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4 Simple but Effective Remarketing Tips

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4 Simple but Effective Remarketing Tips

I can still remember when Google announced the ability to remarket to people on the Content Network. Since then, remarketing has grown exponentially and become an important part of any advertiser’s digital marketing strategy. Below are four quick tips you may or may not be using that I’ve found effective in managing and testing remarketing campaigns.

1. Stack audiences to have different frequencies in the same campaign.

Impression frequency caps are set at the campaign level, but you can create descending frequencies for the same audience in a single campaign. If you want to show ads more often to people who recently visited your site and less frequently as more time passes, you can do this by creating what I like to call stacked audiences.

Let’s say you want to target people 60 days after they visit your site but you want to show ads to them more often in the first week, less often for the rest of the first month and even less often the second month. You can make this happen by creating the three audiences below and putting each in its own ad group in your campaign.

  • All visitors 7 days
  • All visitors 30 days
  • All visitors 60 days

Separate ad groups are necessary because you can’t set frequency limits per audience. Next, set frequency per ad group for the number of times per day/week/month you want your ad to show. For this example I’m going to set it at 10 times per week. Now let’s see how this will work:

Remarketing Frequency Stacked AudiencesAd impressions per week

Using this method, anyone who visited the site in the first 7 days could actually be impressed 30 times in the first week. This is because any person who has visited your site in the last 7 days has also visited your site in the last 30 and 60 days. They’ll be a member of all three audiences and therefore all 3 ad groups, each of which has a frequency cap of 10 impressions/week.

2. Segment audiences to test duration.

I get asked a lot during AdWords trainings what the best duration is for remarketing and the answer I always give, and attendees hate, is “it depends.” It depends on many factors that are specific to each client and you’ll never know until you test. Other times, a client has a duration number in mind but no data to back it up. Because of this, I like to segment audiences into shorter time frames to get a better idea of performance by duration.

Unlike the strategy above, you’ll want to create audiences using custom combinations so that each visitor would only be in one remarketing list.

Remarketing Duration Segmentation

Now you’ll be able to look at CTR, Conv. Rate, or PPI to determine how performance varies for each group. This is also a good way to test different messaging by duration.

3. Put duration numbers in your list names.

This is a simple, but valuable tip that I only learned through being annoyed. Make sure you put your remarketing list duration in the list name because you won’t be able to see it if you add an audience to your campaign from the Display network tab instead of the Shared Library.

AdWords Remarketing Duration

4. Test campaign frequency caps.

Frequency is something people too often set and forget. Just like any other element in your AdWords campaign, you want to test test test! Although I find the Reach and Frequency report still a little limiting in the interface, I do use them to analyze how changes in frequency cap affect performance. I quickly analyze the data by pulling it into a pivot table and comparing it to past frequency changes.

Remarketing Frequency Analysis

Besides this report, I’ll also look at either Multi-channel funnel reports in GA or the Search Funnel columns in AdWords to look at changes in assisted conversions.

There you have it. Four simple remarketing tips to help improve performance for your campaigns. Let me know what other great tips are out there in the comments below!

Image 1: Created by author.

Image 2: Created by author.

Image 3: Screen shot of AdWords taken 12/16/13

Image 4: Created by author.


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Bethany Bey

Digital Remarketing Consultant at Cardinal Path

Bethany Bey is a Digital Marketing Consultant at Cardinal Path, where where she manages paid accounts across multiple platforms. She ... [Read full bio]

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