4 Secrets to Success of Google Adwords Remarketing Campaigns

Remarketing is a fantastic tool in Google Adwords arsenal. It’s an easy entry point into Google Display Network which allows you to re-engage with people who have visited your website in past.

Success with Google Adwords remarketing depends mainly on the audiences (remarketing lists) you define and how you utilize those audiences to offer something valuable to them. We assume that you are familiar with remarketing lists in Google Adwords and Analytics so we will not cover that here.

A lot of businesses start running remarketing campaigns while making some common mistakes like creating one big audience and show them ads for anything and everything they offer. This results in waste of money and hence bad ROI.

Below we will discuss 4 ways to run highly effective Google Adwords remarketing campaigns.

1. Don’t target every user with bottom-of-the-funnel content

Not every visitor on your website is ready to buy. Some are there to gain information, while some might be comparing you with your competitors. Depending on your business, you need to define your marketing funnel. A marketing funnel helps you visualize the buyers’ journey from introduction to conversion to advocacy. Funnel also helps you understand at what stage the prospect is gaining or losing interest to exit your funnel.

For instance, let’s say you provide hospitality consulting services and your website receives 10000 monthly visitors. Out of those 10000 visitors, 2500 people are visiting your blog posts on hospitality marketing. People reading blog posts are generally looking for information and are not ready to buy first-hand. So instead of targeting them with your contact/consultation page, you can target those visitors with guide/report/case study on hospitality marketing and generate leads easily. Further, you can nurture those leads with email marketing campaigns.

A typical marketing funnel consists of 5 stages organized in an inverted pyramid fashion. The first stage is Awareness, followed by Consideration, Conversion, Loyalty and Advocacy. And the success lies in coming up with sensible offers for every stage of the buyers’ journey instead of treating every user the same way.

2. Create remarketing audiences strategically

One of the biggest mistakes with remarketing is having one single audience listing all the visitors at one place. Instead, you should create smaller, segmented audiences. The more segmented audiences you have, the better you will be able to target them. This is because not every visitor is equal on your website (that’s what we explained in the first point above).

You can create audiences in both Google Adwords as well as Google Analytics. While Google Adwords only allows audiences based on which page(s) have been visited, Google Analytics offers multiple ways to create audience (see multiple options in the image below).

google adwords remarketing

So you should assess your offers and then create remarketing audiences for those offers.

Some common types of remarketing audiences are:

  1. Visitors who visited certain page or pages (available in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics)
  2. Visitors who visited one page but not the other (available in both Google Adwords and Google Analytics)
  3. Visitors who came to website from a particular source or medium or campaign (available only in Google Analytics)
  4. Visitors of certain demographic like age, gender, location, language, etc. (available only in Google Analytics)
  5. Visitors who visited X number of times and for X seconds/minutes (available only in Google Analytics)

3. Set Membership Duration and Frequency Capping

Nobody likes to be stalked. Nowadays we get to see ads everywhere on the internet. You visit one website and you start getting bombarded with the ads from that website. While some ads make sense and actually offer something useful, most of the times they are irrelevant and annoying as they are EVERYWHERE. Here are some interesting facts about ads being annoying.

google adwords remarketing

To avoid being hated and getting blocked by your audience, you should utilize membership duration and frequency capping features of GDN.

  • Membership Duration

Membership duration as described by Google is the number of days a user remains in the audience before getting removed automatically.

Membership duration will differ from business to business. By default, it is 30 days. You can start by looking at the Time Lag and Time to Purchase reports in your Google  Adwords and Analytics accounts  to get an understanding of how long the membership duration should be.

For example, based on your past conversions, if your average click-to-lead conversion cycle completes in 7 days for a particular offer, you can set your membership duration to 15 days and after that the user/cookie will be removed from the list. Also, if any of the users converts before 15 days, make sure that the user has been removed from targeting. This can be done by excluding the list of users who already converted.

  • Frequency Capping

Frequency Capping is another feature that limits the number of times your ads appear to an individual over a given period of time on the Display Network.

What happens when you turn on frequency capping for your remarketing campaign?
You set a limit to the number of times an ad or an ad group’s ad or any ad of the campaign is shown in a day or in a week or in a month. Confused? Have a look at this image to get a better picture.

google adwords remarketing

A frequency cap of 2 ads per day from an ad group should be okay.

An ad is counted as viewable when 50% or more of the ad shows for 1 second or longer for display ads and 2 seconds or longer for video ads. Hence, only impressions that are viewable count towards frequency capping.

Continuously stalking your audience for too long will hurt your brand image. Instead, craft compelling ads and more importantly offer something valuable to your audience. Finally, set a reasonable frequency cap on your ads.

4. Don’t target users who have already converted on your website

Targeting already converted users will not only waste your money but will also lower the image of your brand. Once you have a list of users who have converted for a particular offer, show them something different. Again, this will depend on your offers according to your buyers’ journey. For example, if someone converted to one of your bottom-of-the-funnel offer, you can send them personalized email to move the conversation ahead. This will position you and your brand as someone who understands their users and work towards achieving their goals.