The Ultimate Guide to Remarketing with Google analytics- Get started Now.

1. What is Remarketing?

Remarketing helps you to re-engage with your past website visitors who didn’t make a purchase or didn’t do something that is valuable to you. It helps you to keep the conversation going between you and your customers even when they aren’t on your website. It helps you to reduce the cost of marketing by targeting people who are most likely to convert.

2. How Remarketing works in Google Adwords?

When customers visit your website, an anonymous cookie( User Id) or mobile advertising Ids is added to their browser or mobile app. And depending on your Remarketing list criteria customers are added to the different lists. And when these customers browse the internet, Google Adwords serves personalized ads to these users on Google search and Display Network. When customers see ads with some good incentives, they click on them and return back to your website to make the purchase.

Here is an example of Remarketing ad on the wired website. Recently, I visited the Mode Analytics website to learn about their product. I looked at some sections of their website but I didn’t signup for their services at that time. According to the Mode Analytics remarketing list criteria, I was added to their remarketing list. And later when I visited Wired magazine to read some articles, Google display their ads to me. The chances of me converting are much higher because I already showed some interest in the past than targeting customers who aren’t aware of their products.

Threshold for Doing Remarketing –

You at least need 100 unique visitors(Cookies) to remarket on Google Display Network.

And you need 1000 unique Visitors(Cookies) to remarket on the Google Search.

3. Benefits of using Google Analytics for Remarketing.

Google Analytics gives you the ability to create more advanced page level remarketing lists.

Your options on Google Adwords –

Your Options in Google Analytics –

  • In Adwords, you can only create remarketing lists on a page level but Google Analytics gives you the ability to create remarketing lists with almost any criteria that your heart desires. You can use all the dimensions and metrics available in Google Analytics to create your list. The Audience builder has the same interface as you see in the Advanced segment builder in Google Analytics. You can totally go crazy to define your ideal customers for your lists. And with few clicks, you can publish these lists into Google Adwords, DoubleClick, Google optimizes, etc.
  • No need to install Google Adwords Remarketing code on your website. If your Google Adwords account is connected to your Google Analytics account, and Advertising features are on in your Google Analytics account, which usually very simple and only takes few minutes then you don’t need to do anything( Which we discuss later)
  • Recently Google Analytics added a separate Audience(Remarketing ) Report to measure the performance of your remarketing list along with other data in Google Analytics. You can use these remarketing lists as Primary Dimensions in custom reports, or in any other reports. You can also use it as segments and apply it to other Google Analytics reports.

The possibilities are endless, so please use it. It’s for your own good.

4. Different ways to do remarketing in Google Adwords

Standard Remarketing –

Standard remarketing is used to show ads to your past website visitors as they browse sites and apps on the Google Display network. Click here to learn more.

Dynamic Remarketing –

Dynamic Remarketing is the most advanced version of remarketing in Google Adwords. It helps advertisers to customize the ads based on the products or services customers viewed previously.

As it is the most advanced version of remarketing, you might need the help of your web developer to set up it for you. Learn more.

How to set up Dynamic Remarketing with Google Analytics.

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) –

RLSA allows you to customize your search ads campaigns and adjust your bids and ads for the past website visitors when they search on Google and their partner sites. Learn more.

Video Remarketing –

Video remarketing helps advertisers to show ads to people who have interacted with videos on your website or on your youtube channel. Learn more.

Customer List remarketing –

You can also target your current customers by uploading their contact information on Google Adwords.

5. Initial setup for remarketing with Google Analytics –

To get started with remarketing with GA, you need to do two things –

Link your Adwords and Analytics accounts, if not already done( Edit Permission Needed.).

1. Click Admin in Analytics and choose the property you want to link and click Adwords Linking.

2. Click + New Link Group.

3. Select the Adwords account you want to link and then click continue.

4. Turn Linking ON for each view in which you want Adwords data.

Make sure that Auto-tagging is enabled. It will save you a lots time. Click Link Accounts and you are done.

Enable Remarketing and advertising reporting features in Analytics( Edit Permission Needed).

1. Click Admin and Navigate to the property for which you want to enable these features.

2. In the property column, click Tracking Info, then click Data Collection.

3. Under data Collection for Advertising Features, Set Remarketing and Advertising Reporting feature  ON. And click save.

That’s all the initial setup you need to do to get started with Remarketing. If you want to enable remarketing for your mobile app then follow this link.

6. How to create Remarketing List in Google Analytics –

There are two ways to create remarketing lists in Google Analytics.

From The Audience Builder –

1. Click Admin, then Navigate to the property in which you want to create the Audience.

2. In the Property Column, Click Audience Definitions > Audiences.

3. Click + New Audience.

You can choose the pre-built Audiences that Google Analytics had created for all the users or you can click on the “Create New”. you can also import a segment to create a remarketing list which we will discuss later.

4. Click “Create New”.

From this Audience Builder, you can create any advanced Remarketing Lists.

5. After creating the conditions for the remarketing list, click apply. you will see a window like this.

Users over Last 7 Days – It is an estimated audience size based on the number of users who have visited your site or app and who also match your Audience definition during the last 7 days.

Membership Duration – How long do you want a user to remain on the remarketing list. The minimum is 1 day and the maximum is 540 days.

6. Select the destination account, where do you want to publish the remarketing list.

you can publish this remarketing list to AdWords, analytics, DoubleClick bid manager, Google optimize etc.

7. Click ok, then click Publish.

Things to keep in mind –

1. There is a limit of 2000 Audiences per property.

2. you can publish a maximum of 20 audiences to Analytics for standard Google Analytics account and 200 for Google Analytics 360 premium account.

From segment Builder –

You can also create remarketing lists from the Google Analytics segments you are already using or you can create a new one from the segment builder.

1. Click on the + Add segment at the top of the report.

2.  Click + new segment to create a new one. or click Actions > Build Audience, to create a Remarketing list from the existing one.

3. When you click Build Audience, it will directly take you back to the Audience builder and the remaining process is the same as we discussed in the above section.

If you are working on any reports and suppose you want to build an audience from any applied segment. just click on the little drop-down menu button and click Build Audience to make an audience list from that segment.

7. Common Remarketing lists with examples

1. Engagement Remarketing Lists

A. Time Spent on Site –

Every website whether it’s an E-commerce or non-E-commerce should create a remarketing list and goals based on time spent on the site. It will help you to understand things like, how long it takes someone to convert on your website or on which contents people spent more or less time.

How to do it? –

1. First, go to the Audience > overview report in Google Analytics

2. Select Average session duration at the top.

3. Look for the highest point during a month. In this case, it’s 2 minutes and 40 seconds.

4. Now, add at least 50% more to the average session duration i.e. roughly 5 minutes.

Another method – If you want more precise, then

First, Go to the Audience > Overview

then apply the converters default segment in GA to the report.

You can see that it takes on average 7 minutes to convert a customer on the Google Merchandise store. So you can set the 7 min for your remarketing list. But keep in mind that if you have low traffic to your website then setting 7 min will cause very few people to be added to your remarketing list and lose potential customers. I will recommend that in this case, you start with 5 minutes and later change it if required. Here I am going to set it to 3 minutes.

How to create the Remarketing list for time spent on site –

1. First, go to the Audience Builder as described above in the post.

2. Select User and include in the filter.

3. select session duration > 180 seconds for 3 minutes.

4. click Apply.

5. Then Give it a name and select the Lookback days to either 7,14 or 30.

LookBack days- Set a lookBack window of 7,14, or 30 days to specify a time frame for evaluating the behavior that qualifies users for your Audience. For example, if your filter include users from central Asia, and transactions greater than 2 and you set the Look-back window to 14 days, then any users from central Asia whose cumulative transactions exceeds 2 during the last 14 days is added to the Remarketing(Audience) List.

6. Select where do you want to publish this remarketing list.

B. Page viewed Per Session –

Just follow the steps as we did earlier. Add 20% more to Pages/session. In this case, the Pages/session is 4.75( approx 5). So just put 6 or 7 because as we already know that it takes at least 11 pages/session to convert a customer on GMS as we saw earlier.

I am just going to take 3 here because I have an audience list with page/session greater than 5. Change these values according to your need.

C. Count of sessions –

Count of sessions tells you how many times a user visited your website during a given time. I am going to find all the users who visited => 3 on my website.

D. Visited in the Last 30 days –

page – Matches regex – .*

This is used as a wild card in the Regex( Regular Expression). It means match all the pages on the website.

If you want to include all the customers within 90 days, just change the Membership duration to 90 days. The minimum duration is 1 day and the maximum is 540 days.

2. E-commerce Remarketing Lists –

A. Users who dropped out of a Funnel –

1. First, Go to the Conversions > Ecommerce > Shopping Behavior

Here you can see the shopping funnel of your website. Our goal here is to re-engage the users who dropped out of the funnel.

To do that, we need to create a separate audience for each stage of the funnel by including users who exited the funnel at that stage and excluding the users who exited the funnel at the later stage.

Suppose, I went to the Google store and liked this backpack but due to some reasons, I didn’t make the purchase. So, How do you create a remarketing list to serve an ad to all users who see this product but didn’t make a purchase?

1. First I will look at my shopping funnel to understand how it is structured on the website.

2. Then, I will include all the users who viewed this Google backpack page in the first filter.

3. And in the second filter, I will exclude all the users who added this product to the Cart and went for checkout.

Now you can use this Remarketing list to serve an ad to all these users with some kind of incentives to bring them back to your site to make the purchase.

B. Users who abandoned items in their Shopping Cart

This is one of the most important remarketing lists every store owner should use. Because when someone adds a product to the cart, they already decided to buy from you. But due to some reasons like technical issues or high shipping cost etc, they abandoned the purchase. This is a perfect audience to retarget with ads because they are very close to making a purchase compared to someone who only viewed the product.

How to create it?

1. First, include the users who viewed the cart page.

2. Exclude the users who viewed the order-confirmation( thank you) page.

Now, Rather than remove these users permanently when they make a purchase. it would be a better option to add them back to this remarketing list when next time they add items to their cart but didn’t make a purchase.

To do that make this change.

3. Clear the check box that permanently removes users so that they get added back the next time they added the product to the cart but didn’t make the purchase. Keep in mind, removing users using the permanent exclude filter are not yet eligible for Adwords RLSA, DoubleClick Bid Manager, or DoubleClick for Publisher.

C. Users who have converted ( Macro+ Micro outcomes)

This remarketing list include all the users who either made a purchase or completed any goals on your website. This remarketing list also works for a non-e-commerce website because of the inclusion of goals completion with an “OR” condition with the transactions and revenue. A non-e-commerce website like mine does not have anything to purchase but I have created some micro-goals that are valuable to me and I can use this remarketing list to target these users.

D. Current shoppers –

This Remarketing list will add all the users to the list who only viewed products on the websites but didn’t made a purchase yet. And if they come back again to the site and didn’t purchased anything, they will be still in this list until they made a purchase. Make sure to set the Membership duration to 540 days.

E. High-value users – users who spent more than $100

Change the value according to your business.

F. High-Value Users – Users who purchased => to 3 times.

G. Super High-value Users –

The Goal of this remarketing list is to add all the users who have converted recently, who convert frequently and who engage in high- value conversions. These are your’s one of the most important customers, and you should definitely target them with remarketing across every channel and device.

1. First, we will include all the users who visited >= 3.

2. And the transactions is >= 1 see above.

3. Then we will apply the date of the first session “is on or after” to make sure that this list includes all the users who meet the remarketing list criteria on and after Nov 1, 2017.

4. In the final step, we will use the e-commerce filter to include only the users who purchased more than or equal to $100 in the Bags category. If including category results in a very low number of users for this remarketing list, then remove the product category, in this case, “Bags” to include all the super high-value users regardless of the category.

Download link – Other E-commerce Remarketing lists you might find helpful

3. Incoming traffic source List –

A. Users from Organic Search –

In this remarketing List, we are using the Google Analytics Default channel grouping to capture all the users who came from Organic search, whether it’s Google, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, etc.

Similarly, you can create a remarketing list for other Default Channel grouping Like Social media, Paid Search, Display, etc. Just change the name.

B. Facebook Campaigns –

If you want to target users from a specific social channel in this case Facebook.

Facebook Converted users –

This Remarketing list will include all the sessions where a user came from Facebook and purchased a product or completed any useful goal on your website.

Facebook High-Value users –

This remarketing list will include all the users who came from facebook and purchased products that worth >= $100.

4. Remarketing list from GA Demographic data-

You can also create a Remarketing list based on Age, Gender, and interest of your customers and target them through the Google Display Network.

1. First go to Audience > Demographics > Age

2. Click on the compared to the site average button at the top right and select Revenue to quickly figure out which age groups are performing well.

we can see that 25-34 and 35-44 age groups are performing better than any other age groups.

3. Then either click on the any of these age groups to see whether male or female are performing well or go to the Gender report just below the Age report to find it out.

From the above report, we can see that males are performing better than females.

4. Next, Go to the Audiences > Interests > In-Market segments

In-Market Segments helps you to find customers who are actively looking for buying products and services.

5. Then sort the Revenue column from high to low to find out which In-market segments are performing well. In this case, Financial Services/Investment services and Consumer Electronics/Mobile phones are the top 2 highest revenue-generating segments for GMS.

6. Now, we can create a remarketing list based on these findings.

If you want, you can also include the device type, country or anything else.

Download Link – Other Helpful Demographic Remarketing Lists.

8. Audience(Remarketing List) Report in Google Analytics.

You can also measure the performance of these remarketing lists inside google analytics and you can also use these lists as primary or secondary dimensions in various reports in google analytics.

Audiences Report in Google Analytics –

Although I don’t have enough data at this moment but you can still see how my Remarketing lists are performing. I can look at the Acquisition, Behavior and conversion data for these lists to understand their End-to-End performance.

Some of my high performing lists are marked with green squares. You can see that my Direct and social channel lists are performing very poorly compared to the others. And If you look closely, you can see that the average session duration for my converted visitor’s list is approx. 6 minutes. Now I know, how long I have to engage my readers to convert them on my website.

I can also drill down into any list by clicking on it to learn more about them. Here, I am looking at the country report for my Returning visitor’s lists. You can see that returning visitors from India, Israel, and Poland are performing better than any other countries.

Remarketing Lists as Segment –

Another great thing about creating a remarketing list with Google Analytics is that you can use it as a segment and apply it to other reports to gain more insights. You can see above, how I have created a segment based on my remarketing list.

Here I am applying my new and returning visitors lists to my goal conversion report.

9. A/B Testing Remarketing Campaigns –

Yes, you can also run A/B test on your remarketing Campaigns with Google Analytics. To do so, you need to create two or more identical Remarketing lists and run different ad campaigns for each list.

How Google Analytics do this?

Google Analytics randomly assigns each of the users to one of 100 User Buckets. Google Analytics uses the User Buckets Dimensions to put users into different buckets for testing. All you have to do is apply the User Bucket Conditions along with your Remarketing List conditions.

1. First go to the Audience under Admin to create a new Audience as we did throughout this post.

2. Either you can create a new audience from scratch or use your existing Audience list in conjunction with User Bucket to create a new Audience list for A/B testing. I am going to create it from the existing list. Look at the below pic.

All I did is selected the audience dimension and include my pre-built New Visitor remarketing list and applied another filter to create the user bucket condition with a value <= 50.

3. Then click apply and name the list with Test.

4. Then again create a new Audience with the same audience definition except for the user bucket value. This time with user bucket >=50 for the control.

5. Click apply and give it the name “control”.

6. Now create a separate Remarketing Campaign for the Test and Control inside Adwords.

7. Then, let the campaigns run for some time to get enough data for a meaningful comparison.

8. Once you have enough data, create two segments based on the Remarketing Campaign you are running.

Example –

Segment 1 – Campaign exactly Matches Campaign A(with the New Visitor Remarketing Test List)

Segment 2 – Campaign exactly matches Campaign B(with the New Visitor Remarketing Control list)

9.  Now, apply these segments to your Google Analytics Goals overview and E-commerce overview reports to quickly measure their performance as we did earlier in the Post or apply it to any other reports.

Download Link – A/B Testing User Buckets condition lists.

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