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Nine Tips for Mastering Google Remarketing

Aug 1, 2012

If you are running any Pay Per Click (PPC) campaigns, and you should be, you cannot overlook what remarketing can do for your efforts. There are various engines and ways to advertise using PPC. All have similar structures, but many do not provide the opportunity to remarket specific ads to visitors who may have visited your site or a specific category on your site but left without making a purchase.

Google Adwords does offer this feature and defines remarketing as: "...a feature that lets you reach people who have previously visited your site, and show them relevant ads when they visit other sites on the Display Network. When people leave your site without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you connect with these potential customers while they browse other websites. You can even show them a compelling message or offer that will encourage them to return to your site and complete a purchase." Source: Google Adwords Help Center

Essentially with remarketing, you are "tagging" visitors who arrive at your site and show interest in a product or category but leave without buying. Tagging later enables you to send them extremely targeted ads on other sites they visit within the vast Google Network, in an effort to get them to come back to your site and buy. For example, if you sell various brands of running shoes and one of them is Nike, you can add a tracking code to your site with the tag "Nike running" to all pages with Nike running shoes on them. Then you will be able to send specific ads targeting Nike running shoes to those that visit these areas of your site but leave without buying.

When performed correctly, remarketing can boost sales. Here are nine tips you can use to take advantage of and master remarketing.

1) Start tagging now. You need to have at least 500 visitors tagged before Google will show your ads to them on other sites. Therefore, do not wait to tag until you have your ad creative complete.

2) Test your timing. Google lets you create different audience segments depending on how recently visitors have been on your site. Consider creating multiple groups broken down by days (like five, 30, 90, etc.) and altering both your bidding strategy and ad creative based on the timing of those groups. You might be able to afford to bid higher on the most recent visitors, as they would be more likely to convert.

3) Think relevancy first. As with any type of effective search ad, relevancy is key. When you show the prospects an ad and they click on it, the page they arrive at should be relevant to the click. There is no real difference in remarketing except that we know exactly what they are interested in. If they want Nike running shoes, as in the example above, then show them an ad with a Nike running shoe in it, so they instantly recognize it. Now all you need is to complete the ad giving them a compelling reason to come back.

4) Target visitors' content interest. Consider targeting visitors on a department, category, or even product level, rather than dropping them into a "one-size-fits-all" bucket. Showing an ad featuring Reebok hiking boots to a visitor who was searching for Nike running shoes is not the smartest thing to do if you want to increase your chance of winning sales.

5) Target visitors based on buying cycle stage. Targeting users at various points in the buying cycle can be a very effective tool for remarketing. Consider setting up a remarketing campaign that targets visitors who abandon their shopping carts. If you sell products that have a typical "use lifecycle" like printer ink, for example, you could target customers at a particular time after their last order, reminding them to order again. Remember to have an email follow-up system in place to try to capture these previously lost sales as well.

6) Build strong ad to landing page paths. As previously stated, the ad you create must lead the prospect to a landing page that provides them with relevant information. There is nothing more frustrating to a visitor than clicking on an ad and being taken to a page that has nothing to do with the offer.

7) Exclude underperforming sites: After your ads have received a good number of impressions, clicks and conversions, take a look at the "Networks" tab in your remarketing campaign and click the "Show Details" link under automatic placements. This section will list all the sites on which Google is displaying your remarketing ads. Peruse the list and adjust your bids accordingly, or drop site domains entirely for those that are not performing up to the standards you want. Consider increasing bids for those that are delivering the best results.

8) Exclude site categories: Remarketing targets individuals based on a tracking cookie placed on their machine. It does not target based on the site they are visiting when they see your ad. As a result, your ads have the potential to be displayed on sites that are not related to, or in line with, your brand. If you are brand conscious and do not want this to occur, then go to your Networks tab and click "Exclusions." This section lets you exclude specific sites or entire categories that do not fit your brand.

9) Give all ad formats a try: Test everything. With remarketing you have the opportunity to test various ad sizes as well as messaging. Make sure you do not settle for one solution without first testing what provides the greatest return while maximizing your reach.

Remarketing is a great way to reach and re-engage people who have previously visited your website. By incorporating these nine tips into your marketing plan, you can utilize the power of remarketing and boost sales.

Eric Leuenberger is an ecommerce expert, founder of Ecommerce Amplifier, and owner of Voom Ventures, LLC, whose products and services help stores increase traffic, maximize ROI, decrease expenses, and increase revenue. Contact Eric online at or by phone at 866-602-2673.

Topic: Business Strategies

Related Articles: Google  Remarketing  Tips  PPC  Mastering 

Article ID: 1637

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