Display Remarketing: 5 Biggest Tips from Google’s Best Practices

by | Feb 29, 2016 | Articles, Technology

Google best practices recently updated their  guide to Remarketing on the Google Display Network. We’ve sifted through all this new information so that you don’t have to. Instead check out the five major tips and takeaways from Google’s Best Practices all right here for your convenience.


  1. Choose the Best Remarketing Tag for Your Site: Google supports three different types, or options, of tags. Find the one that’s right for you and implement it throughout your site. Chances are you’ve already been using either the Google Analytics Tag or the Adwords Tag if you’ve done any remarketing. If you’re starting fresh or want a better understanding here’s a quick synopsis for all three tags types.
    • The first tag is Google Tag Manager or GTM. GTM is the perfect choice if you are just starting a new website. GTM is very user friendly and works well with all Google and third party tags along with having an easy to use interface.
    • Second is the Google Analytics Tag. This tag is great if you are already using Google Analytics as you can go into your advanced settings in the user interface and Enable Advertiser Features to turn on remarketing automatically. The Google Analytics tag also allows you to customize your remarketing lists based on a wide range of factors.
    • The final tag type is the Adwords Tag. The Adwords Tag works best if you are interested in only enabling remarketing and less concerned with analytics. The Adwords Tag can be based on web pages visited or customized definitions. This tag pares down other options that may bog you down or aren’t necessary for your site or remarketing efforts.
  2. Tag Your Entire Site: It may sound simple and obvious but it’s easy to miss pages and leave some tags off of your site. Go back and check your site, or check in with your webmaster, to see if any of your pages are missing tags. If you are missing tags you’re probably failing to capture all of your remarketing chances leading to missed opportunities to create a new customer or strengthen your existing customer relationships. Included in tagging your entire site, both the desktop and mobile versions, it’s best practice to use a container tag. The container tag covers the whole site and allows you to easily add or change tags on individual pages, making the task of remarketing to your visitors quicker and easier. As mentioned above, Google Tag Manager is a great way to handle tagging individual pages with ease.
  3. Segment Your Remarketing Efforts: Not every person that visits your site will be looking at, or for, the same things. Segment your customers into a range of categories based on specific behaviors to better remarket to them, you want to give them what they are looking for. A customer that visits your homepage and then leaves is going to respond to a vastly different remarketing campaign than a visitor that goes so far as to put products in their shopping cart but decides to abandon them at the last minute. Google Best Practices recommends breaking visitors down into five distinct segments based on how far into your site they have gone, to better target each visitor: homepage viewers, category page viewers, product and offer page viewers, cart abandoners, and past converters. Remember this is just a guideline and your specific site may have less categories to convert to segments or, conversely, more page categories to use in defining parameters for remarketing. Once you have broken down how to segment your audience, create lists based on those visitors that have reached the homepage URL, those that have gotten to category pages but gone no further, etc. all the way to those customers that have reached the confirmation of purchase page. Tailoring your remarketing ads will drive people back to your site looking for what is pertinent to them.
  4. Format Your Ads for Success: One ad type, size, or campaign is not going to be effective. Remember to have different campaigns and ads for each of the segments that you have created. A visitor that only went to the homepage may be more affected by a broad message than a category viewer that is likely only concerned with what category they viewed and don’t care about other products or services at this point. Along with the types of ads, size and frequency is important; hitting potential customers on their phones, tablets, and computers, using text and images all increase the likelihood of converting a visitor to a customer, or getting a customer to return for another transaction. Along with formatting ads for success looking into dynamic remarketing may be a good idea, especially if you offer a variety of goods and services. Dynamic remarketing automatically customizes your ads based on visitor patterns and behavior without you needing to create each individual ad.
  5. Target New Customers: Your ideal customer isn’t always going to find your site on their own. Sometimes people need a little push to get to your site and targeting those people is key to growing your business. There are two ways to target new customers, both using similar criteria and aimed at garnering more visitors and conversions. The first is Auto-targeting, this is the default condition for targeting new audiences and goes after only those highly probable conversion audiences. The audience, as a result, tends to be slightly smaller but is generally more likely to convert into a customer, especially if you use the ‘conservative’ setting for Auto-targeting. The second way to reach brand new audiences is through the Similar Audiences feature. Similar audiences features requires slightly more initial work up front: creating a new campaign, specifying the characteristics that you want to compare and how much you want to push your remarketing efforts to new audiences but the trade-off is that Similar Audiences can be a very successful step to generating more customers and reaching a great many potential customers with ads that resonate with them.

Everyone wants to be successful. In this age part of that is attracting visitors and converting them into customers. Remarketing is an effective tool to be used to increase a customer base, not only through those that have previously visited your site, but also through finding new audiences that share characteristics with your existing customers. Don’t be afraid to put the work in on the front end to create a great remarketing campaign. You’re guaranteed to see results if you do.