The following excerpt is from Perry Marshall, Mike Rhodes and Bryan Todd’s book Ultimate Guide to Google AdWords. Buy it now from Amazon | Barnes & Noble | iTunes | IndieBound
Have you ever been reading an article online and suddenly noticed an ad there for the espresso maker you were looking at on Amazon a few days ago?
That’s no coincidence. You were targeted by a remarketing campaign. Remarketing is a way to advertise to people who’ve previously visited your website.
By setting up a remarketing campaign in your Google AdWords account, you can reach out again to every person who visits your website, long after they’ve left. In pay-per-click terms, you’ll never have a group of people to advertise to with more potential for bringing you profit than the folks who’ve already visited your site.
Let’s highlight some key steps for an effective remarketing campaign:
Related: 10 Laws of Social Media Marketing
Create your code.
Begin by logging into your Google AdWords account, navigating to the “three dots,” then “Audience Manager” (in the Shared Library section) and clicking the big blue “+” button:
Google will respond by generating a snippet of code that needs to be added to every page on your website. Depending on the size of your site, this may be a bit of work, but it’s a one-time job. Another way to add the remarketing code to your site is to use a tool such as Google Tag Manager (GTM).
You can then do one of two things:
1. Ask Google to email the code to your web developer.
2. Install the code manually yourself.
Once the code is in place throughout your website, every visitor who comes by will have a cookie installed on their computer that automatically tracks which pages they visit during their stay.
Build an “audience” to remarket to.
Your next job is to create and define your remarketing audiences. There are hundreds of different types of audiences you can create based on hundreds of different kinds of actions and behaviors. We suggest you create three basic lists:
- Everyone. Every individual who visits your site, regardless of what pages they looked at or the actions they took.
- Buyers. Everyone who took the desired action, whether it was making a purchase, completing a lead-capture form or something else. Simply give Google the URL of your thank-you page, and anyone who completes an action and lands on that page will get added to this list.
- Interested. These people arrived at your site and visited certain specific key pages during their stay. Again, you provide Google with the required page URLs that a person must visit to qualify for this list.
Create a remarketing campaign.
Now head back to the “Campaigns” screen and click the blue “+ Campaign” dropdown button. Choose “Display Network.” On the resulting page, you’ll notice under “Type” a button for Remarketing. Select it. Now you can choose your bidding strategy and set your daily budget for this campaign.
As you’re waiting for your audience numbers to grow, make good use of your time by crafting your first campaign with ads aimed specifically at your remarketing audiences. Don’t try to shortcut this process by copying your existing Search ads. The audiences you’re creating are highly targeted individuals who need ads that address them distinctly. Create separate campaigns for image ads and text ads.
Pay special attention to the following three areas.
All the major bidding options are available for remarketing campaigns — cost per click (CPC), cost per thousand impressions (CPM) and cost per action (CPA) — but we suggest starting out with CPC. You can change to CPA later on if you’re getting especially good results from your remarketing campaigns.
You should also consider bidding at least double your usual amount. Because these people are warm leads, you can expect a higher conversion rate, which will justify the expense.
Google doesn’t recommend adjusting this for remarketing campaigns. But, if you sell physical products and are only able to reach certain geographic areas, it’s essential that you modify this setting to reflect your target locations.
You don’t want to “stalk” people. Find this option by clicking to expand “Ad scheduling and delivery options,” then set your number of impressions per day, week or month and applied per campaign, per ad group or per ad.
This setting is unique to remarketing and allows you to specify how often any one person sees your ads. If you unintentionally show your ad hundreds of times a day to all the same people, it’ll kill your CTR and won’t endear your brand to anyone. We recommend three impressions per day for image ads, and 10 per day for text ads.
Write remarketing ads that get clicks and conversions
One of the best parts of remarketing is the way you can write ads specifically to people who’ve already seen your products and your brand. Just don’t forget the Golden Rule of remarketing ads:
Don’t be creepy!
Remarketing has been around long enough that most people are now accustomed to it. But, some people are uncomfortable seeing their web browsing habits follow them around from site to site. So never draw attention to the fact that you’re remarketing to people! A giant image of your logo with the message, “Hey, we miss you — When are you coming back?” isn’t smart.
There are two simple methods for getting people’s attention without highlighting the fact that they’re a recent visitor:
- Invite them to take the next action step with you without mentioning any previous steps they’ve taken.
- Vary the ads you show people. Create a wide array of visual ad campaigns and use frequency capping to strictly limit how often each ad is shown on any given day.