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How To Master Google Analytics & AdWords Remarketing

Anna Lewis

by Anna Lewis on 4th September 2013

502 Views | 63 Likes

Video Transcript

Hello. My name’s Anna, and today I’m going to talk about how you can use Google Analytics to make the most of remarketing in AdWords. What is re-marketing? Well, basically it’s a way of showing ads to people who’ve already been to your website. It’s also known as retargeting. It depends on what definition that you want to look at as to which word to use, but I’m going to stick to remarketing.

The way that we do it with AdWords and Analytics is you can use AdWords to show your ads on other websites. These are websites who are opted into Google’s Display Network, so they are able to show any ads from people who are advertising on the AdWords platform using the Display Network.

The way that we show the ads to the people who’ve already been to your site is we use Google Analytics to tag the people who’ve been to your site, and then we can start to show ads to them.

The benefits of this are that these people have already shown an interest in your website, so you’ve got a good audience. It’s also the fact that coming back and targeting these people can be cheaper. Research from Periscopix showed that, on average, the cost per click is 40 pence, and this is actually quite a bit cheaper than you might normally find on the Display Network.

There’s also a much higher chance of conversion due to people who have already seen your site, those who are then remarketed to are 70% more likely to convert than those who haven’t been remarketed to. So this means that you’ve got a really cheap and highly likely to convert audience. So it makes absolute sense to get in there and start showing your ads to these people, bring them back to the site, and get them to convert and make you some good money.

How do we do it? Well, we start with using Google Analytics on your website. I’m sure many people already have that. You’ve got your standard piece of tracking code on every page of your site. All you need to do is change one line in this code. The line of code that you can find, that you need to change, is going to be found in a blog post that I can link to from the transcript here. I can’t really go writing out all the code, that would just be silly. You update that one line of code to include the reference to DoubleClick. That is the name of the Google Display Network platform, and that allows you to then show your ads in that way.

We’ve updated the list. You then need to update your privacy policy on your website so that it actually states to your users that you are using Google Analytics in this way, and that you’ll be using cookies to capture a bit of their data and just to be able to show them relevant ads in the future. Have a look over the terms of service. This is recommended just so that you know what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

Then, the next step is where it gets fun. We’ve done all the admin, and now we start creating lists in Google Analytics. I’d recommend to start with an Analytics profile that excludes your internal IP. That will stop it from showing ads to the people who are actually within your office. If there are any other IPs you need to exclude, like your web developer’s, or your mum, anyone like that, just pop their IP addresses into the filter in the profile to exclude it.

Then we go over into the admin area in Analytics, and under Property, then see Remarketing. Click on that and you get lists. Then you can start creating new lists. Lists come with a certain few things that you need to set up. We’ve got things like duration, that you’ll need to think carefully about. That’s how long you want to keep people on the list for. Once you’ve tagged somebody who’s been to your site, you might want to keep them on that list for just 14 days or something, two weeks, just to retarget to them in that time frame. Alternatively, you might want to keep them on that list for a whole year. I think the maximum is about 500 days, something like that, so it’s quite a long time, about a year and a half. If you want to keep coming back to people and targeting them for different things throughout the year, that might be a good list to have.

But also I would recommend that, of the lists that you create, create each list in a couple of different durations because then you can start to gather the data. If you decide to come back to it later and you want a different date, you will already have started collecting that.

Once you’ve got your lists, they do need to generate users and collect the people for the ads to then be shown to. Definitely start creating the lists as soon as you can.

The main thing to think about with the list is what you’re targeting. At this stage, you need to think about what the purpose of the campaign is going to be and why you want to advertise to these people and what you want them to do.

Once you’ve worked out what product area you might want to look at, or whether you’re looking to have people buying a different product, or special offers, or sales, or anything, or whether you’re going to give people vouchers, then you can look at the lists that you’re creating.

Your lists can be built similar to advanced segments, in that you can select somebody who has visited this page, but also lives in this location, for example. You can combine things together in the list itself, to build a custom combination. Once you’ve got that list, you can then also combine it with different lists in AdWords. You might only need one list that says people have converted, and then you would use that in AdWords. Combine that with, say, a list for all visitors, and we can see a custom combination of people who have been to the site and exclude anybody who has converted.

We’ve got the process here where we create a list. Then we take it to AdWords, and we set up a combination. Once you’ve got your combinations in AdWords, you then take that and you start targeting your lists in a campaign. You can either set up each list to target per campaign, you might have one campaign for each list, or you might have an ad group per campaign. Whichever way you do it, you’ve got to have one campaign for remarketing or ten.

I do recommend actually putting one list per campaign because that gives you a much better control over the budget. You can say, “Let’s give £10 per day to the sale remarketing campaign, but we only want to give £5 per day to the remarketing campaign for anybody who bought red shoes but didn’t buy blue shoes.” Yeah, definitely put them in a campaign.

This is all done under . . . this one is under audience, and this one is under . . . well, you set up a new campaign, and then you can assign the list to the campaign through the display targeting.

The way that you can target the campaigns, as well, is you can choose it to target your combination that’s built through your lists, but you can also use the other AdWords display targeting functionality. You could look at applying interest categories, as well, or age, or gender. All of these just filter it down and make sure that you’re even more targeted.

However, for these lists to run and the campaign to be successful, we need to be targeting enough people. If you’ve got a really high volume of people and your list is huge, that’s when you might want to apply some other targeting methods in order to hone it down even more.

However, if your list is pretty small, you only get a few hundred visitors maybe or a few thousand per month, you’re going to need to wait until you’ve got at least 100, preferably 500, people on your list before you start advertising to them through remarketing. To then filter that small list down even further might leave you with quite a small, restrictive target audience, so it actually might not be very successful.

Do think about your list size. We’re going to say minimum 100 people, [but you should] aim for 500 people. You can see your list sizes. You can get an estimate when you’re building it in Analytics, but you can also have a look at the size as it grows in AdWords.

What we’ve got is how you do it. But why are we doing it? Let’s find some reasons. Let’s think about what you actually want to do. Why might you run remarketing? Well, you might want to increase sales. Okay. So how are we going to do that?

Are we going to target people who have already purchased or those who haven’t purchased? If they’ve already purchased on your website, you might want to sell them something else. We could cross sell. If they bought red shoes, maybe they’d like a red handbag. If they bought an iPhone case, maybe they’d like iPhone charging gadgets, that sort of thing.

You can hone this down by creating a list based on people who viewed certain categories or people who bought certain products, and then you can target to them. In each campaign, if you would have a different campaign for each list, you’d then be able to have different ads in each campaign. Your campaign can be completely custom, and you can have all your ads about iPhone products in one campaign, but all your ads relating to shoes or a discount in another campaign. Cross selling is one method.

We can also focus on people who abandoned the cart. Anybody who got to a certain stage in the checkout process, but then didn’t actually manage to complete and reach the final goal, we can target those people. That’s really good to do as quickly as possible because, if they abandoned it, they’ll still be thinking about the product. Within that day, a day later, within the first seven days is really a crucial time there. If you leave those people for a week and then come back and say, “Well, maybe you should have bought our product,” they might have gone somewhere else by that point.

So, abandonment is good to have a short duration on your list for that. You’ve got people who’ve been to the site, to the cart page within the last seven days, but didn’t convert ever, or, in fact, didn’t convert in the last seven days, because they may have come back, having purchased in the past.

Another one that I think is quite interesting is [the] certain value of [each] purchase. If you have people who’ve spent £20, for example, but you want to push the average order value up, or you just want people coming back to the site and being regular visitors and spending a little bit more over time, maybe you want to advertise certain high value products to these people or you know whether or not they’re high or low value. Anybody’s who’s only spent a small amount on your site in the past may not be as beneficial in the future. So you might want to exclude people who’ve only spent a tenner in the past, because the other people are a much better target market.

You can understand this sort of behaviour from studying the data in Analytics, working out your average order values, creating a few advanced segments to see what the list might look like, what those people do on the site, whether they are repeat visitors, repeat customers, or whether they do just occasionally buy a little thing.

We’ve got value, abandonment, and cross sell. If we were to go a little bit different, we might look at a seasonal product or even an annual product. If you are selling iPhone insurance, for example, you might sell 6 month or 12 month plans. What you can then do is put everybody on a list who buys a plan, and if it’s the 12 month plan, you could start remarketing to them in 11 months to make sure they actually renew their plan with you.

Then, if we come to seasonal, somebody might have bought flowers from you at Valentine’s Day. Well, Mother’s Day is soon after that, and if they’re likely to spoil one woman in their life, they might spoil somebody else as well, so you can target your Mother’s Day ads to anybody who may have bought on Valentine’s Day. Let’s just put those on, seasonal and annual.

Another one to consider is location. If you’re a small shop in High Street, or you only ship to a small area, or you provide a service in a particular county or state, you might want to really hone in on the local people. You can create a list relating to people or just targeting the people in that certain vicinity. That can then allow you to say, “Well, pop in to this store, and we’ll give you this kind of a discount.” Or you could advertise an event and say, “We’ve got a new store opening. Come and pop down on Tuesday,” that sort of thing. That’s a way that you can use local.

Now, [Google] Analytics has the location report, so you’ve got where people are based on their IP address. It’s not 100% accurate, but it can give you some good people on your list because some of it will have the right people.

Another thing that Analytics is really good for is breaking down the technology that people are using. If I put tech up here, what we can consider is, if we’ve got a service for people who use PCs and also we sell products for Mac users, we can then separate them out and create a campaign for each one based on the technology that they’ve used to get to the site. Then we can show them ads that are most relevant to them. Nobody who’s on a Mac wants to see ads for PC software and vice versa. If we separate those out and we use that list in our remarketing, then we can say, “Exclude or include Mac users to promote this product,” which can be quite beneficial.

Other things we’ve got are just standard, people who bought, maybe people who bought something a while ago. We’ve got the valuable people. But if we want to take it outside of that, what we could also do is we could put the Analytics code with the remarketing on it. We could put that elsewhere.

We could actually target our social users. Anybody who visits our Facebook page, for example, we could have an Analytics profile set up for the Facebook page where we tag the page with the Analytics data, so we can start tagging those Facebook users and adding those to a list. Now, then we can start adding advertising to anybody who’s liked us on a social platform, but may not have been to the site and may not have converted. We can say, “Well, you liked us on Facebook, come over and check out the website.”

We could give them offers. We could promote things, because we can have a look at what sort of people that we get on Facebook and see also what they do on the site. We can have a look at that. For that, it’s also quite good to have a look at what people are actually doing before you go tagging these pages. Check whether or not people coming from there can be valuable, and there are social reports in Analytics that can really help with that. That’s a lot of the . . . well, that’s just a few ideas really. That’s not too many.

The next step, once you’ve set these up, so you’ve got your list, you’ve put your combination together in AdWords, you’ve built your campaign. Next we need to optimise it and make sure it does really well.

Now comes the tips. How do we know if it’s doing well? Well, the click-through rate on Display Network, on the Display Network in general is often much, much, much lower than it is on the search network. You’re probably looking under one percent quite often. Depending on your targeting settings, it will be really quite low. Don’t panic when it’s ridiculously low, but there’s a few things that you can keep an eye on in order to just check that it’s going the right way.

The big one, really, is display lost impression share. Impression share is how many of the impressions that you’re eligible for you’ve actually been able to get. If you’re able to target a set number of ads, but actually you’ve missed out in the auctions, your ad is going to get a lower percentage of impression share. This is, then, specific to the Display Network so that you can see how much of the impression share of those ads you’ve lost.

If you look at this relating to rank, this can tell you whether or not you might need to up your bids. Each list or each placement or each ad could have a different cost per click bid. Your bid is what you will pay when somebody clicks it. I wouldn’t recommend using cost per thousand impressions, which is CPM, unless you’re doing . . . well, no, I really wouldn’t recommend it for much really. Cost per click, you only pay when somebody clicks your ad.

So they’ve clicked your ad, but were they relevant? We also want to keep an eye on conversion rate. What we can also do is look at the one per click and the many per click conversions. One per click just counts whether or not that click led to a conversion. Many per click will count additional conversions that came from that first click.

Then there’s another metric that comes into play on the Display Network, and that is view through conversions. View through conversions are when somebody has seen your ad, they’ve had an impression of your ad on a website, but they didn’t click it, but they’ve still converted on your site through another means. They might have come to your site via a different ad or a search at a later stage, but we know that they saw the impression, so we got a view through conversion.

There are some statistics that you want to keep on top of. Try and keep your lost impression share [low], try and get as much of the impression share of the market as you can. Click through will often be low. Conversion rate is often interesting to look at based on an ad by ad basis. Some ads and some landing pages, also, will have different conversion rates, so it’s good to work out which ones.

Another one to look at is the placement report, because this is where your ads are actually shown. Which websites have shown your ads? You might find that your ads are being shown within mobile apps that are completely irrelevant, or it might be that they’re being shown on some really competitive websites, and it’s costing quite a bit for those sites. What you can do, anything that’s irrelevant or that you don’t want to be shown on, you review this report, and then you can just add them as exclusions if you don’t want to be shown there.

If, for example, you want to stop your ads from being shown from the whole category, then what you can do is go all the way to the bottom of the placement report or your display targeting report. There’s a button that says exclusions, so you can manage exclusions under your targeting methods. You can exclude categories, such as crime, dangerous, explicit material, any content that you don’t want. You could also exclude your ads from below the fold or apps. That’s quite a good area to have a look at, is where to exclude your ads from showing.

If you keep an eye on those metrics and you keep split testing your landing pages and your ad text, and also make sure that you use all ad sizes, so if you want to show on a particular website, but it only allows three different sizes of ads on that and you haven’t got all three, then you might not be able to show in one of those slots on the site. If you cover your back and put every size that you could possibly have in every ad variation, then you’ve got a much higher chance of actually being shown.

Also, it’s not all about just images. You can have flash ads. You can also have video ads and also text ads. They don’t just work on the search network, they could also work quite well on the Display Network.

There you have it. There’s loads of things that you can do to optimise your campaign. There were some ideas beforehand, and also just a basic introduction. Hopefully, you can take all of this knowledge now and start making the most of the people who’ve already been to your website.

Remarketing can be really beneficial, so I definitely recommend setting up some lists, waiting until you get enough people on them, then set up your campaigns and see how you get on.

I hope this has been really helpful. If you liked what you’ve heard, then there’s some sharing buttons here. Thank you very much for watching.

Anna Lewis

Anna Lewis

Our resident analytics specialist is Anna Lewis. Anna is unbelievably attuned to anything analytical and can fill you in on all the latest news, tips and advice to get ahead in this evolving market.

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2 Comments

  • Rob Willox 6th September 2013

    Very informative overview of remarketing and encouraged me to delve into a client property using Adwords.

    Unfortunately, the process is not available, yet, for sites using Universal Analytics and given that most new sites will be encourgaged, by default, to use UA it’s disappointing that the two conflict with no date of update/release.

    Luckily, have other clients still on ‘old’ GA who might benefit, at least, in the short term.

    Reply to this comment

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