A Beginner’s Guide to Google Analytics Remarketing
from an ex-Googler

Dice-K Miyoshi
Jul 2, 2015 · 6 min read

In the context of Paid Acquisition, the power of Remarketing is undeniable. Being able to interact with those who have already experienced your site is a huge advantage to accelerate the growth of your product.

A picture regarding the impact of GA Remarking on user funnels

However, there is a more powerful method to maximize the potential value of Remarketing.

It is “Google Analytics (GA) Remarketing”.

Surprisingly, GA Remarketing is still underutilized by most Paid Acquisition marketers in spite of its cost-effectiveness.

This post is based on my experience at Google, and written for beginners of Remarketing and startups who are looking for a new growth channel.

What’s “Google Analytics Remarketing”?

While normal Remarketing lists generated in AdWords are able to target audiences based on “Page Visited”, you can create Remarketing lists in Google Analytics based on practically any metrics within Google Analytics.

Your choices in AdWords are:

Your choices in GA are:

You can use broad criteria to create the GA Remarketing list (e.g., users who simply visited your site or opened your app), or narrow criteria that identify specific behavior (e.g., users who viewed more than “3” product-detail pages, stayed over “30 seconds” on your site, but didn’t add those items to their carts).

Once you’ve created a GA Remarketing list, you can use it in AdWords or DoubleClick Bid Manager to run a Remarketing campaign.

This amazing flexibility of GA Remarketing enables you to effectively accelerate behavior of your users.

Now, you might have come up with this question.

“What types of lists should I start to create?”

This was one of the most frequent questions my clients asked when I worked in Adwords sales.

Honestly, it’s hard to generalize an effective list for all kind of startups.

However, from my experience I would recommend 3 easy and powerful GA lists which can effectively work for various products.

*In this post, I will focus on the introduction of these 3 lists. Please visit here to learn general settings of GA Remarketing lists.

3 easy and powerful Remarketing lists

  • #1: List of visitors who searched your product name, but didn’t convert
  • #2. List of users who had more “Pages / Session” than converters
  • #3. List of users who had more “Avg. Session Duration” than converters

#1: List of visitors who searched your product name, but didn’t convert

This is one of the easiest and most powerful lists for beginners of GA Remarketing.
Visitors who searched names of your company and services have acknowledged your product, and they are more likely to convert than other visitors. So, this audience list is obviously worth a focus, and tends to be better CPA.

  • step1: Select the “Admin” tab
  • step2: In the “Property” column, click “Remarketing”, then click “Audiences”.
  • step3: Click “+ New Audience”.
  • step4: Select a view and destination account.
  • step5: Click “Create New”.
  • step6: Select “Traffic Sources”, type your product or company name in “Keyword”, then click “Apply”.
  • step7: Decide “Lookback days”, “Membership duration” and “Audience name”. (I basically recommend 30 lookback days)
  • step8: Click “Save”.
  • step9: The list will be automatically generated in your AdWords account.

#2. List of users who had more “Pages / Session” than converters

“Pages / Session” means the number of pages a visitor viewed.
Generally, the page views of converters tend to be more numerous than the others.
If your website has a number of pages about your product, customer cases and pricing, you can easily imagine that your converters are more likely to check various pages in order to consider your product.
So, we can assume that the more page views users have, the more likely that they are to convert.

  • step1: First, you need to check the “Pages / Session” of converters. Select the “Reporting” tab, Click “Acquisition”, then click “Channels” in “All Traffic”.
  • step2: Choose the “Converters” segment and Click “Apply”.
  • step3: Then you can see “Pages / Session” of converters.
  • step4: Next, move to “Create New” similarly to #1.
  • step5: Select “Conditions”.
  • step6: Select “Users” and “Include” in “Filter”, then select “Pageviews” and “per user”.
  • step7: Type the “Pages / Session” of converters. Select “>”.
  • step8: Select “Apply” and finish the rest steps similarly to #1.

#3. List of users who had more “Avg. Session Duration” than converters

This list is based on the same idea of #2. “Avg. Session Duration” it means the average time a visitor stayed on your site.
Staying longer on your site means the users probably viewed a number of pages or focused on your contents. That’s why, “Avg. Session Duration” of converters tends to be much longer than the other users, so we can also assume that the more time on site visitors have, the more likely that they are to convert.

  • step1: You need to check the “Avg. Session Duration” of converters similarly to #2.
  • step2: Move to “Create New” similarly to #1, then select “Behavior”.
  • step3: Select “per user” and “>”, then enter “Avg. Session Duration” (seconds) of converters.
  • step4: Select “Apply” and finish the rest steps similarly to #1.

Time To Start Testing!

Hopefully, you have found some of these lists useful as the first step for your implementation of GA Remarketing.

Again, the flexibility of GA Remarketing enables you to effectively accelerate behavior of your users. So, I strongly recommend that you create a list based on your business issues.

Finally, I will share 2 tips that will be your next steps.

1. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) with GA

RLSA is a feature that lets you customize your search ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they are searching on Google.

This is also a powerful method to enhance ROI of your search ads, and you can learn more about its effectiveness here.

Previously, RLSA was created only in AdWords based on “Page Visited”. But now you can utilize GA data for RLSA!

While there are some limitations to implement RLSA with GA, it’s useful enough to leverage your conversions.

2. Dynamic Remarketing

Dynamic Remarketing enables you to show your visitors an ad with the specific product they viewed on your site.

If your website has a number of product pages like e-commerce, travel, auto and real estates, Dynamic Remarketing will be a great conversion booster.
(Similarly to RLSA, you can utilize GA data for Dynamic Remarketing to increase ROI)

Honestly, it could be difficult for beginners to implement this method, but it is obviously worth a trial.

If you are interested, you can learn how to set up from this video.

Enjoy your journey with GA Remarketing!

If you have any questions, Feel free to reach out at daisuke@tradecrafted.com

    Dice-K Miyoshi

    Written by

    Growth Marketer @Tradecraft | Previous: Team Lead of AdWords Sales @Google, ICT Business Incubator @GrameenBank

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