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Supercharge your AdWords Campaigns with Remarketing for Search

White Shark Media

10 years ago



Remarketing is an advertising form that keeps getting more attention from advertisers on all levels. You have Google’s remarketing
platform and then you have all the AdRolls, Perfect Audiences, Criteos, etc. out there.

Today I will specifically talk about 5 proven AdWords Remarketing Strategies that will get you success with remarketing, specifically for Search campaigns.

You no longer have the opportunity to only create remarketing campaigns on the Display Network, but you can also create remarketing campaigns for your regular Search Network campaigns.

This is nothing new, but one of the less high-profile announcements from Google is the ability to add remarketing audiences to your existing campaigns.

When remarketing for Search first came out, I was one of the ones who jumped in with all my campaigns and duplicated them. All of a sudden, I saw the time spent managing Google Ads campaigns doubled. It didn’t take long for me to realize that this wasn’t a long-term solution.

Add a Remarketing Audience to Your Existing Campaigns


Just like when you’re creating a Display Network campaign, you can add audiences to your existing Search campaigns. An audience can be thought of as a group of people or a target market.

An audience can be several things:

  • Age segment
  • Websites visited prior
  • Shared interests
  • Parental status

Or in this case: Our audience for remarketing is a group of people who have already visited our website.

You can further segment the group (audience) into people who have performed certain actions on your website or visited certain parts of your site. A good example is users who have put something in the shopping cart. Targeting this group of people can be highly rewarding.


Two Different Methods for Adding Remarketing to Your Campaign


You basically have two different types of targeting that you can use when you add remarketing to your AdWords campaign:

  • Use the same message = Same campaign (Bid Only)
  • Use a new message = New campaign (Target & Bid)

When you’re choosing to add your remarketing audience, you can choose to add the audience either as a Bid Only or Target & Bid.

Bid Only = Your ads show for all users, but you can adjust your bid by a certain percentage for the users on your remarketing list (audience).

This is effective, when you identify that users on your remarketing list convert better, or worse, than your regular users. Adjusting your bid up or down will improve your ROI from AdWords.

Target & Bid = Your ads will only show for users on your list. If you add a remarketing list (audience) to an existing AdWords campaign and choose Target & Bid, your ads will only show up for the users on your list.

As an example, if you have 10,000 people on your remarketing list and you choose Target & Bid, then your ads will only show up for these 10,000 people.

With Target & Bid you can therefore customize more things that you could if you chose Bid Only:

  • Adjust bidding
  • Perform ad tests
  • Add new keywords

Just be careful when you add your remarketing audience. The last thing you want is to add a Target & Bid remarketing audience to an already successful campaign and thereby severely limit the reach of your campaign.

5 Strategies to Get More Out of AdWords Remarketing for Search


1) Your Performance Is Better With RLSA = Bid Higher


Bid Only

One of the most basic tactics (and must I say mandatory) is to set individual bid adjustments for your remarketing audience. It’s quickly done and you can get amazing results shortly after.

A client I manage received 3.5 times higher ROI from his remarketing audience than from his regular campaigns. Needless to say, bidding higher was mandatory.

Some recommended steps:

a) Start by just adding the remarketing audience with a Bid Only targeting to all ad groups.

b) Let it run for 2 full weeks.

c) Analyze the data and determine a suitable bid adjustment on the ad group level.

Note that you should analyze each ad group individually to accurately calculate the bid adjustment you should apply. If you just look at the campaign or account level, you might end up getting a bid adjustment that will worsen your ROI instead of improving it.

If your ad groups have too little data for you to make a decision, you can set a standard bid adjustment for your entire campaign.

The bid adjustments for remarketing audiences work just as with location or mobile bid adjustments.


2) Expand into Broad Match Keywords (No, I’m not kidding!)

By using the Target & Bid targeting method, you can ensure that the keywords and ads within an ad group (or campaign) are only shown to the people on your remarketing list.

This means that you can afford to take more risks in terms of using Broad Match. Where Broad Match used to be too broad and show you for irrelevant search terms, when it’s combined with a remarketing list, it makes perfect sense.

Expanding your bread-and-butter keywords to Broad Match in combination with remarketing is a natural first step in getting more out of an already top-performing AdWords campaign.


3) Use Generic Keywords You Wouldn’t Normally Use

Target & Bid

A similar tactic to use with the Target & Bid targeting method is using more of the keywords that you wouldn’t normally think of using. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Are you selling Danish design chair, use the keyword Danish design
  • Are you selling iPad covers, use the keyword iPad
  • Are you selling gadgets, use the keyword gadgets
  • Are you selling hunting equipment, use the keyword hunting

You can use different levels of this. If you aren’t comfortable running the keyword hunting you can use other hunting-related keywords like:

  • Hunting magazine
  • Hunting tips
  • Hunting blog
  • Hunting trips

These searches are clearly only used to find more information. A random person making these searches is not normally relevant enough for us to want our ads to show.

However, when we take the knowledge that these people are interested in hunting and that they have shown intent-to-purchase by visiting our website, we can combine this into a very relevant audience:
With remarketing, you can know the true intent behind a search query instead of solely guessing.
All of a sudden, the guesswork of the past where we tried to decipher what people really look for when they are searching for something is gone. We no longer have to disqualify keywords just because they can have several meanings or because only a small part of the people searching for that specific keyword is interested in buying.

We are moving more towards the targeting methods used on Facebook, LinkedIn and traditional media buys where you target a demographic instead of keywords.


4) Create New Campaigns or Ad Groups, for Your Primary Keywords to Use Different Ad Messages

With the Target & Bid targeting method, you can choose a different ad to show when one of the users on your remarketing list searches for one of your keywords.
To clarify, if you’re selling iPad covers a primary keyword would be iPad Covers. To be a primary keyword it needs to be short, match your product, and have a high search volume.

You can get impressive performance boosts out of your remarketing list by trying out the following ad tests for your primary keywords:

  • Add a coupon code to the ad message
  • Add free, or over-night delivery to your ad message

You normally just need to give the last incentive for consumers to purchase the product from you. They have already visited your website and are still looking for the product that they originally came to your website to buy.

Push them with an extra incentive and you will get in many cases that extra percentage out of your PPC campaigns.


5) Change Your Ad Message for Converted Leads (Lead Nurturing)


Target & Bid

A lot of the tips so far have been focused on Ecommerce advertisers. However, there are plenty of strategies to go after for lead generation advertisers. One of the most interesting tactics for lead gen advertisers is to find new ways to present your offer.

One of the first tactics that you should already be doing is to exclude already converted users from seeing your existing campaigns. If you have a lead in your database you typically don’t want to pay for them to click your ads and convert again.

Secondly, one of the more advanced tactics is to create a new campaign if your buying process allows it. If you sell on the first phone call or shortly thereafter, you might not get much out of this tactic. But if your buying funnel is longer than 7-14 days, this might be worth a try.

Try new ad messages that aren’t entirely focused on your primary goal:

  • Refer to your latest news or awards
  • Highlight client testimonials you’re particularly proud of
  • Introduce white papers

In short, build up your company and underline what your sales staff is pitching to prospects.

This usually requires a high amount of leads. The average campaign can’t use this approach, but if you’re getting north of 250-500 leads per month a campaign like this might be highly efficient.


AdWords Is Moving Beyond Solely Using Keyword Targeting

We have seen several interesting trends from Google lately. They first introduced household income targeting and then Parental Status targeting for the Display Network.

These targeting methods will most likely be available at one time or another within the Search Network. Google is met by constant demands from shareholders to increase revenue from their Search Engine, and even minor decreases in the CPC causes a ripple throughout the press.

By adding more modifiers like remarketing, parental status, household income, age, interests etc. to the Search campaign formula, Google will enable advertisers to bid for informational keywords that they wouldn’t otherwise bid for.

The question is whether or not Google will go this route. It will undoubtedly be a reversal of their mantra of delivering good search results. If you all of a sudden get targeted by hunting ads, just because you search for “hunting blog” then Google might look at people starting to discredit them as a Search Engine.

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