Remarketing has been all the rage for a couple of years now, and with good reason. How cool is it to be able to show a tailored message to people who already visited your website and took (or didn’t take) an action?
And yet, many advertisers weren’t utilizing remarketing due to 2 main barriers: ad creation and site tagging. While Google has pretty much always allowed text remarketing ads, they don’t perform as well, and don’t get as many impressions, as image ads. So, advertisers had to find a creative designer to put together remarketing ads – adding time and expense. And site tagging, as we all know, can be a huge obstacle for advertisers, especially those who outsource their site development.
Well, Google has removed both of these barriers, and now Google remarketing is literally as easy as 1, 2, 3.
Step 1: Install the Google Analytics remarketing tag.
In the early days of remarketing, advertisers had to create individual tags for each remarketing segment or audience, and site owners had to place them on individual pages. As a result, in my experience, few clients were taking advantage of remarketing.
A while back, Google released a revised Google Analytics script that enables anyone who uses GA to create remarketing lists within GA – without additional tagging. If you haven’t installed the new script on your site, do it now!
Once it’s on all of your site pages, you can set up remarketing segments for anything you can measure in GA: all PPC visitors, all visitors to a specific page, people who spent more than 5 minutes on the site, all visitors who put something in the cart but didn’t check out, etc. It’s hugely powerful. You can think up a segment and create it in a few minutes, and boom, you’re ready to go.
Note that if you want to combine segments, you’ll still need to do that in Adwords using Custom Combinations. Still, there’s no additional code to install!
Step 2: Discuss goals with your client or boss.
You’re probably tired of hearing me talk about goals, but it bears repeating: don’t launch a campaign without first getting clear on your goals! Sit down with your client or boss and discuss or review your objectives for remarketing. Are you trying to get repeat buyers? Are you trying to move initial leads further down the funnel? Are you just looking for reach and awareness?
For example, if awareness is your goal, it doesn’t make sense to spend time and money setting up remarketing segments to try to convert shopping cart abandons. Be very clear on goals before you launch any remarketing campaigns.
Step 3: Create ads that match your goals and audience.
Once your segments are set up, you’re ready to build your ads. Just a couple weeks ago, Google released Ready Ads: the ability to create image ads, including animated Flash ads, with a few clicks. All you have to do is enter a page URL, and Google will pull images and copy from it. They’ll show you several different variations, sizes, and options. You have the ability to edit the copy and reject any you don’t like.
While Ready Ads aren’t as nice as ads created by a professional designer, they’re a huge, major step forward from the Display Ad Builder. I tried using Display Ad Builder in the past, and the ads looked like something a kindergartner cut and pasted. Ready Ads are actually quite nice – and you can set them up and push them live in minutes. You can literally think up a message for your audience, and with a few clicks, make a nice display ad!
That’s it! Remarketing as easy as 1, 2, 3. Since I’m feeling so positive and generous, here are 2 bonus tips.
Bonus Tip 1: Use frequency caps.
Frequency caps enable you to limit the number of impressions per visitor for a given time: day, week, etc. Use them, and set them low: 3-5 impressions per day. Trust me, nothing is worse than having a client say, “I’m seeing our ads all day long on every site I visit!”
Bonus Tip 2: PPC best practices still apply.
Don’t forget about basics like ad copy testing, bid management, and daily budgets. Standard display network best practices apply too: check those placement reports! Look at your performance by audience and make sure they’re all performing the way you want them to.
Are you ready to start Google remarketing? Are you already using it and loving it? Got any fun tips? Share in the comments!