INCREASE YOUR ROI WITH GOOGLE REMARKETING
Google Remarketing is the (sometimes scary) way that online businesses can follow you around the web. The below graphic shows how the process works in practice.
Big companies like Amazon and Apple have been using different variants of Remarketing for a very long time. I’m sure most of us have experienced viewing a product on a website and then heading over to another website and seeing that same product staring us in the face.
Google Remarketing (sometimes called ‘Retargeting) is the process of placing what’s called a ‘cookie’ in the browser of someone who views your website. Google gathers this information and can then show ads on other websites. The targeting options can be as simple as any person who viewed your website, down to the very specific such as people who viewed particular pages (or products) on your website or even people who spent a particular length of time viewing a blog post.
So why would you use Google Remarketing in your online marketing? The simple answer is it works. Another way of looking at it is who is more likely to purchase something from you, someone who has been to your site before or someone who hasn’t? The answer is 100% always that person who has interacted with you and knows your business. This is the main reason why Remarketing is soo effective, you are putting your ads in front of people who already know about you.
Remarketing can support all of your other marketing initiatives too. Imagine someone who hears your ad on the radio on their way home from work, they jump online and go to your website, then suddenly their wife says “dinners ready” and they close down their computer. With Remarketing you can then remind that person the next time they are online that they visited your site and that they need to, for e.g. complete their purchase.
The best thing about remarketing is that it’s really really cheap. At Revolver Digital we predominantly use CPM (or cost per thousand impression) bidding for remarketing campaigns for our clients. This is mainly due to two reasons:
- We generate higher visibility by having the ads all over the place
- We actually don’t want them to click on the ad
That last point may sound counter-intuitive but if you think about it logically, if they click on your ad it costs you money. But if they are constantly seeing your ad (called an Impression) all over the internet your company will be the first they call when they need your product or service, and it doesn’t cost you anything!
You can keep someone on a remarketing list for between 30 and 540 days. For companies that have a short sales cycle (such as ecommerce) 30 days might be enough to remind them of that product. Any longer and they may have bought the product elsewhere or are no longer interested and you will end up paying to continue to show ads to them. Conversely if you are a company that sells a $300k piece of machinery, that sales cycle could well be a year and as such it would be worth keeping them on your remarketing list for longer.
SO HOW DO YOU GET STARTED WITH GOOGLE REMARKETING?
The first thing you should do is put the Google Remarketing code on your website.
You will find this by clicking on ‘Shared Library’ in your Google Adwords account under ‘Audiences’. You then need to place this code before the </body> tag in the HTML of your website. If you don’t know how to do this it is probably best to send this through to your website developer.
Once this is in place you will then need to wait a while before you can start remarketing. On the Google Search Network the minimum number of cookies is 1000, which is the number of people who need to visit your website before you can start remarketing on the Search Network. The list size is smaller for the Display Network at 100. So the amount of traffic you get will dictate how long it takes you to be able to start remarketing.
DEFINING YOUR AUDIENCE
The first thing you need to do is give each remarketing list a name. This should be something simple that can easily be remembered such as ‘users who visited the sunglasses category’ or ‘users who visited the enquiry page’.
Next you need to decide how each user will be added to the list, such as by visiting a certain page, and the URL of that page.
Below is a list of ways you can define an audience.
VISITORS OF A SPECIFIC PAGE
You can allocate users who visited a specific page of your site to a list. It is generally not advisable to add this as your main homepage as users who just bounce off your site will also be added to this list. Bounced visitors are mostly not interested in your site so you shouldn’t continue to remarket to them.
VISITORS OF A PAGE WHO DIDN’T VISIT ANOTHER PAGE
These users are bouncing. The only real reason to create this list is if you want to create a ‘negative list’.
VISITORS OF A PAGE WHO ALSO VISIT ANOTHER PAGE
These users are typically more interested in your site than bouncers and are a great starting point for any remarketing campaign.
VISITORS OF A SPECIFIC PAGE WITHIN A CERTAIN TIMEFRAME
Say you ran a Christmas promotion and you want to run it again to the same people next year.
After you have built a few lists such as these you don’t have to continue building new ones. For example, you could create a list of people who visited your Christmas promotion but didn’t visit another page.
CREATING A GOOGLE REMARKETING CAMPAIGNS
It is always advisable to create a new campaign just for remarketing. If you just create a new ad group in an existing Display Network campaign it will take on the same settings as that campaign, meaning you may only end up on certain managed placements or affinity audience sites.
With remarketing you can target based just on the audience you have defined. There is no need to keywords etc.
There are some very clever ways you can use remarketing to really dig down into your potential customers. We have a client who drives traffic to a devoted landing page on their website that offers people a free sample of there product. We then use their remarketing list to target the people who have received the sample but have not yet gone on to purchase the full sized product. We actually strip out the people who have purchased the product and only show ads to people who have received the sample but have yet to purchase. It’s a very cost effective use of the samples and the marketing spend.
There are soo many variations. For example you could:
- Show ads to men based within 15km of your factory that viewed your product on your website but didn’t purchase.
- Show Ads to women who visited your site before the 25th January and didn’t sign up to your email newsletter.
DON’T BE A STALKER
Google remarketing is great when it is done sensibly. If you go over bored you can get a high amount of complaints and even get booted from remarketing by Adwords.
The main reason for this stalker behaviour is advertisers not setting a frequency cap for their ads. A frequency cap limits the number of times somebody can see your ad. If someone sees your ad 100 times, its not likely that on the 101st time they are going to jump for joy and click on it! Whilst it isn’t a strict policy of Google Adwords, don’t be that telemarketer that calls every day, set an appropriate limit.
If you haven’t given Google Remarketing a go you really need to. It produces some amazing profits and should definitely be part of your paid search marketing.
Author: Steven Feeney is Head of Growth at Revolver Digital.