Bidding & Optimization Strategies for the Modern Search Marketer
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One area I have seen a lot of success with lately is remarketing. Google has improved their remarketing features tremendously over the last year. Today, I will share the most successful remarketing tactics I’ve found in various AdWords accounts throughout the years.
Remarketing is not as simple as starting regular AdWords Search or Display campaigns. The success of your remarketing campaigns eventually depends on how well you’ve set up your remarketing lists and how you’ve tagged your website.
I won’t go too much into detail with tagging your website, but if you don’t have your tag installed yet, I recommend reading the basics first.
Remarketing can be extremely powerful for the savvy advertiser, but because remarketing depends on having people to remarket to, you can’t expect success in all industries. Remarketing is most powerful for companies with a lot of visitors to their website. The more visitors you get, the better results you will see from remarketing.
This doesn’t mean if you receive few visitors (less than 10,000 per month), you shouldn’t do remarketing. However, with few visitors your success criteria shouldn’t be direct response, but instead be focused on touching prospects again and again with your ad message. With fewer visitors, your costs from your remarketing campaigns will be limited. Therefore, running your campaigns with no conversions shouldn’t pose a challenge.
Currently, Google offers 3 ways to do remarketing:
- Remarketing Lists for Search (RLSA)
- Dynamic Display Remarketing
- Display Remarketing
Remarketing Lists for Search
Remarketing Lists for Search (RLSA) is Google’s remarketing tool. It allows you to target people who have previously been on your site directly in their search results.
For a long time, you were only able to remarket to people on the Display Network and were therefore missing one of the key benefits of remarketing.
One of the easiest ways to get started with RLSA campaigns is to take your 10-20 highest performing ad groups and copy them into a new campaign. In your new campaign, you set up your remarketing audience as needed and set the same audience as negative in your existing campaigns.
That’s essentially all it takes to get started with RLSA campaigns. For more details I recommend reading my fellow SEJ contributor Tyler Jordan’s post on RLSA campaigns.
What are the benefits of remarketing?
- Target more generic keywords
- Bid higher than in your regular campaigns
- Offer special incentives for repeat purchasers
Target Generic Keywords
With normal search campaigns, you only have the ability to decipher the intent behind a search by looking at the keywords used. You therefore need to use highly specific keywords to assure that you achieve a profitable ROI instead of just pouring money down a black hole.
With RLSA campaigns, you get a second parameter to use – The fact that customers have been on your website before and therefore are more likely to make a purchase. Where you previously would have only targeted keywords like ‘large cotton bath towels’ because your store specializes in these towels, you can now try out generic search terms like:
- Bath towels
- Buy towels
- Cheap towels
Seeing that the person searching for these phrases has already been to your site and shown interest in your products, these keywords all of a sudden become relevant. It is important to know is that customers don’t always follow a linear search pattern.
Customers will sometimes start off with a broad search, then a specific search and later try a broad search again. Let me provide you with an example of a search pattern:
- Best bath towels for kids
- Bath towels with hoods
- Cheapest towels
- Cotton bath towels with hoods
- Disney hooded bath towel = Conversion!
The customer might choose to convert at any time during a search pattern like this, so making sure that you appear all the way through is critical if you truly want success with AdWords. Prior to having the opportunity to use RLSA campaigns, you would never think of using a keyword like cheapest towels. It’s simply just too broad for many advertisers and many high-end bath towel sellers don’t even want to appear for this keyword.