While the concept of remarketing has been around for a while, the new remarketing options within Google Analytics have made display advertising an intelligent and affordable option for campaigns of all sizes.
How is it different?
Previously, the only website visitors you could add to your Google Remarketing lists were those that came from paid search. Now, Google Analytics allows you to tag all visitors to your website, facilitating a wider audience and additional targeting options.
Top tips for building smart lists
Your options for segmenting your website visitors are almost endless, but the most popular categorisations are around products and stages of the decision-making process. For example, if your website showcases a range of products, consider making lists of people that are dependant on types of products they viewed when they were on your website. You can then remarket to them with display advertising that re-enforces the features of these specific products.
Another popular list categorisation is based on the customer's stage of the decision making process. Lists can be generated based on different stages of the goal funnel where a customer left your site. For example, appropriate messaging will differ greatly between a visitor who left your site while browsing top-level pages versus a customer who abandoned a well-stocked shopping cart at the final stage before purchase.
How to measure the results of your Remarketing
At a minimum, you want to have at least one ad group for each list you are targeting. From there you can create more ad groups so you can isolate and test the conversion rates of different messaging and creative. By separating your list types and creative variations into individual ad groups, you will be able to measure ad-based metrics such as click-through rate and cost-per-click as well as traffic quality metrics such as conversion rate, pages per visit, average visit duration and bounce rates.
What if my ads aren't working?
Historically, display ads have always returned lower click-through and conversion rates than search ads. Again, this has to do with customers' intent and frame of mind when ads are presented to them, so don't try to compare search and display metrics as one and the same.
If some of your ads are still returning low conversion rates, consider A/B testing with different messaging and creative. Popular testing elements include call to action phrases and improving the contrast of creative/visual elements.