How to do Google Ads Remarketing like a Google Ads PPC [pay per click] specialist

Published at Jan 22, 2023

How to do Google Ads Remarketing like a Google Ads PPC [pay per click] specialist

How to do Google Ads Remarketing like a Google Ads PPC [pay per click] specialist

Remarketing is a powerful tool for any advertising platform. That is even more true for Google Ads since it allows you to create lists based on URLs, events, and product categories.

But before all that, let’s discuss the differences between Remarketing and Retargeting.



in brief
Retargeting is when you serve a visitor the same advertisement [offer] in multiple networks
Remarketing is when you serve a visitor similar but not the same advertisement on multiple networks

Someone visits a site and sees a pair of black shoes.

Retargeting will serve as an advertisement stating something like
“black shoes now 50% off”

Remarketing will serve as an advertisement stating something like
“Shoes, explore the Spring | Summer 23 collection”

When it comes to e-commerce, there are 2 types of remarketing:

  • Standard
  • Dynamic

Standard remarketing uses more manual labor compared to Dynamic remarketing. Whereas, dynamic remarketing depends on elements such as product feeds and tracking codes in order to function properly.

Revisiting the previous example

The visitor who saw that pair of black shoes will later see an advertisement with multiple shoes and related items. Also, those items will have labels that will state the discount on each item.
That is dynamic remarketing [ecom]

Now, let’s see how a PPC [pay per click] specialist would engage all the Remarketing options available in Google Ads.

Target users who have interacted with a YouTube video campaign

YouTube Ads are an amazing way for potential customers to gain awareness of a product, service, or your brand in general. The CPV [cost per view] can be something along the lines of $0.01 or even lower if you are targeting cities outside of the USA.
Problem is that YouTube Ads work really well for middle & upper-funnel advertising tactics.
For BOTF [bottom of the funnel] advertising tactics like this may not be fruitful.

But fret not, because you can create remarketing lists out of your viewers.

Before you do this you should be aware that you need to connect your YouTube channel with your Google Ads account.

If you meet that requirement, then you can create remarketing lists out of your YouTube viewers.
Your segmentation options are the following:

  • Viewed any video from a channel
  • Viewed certain videos
  • Viewed any video (as an ad) from a channel
  • Viewed certain videos (as ads)
  • Subscribed to a channel
  • Visited a channel homepage
  • Liked any video from a channel
  • Added any video from a channel to a playlist
  • Shared any video from a channel

Pretty powerful segmentation if you ask me.

Considering your video content and marketing objectives, you can properly segment your remarketing lists to your campaigns.

Example 1 you can add your remarketing lists to your Search campaigns as “Observation only” in order to better understand how effective your video content was in driving purchase actions.

Example 2 you can add your remarketing list to your PMAX campaigns as “Audience Signals” in order to reduce your CPA and increase your ROAS [return on ad spend]

You need to be aware that Google Ads doesn’t use your data segments to populate new memberships for YouTube channels and YouTube Masthead in ads on non-Google websites.
As a result, any reporting for the YouTube channel and YouTube Masthead data segments will show as “0” under “Size: Display” on the “Audience insights” page in Google Ads.

That said, if you want to create awesome YouTube remarketing lists, then you need to create amazing YouTube content. You can achieve that by adhering to YouTube Video content Best practices.

Best practices

Improve your targeting by exploring these features:

  • Various ad formats: Build your campaign to target website and/or app visitors, and existing customers with video ads and other creative formats (text, image, and rich media ads). Learn about video ad formats
  • Engage mobile customers: Use square and vertical videos to engage mobile customers on the YouTube app. Learn more
  • Detailed reports: Optimize your campaign based on performance metrics. For example, raise bids on specific topics or channels that generate the greatest ad response. Learn tips for optimizing your video campaign
  • Ease of use: Easily create, manage, and target your data segments. Learn more about data segments
  • Custom audience segments: Customize your targeting by combining your data segments. For example, you can reach people who viewed your movie trailer but haven’t yet viewed your ad promoting the DVD release. Learn how to create a custom combination list

Exclude low-quality traffic from TOTF [top of the funnel] campaigns

Top-of-the-funnel [TOTF] campaigns are good for increasing your website’s traffic in a relatively short time frame.
The problem with this tactic is that you will get users that might not be interested in your products and/or offerings.
Eg people that are bored and click each and every ad.
If you are using Dynamic search campaigns without the appropriate negative dynamic targets, things will get out of control.

So, what should you exclude?

You should exclude people who “landed” on the following pages

  • Careers page
  • Investors page
  • Advertise with us page
  • Customer Service page
  • Privacy Policy
  • Shipping Policy
  • Terms of service
  • Refund Policy
  • Blog Pages

In general, you would want to exclude people that landed on pages that aren’t really relevant to your funnel.

Also, you will want to exclude users that stayed on your pages for less than a second, did not scroll and did not interact [eg CTA click] with your most valuable pages.

Do note that scroll tracking, time on page, and interactions, will need custom implementation in order to send data back to Universal Analytics, Google Analytics 4, and/or Google Ads.

Create similar audiences from your first-party data

Similar Audiences or Similar segment targeting allows you to show ads to people who share characteristics with people on your existing remarketing lists.

Even though, similar audiences will be leaving on 1 May 2023, said audiences are a cost-efficient way to reach people that have similarities with the ones you are targeting.
When it comes to your own first-party data, you can leverage the data and create an audience that matches yours
eg past purchasers.

In order to qualify for similar segments you will need to have a remarketing list and/or a customer list of at least 1000 cookies with enough similarity in search behavior to create a corresponding similar segment.

That said, similar segment targeting is available for the Display Network, the Search Network, YouTube, Gmail, App, and Discovery ads.

Do keep in mind that

Similar segments do not use sensitive information, such as search activities based on race, religion, sexual orientation, or health. Learn more about our Personalized advertising policy

People who don’t want to be included in similar segments are able to opt-out through their Ads Settings.

Now if you want to create similar segments you will need to do the following

For all campaigns

  1. Sign in to your Google Ads account.
  2. From the navigation bar on the left, click on any campaign or the name of the specific campaign you are adding targeting to.
  3. From the page menu to the right of the navigation bar, click Audiences.
  4. Click the pencil icon Edit.
  5. The “Edit audiences” section will appear. In that section, click Select an ad group or the pencil icon Edit next to it.
  6. In the “All audiences” box, click Remarketing and similar segments and then on the type of your list. Browse and select the lists you wish to target.
    • You can expand similar segment sections to make this easier.
  7. Click Save.

Increase bids for “qualified” visitors

Qualified visitors can be a tricky thing to identify if you don’t have a solid tracking strategy.
Not every visitor is worth the same and not every visitor is worth advertising to.
As a rule of thumb, qualified visitors are people who match any, if all, of the following criteria

  • Have navigated to the checkout page
  • Visited a certain amount of product pages.
  • Spent a certain amount of time on site.
  • Visited certain categories/high-value product pages/high-value landing pages.

If a visitor meets those criteria, then you could increase the bids on your already existing campaigns.

That said, you will have to monitor the performance of the bids

More information on how to edit your bids in Google Ads

Adjust bids for users who have completed one or more Micro-Conversions

Micro-conversions can be any of the following

  • Sign up for newsletters.
  • Download an ebook.
  • Sign up for a webinar.
  • Request a free sample.
  • Request directions
  • Subscribe to back-to-stock notifications
  • Share the product’s URL on social

The process of creating a bid strategy for Micro-conversions is the same as the above with the only difference being that you will have to be more mindful of your bid adjustment.

My advice is to be more conservative with your bid adjustments.

More information on how to edit your bids in Google Ads

Run an experiment [eg Maximize Conversion Value] with users that are “further down” the funnel eg Cart Abandoners

This tactic requires you to create a separate campaign for users that are further down the funnel eg reaching the cart page and optimizing for conversion value.

The reason you would want to use such an optimization is that

  • not all cart abandoners are ready to buy
  • not all cart abandoners have the funds to buy at your desired time frame
  • not all cart abandoners are worth the same

By using the maximize conversion value optimization, you tell Google Ads to find you the users that will bring you conversions with higher values
eg large purchases

You also have the option to set a target ROAS but you should be mindful of the target you will set because a high target might not spend your budget.

Learn more about Google Ads experiments here

Create offers based on the user’s previous interaction and time frame

Let’s say that a user has left 10 items in his cart and hadn’t returned to your site for 7 days. It would be desirable to create a unique offer for that user and/or that interaction
eg 10% for the next 24 hours

You can create an audience that uses the page URL or the desired event while also maintaining the desired time frame.

Note: make sure you exclude Purchasers from that segment

More information and how to create audience segments in Google Ads, here

Cross-promote other products based on a user’s purchase behavior

Customers love to buy from a store that has what they need but what they love even more is offering them alternative choices that supplement their current and/or future needs.

You can create that level of satisfaction by cross-promoting alternative products to past buyers.

In Google Ads, you can achieve that by creating Dynamic Remarketing Ads that will target past purchases but exclude the product categories that have already bought from.
eg create an offer for socks to people that had bought shoes

You will need to have a valid data feed [Merchant Center] in order to create Dynamic Remarketing Display ads with products

Exclude past purchasers

There are several reasons why you would want to exclude past purchasers.
One is you don’t want to serve a discount offer to someone who has bought full price
Another is that you want to maximize spending efficiency. Some performance-oriented PPC specialists never spent another ad dollar on people who have already purchased from a website.
They are doing that in order to increase ad spending efficiency and reach new audiences and/or potential customers.
Not everyone agrees with such a tactic but it is known to happen.

More information about audience exclusions

Remarketing is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. It requires thoughtfulness, tactfulness, and segmentation.
Done right, remarketing strategies can result in more cost-effective advertising, higher ROAS, lower CPAs, and, in extent, more revenue.

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