspicious?

Don’t worry, there is no dark magic at play. What you are experiencing is called remarketing and it is a one of the most promising forms of online advertising in this day and age.

What is remarketing?

Google remarketing is a form of online advertising wherein a viewer receives targeted marketing related to the products and services offered on a site they have previously visited. These ads appear on different browser pages as they navigate the web after the user has left the site. Not only does this method keep your brand at the forefront of a visitor’s mind, it entices qualified customers to come back to your site.

Remarketing, or retargeting, can help to increase conversion and ROI rates, as users who are shown these ads are already familiar with your brand and more likely to undertake and complete the action most valuable to your bottom line: purchase. If a visitor has not made an immediate purchase or enquiry on your site, remarketing is a clever way to reconnect with them and further spur their desire to make the transaction.

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How does it work?

Are you already advertising on Google? Well, all you need to do is add a re-marketing code (also known as a tag or pixel) to your website so that visitors who browse your site are added to your remarketing audience list through their browser cookies. You can narrow down the categories that the codes fall under on the Google Adwords platform in order to further refine your remarketing audience.

For example, if you have an eCommerce store that focuses on selling clothing, you may retarget your site visitors by creating a separate audience specifically consisting of people who have viewed dresses on your site. With this, the audience will be shown highly targeted ads and, because they’re already showing interest in buying a new dress, you are more likely to draw them back in. Top it off with a special offer, and it’s likely they’ll be putty in your hands.

Each browser cookie that you collect has a unique ID that is added automatically to your preset remarketing list. Within your remarketing lists, you can target a range of criteria, goals and membership periods, which help you further break down the overall retargeting.

Using our example from earlier, the visitor shopping for dresses probably doesn’t want to see an ad for the same dress a year after their initial search. By then, fashion will have changed and, more than likely, so too their style. By narrowing the time period for your remarketing, you can avoid negatively impacting your audience with irrelevant ads.

How do I get started?

Google has a few tips when it comes to remarketing, the first of which is to start by targeting those that have viewed your homepage.

Just be aware that, if you do take this path, targeting consumers within a less refined remarketing audinece, it will cost you slightly more per conversion as you are going to be reaching more people than if your retarget specific product pages. If you work on targeting more narrowly, you will not only lower your cost per click, but increase the relevancy of your ads to the people within your list.

Remarketing is a very strong form of advertising, purely because you are advertising to a highly qualified audience. With remarketing, you’re not just boosting brand exposure, you are raising trust within your audience and, best of all, you’re increasing the likelihood of a sale.

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What do I need to know before launching my remarketing campaign?

When it comes to remarketing, there is a minimum threshold of 100 ID’s on a remarketing list before a campaign goes live. 

Remarketing also doesn’t guarantee success. Yes, it will definitely give you an advantage, but it doesn’t always mean that every single targeted audience member will convert. Keeping this in mind, it is important to:

  1. Make sure your ad is heavily aligned with the products you know the targeted audience are looking for, and
  2. Make sure the ad contains an incentive, like a discount or free inclusion. This will not only increase the chances of the customer coming back to your site to view the item but will heighten the likelihood of conversion.

Google AdWords remarketing isn’t just about gaining back your potential customers, you can also aim to raise brand awareness by creating ads that target visitors over a specific period of days, weeks or months. If you engage in this type of campaign, make sure you set up conversion tracking beforehand to ensure you understand the stats that determine the success rate of the different ad types you are testing. This will help you to further target any future advertisements.

AdWords remarketing has already been through two major changes in 2018, which gives consumers more control of the ads they would like to see and how they’d prefer to see them. The first change has been implemented by Google, and allows users to mute any remarketing they receive for up to 90 days if they believe the ads are irrelevant or too repetitive.

The second change to come is one from Apple, through the introduction of Intelligent Tracking Prevention one their macOS 11 operating system. This ad blocking system comes standard with the default Safari browser and will disable any tracking cookies on Apple products after 24 hours. The targeting window is reduced quite significantly here and the only way the cookie can be re-enabled is if the user chooses to visit your site again.

You may be wondering how you will know if your targeted audience even see your ad if there’s only 24 hours to target… Well, Google has responded to the update by reforming the AdWords cookies used by remarketers to ensure that everything will work despite the block. However, we will still see an inevitable drop in conversions from Safari users. This is a significant loss of audience given that the standard browser on any Apple product is Safari.

If you’d like to get the perfect AdWords campaign set up for your business, get in touch with the team at WME today.

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By Alexandra Karaoutsadis


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