Going beyond the standard "All Users" 30 day audience can help your PPC remarketing campaigns perform significantly better. Most advertisers get okay or poor performance from these Pay-Per-Click campaigns because they simply are not applying the advanced remarketing strategies for Google Adwords. Here are some of the expert strategies to implement in your PPC remarketing campaigns to get more conversions, cut out wasted spend, and get better results overall.
Expert Tips for Optimizing Your PPC Remarketing Campaigns
Create Remarketing Audiences Other Than 30 Days
The default is a 30 day cookie for a standard retargeting audience. However, you can have a wide range of time frames, even up to 540 days max. We recommend testing 3 day, 10 day, 30 day, 90 day and 365 day in some cases. You might also want to try a data management platform that may be able to help you gather information on your audience.
For your ppc retargeting campaigns, you can separate each audience into separate campaigns with different Frequency Caps on viewable impressions per day (higher impression cap in the beginning, less for 90 or 365 day audiences.) Most advertisers tend to do anywhere from 3-10 impressions per day for Frequency Caps. Or you can separate by ad groups (more aggressive bidding for recent website visitors, lower bids for website visitors that haven't been to your website in a while.) This will help you go beyond the basic remarketing setup.
Separate Remarketing by Channels
If your website receives a large amount of traffic from a range of sources, you can separate remarketing audiences in Google Analytics by traffic source – campaign, medium, source, or keyword. For example, if your company runs a lot of organic (non paid) Facebook social media campaigns, you can create a separate audience for the Traffic Source of Facebook.
This can be useful for separating different interest levels or website visitors that are in different stages of the sales funnel, since it is likely your social media campaigns are not hard-sells like your paid search campaigns. Typically businesses post blog content to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Reddit, and other social media channels to drive more traffic to their website in general, or as part of a content marketing campaign. This traffic is likely lower interest, but still good traffic overall. Remarketing ads can be matched with these specific audiences that are probably not quite ready to buy, but are shopping and have shown some level of interest in your product or brand.
This is also useful if you do a lot of contests or fun social media posts that bring in a lot of low-interest website traffic from people just trying to win the contest or view entertaining content. You may even consider blocking these audiences if you know they are separate from potential buyers.
Separating Organic website visitors can also be beneficial to help close the deal with a remarketing PPC ad and compliment your SEO efforts – because SEO, Social, and PPC should all work together for better results from your overall digital marketing. Typically the customer journey involves many touch points, with internet marketing, these many touch points can all work together for a better overall strategy. This is true no matter what is being advertised, from general goods everyone has an interest in, to a niche website that needs the extra boost to get into the public eye. It is recommended not to silo each different online marketing channel.
High Average Session Duration
This can be used as its own audience or layered as a secondary condition on an existing audience (all remarketing audiences can have multiple conditions.) Setting a Session Duration to at least 10-30 seconds ensures that you are not wasting budget on remarketing ads in Google to people that were on your website for 1 second and then left.
Viewed More Than 1 Page
Separating an audience that viewed more than 1 page on your website helps optimize your remarketing campaigns for better results because it cuts out low interest visitors that left after viewing only 1 page. This does not work well if you are using landing pages for your PPC campaigns (since you likely only have 1 page to view.) This type of remarketing typically works well if you have a lot of content or you have an e-commerce website with many product pages to view.
Block Job Seekers
If your website has a "Careers" page, blocking visitors that viewed this URL can save you some budget and wasted impressions on website visitors that were seeking employment, not potential buyers.
Remarketing Audience for First Time Visitors Only
First time visitors to your website can be very valuable. To make sure they come back to your website, create a separate remarketing audience just for New Users. If you want an even more advanced remarketing strategy - add 2 layers to this audience. The first being "New Users" the second being the specific Source. For example, you could use this to have specific a remarketing PPC ad for users that first found your website through a Facebook campaign.
Different Audience for PPC Ad Clicks
By adding a separate audience for anyone that comes to your website by clicking a PPC ad, you can then retarget them with a DIFFERENT ad, since they have obviously seen your original PPC ad or have already clicked on your ads before. Advertisers commonly use this to show discounts or sales to previous visitors of their website to help close the sale.
Block AND Target Past Converters
Most Search Engine Marketing campaigns know to setup an audience for anyone that converted (filled out a form or made a purchase) so they can block them from continuing to see remarketing ads. However, an advanced tip for remarketing campaigns would be to create a unique ad for TARGETING past converters that encourages repeat business or up-selling. For e-commerce remarketing ads, you know a past converter likes your products since they have already purchased, why not target past buyers with sales, special promotions, or new and exclusive products? People that have completed a purchase or conversion on your website already have a high interest and have taken the first step, why not create a unique marketing campaign just for them?
If your e-commerce store has enough sales and traffic, you can even setup remarketing audiences based on number of transactions or how much the website visitor purchase total was. This is a great way to target frequent buyers with coupons, or target buyers with larger budgets.
With an online store, you also have the option for Setting Up Dynamic Remarketing. This allows your remarketing ads to show users their most recently viewed products, instead of a standard remarketing banner ad.
Exclude Remarketing Audience from Non-Remarketing Campaigns
If your goal is to only have new visitors come in from your standard, non-remarketing campaigns, you should add your remarketing audiences as an exclusion to your standard campaigns. This way, remarketing campaigns focus on previous website visitors, and all other campaigns focus on new website visitors to avoid crossover.
RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Ads)
For a true RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Ads) campaign, set up the Audiences targeting to Target and Bid, not Bid Only. Bid Only means you will show to previous website visitors with a set bid, and non-previous-website-visitors too. If you are trying to only target your RLSA campaign to previous website visitors, use Target and Bid Setting.
Target and Bid Setting
To only target previous website visitors with Display remarketing campaigns or RLSA campaigns, use the Target and Bid setting, not Bid Only.
Visited Key Sales Pages
Creating an audience for visitors of a specific URL can help you only focus on website visitors that viewed a Pricing or Catalog page. This will help you focus on high-interest site visitors only.
Combine Remarketing With Offline Marketing Efforts
If you have heavy offline marketing, consider using a special URL in your Print, TV, and Radio ads. This way you can setup a URL based remarketing audience to help traditional advertising work with your online advertising. You have probably heard ads on the radio using this method by saying "Visit website.com/promo" or a TV ad that shows the URL as website.com/TV – this is most likely because the company wants to know how many website visits came from the TV ad, and hopefully they setup a remarketing list too! Feel free to use this technique for traditional advertising, trade show booth advertising and trade show banner designs, contests, giveaways, and any other offline sources to merge them with your online advertising efforts. If you are using PPC Management Services, make sure they are aware of your offline marketing efforts so they can better tie in all marketing efforts.
If for some reason different marketing departments don't want to help each other out, or you already sent mailers without a special URL, you can setup a double layer remarketing audience for New Visitors with Traffic Source of Medium = Direct. This is as close as you can get without having a unique URL because new website visitors that go directly to your website by manually typing the URL likely found you by a traditional, offline ad.
You can also exclude Repeat Visitors with Traffic Source of Medium = Direct if you would like to block existing customers that go to your website directly, repeatedly.
Exclude or Target Member or Login Page
If your website has a login or members only area, you can exclude this group from remarketing ads by adding a URL based remarketing audience containing "members.website.com" or whatever the specific URL is for members only.
You can also use this same audience to specifically target members only with special ads – for a new product, members only deals, etc. This will create a unique remarketing campaign for your existing customers only.
It can also be used if you offer free trials where members on the free trial login to the members area.
For Facebook Remarketing tips, this is a great article to review - http://susanwenograd.com/5-ways-wipe-dust-off-fb-remarketing/
By expanding your remarketing audiences using more advanced segmentation in Google Analytics, you can substantially increase your results from these pay-per-click ad campaigns and boost ROI. Remarketing ads should be one of the better performing SEM campaigns you have running, but typically, most people do not take the time to set them up correctly and do not go past the basic setup to implement the more advanced PPC remarketing strategies.