Building Remarketing Lists & Audiences

PPC Blog 28th Nov 2012

Hi, I’m Sam. Today I want to talk to you about remarketing. Remarketing is a relatively new service offered by Google, and previously you could only set this up via your Google AdWords account. It was quite clunky, and you had to just put different pieces of code on different elements of your site in order to start building up the audiences.

Recently Google have made it a lot simpler, and you can now actually set up remarketing directly from within your Google Analytics account or from within your Google AdWords account. If you’re going down the Analytics account, you’ve simply got to make a small change to your Google Analytics code that goes on every page of your website, and if you want to use AdWords, they’ve now made that even simpler again by just putting one extra piece of code on every page of your site and then you can set up lists accordingly.

So remarketing, remarketing allows you to basically track all of the people that come onto your website and perform an action or a goal or visit a certain page of your site, and you can group all those people together into lists, which are called remarketing list or audiences. From that you can then look at that data and decide to display a display ad following them around the Internet targeted based on basically what they’ve done on your site. So you can get really, really targeted on this, and the traffic at the moment is relatively cheap. Much cheaper than what you get on the actual normal paid search network, and you can get really good converting customers off the back of this.

So what I want to talk about today is a bit about the different types of lists that you can create, because most people that are setting this up are just going with the simple “let’s put your code on every page of the site” so where you’re targeting all of your site visitors. Now, this is great if you’ve got a small site or you don’t offer too many products or services and you can literally just follow all the people around that have been on your website and follow them around the Web. But you can actually get really targeted. So that’s what I want to go into a bit more detail on today.

So converting customers, whatever list you set up, you want to set up a list that’s also going to be tagging your converting customers so that you can either (a) follow them with ads and try and upsell them or sell them a different type of service or product, and (b) you can discount them out of every other list that you set up, because if they’ve already converted with you, you might not want to follow them again. So that’s your converting customers.

Next up on the list I want to talk about is abandoned shopping carts. Now if you’ve got an ecommerce platform, a lot of the time you’re going to see a high dropout when people have put things into their shopping cart. They get halfway through the process, and then they stop. But they’re already in that mindset that they want to buy, so you can actually tag your shopping cart pages, and if somebody then drops out, you can start following them around with really specific ads based on the actual product that they looked at.

So this happened to a colleague of mine when he was looking to buy a mountain bike. He went onto a website, looked at a specific mountain bike, decided to leave the site, and then every day he was then followed around by the company with the exact bike that he’d looked at, and in the end it actually did result in a purchase. So this is a really good one to set up.

Next up, if you’re using the Google Analytics set-up, you can actually segment your traffic by traffic source. So typically, if you get traffic coming in from your paid search campaigns, affiliates, or from organic or direct, they’re going to typically interact with your site slightly differently. So you can now actually set up tailored ads based on the traffic source or medium that the visitor landed on your site from and start following them around with ads.

Time of year: especially if you’re say a florist and you’re really busy at Christmas, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s Day, you can start tracking the date that people come onto your website. Let’s take Valentine’s Day for an example. If you’ve got a group of people that you know came onto your site towards the end of January and the 14th of February, they’re most likely going to be looking at your site, because you’re a florist, to actually send flowers to their partner. Now, the following year what you can then start doing is remarketing to those same group of people that bought from you or viewed your site in the previous year, and start following them around with ads. This can be exactly the same with lots of different products or services if you’ve got any kind of a seasonality trend within your products.

Products and services: this is a really, really clever way that can get a little bit time consuming to set up, especially if you’ve got lots and lots of products or services. But one example that was really great for me was Karen Millen, and it’s a dress shop that I look on quite often and it’s one of my favourite shops to buy dresses from. Now, when I went on their website, I actually looked at three different dresses, and I left the site. Within a couple of minutes, I’d gone onto the train line (website), and there was actually an ad on there that contained the three dresses that I’d already just looked at on Karen Millen, and that ad kept following me around, and like my colleague with the mountain bike example, I actually did buy the dress from Karen Millen. So you can do this and you can go down to a real granular level so that you’re actually showing them the specific products that they’ve searched for or looked at on your site and follow them around with ads like that.

Finally, there are lots of other things that you can do with remarketing. But I’ve picked some of my favourites here, and the final one that I want to look at is member areas. If you’ve got a website that allows members to login, they might have somewhere where you’ve got an ecommerce platform and they login to check where their purchase is or whatever sort of member area you’ve got, you can tag those pages and start following your already pre-existing customers around. Follow them around with an ad and see if there’s any other relevant products or services that you want to upsell them to and start following them around with those ads, and then voila, you’re going to get a purchase off the back of your remarketing campaigns.

This is really, really easy to set up now that AdWords and Analytics have converged and joined together on this. I have written a couple of blog posts on remarketing. So if you want to check those out for more details or if you’ve got any questions, sort of drop a comment at the end of this post.

What do you think?

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