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How to Retarget Customers with Google Ads

By Emily Steel, Marketing Manager at Omega High Impact Print Solutions


Retargeting is a powerful tool in the digital marketer’s arsenal, enabling you to re-engage potential customers who have previously interacted with your brand. When done correctly, retargeting can significantly improve your conversion rates and ROI. This step-by-step guide will walk you through advanced retargeting strategies using Google Ads, along with best practices to maximize your campaign’s success.


How to Retarget with Google Ads

Step 1: Set Up Google Ads Remarketing Tag


1.1 Create a Google Ads Account:

If you don’t already have a Google Ads account, sign up at ads.google.com.


1.2 Access Audience Manager:

Navigate to the “Tools & Settings” menu and select “Audience Manager” under the “Shared Library” section.


1.3 Create Remarketing Tag:

Click on “Audience sources” and then “Set up tag” under the Google Ads tag section. Follow the prompts to create your remarketing tag. You’ll be provided with a code snippet.


1.4 Install the Tag:

Add the provided code snippet to your website’s global footer or use a tag manager like Google Tag Manager to implement it across all pages.



Step 2: Build Custom Remarketing Audiences


2.1 Define Audience Segments:

Identify key segments of visitors you want to retarget (e.g., cart abandoners, past purchasers, blog readers).


2.2 Create Custom Audiences:

In the Audience Manager, click on “Audience lists” and then “+” to create a new audience. Select “Website visitors” and define the specific conditions (e.g., “Visited page X but did not complete purchase”).


2.3 Set Membership Duration:

Choose how long you want to keep users in your audience list. Adjust this based on your sales cycle and marketing goals.



Step 3: Develop Compelling Ad Creatives



3.1 Tailor Your Message:

Create ads that speak directly to the audience segment you’re targeting. For instance, offer a discount to cart abandoners or suggest related products to past purchasers.


3.2 Use Dynamic Remarketing:

Set up dynamic remarketing to show personalized ads based on the products or services users viewed on your website. Go to “Campaigns” > “+” > “New Campaign” > “Display” and choose “Sales” or “Leads.” Select “Dynamic ads.”


3.3 A/B Test Ad Variations:

Create multiple ad variations and test different headlines, images, and calls to action to see what resonates best with your audience.



Step 4: Optimize Your Retargeting Campaigns


4.1 Set Bid Adjustments:

Adjust bids for different audience segments based on their likelihood to convert. For example, you might bid higher for cart abandoners than for general site visitors.


4.2 Use Frequency Capping:

Limit the number of times your ads are shown to the same user to avoid ad fatigue. Set frequency caps in your campaign settings.


4.3 Monitor Performance:

Regularly review campaign performance in Google Ads. Focus on metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and cost per acquisition (CPA).


4.4 Exclude Converted Users:

Create exclusion lists to avoid retargeting users who have already converted. This can be set up in your audience exclusions within the campaign settings.



Step 5: Expand Your Retargeting Efforts


5.1 Use Similar Audiences:

Leverage Google’s Similar Audiences feature to target users with similar behaviors and characteristics as your remarketing lists.


5.2 Cross-Platform Retargeting:

Expand your retargeting efforts across different platforms, such as YouTube and Gmail, by selecting these placements in your Display Network settings.


5.3 Combine with Other Marketing Strategies:

Integrate retargeting with your email marketing campaigns by using Customer Match to upload email lists and retarget users across Google’s properties.


Best Practices


  • Segment Your Audience:

Break down your audience into smaller segments for more targeted and relevant messaging.


  • Personalize Your Ads:

Use dynamic ads to show products or services that users have already shown interest in.


  • Test and Iterate:

Continuously A/B test your ads and landing pages to optimize for better performance.


  • Leverage Data Insights:

Use Google Analytics and Google Ads data to gain insights into user behavior and adjust your campaigns accordingly.


  • Maintain Consistent Branding:

Ensure your retargeting ads are visually consistent with your overall brand aesthetics to reinforce brand recognition.




By following these steps and best practices, you can create effective and efficient retargeting campaigns that re-engage potential customers and drive conversions. Happy marketing!


How to Retarget with Google Ads

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