Also called retargeting, Google remarketing is the technology that enables your Google Ads to follow potential customers as they move across the internet. When a user visits, a small snippet of code (remarketing code) on your website adds them to a remarketing list. Then when they visit another website that uses the Google Ad network, they are served your ad. Google allows you to customize who sees your remarketed ads. For example, you can prioritize new or returning customers.
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Did you know that 97% of people who visit your site for the first time leave without buying anything? That’s because they need to feel like they know you first. Google remarketing ads help bring those back who visited your website them back—and improve your digital marketing and bottom line.
What is remarketing?
Remarketing is ads or follow-up emails you get from a business after you check out their site but don’t make a purchase.
But not all of those people who have visited your site disappear because they're disinterested in what you have to offer. Maybe they’re taking time to think about it, aren't sure if they want to spend the money, or ran out of time to shop.
Remarketing lets you reach out to these past visitors, offer them a targeted incentive, and hopefully convert them into customers.
How does remarketing work?
When a person visits your site, they’re showing an interest in your product or service. Remarketing reminds them of what they already need or want. It’s important to understand how remarketing works so that you can build your brand’s visibility with the right remarketing strategy aligned to your online marketing efforts. Here is how google remarketing works:
It lets you personalize incentives.
When you promote your brand or offerings, you can remarket to your prospects no matter how far along they’ve gotten.
For example, if a shopper leaves before actually clicking through and reading anything, you can recapture their curiosity with an ad that highlights a service you provide. If a potential customer puts an item in their cart but abandons it before checking out, you could send them a promo code or free shipping offer to make the item more affordable.
Remarketing is cost efficient.
When compared to traditional paid advertisements, Google remarketing ads with retargeting campaigns cost much less to reach the same audience and can be highly cost effective to online advertisers.
The Google Display Network is a popular platform for remarketing campaigns. When you place an ad there, a 2018 analysis shows that you pay approximately $2.28 to reach 1,000 viewers. When you buy pay-per-click ads on Google's search result pages, it costs $35.09 to reach the same number of people.
For remarketers, that saves more than $32 per 1,000 views.
And it drives results.
One survey found that about 75% of consumers noticed that they were being retargeted.
But more importantly, people respond to them. According to a personalized retargeting company, the average click-through rate for a Google search ad is 0.07%, while the average rate for retargeted ads is 0.7%. Not only that, users who click through are 70% more likely to convert and become customers.
How do you get started with Google remarketing?
To start with a Google remarketing campaign, you need to have a Google Ads account. You can also use Google AdWords, but the steps are slightly different. (Google AdWords remarketing is just the older version of the remarketing that now happens on Google Ads, the engine's new marketing tool.)
Google will assign you a tag to place on all of your site's pages. Once it's there, it’ll start collecting data about your visitors.
You can direct your Google remarketing tag to collect data on a particular user action to target audiences (also known as remarketing audiences), such as a mailing list signup or search for a particular product. You can then use this information to create lists for particular remarketing campaigns.
It’s important to set your remarketing goals to align with your marketing strategy. If you want to send free shipping offers to everyone who bounces out with items in their cart, for example, you can create an audience for that segment. You can then design an ad to highlight your offer, and Google will display it to the specified audience.
What are the advantages of remarketing through Google?
Google isn't the only company doing remarketing. Its closest competitor is Facebook, which runs its retargeting system similar to Google's through Facebook advertising. The tag on your website sends user information to Facebook, and visitors see your ads on their news feeds. Here are the perks of using remarketing on Google:
Its reach is broader.
Facebook can work well for businesses that depend on social capital, but its uses as a remarketing tool are limited. If your users aren't on the platform, your ads won't reach their audience.
The Google Display Network includes more than 2 million websites all over the world and reaches 90% of internet users. In comparison, less than 27% of all internet users are on Facebook.
It’s more customizable.
With the Google Display Network, you're more able to customize your remarketing campaign. If your cart-abandoning shopper is interested in baby clothes, for example, you could place your ads on children's apparel websites or create an audience segment of parents who have small children.
In addition to demographic data, the network also lets you customize your ads based on:
- Different devices
- Mobile apps
- Entire countries or certain geographical areas
- Names of locations used in Google searches
These allow you to target your ads on multiple levels. For example, if the infant-clothing shopper is walking through a neighborhood where you have a brick-and-mortar store, you can have Google display your ad when they open up an app to check the weather.
You can track ad performance and refine customization with Google Analytics.
If you have Google Analytics, you can add tracking codes to your Google Ads campaign and see how your remarketing efforts are doing. If some are performing particularly well, you can invest more in those channels and save yourself money on the others. And if your remarketing efforts aren’t performing well, then you can figure out how to shift your marketing priorities to fix them.
Analytics can also help you customize your remarketing campaigns even further. You can go into your account to enable demographics and interest reports to find out what the people who respond to your ads have in common. You can also use this feature on your website, which doubles your opportunities for ad targeting.
As an example, say you enable Analytics on your site and find that many of the people who leave before making a purchase are under 30. You decide to post offers on sites targeting that demographic, and Analytics tells you that certain sites get better response rates. The next time you target that age bracket, you can focus on those sites and improve your return on investment.
You can also add a UTM, or Urchin Tracking Module, to your URL. A UTM is a code that allows you to track a particular campaign—and even particular content—within that campaign.
If you're remarketing to people who visited a product page, for instance, you set up a UTM code to see how many of those users respond to that campaign. You also want to track whether free shipping or a discount is more effective. Adding content UTMs to both offer types lets you see if free shipping gets more conversions.
You can customize your ad design.
Google lets you select your ads’ graphics and content, which allows you to maintain the integrity of your brand voice and image. This flexibility gives you more control over how your marketing campaigns look, both within individual ads and across whole campaigns.
The ad-building tool is user friendly.
Google's Display Ad Builder allows you to:
- Choose the layout, color scheme, and content of your ads
- Use your own pictures or choose free stock images
- Create and update ads in a matter of minutes
Even if you're not a professional designer and don't have the budget to hire one, you can still create custom ads for all of your remarketing campaigns. That's particularly important if you send multiple messages to a single user and don’t want them to see multiple versions of the same ad.
Google tends to be more cost effective than other remarketing channels. For each individual sale that your campaign makes, you're spending less overall.
The median cost per click on the Google Display Network was $0.56 in the last quarter of 2018. That's the middle-of-the-road price whenever a viewer clicked on a paid remarketing ad. In contrast, the cost per click for standard Google Ads was $1.33 at the end of 2018. That's a $0.70 drop from the third quarter, but it's still $0.77 more expensive than a remarketing ad.
We see similar results if we consider an average instead of the median. If the average cost of a pay-per-click ad on a search engine results page is between $2 and $3, the remarketing ad costs between $0.25 and $0.60. Prices can vary between industries, with more competitive niches being more expensive.
Brand recognition is free.
Brand recall and recognition are hidden benefits of remarketing. When prospects see your ad, it reminds them of the products or services that they wanted to buy. Those viewers will then be more likely to think of your brand when they remember their need or want.
And because you only pay when a user clicks, that publicity costs you nothing.
Turn your website visitors into customers
Now that you know the basics of remarketing, you can start following up with people who visit your site but leave before buying anything.
Not only does remarketing offer better conversion rates than traditional pay-per-click advertising at a lower cost, Google Analytics can help you harness your data to develop effective marketing campaigns.
When the Google Display Network shows your remarketing ads on millions of sites across multiple countries, it can build brand awareness, bring customers back—and generate more revenue.
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Google Remarketing: FAQ
In the world of marketing, timing can mean everything. Haven't we all been there? About to walk away from that beautiful vehicle or stylish outfit, when at that very moment the salesperson approaches? How many times in that moment of weakness and want have we caved, jumped on, or pulled the trigger on that purchase?
Welcome to the heart and soul of Google remarketing. Ideally, marketers want to be ready to intervene every time someone considers a product or service. While we can't be there for every opportunity, options such as remarketing Google Ads places marketers in the right place at the right time - and more often too.
That is also why remarketing Google ads is worth the time and effort to understand and employ in every campaign. Here are a few of the more frequently asked questions regarding Google remarketing.
Is Google remarketing free?
The question every marketer must consider is cost. Is Google marketing free? Well, yes and no. If you are currently using or plan to get an online advertising campaign started on Google, then the tools for remarketing Google Ads already exist. The actual cost of Google remarketing will vary depending on campaign features.
The great news is that Google Ads is one of the most cost-effective online marketing tools. The value of Google retargeting ad strategies also offers highly-affordable cost-per-click rates, which are often a major consideration in small business marketing campaigns.
What is the difference between Google remarketing and retargeting?
The terms remarketing and retargeting when discussing remarketing Google Ads are essentially interchangeable. If there is any particular distinction, it is that Google remarketing is a blanket description of Google Ads. Google retargeting, however, is more closely tied to dynamic remarketing techniques.
In any event, these terms are typically acceptable when referring to any aspect of Google remarketing or retargeting, as the case may be. So, if you are an online advertiser and place a tag on a Google Ad, you can call it Google remarketing or retargeting.
What are the different types of remarketing?
When referring to Google remarketing, there are two types of remarketing Google Ads strategies. One type of remarketing is standard remarketing. This method employs the basic remarketing techniques.
The other type of remarketing or retargeting is dynamic remarketing. Dynamic marketing is like standard remarketing on steroids. This type of Google remarketing integrates a more personalized and targeted method of remarketing Google Ads.
How do I create a Google remarketing ad?
To use Google remarketing, you must first be advertising online or get set up with Google Ads. Once you have created an ad, attach a tag to it. These tags also use remarketing code that allows user input, and can be defined to target specified items and or marketing priorities.
After visitors leave the site, these tags will track your visitors, displaying your Google remarketing ads while they continue to browse the internet. In dynamic marketing, advertisers can define Google remarketing tags to display more personalized ads based on user activity. That keeps your brand and name at the forefront, and the products and services that interest your customers too.