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How Google Remarketing Just Got Even More Remarkable

by Adam Kreitman

Imagine walking into a pet store one weekend to find an assortment of heart-meltingly cute puppies up for adoption. You’re very tempted to bring one home with you but manage to get out of the store with just the package of fish food you originally came in for.

You move onto to other things and put the puppies out of your mind. But, as you drive around town, you start to notice every billboard and bus stop you drive by turns into an ad for that pet shop. And those sad puppy eyes are looking at you wherever you go practically begging you to adopt her.

Pretty powerful marketing strategy, right?

Well, as great as it would be for that pet shop, you can’t pull that off on billboards and bus stops. But you can pull that off for your business online by using remarketing.

Lost and gone forever?

You do the heavy lifting to drive quality traffic to your site through SEO, PPC, email marketing, etc. But most of those people don’t convert. They get distracted. They’re not quite ready to make a decision at the time. Or they otherwise leave your site never to be heard from again.

Remarketing, available through Google AdWords, lets you target those “warm” prospects who left your site without converting and gives you the opportunity to get them back.

Here’s how it works:

Site visitors (no matter whether they come from AdWords ads or any other traffic source) get a little cookie placed on their computer based on the page(s) of your site they visit. When they leave your site, you can potentially have your text, image or video ads show up on any site they then visit that displays Google ads.

Until now, you created groups (known as audiences) based on what page(s) someone visits on your site.

So, for example, if you’re selling Digital SLRs, you can create an audience of people who’ve visited Canon-related pages on your site and run Canon focused ads to them through remarketing.

You could also create exclusion groups so remarketing ads wouldn’t be shown to people who made a purchase or visited the member’s login page on your site (so your remarketing ads wouldn’t target existing customers).

Remarketing just got a whole lot easier (and much more powerful)

Google recently announced that remarketing campaigns can now be set up through Google Analytics.

These changes take remarketing to another level that should have many site owners doing backflips over the possibilities.

First, the code.

Previously, you had to generate your remarketing code in AdWords and manually place it on the specific page(s) of your website you wanted the code on. Plus, if you wanted to target multiple audiences (ie. those interested in Canon DSLRs vs. those interested in Nikon DSLRs), you’d need to generate and place separate codes for each.

Now, you can set up remarketing lists (audiences) by using Google Analytics code that goes on every page of your site. If you already have Analytics code in place, you’ll have to change 1 line of code in order to use it for remarketing, but once that change is made that one code works for all your remarketing needs (changing the code will not cause you to lose any Analytics data you’ve collected previously).

Here’s where things really get interesting…

With the code now being housed within Analytics, a whole new world of targeting opportunities has opened up to advertisers.

Instead of only being able to target site visitors based on the pages of your site they’ve visited, you can now target them based on the wealth of data that’s available to you in your Analytics account.

Here are some of the possibilities with remarketing:

  • If you have Goals set up in Analytics, you can target people who complete specific goals on your site and show them ads featuring cross-sell and up-sell offers.
  • Target people by what page(s) they visit as well as how long they stay on your site (so you don’t waste remarketing dollars running ads to people who come to your site and bounce off after a few seconds due to a low level of interest).
  • If you have videos on your site, you can target people by how long they spend on a page featuring one of your videos and then serve ads to them based on how much of the video they watched (ie. run different ads to people who have watched all of the video vs. those who only watched 25% or less of it.)
  • Target traffic that comes from a particular source (like Facebook, PPC, organic, etc.) with a custom offer.
  • Set up ads based on the operating system a visitor uses so someone on a Mac gets an ad touting the Mac version of your software while PC users see the ad for the PC version.
  • Offer a coupon or other incentive to those who have visited your site multiple times over the course or a week, month, etc. (indicating a high level of interest) but have yet to pull the trigger.
  • For visitors who, for example, spent more than $200 on your site in the last week, you can run remarketing ads that feature a coupon for 25% off their next purchase within the next 7 days.
  • You can also use “Sequence Filters” to create groups based on the sequence of pages that people visit on your website (think along the lines of an e-commerce site where someone visits a category page, then clicks on an individual product, then adds that to their cart, but ultimately doesn’t buy). And with Sequence Filters, you can specify whether the actions in the sequence have to take place immediately one after the other or if they can be spread out over time.

Are you starting to see the possibilities here?

Are you as giddy about them as I am?!

Well, maybe not, but remarketing has proven to be a powerful tool for increasing conversions by targeting “warm” prospects who have already visited your site. And with the integration of Analytics, it’s just gotten a lot more powerful.

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Adam Kreitman

Adam Kreitman coaches business owners on how to make their websites more compelling to their prospects.. and to Google. He owns Words That Click, a firm specializing in Conversion Optimization and managing Google AdWords campaigns for small businesses.Follow him on


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