Google AdWords retargeting setup is something that seems complicated, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. But before we dive into that, let me give you a bit of context.
Google may be best known as the company behind the website everyone goes to when they want to find something online, but it isn’t really a search engine company. And that’s despite owning 89% share of all web searches in the UK.
Google isn’t really a webmail, online office suit or social network company, either. Gmail, Google Docs, Google+ and the many other (mostly free) services Google operates exist primarily to harvest data about the people that use them. Google then uses that data to sell advertising space. Google is an advertising company.
Selling Users’ Data
Whenever you perform a Google search, Google records the words you searched for — the “search term” — and which links in its list of results you clicked as a result. When you search for a place in Google Maps, Google records where you currently are and the place you’re trying to find. It’s a similar story with all of Google’s other services, too. Since it knows what its users are doing online in great detail, Google is able to place ads on web pages for its own and partner services that align very closely with that behaviour.
When you search for “cheap tennis racquet”, for example, you’ll see ads on the search results page for tennis racquets rather than new cars. However, you might see an ad for tennis racquets when you later visit your favourite motoring blog, too. The site may have nothing to do with tennis, but Google and its advertisers know what you’ve been searching for recently and can display relevant ads accordingly- This is what we call AdWords retargeting.
Relevance = Revenue
The key word here is “relevant” — it’s the reason AdWords is so successful. People are much more likely to click an ad if it’s closely related to what they’re interested in, whether they’re searching for it, they’re reading about it or it’s just something they like to do when they’re offline. And the more relevant the ad, the more likely they are to click.
Not all ad clicks lead to a conversion, but that doesn’t always mean those clicks are wasted. If a customer is interested enough to visit your landing page but not interested enough to pursue your offer, there still may be a chance to persuade them. This is where remarketing comes in. In simple terms, remarketing lets you track the people who’ve already visited your website and re-target them with a custom, highly relevant, ad.
According to research by Criteo, re-targeted customers are nearly 70% more likely to complete a purchase than non-retargeted customers, which makes remarketing a potentially lucrative option.
Remarketing can be used with both Search and Display campaigns, and targets customers based on their past behaviour on your site. You can use it to target customers who visited your site but didn’t complete a conversion, for example, or to target those who completed sometime previously.
How AdWords Retargeting Works
Remarketing is essentially another kind of audience targeting that’s based how someone behaved on your site, and it can be used alongside other targeting methods. It works by tracking both what visitors do on your site and what they do after they leave (albeit to a limited degree). The tracking is handled by AdWords, and you just need to select which of those visitors to serve ads to.
Remarketing requires a hidden snippet of code, called a remarketing tag, to be added to your website. Ideally, this should feature on every page (in a footer, for example) and not just your landing page, in case someone visits your site by means other than your ads.
When someone visits your site, the remarketing tag deposits a cookie on their computer. The cookie can then be used to identify that person (or more precisely, just their computer — AdWords’ cookies are anonymous) after they leave your site and continue their way around the web.
Which One Is Right For You? Search OR Display Retargeting?
Retargeting can be used with both Search and Display campaigns, and you’ll need to decide which is most appropriate for your campaign goals.
Search retargeting- Like Search campaigns, Search remarketing is keyword-driven and your text ads still appear on the search engine results page (SERP). When someone searches for “silk bow ties”, for example, suitably chosen keywords and bids mean an ad for your bow-tie business is eligible to appear alongside the results.
With Search remarketing, however, you have additional “inside knowledge” that lets you optimize your bids to increase the chances of your ad appearing.
For example, if someone visited your bow-tie site but left before buying, there’s a strong chance that they’re still interested in a purchase. So when that same “almost-a-customer” searches for “silk bow ties” again a few days later, you can increase your keyword bid for “silk bow ties” to capitalize on their heightened interest.
Display retargeting- Display remarketing works just like a standard Display campaign, with the added ability to target ads to people based on their past behavior on your site.
The Display Network serves ads to people as they browse other sites rather than actively search for information. So as with Display campaigns, Display remarketing is better suited to promotion and increasing brand awareness than driving sales or traffic — but it can be much more sophisticated. For example, a major advertising campaign might begin with a TV or newspaper ad that directs people to a specific website. You can use a Display ad to reinforce the campaign’s message by showing it only to people who have visited the site recently, safe in the knowledge that they’re already familiar with your brand.
This Adwords retargeting setup guide will focus on the Search strategy, as its by far the most powerful way to turn lost visitors into paying customers.
2 Easy Steps to AdWords Retargeting Setup (Search retargeting)
This post is going to concentrate on giving you an easy Adwords retargeting setup guide on how to set up your AdWords Search retargeting campaign only because that’s the most profitable type of retargeting campaign to run. We are all about increasing sales, not brand awareness.
1) INSTALL THE CODE- you need to install the remarketing code on your website. This is now known as the ‘global site tag’, previously knwn as the ‘remarketing tag’To get the code here is what you do:
Go to your AdWords dashboard and click the ‘Settings’ icon in the top right menu as shown below-
Click on Audience Sources>> AdWords tag as below
After you click the SET UP TAG link, follow the instructions and place the code in the head tag of your website so you’re able to track the entire website. If you’re not sure how to locate the HEAD tag part of your website, ask your web designer to do it for you or just ‘google it’.
2) DEFINE YOUR AUDIENCE– Go back to SHARED LIBRARY>> AUDIENCE MANAGER>> AUDIENCE LISTS then click the blue circle with a + sign to start defining your audience. Name your audience, define the list as anyone who visited a page with the character / (to capture all website visitors), and set the cookie period to a time period where you can be confident you’ll receive at least 1,000 website visitors (and ideally at least 1,500). You can set your membership duration to a maximum of 540 days; this means a user will stay in your ‘remarketing list’ for 540 days. The minimum you can set is as little as 1 day. After you’ve done this, you can go ahead and click CREATE AUDIENCE button. Google will start scanning your website and adverts you’ve previously run to capture visitors who have been to your website. Remember, your search retargeting ads won’t show until you’ve got at least 1000 people have visited your website.
After you’ve created your search remarketing audience, you can start a new campaign, choose your keywords, write your adverts and apply the audience you have created for remarketing.