What Are Remarketing Lists for Search Ads?

PPC Blog, Google AdWords 23rd Jul 2014

Koozai > Koozai TV > What Are Remarketing Lists for Search Ads?

Hello. My name’s Tara, and today I’m going to be talking to you about
remarketing lists for search ads.

So, what are remarketing lists for search ads? Well, they’re a way of
tailoring your bidding strategy and your search campaigns based on how a
user has already interacted with your site. For example, you might want to
exclude people that have already converted or perhaps adjust your bids
based on how likely they are to convert.

Remarketing lists for search ads work in a similar way to standard
remarketing, but obviously you don’t have any image ads, and they work
within your search campaigns. So you still have keywords and all your other
targeting in place. To use them, you need to use the AdWords remarketing
tag rather than the Analytics remarketing tag, and you’ll need to have over
1,000 visitors on your list before they’ll work.

So now I’ve talked a little bit about what they are and how they work,
let’s look at some ideas of when you might use them. So a really nice one
is to increase visibility when you think someone’s close to purchase.

So you could create a list where you know you’ve got on that list people
who have visited your shopping basket page, but haven’t visited your
purchase confirmation page. So they’ve looked at the basket, they’ve added
something to it, but maybe they haven’t completed the purchase yet. These
people are more likely to convert later down the line. Perhaps they were at
work and browsing and wanted to finish the purchase when they got home. Or
perhaps they were browsing on their tablet and then are going to make the
purchase on their laptop later on

So you know these people are close to purchase. You could then apply this
list to an existing search campaign and adjust your bids so they’re
slightly higher for this audience. What this would mean is that you would
have a great ad position when these people are searching. It’s worth paying
more for that ad position because those people, in theory, are more likely
to convert.

You can exclude converting visitors. This is a great idea if you are a lead
generation site and once you’ve captured someone’s details, they’re not
valuable to you anymore. Obviously, if people tend to submit multiple
inquiries or might need you at other stages during the purchase process,
then it’s important not to exclude them. But if once you’ve got their
details, you don’t want to show yours ads to them, you can create a
remarketing list for search ads list that will exclude all converting
people from your current search campaigns, and that just stops you wasting
impressions that perhaps wouldn’t get clicked and also just wasting ad

If you want to encourage repeat purchases, a great way to do it with
remarketing lists for search ads is to tailor your ad text so that it
offers some kind of incentive. For example, “Thanks for being a loyal
customer. Here’s 5% off your next purchase.” You do this by applying the
remarketing lists for search ads in its own unique campaign.

You can tailor your ad messaging in other ways too. So if you know that the
person has already purchased or is close to purchasing, but hasn’t quite
purchased, you could adjust your ad text so that it offers some kind of
incentive for them to complete the purchase or gives them some kind of
reassurance. So your ad text might emphasise your easy returns policy or
the fact that you’ve got 28 days to return something.

You can use remarketing lists for search ads to bid on things that you
wouldn’t normally bid on. For example, say you’re a mobile phone retailer
and someone has bought a mobile from you. You might not normally bid on
mobile phone cases because they’ve got a low return. But because you know
that this audience has already purchased from you and is quite likely to
purchase again, because you’ve already built up trust and a relationship
with them, you can bid on terms like “mobile phone cases” and show those
ads purely to people who have already purchased from your site. So this way
you can reduce the wastage of just targeting such a generic term to a wide
audience because you know that the audience you are targeting have already
purchased from you and are quite likely to upsell and buy a mobile phone

So if you don’t normally use AdWords because the ad spend just doesn’t seem
justifiable, remarketing lists for search ads is one way to make it more
justifiable. With remarketing lists for search ads, you’re not just
targeting users who have come to your site via AdWords. They could have
also come to your site via organic traffic or any other traffic source.
Because of this, you can build up a really good list without even using
AdWords, and then you could use AdWords with remarketing lists for search
ads to only target people who have already visited your site because you
know they’re probably closer to purchase.

For example, if you rank really well for “digital marketing agency” and
that’s something people might use at the start of their search, but you
know that you don’t rank so well for something a bit more niche, like “SEO
specialist,” you could use remarketing lists for search ads to advertise on
the term “SEO specialist” to users who have already visited your site
previously. So though that term would normally be really expensive and
might not convert that well, you know that that user has already seen your
site and perhaps they’re further down the funnel now and ready to purchase.

So those are just a few ways to use remarketing lists for search ads. There
are a lot more things you can do with them. If you’d like more information
on setting them up, feel free to follow us or contact us on any of the
following social profiles.

What do you think?

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