How to Set up Google Ads Remarketing for lead generation?

September 24, 2020
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How to Set up Google Ads Remarketing for lead generation (1)

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Google Ads remarketing is a great approach for an advertisement campaign on the Google Ad network. There are shreds of evidence to suggest that only 2 to 4% of website visitors result in transactions. This could force you to step back from remarketing but also can be a motivation to fuel your advertising efforts. There are many ways to bring back the customers to your site and nudge them to take an action.

The main point with remarketing is that you find the customers who have shown enough interest in your services. These customers are more likely to perform any activity you are considering them to do. The customers who know you already are more likely to convert than the ones who are new to your website.

What is remarketing?

Before entering into any of the stuff related to pulling the customers, we must understand what remarketing is. The main motive of remarketing campaigns is to display the advertisements to the potential customers who interacted with you. It is an effective approach that allows you to stay connected with your audience and simultaneously building brand awareness. You are so lucky as there are a number of tools and strategies that can help your remarketing efforts. This could range from generating a smart list to creating a custom audience using Facebook remarketing.

Here, we will be focusing on how to bring potential customers back to your web site. We will go through setting up a Google Ads remarketing campaign to taking advantage of several networks they offer. This will help you achieve the maximum reach to your target audience.

Different Google Ads remarketing campaigns

As we are talking about Google Ads remarketing, there are many ways for you to reach your target audience. Using a display advertisement you can use the following platforms or networks:

  • Youtube
  • Gmal
  • Apps
  • Display Network
  • Remarketing Search Listing Ads

We will briefly go through setting up an advertisement campaign for each platform. Please keep in mind that each platform differs in setting up remarketing. A Google display network’s advertisement is simpler to create than a YouTube video advertisement.

Google Ads remarketing goals

Generally, there are three kinds of Google Ads remarketing campaigns that you might want to run:

  • Campaigns aimed at customers who did not take a certain action on a web page on your web site. In simple words, generating leads from the people who did not opt on your landing pages.
  • Campaigns aimed at customers who reached a certain page within your checkout process but did not complete transactions. These are the people who abandon their shopping carts.
  • Campaigns for customers who have not seen a page that you wanted them to see. This is to promote content on other pages on your website.

It is very important for you to know, what action you want your potential customers to take. This allows you to understand his behavior when exposed to your Google Ads remarketing campaign. When you start learning about it then you can go with the following:

  • Deciding which web pages should contain your Google Ads remarketing tags.
  • Choosing a network and deciding, how to reach your target audience on it.
  • Understanding, how to create advertisements tailored to your target audience.
  • Creating custom pages dedicated to the audience you are remarketing to.

Having proper knowledge of how you are going to tackle each of these details becomes essential. This helps you to achieve optimal results with your Google Ads remarketing campaigns.

Google Ads remarketing options

  • The standard remarketing feature allows showing advertisements to your past visitors as they browse through your websites and applications.
  • Dynamic remarketing allows you to show advertisements to your past visitors of any products or services viewed on your website.
  • Remarketing for mobile apps allows you to show advertisements to your visitors who used your mobile application or mobile website.
  • Remarketing lists for search ads also known as RLSA enables you to target past visitors on the Search network. You can customize and target search ads for these visitors while they search on Google or Google’s partner websites.
  • Video remarketing will show advertisements to people who have interacted with your YouTube channel or other videos. You can serve them advertisements on YouTube or through Display Network videos or websites.
  • Email list remarketing also known as Customer Match allows you to upload the customers’ email lists to Google Ads. This allows you to serve advertisements to them if they are signing in to Google Search, Gmail, or Youtube.

Selecting your audiences

The very initial step to Google Ads remarketing is to analyze your data and develop a strategy. You will need to decide which web site visitors you would like to retarget with these advertisements. The groups which you want to retarget and which you do not want to retarget are known as audiences. There are a lot of ways to target these audiences, which include:

  • Based on the product page they visited
  • Based on visiting a certain page in your checkout process
  • Time on your website
  • Based on not visiting a certain page like a confirmation or acknowledgment page
  • Number of web pages visited
  • Demographic targeting
  • Geographic targeting

There are also some custom combinations that allow you to target people who visited one page without visiting some other. You can target any audience using URLs. Let us say you have a thank you page after the customers submit their email addresses for signing up. You could use the URL of that web page for a different remarketing list.

Below are some possible steps you can use as you start with it:

  • Thinking about all the URLs you want to target on your website and making a list in Excel.
  • Naming the audience and list the URL for reference later.
  • Including all the innovation you come up with for custom combinations of your audiences.
  • If you have the Google Analytics Goal funnel set up then use the data gathered. You can use this data to analyze and find points in the consumer funnel to remarket.

Setting up Google Ads remarketing codes

If you have a Google Analytics account then you do not need to update the code at all. You just need to change a setting in the Admin section of Google Analytics. Go to Admin, then Tracking Info, then Data Collection. Here, toggle the remarketing button.

You must get one anyhow, as this is a great feature to being able to set up remarketing lists. These lists are based on goals instead of web pages visited. You can set up one for people who have visited at least four pages and spent at least five minutes.

Creating a Google Ads remarketing list

There are two essential parts to setting up a Google Ads remarketing campaign:

  • Creating a Google Ads remarketing list.
  • Running an advertising campaign targeted at that remarketing list.

Firstly, we will cover the creation of the Google Ads remarketing list. Log in to your Google Adwords account and click on Shared Library. You can find the option within the left-hand sidebar. Proceed with clicking the audience. You may receive a notification that Google Adwords does not detect a remarketing tag.

Remarketing tag

You just need to click through the Tag details to solve this issue. There, you will be able to access a tag that you can install on your website. You can choose to email this tag to your technical support team if you are uncomfortable installing it. Please make sure that you install this tag on each web page of your web site. Doing this will give you more freedom to run a variety of remarketing campaigns to reach your advertisement group.

Choosing among Remarketing Lists

In any of the cases, you must create a Remarketing list after installing a tag. To do this, click on + Remarketing list, which can be found in the shared library section. You must then decide, how Google Adwords chooses who it will remarket to. You can do this by telling it what data you want to use in it.

Remarketing list

What you choose here will depend on the data that you currently have or can supply. There are four options to choose from:

  • Website visitors for remarketing to the customers who have visited your website.
  • Mobile App users for remarketing to the customers who have used your mobile application.
  • Customer emails for remarketing to the customers who have provided you with their email addresses.
  • YouTube users for remarketing to the customers who have viewed or interacted with your YouTube videos or channel.

Before proceeding with any of the following, please make sure to give a specific name to your remarketing list. This will help you to identify, the purpose of the list when you revert back to check on your campaigns.

Google Ads remarketing list using Website visitors

Your campaign goals will determine, who you should add to your Google Ads remarketing list. Please make sure to install the remarketing tag on each webpage of your website.

You can use the Visitors of a page for a landing page. This will help to drive the sign-ups for the people who did not take the desired action.

You can use Visitors of a page who did not visit another page for the people who did not convert. These people might have viewed your products but did not make a purchase.

You can use Visitors of a page who also visited another page for the people who are simply browsing around. These are the people who just come for comparing different product variations. This comes handy only for the Google Display network.

You can use Visitors of a page who also visited during specific dates for the people who visit during promotions. This can be applicable during certain events like Christmas or Valentine’s Day. You can create a list of these customers using this feature and subsequently target them in the future.

You can use Visitors of a Page with a specific tag for the people who ran remarketing campaigns long ago. These are the people who have different remarketing tags for different web pages.

You also have an option for custom combinations, but that is a bit advanced for beginners. Once you have decided on an option, you need to provide a relevant URL. This URL must matches what you are trying to achieve. You can also choose to create a rule if you have properly organized URLs.

Google Ads remarketing list using YouTube

You will need to select the density of a list by choosing a List type.

YouTube remarketing

What you pick here will decide what your campaigns are and what specific actions say about people. If someone has viewed certain videos, you will know their topic of interest. This can help you with promoting a relevant piece of content or a relevant product to them.

Now let us look into creating a Customer email remarketing list. This process is pretty easy as you give your list a specific name and upload the list of email addresses. You must keep in mind that you must collect these emails ethically and not buy them. If the customers opt to join your list then it means that you are complying with Google’s policies.

Also, you must keep in mind that you will need a minimum of 1000 emails for this to work. This list will help you in reaching these people on YouTube, SERPs, and Gmail.

Setting up a Google Ads remarketing campaign

You might find a need to set up a Display Network remarketing campaign. For this, you must go through the normal setup for such a campaign. On finding the section you get to create an ad group and ad, select the option for Interests & remarketing.

On the following terminal, you will need to choose the relevant remarketing list. When picking a remarketing list, you can identify how many people belong to the list. This is the same if picking the Video Viewers option.

If you want to show remarketing advertisements to your target audience within Gmail, pick the Customer email list option. Then you can select the email list that you want to target and go for setting up your campaign.

If you want to display remarketing campaigns on YouTube then the process is slightly different. This time you will need to select the Video option when clicking the +campaign option. Simply go through a general set up process for an advertisement. At some point, you might need your advertisements to appear exclusively on YouTube. To do this please deselect Video partners on the Display Network.

Let us say that you are on the Create an ad group and ad option. Here, it becomes important that you decide the advertisement format you want to run at first. Once you have picked up a format, scroll down to the bottom and click on the Narrow your targeting [optional] button. Then click the remarketing option and pick the list you want to remarket to.

Picking up the remarketing list

Under the Video remarketing lists option you can promote to the customers based on their YouTube activity.

Under the AdWords remarketing lists you can promote to the customers based on their AdWords activity. This is also the same for the customers who had their email addresses uploaded into Google. There exists a Similar option that shows advertisements to customers who bear similar traits to those in your remarketing list.

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

This type of marketing strategy might seem complex at first as not many know about it. But it is worth knowing this stuff, sit becomes mandatory to stick with it. We will use this campaign to show search listing advertisements to customers on your remarketing lists. These people might have typed the keywords that you have opted for.

If we see this on a narrow scale, it works like:

  • Setting up a Google Search campaign.
  • Picking up the keywords you want to target.
  • Picking up the remarketing list that you want to target.
  • Showing advertisements to only those who are in your remarketing lists and type in the keywords you selected.

Let us say that you sell pens and someone recently jumped on your website to look for some pens. But later on, they search for cheap pens on Google. With RLSA, you can show search listing advertisements to specific customers. Here these are the customers who have visited your site and then searched for a keyword somewhat specified by you.

It also allows you to target broad keywords while also maintaining higher conversion rates. Do remember that this is not really marketing. You are not targeting customers based on their past search behavior, as you do not have access to it. You can not use remarketing search listing advertisements for sensitive categories.

Setting up remarketing lists

You can set up a Remarketing list for Search advertisements by going through the normal search campaign set up process. This starts with clicking on +campaign and selecting Search Networks only. When you are setting up your campaign, you must make sure to deselect Include search partners.

After finishing up the general setup process for your campaign, you get to adjust your campaign. Begin with selecting on your campaign and clicking on the Audiences tab. Click on +remarketing and then select a relevant Ad group.

Now, select Interests & remarketing from the Ad targeting dropdown menu. Proceed with choosing the remarketing list that you want to target. You can also choose the Customer email List as a targeting option and pick how much you are paying.

The Target and Bid option ensures that your campaign only targets people within your list. Only the people on the list will be able to trigger the display of your Search network advertisement.

The Bid only option allows showing your advertisements to everyone including those on your remarketing lists. This means everyone within your targeting parameters will trigger the display of your Search network advertisement.

The difference is that you can set the bid adjustments. This means you are bidding higher for advertisements when they are being visible to people in your remarketing list. You do this by selecting your list, then going to the Audiences tab, and selecting the relevant Bid Adjustment column.

When you execute the remarketing campaigns with thoughtfulness and intent, progressive sales and conversions can be fruitful. This is a chance to re-engage your target audience to get a second chance at their attention. To launch a successful Google Ads remarketing campaign, the set up plays an important role. Here are a few crucial steps to complete your campaign.

Ensuring proper tagging

Make sure that your remarketing campaign is serving great impressions, by enabling proper tracking on your website. Most of the websites use either Google Analytics or Google Ads tracking.

Google Ads Tag

If you have started your Google Ads account from scratch, you will need a Global site tag to implement anything. To find this specifically for your account, just navigate to Tools & Settings, then Audience Manager, and at last Audience Sources.

Depending on your account, please select any one of the three options for the tag setup. The most essential part of this step is the placement of the tag. As per Google’s instructions, the tag must be placed between the <head> tags of every page on your website.

Google Analytics Tag

Before creating any remarketing lists on the platform you will need Google Analytics tracking. To find your tracking code, go to Admin, then Property View, then Tracking Info, and at last Tracking Code.

Checking your tag implementation

To check if you have implemented your tags properly, you need to download the Tag Assistant extension in Chrome. Simply navigate through your website and run the Tag Assistant. If the Implementation was successful then the results should look similar to the ones below.

Green labels mean that the tags are in the proper place.

How to Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign
Tag Analysis

Creating Intentional Remarketing List

Now when you have ensured tracking in the proper place, this is the time to create some intentional remarketing lists. Your Intention is the most crucial step to follow while crafting the remarketing audience.

Both Google Analytics and Google Ads provide immense options to segment your website viewers as finely as you want. Please keep in mind that a list that is narrow will have a harder time serving for it. The key is to find a proper balance of the audience size and their intents.

Google Analytics Lists

Google Analytics gives more options to qualify the audience as it has onsite behavior data to layer onto the lists. To create an audience go to Admin, then Property View, then Audience Definitions, and at last Audiences.

It is an assumption that a user has already linked the proper Google Ads and Analytics accounts for data sharing. Now, this is the time to show your creativity. The key is to create some remarketing lists based on the categorization of the resulting website. Some ideas to consider when creating a remarketing list portfolio are:

  • Categorized the page viewers
  • Purchasers or Leads (to exclude in the campaigns)
  • The qualified website traffic determined by the time on the website, whatever you consider above average for your business.
  • All quality blog viewers determined by the time on your website, whatever amount you consider above average for your business.
  • Shopping Cart Viewers.

Google Ads lists

To create lists in Google Ads, go to Tools & Settings, then Audience Manager, and at last Audience Lists. There are five major types of remarketing lists you can create:

  • Website visitors
  • Application users
  • YouTube users
  • Customer lists
  • Custom combinations

Depending on your goal, create your necessary remarketing lists and choose a required list duration. The maximum of what a user can stay in a list is 540 days. Google Ads remarketing lists provide you with the option of pre-population the lists with users in the past month. However, Google Analytics does not offer retroactive audience filling.

Setting up Custom Combinations

You can set up custom combinations in the Shared Library of your Google Ads account. You can use the remarketing tab where you set up your Google Ads remarketing to start with.

Create a new Custom Combination audience. Let us say that you want to target the users who hit the first page of your checkout process. But specifically, those users who left without reaching the order confirmation page. This brings in the option of custom combinations.

Select the remarketing audience you have set up for the customers who hit the first page of your checkout process. For this, create a new remarketing audience and using the URL of that page. Select none of this audience and select the remarketing audience you set up for customers hitting the thank you page. You can also select any customer who has already converted. Save it, and then select this custom combination as your audience in the advertisement group you have created for these.

You can also build custom combination audiences with the audience types mentioned below:

  • Customer lists or Customer Match
  • Application users
  • Video users
  • Similar audiences

The main motive is to think about what you could work for your website and test all the viable options.

Determining Proper assets

Google Display Network (GDN) is the most popular remarketing campaign type. However, there are more remarketing campaigns. Before creating the proper assets, you need to gather some information:

  • What are you asking the user to do?
  • What will the message consist of?
  • Does the landing page experience match the advertisement message?

There are some key components to consider while creating remarketing assets. You can find some of them below:

  • Static image formats
  • Responsive image formats
  • Headlines and descriptions (while using responsive formats)
  • Landing page experience

You must also note that while using a Responsive Advertisement format, images must be ratio based.

Creating a remarketing campaign

You can create Remarketing campaigns in either Google Ads interface or Google Ads editor. Begin with the campaign name, budget, and settings. If you are creating multiple remarketing campaigns, you can keep track of putting the audience’s name in the campaign. The campaign settings can make or break the campaign’s performance. When you do not manage or maintain them, expect some volatility in performance. These include the following:

  • ‘Observation vs Target’ setting
  • Bid strategy setting
  • Targeting the expansion setting
  • Location setting
  • Frequency cap setting

When you are adding audiences to the remarketing campaign, choose the Targeting setting instead of Observation. By keeping it at Observation, audience targeting does not get narrowed at all.

When you are selecting a bid strategy, make sure to select one based on your goals. Do you know, what will happen, if you use Target CPA and set the bid too low? Google will throttle impressions and the campaigns will be at risk of serving.

Things to make sure in a Google Ads remarketing campaign

How to Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign
Targeting expansion

The default setting is People in, or who show a relevant interest in your targeted location. This is a recommended setting by Google, but you must change it to ‘in regularly in targeting location’. By doing this, it allows for a narrower targeting.

Frequency cap settings are still important. Seeing the same advertisement multiple times per day created a bad user experience.

Analyzing, refining, and optimizing

Now that you have successfully launched your first remarketing campaign, it is important to keep a pulse on campaign performance. Some of the essential items to watch for in the early days include the following:

  • Ensuring audience size is large enough to show impressions.
  • Planning the advertisement placement

After a few weeks of stats, there should be enough information to start making optimizations based on the campaign’s performance.


There is always a better chance that your business will benefit from remarketing. Having a goal for your advertising campaign is a great way to focus your efforts. It will help to ensure that you get the best possible results.

There is a lot that you can do with it. Hopefully, after reading this article, you have seen yourself how many remarketing options are open for you. Please keep in mind that in any case, you have to pick a goal and run a smart remarketing campaign. We can only hope but gradually earn some experience, and try out some more adventurous advertising campaigns.

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