Master the art of AdWords Remarketing

Keep up with the very latest developments in the digital marketing world

By Rachel Smith
on 16/8/10

Master the art of AdWords Remarketing

Would you like to reach out to all the people who visited your site but did not convert into customers?

Combine Google’s Display Network with AdWords Remarketing functionality and not only is this possible but you can also be pretty intelligent in your approach.

Why Remarketing is good for business

Greater ROI through:

  • More targeted ads – Target visitors based on their previous interactions with your site.
  • Better click through rates – Users who have seen your site before are more likely to choose your ad from your competitors.
  • Increased brand visibility – People who have been on your site will continue to see your ads as they surf sites within the content network.
  • Greater conversion rates – Providing the offer is right we have found conversion rates to be up to 75% greater on these returning visitors.

How it could work for your business

There are many fantastic uses of Remarketing functionality which range from the basics such as marketing to people that came to your site but did not buy to more intelligent approaches like specific offers for types of clothing depending on what pages of your site they visited.

How you can set this up

The one that we find is best to start off with is to Remarket to your site visitors that did not convert into paying customers.

Before you start you will need to create your Remarketing lists. Your lists are populated by site visitors who reach pages with the remarketing tracking code installed.


Remarketing lists are created within the Audiences tab (above).

If you would like to Remarket to non converting site visitors you will need to create 3 lists.

  1. A list including everybody that has visited your site.
  2. A list of every person that converted into a customer (visited your thank you page).
  3. A custom list that takes the 1st list and removes everybody included in the 2nd list.

Once you have clicked on the ‘Audiences’ tab you will need to click ‘Add audiences’ button.


Then click ‘Create and manage lists’.


Then click the ‘New audience’ button followed by ‘Remarketing list’.


You will then need to enter the details of your list including name, description, duration etc.


Once you have saved your Remarketing list it will be listed on this page with the tracking tag (code) next to it. You will need to insert this tracking code on the relevant pages like you would any other AdWords tracking.

You should follow these steps to create your first two lists which consist of all site visitors and all converting site visitors.

The third list you need to create is a combination list and can be created by clicking the ‘New audience’ tab.


You will see a page that looks like this:


When filled in it should look something like this:


Your finished list of audiences should look like this:


We advise you to setup a new campaign purely for Remarketing.

Make sure your Remarketing campaign settings are setup so that they only target the content network.


Set bids similar to your other content campaigns.

Setup an Ad group called “Site visitors who did not convert”.

After this has been setup you will need to navigate to the ‘Audiences’ tab and click ‘Add audiences’.

Find your custom combination list and click ‘Add’ and then ‘Save.


You just need to setup some attractive ads and you’re on your way.

What type of ads work best?

We recommend using image ads because these will give you the best chance of bringing visitors back to your site.

This is your second chance at converting the site visitor into a customer, so your message should be different than your standard ads. Provide additional selling points or try including discounts / incentives.

Make sure you include all the possible banner ad sizes to give your ads the best chance of showing up.

You could also try ads with slightly different messages to test which works best in terms of CTR and conversion.

Congratulations, you have now setup your first Remarketing campaign. Once your list has accumulated 500 visitors your ads will start to receive impressions.

Advanced Remarketing

If you follow the steps above you will have a fully functional Remarketing campaign that will get visitors back to your site, converting at a greater rate than ever before.

What next? ... What can you do to take Remarketing to the next level?

You can create endless lists based on user interactions with your site and use this data to market to your users.

Possibly further uses of Remarketing:

  • Cross-sell to visitors who have purchased particular items from your site.
  • Remarket to visitors who abandoned during your shopping cart payment process with strong messages on trust/security/returns policy etc.
  • Remarket to visitors who added particular products to their cart but didn’t complete the buying process.