If you have ever felt a banner is following you around the internet, then there is a good chance it probably is! Thanks to Google, re-marketing is now available to any advertiser and it is proving to be hugely successful. The basic premise is very straight forward; a visitor arrives on your website, you drop a cookie, if they leave without buying from you, your advert is shown to them on other websites based on that cookie.
Re-marketing is ideal for advertisers with smaller budgets because you are preaching to the almost converted. From our own experiences, cli ick through rates are more than double that of a standard banner campaign, cost per click is much lower, and conversions are higher, which then leads to a lower CPA. What’s not to love?
For the purposes of this guide I am going to go through the steps of creating a re-marketing campaign for our domain name products. Note: Re-marketing is only available if you are advertising through the Google Display Network (previously called the content network). It is not available through the search network.
Creating your list
Google’s re-marketing is essentially based around generating lists of visitors. By adding tracking to your target pages you create a list of visitors who will then be served your ads on other websites. Because I want to target visitors who are most likely to be interested in buying domain names from us, I am going to add the necessary tracking to my domain names page.
• Log in to your AdWords account
• Expand the left hand navigation bar (the ones that slides)
• Click on ‘Control panel & library’
• Click on ‘Audiences’
Click on the ‘New Audience’ button and choose ‘Remarketing list’
Add your re-marketing campaigns information and how long you want the cookie to be active for, and then click ‘Save’.
Your audience list will then be created along with the necessary tracking code to add to your website. Place this on the relevant page just before the tag.
Now we are starting to build up our list of people who have visited the domain names page, we also need to create a list of people we want to exclude from being shown our banners. Because the aim of this campaign is to convert people who didn’t buy the first time, it would be a waste of money showing ads to people who did buy. To prevent this, we will create a second list of people who have been shown our order confirmation page (i.e. they bought the product).
Following the same steps as above, create another list, but this time put the tracking on your order confirmation page. Once both those are done, we can create what AdWords calls a ‘Custom combination’.
Click on the ‘New Audience’ button and choose ‘Customer combination’
Name your customer combination and give it a clear description. You can then select from your re-marketing lists to build your custom combination.
Here we will add our ‘Viewed domain name’ list next to ‘all these audiences’, but because we don’t want to show ads to people who converted, I will select the list that records those who converted next to ‘none of audiences’. Essentially, our new customer combination list is as follows:
Viewed domain name product page – viewed order confirmation page = Target audience
Adding the list to an Ad Group
Now we have our list, we can apply it to either an existing Ad Group or create a new Ad Group. The methodology is the same once the Ad Group exists so I’ll use the example of applying it to an existing Ad Group.
Navigate to your chosen Ad Group and click on the ‘Audiences’ tab
Click on ‘Add audiences’, click on ‘Custom combinations’ and choose the list you want to add. Click ‘Save’ to apply the list.
As they navigate the internet, our adverts will now be shown to those people who visited our domain name page but didn’t go on to buy anything.
Refining your targeting further
We could choose to leave it there and let our banners/ text ads follow our target list around the internet regardless of where they go. However, from a branding perspective, you are losing too much control and our advert could end up on some websites we don’t want to be associated with. To ensure we only appear on relevant sites we can combine ‘targeting by audience’ with ‘targeting by network’.
The first step is to tell Google that we want to manually choose which websites and categories our ads are shown on. Note, this is done at a campaign level so make sure your re-marketing ad group is not mixed up with others where you don’t want this setting.
At the campaign level, click on the ‘Settings’ tab and then under ‘Networks & devices’ click on ‘Networks’. If it isn’t already chosen, check the radio button next to “Relevant pages only on the placements and audiences that I manage”.
Once that is done, go back to your ad group and click on the ‘Networks’ tab and then the ‘Add placements’ button.
If you have some specific sites in mind you know carry Google adverts, type them in here. If you need help researching and generating a list of sites, click on ‘Try the placement tool’.
Once you have created your list of websites and/ or categories, your adverts will only show up on these websites to your previously created audience list.
Even more refinement
Other areas to consider to laser target your adverts even further are geographic targeting (e.g. people in the UK only), targeting by device (e.g. Computers only) and choosing what time of day you’re your ads are shown (e.g. 9am to 7pm Monday to Friday).
In summary, our top tips for creating a successful re-marketing campaign are:
• Never use a one size fits all approach, create multiple targeting lists
• Drop the cookie on the product page, not the home page
• Create ad groups for each product with tailored creative
• Target specific categories
• Don’t just turn it on and leave it at that, monitor it every day and make changes
• Run weekly reports to show where your banners appeared and if necessary add negative website lists
• Keep your branding in mind as well. Do you really want to be seen on a low quality spam site?