Remarketing AdWords ad campaigns in 3 easy steps

Follow these 3 easy steps to aim your AdWords ads at your website past visitors!

Oh Shay, you and your 3 easy steps…

Hey, that’s what we’re here for — making our lives just a little bit easier with technology.

So let’s get started:

Step1: Installing the AdWords Remarketing tag

In order to have access to AdWords Remarketing and start collecting website visitors in your lists, you need to install their remarketing tag on your website, so here’s a video by Google to do that.

Remember that you can use the Google Tag Manager. In this case you only need the remarketing ID, not the whole code.

Do that as soon as possible, even if you’re not interested in remarketing yet, since this will start collecting people’s data (remember to adjust your website’s privacy policy accordingly).

Step 2: Create the Remarketing list

On the left-hand side of your AdWords interface you will find a menu with a search bar at the top. The fifth item in the menu should be Shared Library. Click on it and choose Audiences from the menu that just popped out from under it.

This will open the Audiences window, asking you to install the AdWords Remarketing tag if you haven’t yet.

After you did that, you will see a big red button that says “+Remarketing list“, and an empty list under it. Click on the red button to start creating your AdWords Remarketing list.

Choose how you want to populate your list. In this tutorial I will use Website Visitors as an example.

Fill out your form according to who should end up in that list. In the screenshot you can see me begging people to get back onto an eCommerce website after they abandoned their shopping cart and went back to waste time on Facebook or something.

To do that I specified that a visitor had to have been on the cart page so that he’d end up in the list.

I have also added that the visitor had not been in the payment-done page, which is the conclusion of the transaction page. Meaning that the user has in fact abandoned the cart, and not finalized the acquisition.

Netiquette requires an advertiser to not be spammy, otherwise he’ll end up being ignored, blocked or else. So I will not show these users my “come back to finish your business” ad for more than 14 days.

Step 3: Retargeting the ad to members of a remarketing list

There are two possible ways to do this:

  1. Ad the remarketing list as a targeting method while creating your ad.
  2. Attach the remarketing list to a campaign or an ad group after creating the ad.

Google has a few rules for AdWords retargeting for search ads:

Remarketing lists for Search ads are only available for the following campaign types:
“Search Network only — All features”
“Search Network only — Dynamic Search Ads
The list membership limit for these lists is capped at 540 days.

Display ads, on the other hand, have no restrictions with remarketing.

1. The targeting method

While creating your ad group you can choose who to target it to.

Click on Interests & remarketing and choose Remarketing lists from the drop down list. Then you will see the remarketing lists you just created in step 2. Choose the one you prefer by clicking on the » icon on the far right of the list.

2. The Attaching method

In order to attach a remarketing list to a campaign or ad group, you need to finish setting up the ad, and creating the list.

After all the previous steps are done with, you can open the Audiences tab from the main window and create a new Targeting by clicking on the big red button.

Choose whether you’d like to attach the list to a campaign or to an ad group, and then choose the correct campaign or ad group from the next boxes.

Last step is to choose the right targeting method, which today will be Remarketing List and choose the list you prefer, just like in the previous method.

And that’s it!

Now your ads will be shown to the people on your remarketing list and will (hopefully) bring them back to finish their business, read another article, update their profile or whatever you want them to do.

Here’s a great article from on how to create a well-oiled remarketing machine.

Don’t forget to leave any questions (or thanks) in the comments section, or contact me directly using the form.

Originally published at on July 23, 2017.