Combining Remarketing with AdWords Targeting

Remarketing is a highly effective way to re-engage visitors who have previously left your website without purchasing or converting. It does this by targeting them with ads as they browse the web. You can add the AdWords remarketing code to all pages or specific pages (products or services you want to promote) on your website, or if you have remarketing enabled in Google Analytics, you can build advanced remarketing segments based on combinations of visitor behaviour. When potential customers come to your site, if they meet your defined criteria, they are added to a remarketing list. You can later re-engage with these potential customers while they browse other websites on the Display Network. Sounds good, doesn’t it?

But you still might not want your ad to appear on irrelevant websites as this can lower the chance of a conversion. In some cases, having your AdWords ad appear on certain inappropriate websites can harm your brand, even if we already know that the visitor is interested in our brand.

For example, consider this ad placement on Rotten Tomatoes:

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rotten_tomatoes

Why wouldn’t we want our remarketing ads to show here? Firstly, it might be inappropriate for your brand. If you are running ads for an online accounting system, you probably don’t want them associated with “Rotten Tomatoes”. Secondly, showing your remarketing ads on sites where the user is not in a responsive frame of mind will reduce the effectiveness of your campaign. While we know that the visitor has expressed interest in our product — again, let us say we are running ads for an online accounting system — we can safely assume that when they are looking at movie reviews, they are not in a frame of mind where they want to get straight back into researching, or signing up for an accounting system.

For a more successful campaign, you can combine your remarketing audience lists with other targeting methods in the Google Display Network such as topics or keywords which will help you reach visitors on relevant pages across the Display Network and also control where your ads show. You can create multiple ad groups and combine the targeting options. Also, you can exclude irrelevant websites/webpages from showing your ads. Another bonus of having this control is that there may be websites where you want your ads to show, because these websites have relevant content and/or recent data has shown that there is a good chance of a conversion from that particular site.

Reach the best-performing sites for your audience

Based on your data you might see that visitors from certain websites are more likely to convert than other visitors. You can use this information in your remarketing campaign and raise your bids for those web pages.

Monitor Auto Placements

You can select individual websites that often show your ad and manage them individually. This gives you the opportunity to make sure that your ads are relevant to those placements. Based on your data you can also set an unique bid for each of these managed placements.

Add Keywords and Topics

By adding keywords and topics you can make sure that your ad will only be shown on websites that are relevant to your product or service.

Combining your audience lists with other AdWords targeting gives you more control over where your ads will be shown on the Google Display Network. It helps you to target your ads more specifically and will improve the conversion rate of your remarketing campaign.

Prevent your ads from being shown on irrelevant sites

You can exclude web pages that are irrelevant and where you don’t want your ads to be shown. You can find the exclusions tools at the bottom of the “Display” tab within your AdWords campaign.

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Use Site and Category Exclusions

You can exclude certain site categories that are not in line with your brand. This will prevent your ads from being shown on those type of websites. You can use the Site and Category Exclusion tool to find irrelevant categories of web pages and exclude them from your remarketing campaign. You can also use this tool to find and exclude individual websites.

Add Negative Keywords and Topics

Adding negative keywords and topics will help to minimize reaching people when they are in the wrong frame of mind. For example: if people are at work reading a business article, they might not be interested in buying toys for their kids even though they have searched for this before. If you are selling kids toys you might want to add “business” as a negative keyword to your remarketing campaign to prevent your ad from being shown.

Consider how your product/service fits into someone’s day

Consider whether someone is more likely to be receptive to your ad when they are browsing for business or leisure. If your product is B2B or something people are likely to be using for work, you might find it is not effective to remind people of work when they are browsing for fun. Conversely, if you have a heavily leisure-focussed offering, showing your ad during someone’s workday might not give great results.

Once you have identified these parameters, you can use some of the exclusions described above to reduce your remarketing impressions on leisure (or work-related) websites. You may find that your CTR increases substantially, further increasing the effectiveness of your remarketing campaign.