Remarketing and everything you need to know about it

Gotraffic author

Matea Viher

12 October 2021 | Google Ads

Remarketing and everything you need to know about it

Remarketing (sometimes called retargeting) is an option in Google Ads advertising that allows you to show ads to people who visited your website or app.

It gives you a tool to reach potential customers who are interested in the offer, but did not convert yet (purchase, send inquiries, etc.) and remind them of the offer with goal of encouraging action.

This is a very useful digital marketing tool if we know that as many as 97% of users leave the page without performing a conversion, and 49% of users review the offer 2 to 4 times before deciding to make a purchase.

By using remarketing, you are preventing users from leaving your site and forgetting about you. Instead you are serving them a constant reminder of what they browsed as they continue their online activities.

Remarketing is very efficient for building brand awareness. As many as 43% of companies use remarketing for just that. This way you reach potential customers while they are still in the early stages of the buying process and give them the opportunity to remember your brand and perceive it as better.

Ultimately, good remarketing will result in more conversions that you define as crucial to your business.

You’ve probably noticed remarketing ads yourself. You visit a specific page and it seems like their ads are following you constantly. 

Now is the time to discover what are the benefits of remarketing for your business and how it works.

You can use as many as 20 banner ad sizes for remarketing, with the possibility of creating responsive display ads where Google will create ads itself after uploading the logo, images, business name, titles and descriptions.

Google Ads displays different formats of your ads depending on the available placements  on its partner sites and portals.

What are the benefits of remarketing?

Reminding users of the offer – users leave your website without conversion for a number of reasons: they had other responsibilities, something has interfered, they browsed casually or they want to take the time to make a decision.

With remarketing, you can stay on top of their minds and remind them of what they were interested in, especially if they haven’t yet decided to buy elsewhere.

More conversions – someone who has already spent time researching your offer is much further in the buying process than those coming to the site for the first time.

Therefore, such users are more likely to convert after seeing remarketing ads. A WordStream survey found that the number of conversions increases the more often users see ads.

Precise audience targeting – remarketing enables the most effective targeting of all Display campaigns because the lists can be set to target users who have performed certain actions on the page.

For example: you have noticed that a large number of users add products to the cart, but they rarely decide to buy. You will then set up a remarketing list that targets only users who have added products to the cart but have not completed the final steps.

High ad relevance – remarketing allows you to serve relevant ads to your audience based on the content they have browsed on your web.

If you are a web store that sells fitness equipment it is possible to target only those users who have browsed the site regarding dietary supplements.

Brand awareness – constantly reminding customers of your business will build a relationship with them.

Researches confirm that the more times a user sees an ad, his trust in the brand grows because he starts to recognize it. He has ‘already seen’ it somewhere and when he is ready to buy, he will be more inclined to choose your solution.

This marketing phenomenon is also known as brand recall, ie the connection of your brand name with the product or service you offer. For example, at the mention of a carbonated drink, most consumers will first think of Coca Cola, and only then of other brands. This means that Coca Cola has a strong brand recall.

It has been proven that brand recall strongly influences the decision to buy, so most consumers from the above example will buy Coca Cola when they need a carbonated drink.

This theory is supported from the psychology point of view, and we know it as a mere exposure effect.

It’s a tendency to like something just because we’ve seen or heard it a lot of times and that’s how it became known to us. This is very useful because it’s in human nature to run away from the unknown and choose what is familiar to us.

By seeing your ads regularly over time, people will remember you and your business, and eventually they will start liking it (of course if the ads are good), which will encourage them to buy from you when the time comes.

How does remarketing work from advertisers point of view?

  1. You need to add a remarketing tag to all pages of the site.
  2. This is followed by creating a remarketing lists. These are sets of recorded site visitors or application users over a period of time. When creating a list, you determine the rules for adding users to the list and duration of their membership on that list. Users will be added to the list a few seconds after visiting the site with a remarketing tag.
  3. After creating the list, it is necessary to create a campaign to which they will be added.

Creating remarketing lists

Remarketing allows you to create specific lists – which means you can only show your ads to a specific audience that you want to return to your page.

The variety of lists you can create is great, and these are examples of the most common lists:

  • all website visitors – it should be used for generic “brand awareness” campaigns and in case you have a page with less content and a limited budget. In that case you should advertise to all users who have visited your website with ads that differentiate your offer.
  • non-converters – for example, you can create a remarketing list only for those users who did not submit a query or make a purchase after the site visit.
  • converters – you can, for example, make a list of users who have bought a particular product and thus do cross-sell to promote other similar products.
  • users who engaged on your website – users who did not leave site immediately, visited a certain number of pages, stayed on the page for a certain time, but did not convert. Given their activity, you can see that they are interested, so you can encourage them to convert while they are in the research phase.
  • users who have visited specific parts of the website – let’s say you are a car dealership that offers vehicle service and sales. It would be good to create special lists for users who have visited service pages and those who have visited sales pages. If you offer products or services that are completely separate, it would be good to create special remarketing lists.
  • shopping cart abandoners – for example, a user added a product to the cart but did not make a purchase. You can serve them an ad that they have not completed their purchase and that they may receive an additional discount if they do so within the next 24 hours.
  • a list of users who have voluntarily given you their information via newsletters or some other form – if they are so interested in your business that they wanted to receive regular notifications it means they are a good audience for advertising new products and services from your assortment. Such lists are added to Google Ads via an Excel spreadsheet.
  • time-limited lists – will target all website visitors or only certain websites visitors within a time frame that you set yourself.
  • repurchase lists – for example, you sell insurance that needs to be renewed every year, so you can create a list of users who have purchased an insurance policy and show them ads calling for renewal after the policy expires.

Remarketing types

Google Ads offers several options for re-interacting with potential customers:

Standard remarketing – the most common type of remarketing that allows ads to be displayed to all visitors of a particular page.

Ads are usually banners or responsive display ads that have the option to upload images, logos, business names, titles and descriptions that Google later combines into ads and displays online.

Standard remarketing is a good choice if you want to focus on a specific product or service, highlight discounts or a specific offer.

It is better for generating queries or selling products and services that require more site visits because decision making is longer.

Remarketing ad example:

Dynamic remarketing – a slightly higher level of remarketing that allows you to communicate custom ads with the exact content users viewed on the website.

For example, if someone browsed multiple models of Nike sneakers, those models will later appear in an ad.

It’s better to use dynamic remarketing if you offer a large number of products or services (e.g. a travel agency with different trips). When you offer more choice, your users are more likely to view more products, and with dynamic remarketing, you can remind them of everything they’ve browsed in just one ad.

Example of an ad for dynamic remarketing after visiting a travel agency website.

Remarketing lists for search ads – a great way to customize your search campaign (bids and ads) for people who have previously visited your site.

It is best to use this kind of remarketing when you want to show your ads to a specific Google search audience, and not to everyone who searches one of your keywords.

Ads will be shown only to users who use the right keyword and are on your remarketing list at the same time. It is a great solution for sites that have a very high traffic, a longer buying cycle and a lot of content on their website.

Video remarketing – show ads to users who have interacted with your YouTube videos.

If you’ve invested time in creating quality YouTube video content that is viewed by a large number of users this is a remarketing list you should take advantage of.

It is possible to target people according to different criteria such as: users who watched any video from the channel, users who watched a certain video, users who subscribed to the channel, those who “liked” some video from the channel, added some video to thei playlist or shared a video from the channel.

Remarketing based on collected email addresses – ads will be displayed to users on a specific list of previously collected email addresses, such as users who have subscribed to the newsletter.

If you are sending a newsletter, people who are somewhat interested in your offer have signed up for it, which makes them ideal potential customers to whom you can advertise a new service or product.

For example, you have a health food store and once a week you send a newsletter to all subscribers about the promotions you currently have, with healthy recipes or something similar. In the meantime, you have decided to include a whole category of new products in your offer – healthy flour (buckwheat, almond, pir, etc.) – and advertise it.

If you choose remarketing based on collected email addresses those ads will be displayed to customers on your newsletter list that you know are interested in healthy food but also in your business.

Tips for successful remarketing campaigns

  1. Start with the campaigns that have the best results

Make a good analysis of your campaigns, detect the keywords and products or services that bring you the best results, and start promoting the products that perform best.

Take the example of a travel agency that has a lot of destinations that it advertises, but only some of them achieve the best results – for example: Italy. So, Italy should be they starting point for remarketing. 

  1. Increase your bids when needed

Not all visitors are the same and equally valuable for business. Determine which users have moved further in the buying process and are more likely to convert, and raise bids for those user groups.

For example, someone who put a product in a cart will find it easier to eventually convert than someone who viewed one page and left the site. Get a high enough budget and increase your bids to those remarketing lists that have the best conversion potential.

  1. Don’t overshow same ads to the same users

Although it has been proven that customers are more likely to buy products and services from brands they recognize, too many impressions of the same ad could have just the opposite effect and turn users away due to the irritation caused by over-showing ads.

Let’s put it this way, nowadays users need to see a message on an average of 20 times to remember it, but 60 could start to irritate them.

Fortunately, you can avoid this by setting frequency capping in your remarketing campaigns.This way, you set a certain number of times a person sees your ads on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis.

There is no one-size-fits-all formula for how much ad serving is optimal, so you’ll need to see what works best for your business. It’s best to start running your ad 3 times a day and leave it until you have 1000 clicks.

Only after that it’s the time to check your results. Check how much your CTR is, and pay special attention to conversions – whether you’ve achieved some and at what cost.

If the results are good you can raise the number of impressions to 7 per day and revise the results again after 1000 clicks. If you run two remarketing campaigns, try reducing the number of impressions on one and increasing the number of impressions on other to see different user reactions.

It’s also important to be creative with your ads. If a user is constantly seeing the same ad that follows him everywhere they will soon start to ignore it. Make sure you always have a minimum of two versions of your ads (ideally and more) and that your ads communicate the various benefits.

  1. Be careful not to retarget customers who have recently converted

If a user already sent an inquiry, there is no need to show them ads in order for them to contact you. Save your budget and exclude users who made conversions when it makes sense. 

You can achieve it by adding a burn pixel to the page that users see after the conversion (e.g. thank you page). After adding this line of code, all visitors who see the page to which it has been added are automatically removed from the remarketing list.

  1. Create ads according to your remarketing lists

The more relevant are your ads, the more likely users are to click on your ad and convert.

It doesn’t make sense to show a general ad for your business to someone who has put products in the cart. It’s better to attract them with an ad that offers a certain discount using the code from the ad.

On the other hand, you won’t offer discounts to those who have viewed only your first page. Show them ads related to your entire business to introduce them to the brand and build trust.

  1. Send users to a landing page that matches your ads

The landing page should look similar to the ad that users saw so they know right away that they are in the right place. 

And in terms of content, it should be an extension of the ad – goal is to expand the information from the ad, while keeping the same tone and call to action.

Avoid leading users to the front page because specific landing pages increase relevancy and deliver better results.

If you haven’t used remarketing before, be sure to consider implementing it because with a small investment you can get more conversions, increase revenue, and build a relationship of trust with your customers.


  • remarketing allows serving ads to users who have visited a website or application
  • it is very useful in reminding and re-engaging potential customers
  • it is ideal for building brand awareness so you can increase your credibility in the early stages of purchase
  • enables precise audience targeting and thus high ad relevance
  • positively affects the number of conversions
  • there are several types of remarketing
  • the lists you can create are diverse and creative
  • It is good to follow proven practices to make remarketing as successful as possible

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