AdWords PPC Re-marketing – What is it? Does it work?

Published on: 24/12/2019 Last Modified on: 29/01/2020

Re-marketing (also known as re-targeting) is perhaps the most powerful feature of Google AdWords which has the power to boost your conversions dramatically.

Although, due to its complexity, not many users know how to use it, although almost all marketers are aware of it or have heard about it.

In this article, we will discuss AdWords re-marketing in detail and explain how it works.

We assume that our readers have the basic understanding of pay per click advertising or PPC and due to this there is no need to dwell on what is Google AdWords or how it works.

If not, have a read of our guide to Google AdWords management for travel companies.

What is AdWords Re-marketing?

Re-marketing allows you to show your ads to users who have already visited your website or landing page in the past.

Perhaps you have noticed that often you visit a product page and leave it without buying the product.

Soon you start to see ads about that product while watching YouTube videos, or browsing an unrelated blog post.

This happens due to re-marketing as the product page which you visited had a remarketing google tag installed on it which remembers your IP address through browser cookies. And once you leave the website, google remarketing ads will follow you whenever you visit a site which is displaying ads from Google.

With AdWords re-marketing you can not only serve your past website visitors but can also reach users who may have interacted with your YouTube Videos or channel, your mobile apps, and can also target your email subscribers.

Re-marketing itself can be divided into following further categories:

  • Standard Re-marketing

This allows you to show your ads to people who have visited your website when they are browsing websites and apps on the Google Display Network.

These ads are effective for brand-awareness, and make the business appear larger than it may be (due to the perception of advertising reach).

  • Dynamic Re-marketing

This is perhaps the most powerful type of re-marketing as it allows you to re-market to your past visitors in several ways.

With dynamic re-marketing you can show your ads to visitors when they are visiting similar sites.

For example, if you sell golf clubs, then with dynamic re-marketing you can show your ads to a visitor when he is visiting a popular golf site.

A salient feature if dynamic re-marketing is the threshold and time frame features which allow you to show your ads to users who have visited products higher than a threshold on your site or have performed an action within a stipulated time frame.

For example, you can decide to show your ads to visitors who browsed products with a value of more than £100 on your site or show the ad to a user who added some items to shopping cart on your site but didn’t proceed to checkout within last 7 days.

  • Re-marketing for Search Ads

With this you can show your ads next to search results to a person who visited your site.

  • Video Re-marketing

Video re-marketing allows you to show ads to users who have interacted with your YouTube channel or videos.

  • Email List Re-marketing

Google AdWords allows you to add emails of people who have subscribed to your mailing list and with email list re-marketing you can show your ads to these users.

They will see the ad if they are logged into their Gmail, Google Search, or YouTube account.

How it Works?

AdWords Re-marketing is based on the simple concept of showing your ads to your past visitors or customers.

It’s easy to convert a visitor into a buyer if he has visited your site in the past or has shown interest in your products or services.

Very few buyers end up purchasing a product or service when they visit a website for the first time. Indeed, first time visitor conversion rates are in the range of 1-2% according to most studies.

Customers tend to pay more attention to a brand when they see it again and again and this has been proved in several studies and experiments.

Most marketers believe a person must see your brand on an average 7 times before they will buy a product from you.

Others dispute this figure and say that a customer needs to see or interact your brand at least 10 or 12 times to buy anything from you.

Regardless, it’s proven beyond doubt that your product must be in front of your customers several times to convince them.

In marketing terminology each unique interaction with your brand is known as a touch point and marketers have been using this concept to their advantage for a long time.

So, each time a past visitor of your site sees your AdWords re-marketing ad, he is essentially interacting with a marketing touch point set up by you which will remind him again of your product and may convince him to revisit your site to buy the product in question.

How to set up a Google AdWords Remarketing Campaign?

Setting up an AdWords re-marketing campaign is not a difficult task and anyone who has experience of using AdWords can easily set up a re-marketing campaign.

Although like anything else in life, re-marketing also has its own learning curve and you must be ready to spend the time required in learning various features of re-marketing if you are serious about it.

Even before starting your re-marketing campaign, you will need to add Google’s re-marketing tag to your website, which is essentially a code snippet much like other snippets used by different analytics software.

This re-marketing tag will allow google to place cookies on your visitor’s browsers and will allow AdWords to track these visitors when they browse other websites.

Here are some simple steps to help you in setting up a re-marketing campaign:

Step 1

The first thing which you need to do for setting up a re-marketing campaign is set up AdWords tag on your website.

Login to your AdWords account and click on the tools option at the top right corner. After this you will need to click on the “Audience Manager” button, which is located under the shared library option as shown in the image below.

Now, click on the “Audience Sources” button on the left-hand menu:

You will be able to see various tag options which you can use as AdWords allow you to use a Google AdWords or Google Analytics tag for running your remarketing campaign.

But for the sake of simplicity we assume that you want to use an AdWords tag. So, click on the “Set Up Tag” button as shown in the image below:

During the tag setup process, you have the option to customize the data collected from visitors based on your industry.

You can also choose the standard data by clicking the first option listed here.

Although, if you are interested in running personalized ads, then you must go for the second option as shown in the image below:

Just click continue and you will be able to see the AdWords tag generated according to the data collection option selected by you.

It will be similar to the tag shown in this image:

Now, all you need to do is to add this code to your site and you are ready to launch your re-marketing campaign.

Step 2

After installing the tag properly on your site, you are ready for setting up your re-marketing campaign.

Before proceeding to this step, you must make sure that the tag is working properly on each page of your site and you can use Google Tag Assistant for verifying your AdWords Tag.

Now go back to your AdWords interface and once again click on the tool button on top-right menu.

You’ll again need to click on the Audience Manager button as shown in the image below:

Now click on the “Audience List” Option and you will see a large blue button as shown in this image:

Click on it and you’ll see various options such as Website Visitors, App Users, YouTube Users, and Customer List like in this image:

Select Website Visitors option and now you will see the following screen:

When you click on the list member section, you will see the following drop-down menu:

As you can see now you can specify the criteria for your re-marketing campaign and can choose your intended audience.

Here you can select visitors of a page, visitors of a page who also visited another page, visitors of a page who did not visit another page, visitors of a page during specific dates, and visitors of a page with specific tags.

You can target visitors who arrived on your site during holiday season by using the “visitors of a page during specific dates” option as shown in the below image:

You will also have to choose the membership duration for your list once you’ve chosen the re-marketing parameters.

Membership duration basically means the number of days for which someone will stay on your re-marketing list after interacting your site.

You can choose any duration up to 540 days. It’s set at 30 days by default, but you must choose a higher figure of around 60 days or 90 days as some of your past visitors may not convert within 30 days.

After creating your re-marketing list, you can create new re-marketing ads and ad campaigns and set up the budgets for them.

Setting up a re-marketing ad campaign is easy as it’s similar to the normal ad campaigns in most aspects.

Just you need to select the type of ad campaign such as search campaign, display network, shopping, video, or app a shown below:

After selecting your campaign type such as Display Network, select the objective from the drop-down menu as shown in this image:

Now you can choose the re-marketing list which we earlier on created under the “Audiences” section and start creating ads for your brand-new re-marketing campaign.

While re-marketing on Google Display Network, you can create display ads incorporating text, images, videos, and other rich media.

You can easily create your own re-marketing campaign by following the above-mentioned steps.

You can also set up re-marketing campaigns for YouTube videos, and Apps in a similar manner, although covering them is not within the scope of this article.

Don’t forget to use the frequency cap option available in AdWords as you need to take care that a customer doesn’t sees your ad hundreds of times in a day as it will kill your CTR.

Ideally, you must set a limit of 3-4 impressions per day for image ads and 8-10 impressions per day for text ads to ensure that your target customers don’t feel that you are stalking them online.

How Effective is AdWords Re-marketing?

AdWords re-marketing requires a significant investment of time, funds and energy as running a re-marketing campaign is not an easy task due to the huge amount of work involved.

Many marketers often have doubts in their mind about the effectiveness of re-marketing and “Does it really Works?” is perhaps the oft-asked question about re-marketing.

So, now it’s time to consider some statistics and decide whether re-marketing is worth the effort or not.

According to data from Wordstream, which is one of the leading providers of PPC software, re-marketing can increase your click through rates or conversions by 2 to 3 times as compared to simple AdWords campaigns without re-marketing.

Re-marketing is also considered one of the best tools in a marketer’s arsenal for building his brand as customers develop affinity for any brand which they see on a regular basis and this will make your brand easily identifiable to your target audience.

Another advantage of re-marketing is quite low cost per clicks as compared to general ad campaigns.

Wordstream prepared the following table from their customers’ data:

As you can see the costs are quite low as some competitive keywords can cost up to $50 per click or more for AdWords Advertising.

So re-marketing CPC of a few cents or 2-3 dollars is quite cheap from the perspective of ROI.

This coupled with the fact that re-marketing will increase your revenues and sales, means that you don’t need a huge budget for your re-marketing campaigns as in most cases advertisers are able to earn much more through sales than what they have invested in their re-marketing campaigns.

With re-marketing, you are targeting leads which have been warmed up by their previous interactions with your brand and there is low chance of these leads going cold as chances are they are still willing to buy from you.

You can give your business a great chance to prosper by taking advantage of re-marketing as it’s a unique feature which if used correctly, can become your best marketing tool.

Success of your re-marketing campaign will also depend on several other important elements such as the quality of your website and landing pages, your sales funnel, nature of your business, your sales cycle, conversion goals such as increasing brand exposure vs generating qualified leads vs increasing sales, your budget and how much resources you are willing to commit to the process of creating detailed re-marketing lists as these lists are essential for any successful re-marketing campaign.

But if you can create and run a successful re-marketing campaign, then chances of your success will multiply manifold as even an average re-marketing campaign can increase your conversion rates dramatically.


AdWords re-marketing is a unique and wonderful method of marketing which is a must have for any modern marketer today.

It offers the best possible way to reach your past visitors who may still be looking to buy that product which you have.

Re-marketing allows you to increase your conversion rates, build a brand, target your ideal audience, and achieve a better ROI on your advertising spend at the same time.

If you are a retail business then, it’s especially beneficial for you as research has shown that people tend to come back to sites to complete the checkout process if they have abandoned their cart earlier on, when they are shown the ads related to the product which they were initially planing to buy.

It also gives you a way to target a whole range of target audiences as you can customize your ads for website visitors, YouTube visitors, mobile apps and emailing lists.

Few other marketing methods offer the depth and power of re-marketing and even few can claim to deliver laser targeted traffic with a high chance of conversion at such affordable rates.

You can easily design your own re-marketing campaign by following the steps in this article or get in touch with us if you need help as we are one of the leading providers of PPC Management services and also provide re-marketing services as part of our package.

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