How to Set Up Re-marketing: a Step-by-step Guide

Posted 6 years ago in Small Business Tips
by Tim Chaves

As a small business owner, you are always on the look out for new and better ways to stand out in the crowd. Remarketing is a great way to get a second chance with people who have already been to your site. AdWords is the most popular platform for small business remarketing so we are going to walk you through how to setup your first remarketing campaign. You will be able to track visitors, organize them into lists, and tie these lists to campaigns that will invite them back to your site. For the purposes of this guide, I am going to assume that you already have a Google Analytics account setup.

Sign up for AdWords and find the remarketing tag

From the main adwords homepage (not Adwords Express), you can get the remarketing tag by clicking Shared Library > Audiences > Tag Details > Setup > “View AdWords tag for websites.” (I am sorry about it being so difficult to access. Because Google is testing Adwords so often, I can’t guarantee that this is going to be where to find the remarketing tag by the time you read this article.) Place the remarketing tag in the universal footer of your site.

Tie your Google accounts together

Go into your Google Analytics account, click Home > Under “Property”, click Remarketing > Audiences > Create New List > Select the profile > Connect your Adwords account to your Analytics account (ideally they are both under the same Google user) > Next step.
Google Analytics will then have you select a segment. If you are just starting, I would pick “All users.” Give the audience a name and then click “Save.” Google will prompt you to create an Adwords campaign.

Set up your campaign

After you click “new campaign,” you create a new Display campaign like normal but when they prompt you for how you want to “Choose how to target your ads,” select “Interests and remarketing” instead of keywords. Click remarketing.

AdWords will give you script to add to your website that will allow you to collect visitors’ cookie IDs, and group those IDs into lists based on different analytics and demographics (i.e. age, gender, whether or not they clicked a certain button or product category, etc.). Using those lists of site visitors, you can let AdWords know who to advertise to and how.

So let’s say you sell wedding cakes. Maybe you have two hundred visitors click on a link to your most popular white wedding cake every day. Well now that you’re tracking the cookie IDs of all your site visitors, you can make a list of those who have clicked on your popular white wedding cake, and you can have AdWords show a banner with images of that cake to those visitors on other Google-supported websites. In other words, your white wedding cake will be shown on web pages visited by your target audience that accept Google advertising placements.

For example you may wish to target visitors that viewed a particular page or section on your website but didn’t make a purchase or complete an enquiry form. There are a number of advertising controls including the period of time that a cookie ID stays on your remarketing list, impression caps on how many ads per day are shown to an individual and the ability to block ads on certain websites.

To learn more about how to use Google AdWords, check out this Google post here:

*Google recently updated AdWords and upgraded Google Analytics code to allow more options for users. This allows for options like having lists created and managed without needing to place specific code on the website.

Building remarketing lists

Remarketing lists are how you distinguish who you’re going to retarget and what campaign you’re going to display to each group of visitors. Let’s say we’ve just signed up for Google AdWords and we’re building our first-ever remarketing lists. First, we’re going to notice that there’s already a pre-built remarketing list called “All Visitors.” Simple enough. Next, we’re going to build a second list for visitors tied to a specific Google Analytics event. A Google Analytics event could be a login, a sign-up, or a click-on a product or website category (i.e. shoes, menswear, cameras, etc).

Now, every new list that you make will either be tied to a new Google Analytics event, or it will consist of a combination of already existing remarketing lists. For example, you can make a list of everyone who’s in your first list (visitors), but not in your second list (signed up). So your third list could be a combination of lists one and two—people who have visited the site, but who have not yet signed up. Then you can display a campaign to the list 3 visitors encouraging them to sign up.

About Tim

Tim is Founder and CEO of ZipBooks. He keeps his desk really nice and neat.

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