Koozai > Blog > Remarketing with Google Analytics and AdWords at SMX London – May 2013

Remarketing with Google Analytics and AdWords at SMX London – May 2013

| 4 minutes to read

Anna SMX London 2013At London Search Marketing Expo (SMX) in May 2013 I took part in the ‘Ready, Aim, Fire… Then Retarget!’ session alongside Michael Benedek and Anders Hjorth. My talk focussed on what retargeting is, why it is beneficial and how to get started using Google AdWords and Analytics together.

I’m going to summarise my slides here, and of course there is a copy of the slides for you to peruse at your leisure if you missed the talk or couldn’t write fast enough. I’ve also included the link to the remarketing dashboard that you can use in your own Google Analytics accounts (I just can’t help give things away for free!).

Why Remarketing?

Remarketing (or retargeting, depending on which term you prefer) is the act of targeting you marketing towards users who have been to your site before. This means you are reaching an audience who have already shown an interest meaning they are likely to be closer to converting than new visitors.

Research from Criteo shows that “Retargeted customers are 70% more likely to complete a sale than non-retargeted customers”.

Using AdWords can allow you to set up remarketing campaigns that have a very tight focus relating to what users did on site, this can help you show ads that are very relevant to the user which can help improve results. I like to think that: “the better the targeting the better the results” – and not just for remarketing!

Sounds like an easy win doesn’t it? Well it can be! Just bear in mind that your users have left your site for a reason: don’t retarget anyone who has converted and don’t spam users with your ads otherwise users may never come back!

Remarketing Examples

Effortless Skin Remarketing AdvertMy talk covered a summary of how to get started with remarketing in Google AdWords and Analytics, which I have covered in much more detail in this post: The Full Guide to Remarketing in Google Analytics and AdWords.

For the short version, read on:

By setting up targeted lists in Google Analytics you can then set up dedicated campaigns in Google AdWords for your remarketing. It only takes one code change across the whole site, you can use data from Google Analytics for your targeting methods giving you lots of flexibility and options!

The seven steps to setting it up are:

  • Add remarketing code to your website (bearing in mind the ad blocker issue)
  • Update your Privacy Policy
  • Agree to Google’s relavnt Terms of Service
  • Link your Google Analytics and AdWords accounts
  • Create lists in Google Analytics to gather users
  • Build targeted campaigns that use the above lists and exclude a list of users who converted
  • Wait for the lists to grow and then start your campaigns!

Google Analytics Remarketing Lists

When building remarketing lists consider the following things:

  • What are you going to promote?
  • What do your target users do on your site?
  • Who needs a push to convert?
  • Exclude anyone who did convert
  • Use a profile in Google Analytics that excludes your internal IP address

The ideas for lists that I covered were:

  • Spend Level
  • Seasonal
  • Locations
  • Abandonment
  • Device
  • Technology
  • Cross sell
  • Email Readers
  • Rewards
  • Social fans
  • Researchers

Each of these should give you some ideas, either for the types of user to target (i.e. those who spend over £50) or ways in which you can gather more users (by tagging social media or emails).

Remarketing Ads

I believe there are eight core elements to a good remarketing ad, these are:

  • Call to action
  • Brand Colours
  • Clear information
  • Animation (where the platform allows for it)
  • Tempting offers
  • Relevancy to user
  • Unique selling points (USPs)
  • Eye catching images

Considering these when designing your ads should help you create winning remarketing ads.

remarketing ads labelled

Optimising Your Remarketing Campaigns

Once you’ve launched your campaign, what do you need to do? Well, this little table of suggestions should keep you busy and well optimised:

What to look for: What to do about it:
Monitor automatic placements Add negative placements
Watch Display Lost IS (Rank) Increase bids to improve
Test different ad sizes & types Pause poorest performer
Split test destination URLs Use the dimensions tab to track
Get highly targeted with lists More targeted = More conversions
What is the end goal? Think about this before you start
Create multiple campaigns More targeted management
Create relevant & eye catching ads Send out subliminal messages


Free Dashboard For Measuring Remarketing Campaigns

As promised, here is a link to a remarketing dashboard which you can apply to any or all of your Google Analytics profiles to help you monitor your campaigns:


Remarketing dash

Who Does Google Think I Am?

If you want to know more about why you are being shown certain ads across the internet (not limited to remarketing ads) you can use the Google’s Ad Preferences page to see how Google views you and to edit your advertising settings.

And that’s it! A quick guide to remarketing with Google AdWords and Analytics. If you are looking for more ideas have a look at the following posts. A couple of these are probably also appearing in the related links below, but I wanted to highlight them as they are great to help broaden your knowledge of remarketing and it appears to be a topic that has not been covered in huge depth:

If you have any questions or experiences with remarketing please leave them below;


  1. Santosh Rajan avatar
    Santosh Rajan

    Great post. What I especially appreciated was your take on explaining how we (as marketers) should re-market to previous visitors and use Google Analytics with Adwords. A lot of web analytics professionals use the two tools but rarely so intertwined. They usually go only so far as to link the accounts and track their Adwords and Analytics in one place. This post goes even deeper and has broadened my perspective to other possibilities as i am sure it has for others.

    My team has been developing an Application called GitGrow which simplifies Google Analytics data. I will be sharing this post with our developers so they can understand what the key metrics are for marketing professionals who are running multiple campaigns.

    If its okay, I’d like to mail and invite you to try it out. Please let me know.

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