In the most recent blog post in our client onboarding series, we discussed ad messaging, where we decide what ad copy to include in our clients’ online ads.
The next step in our process is to decide when (and where) to display those ads—which is often a question of strategy and tactics.
We touched on this topic in our post about PPC account structure and strategy. But one aspect we didn’t cover was remarketing.
What is Remarketing?
As you and your marketing team may already know, remarketing is a PPC tactic that allows advertisers to target people who’ve visited their website but left without taking any action.
Today, remarketing is an essential part of most PPC campaigns because it can be incredibly effective if done correctly. (Three or four years ago, remarketing was still considered optional for many advertisers.)
What Makes Remarketing So Effective?
Why do we almost automatically include remarketing as a campaign tactic? Quite simply, it’s proved to be effective in three respects:
1. Ultra targeted
Because remarketing targets a relatively small group of people—people who already have some familiarity with your brand and products and services—it’s ultra targeted. And often, better targeting yields better results.
As an example, say you’re a shoe retailer. Someone visits your website, takes a look around, and then exits without making a purchase. With remarketing, you can present that same visitor with your ads as they browse Display Network websites.
Not only does remarketing perform well, it’s also efficient. In our experience, remarketing often delivers more leads at a lower cost per acquisition than many other tactics.
3. Brand presence
Unlike a Google search text ad, a display remarketing ad includes visuals, such as your company logo, colors, etc. These visuals are a powerful reinforcement of your brand.
Other Kinds of Remarketing
So far, we’ve limited our discussion of remarketing to what we like to call “traditional” remarketing. But, in fact, there are four additional ways of remarketing with Google:
- Dynamic remarketing. Similar to traditional remarketing, but includes products or services the visitor viewed when on your site.
- Remarketing for mobile apps. Extends remarketing to mobile users.
- Video remarketing. Shows ads to people who’ve interacted with your videos or YouTube channel.
- Remarketing lists for search ads.
For more information on the first three, check out this AdWords help page.
Let’s take a closer look at number four: remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA).
The Value of RLSA
RLSA shows ads to your past website visitors when they conduct follow up searches on Google using the keywords.
Let’s use our shoe retailer example to illustrate: A potential customer wants to buy a pair of women’s winter boots. She’s already visited your website, and she continues to search for women’s winter boots on Google—using keywords that match keywords you’ve selected. As a result, your ads display as she continues her search.
As you can imagine, this type of remarketing can be very effective. It displays your product/service ads at the exact same time that the prospect is actively looking for that product/service—and the prospect is already familiar with your brand from having visited your site!
While RLSA has been around for a few years, we really started to apply it as a tactic in 2015. Since then, we’ve had a lot of success with it. And consequently, we often include it as part of our clients’ initial PPC strategy.
There’s one more reason why we like RLSA so much: it allows us to collect data on returning visitors. With that data, we can see what’s working (and what’s not) so we can refine and optimize campaigns. (For more on this, check out my article in Search Engine Land: 3 PPC Trends and Tactics You Can’t Ignore in 2016.
AdWords also has some good resources on RLSA. And if you have time, you can check out this AdWords webinar on the topic. (It dates from 2013, but most of the info still applies.)
As you can see, we’re big fans of remarketing. And you can expect to see us employ it from the very start of your company’s PPC campaign.
In our next blog post in this series, we’ll cover another tool we sometimes include in our clients’ PPC campaigns: The Google Display Network.
If you’d like to read more entries in our client onboarding series, start with our introductory post.