Google’s New Beta PPC Service Dubbed Remarketing

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In the wake of Google’s new PPC service, there has been speculation that the new service is simply a version of Remarketing. After touching upon the new service in Beyond Google PPC in 2010, Search Engine Journal has since had the opportunity to further investigate the system.  From the specifics of Remarketing and industry-related advantages, to beta previews and specifics of its configuration, explore all of the facets of Remarketing.

What is Remarketing?

Contrary to popular belief, Remarketing is not a new concept in terms of traditional marketing.  By definition, Remarketing is the effort taken to stimulate demand for a product that has experienced a decline in sales through branding it as a new product. In essence, Google’s new system follows a simple principle; it notes which products the user has viewed as well as the user’s behavior in regards to whether the user has declined to purchase the product.  Upon exiting the site and visiting a related site using the Google content ad network, Google’s new system will then display an ad for the product in which the user previously abandoned. By retaining the user data in the system for a certain time period, the system will continue to serve ads for that product at any given opportunity.  This will prove to be beneficial to online stores since it’s a common practice for users to abandon their shopping cart when scouring for the best price.

For example, if you have a user looking for “blue widgets,” they will perform a search to find related sites organically or through PPC. The user clicks on your site and visits the “blue widget” page, adds the product to the shopping cart and decides that they want to research “blue widgets.”  At this point, the user then continues searching on “blue widget” related sites while simultaneously, Google is displaying related “blue widget” ads on the pages they are visiting. The user is now shown a familiar site as well as the exact product they have already attempted to purchase. This method encourages the user to return back to your site, the site which they originally exited.

How Does It Work?

Remarketing not only accelerates demand for a product that has experienced a decline in sales, it also offers the ability to fine-tune your targeting and recruit highly qualified leads. Currently, Google utilizes pixels to tag users in the system.  The code is often added to the product page and shopping cart page to detect user interaction and abandonment.  The location varies based upon targeted products or brands.  The tracking pixel creates user lists that are managed via the Adwords campaign panel. Audiences must be created based on your specific targets.

As illustrated above, audiences are separated based upon the lists created via the conversion pixel. Remarketing user lists are created at an account level and can be added to the Ad groups. This section also operates as the location where tracking tags are generated for one’s site. Below demonstrates a sample of our private testing blurred-out.

As illustrated above, we have created two different types of audience lists. The Remarketing-type which uses the data mined from one’s site using tracking.

The combination type allows you to mix and match lists, allowing you use of your Remarketing together or with other Google audience data.

Once a new audience is created, place your tags and begin tracking your users. At this juncture, you can create a new campaign, create ad groups for each brand/product you’ve targeted and process to navigate over to the audience tab and select one of your pre-created lists. We recommend using display ads with the site and product brand in which you are tracking. While textual ads are acceptable, users have a strong reaction to visual advertisements as opposed to textual ads directly relating to the abandoned product and website.

A minimum of one day should be allotted to build the user database, once the tracking has been placed for Google. The time frame will often vary based upon your current traffic. Google will handle the rest and report the data back to you via the Adwords panel.  A common characteristic to PPC is that testing plays an influential role in this system. Through consistent testing and improvement to your targets as well as your ads, you will not only see results, but value in terms of increased conversion rates.

What Are The Benefits Of Remarketing?

Since Remarketing via Google Adwords is still in beta testing, there hasn’t been an official announcement or documentation released. The concept of Remarketing is already being utilized on other ad networks. For example, according to reports , “Remarketing has been shown to improve ad response up to 400 percent across several clients.” There is added value in the concept of Remarketing, as it has already proven influence on other ad networks.

The valuable users targeted by your efforts are a significant contributing factor to conversion rates. Active users deciding on a product and have already conveyed interest through visiting a product page returns a significantly higher conversion rate. Remarketing allows you to concentrate a portion of the site’s marketing budget on these specific users. ROI on this tactic will prove considerably higher than solely targeting keywords or related content networks.

How to Start Remarketing?

Google’s Remarketing service is currently only available in beta to certain agencies and companies. In order to access the service, you must await a public release. Other ad networks such as also offer this service via their network. In order to reap the benefits of this service, it’s important to research minimum spends and costs of using other networks.  It has been predicted that the concept and use of Remarketing will continue grow in 2010. A public release of Google’s take on the remarketing is highly anticipated. Not only is it a beneficial addition to a site’s overall paid strategy, it also displays a promising improvement in ROI. While the service is fairly inexpensive in comparison to traditional PPC marketing, we will continue to monitor our current test, reporting to the SEJ audience with our results.

Ryan Sammy
Ryan Sammy is an SEO & Social Media Analyst at Search & Social. Ryan is an active member of many social media communities, and has worked to understand the intricacies of social interaction and engagement from the inside out.
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  • richard

    I run several ppc campaigns for my clients. I look forward to this new change. Hopefully the change will bring better qualified leads as it says it will!
    I also hope that this new ppc strategy of googles will help to eliminate the fluctuation that comes with ppc. I also hope this new venture of googles will help to eliminate the folks who purposeful click on your ad costing you un-needed expenses. That would bring about a better ROI!

    • Ryan Sammy

      Yes definitely, the beauty of the re-marketing is narrowing down your focus and spend on users have already shown interest on your site versus a wide variety of users. This will def show a higher return on ROI.

      I don't think anything will stop ppl from clicking ads for no reasons. Some ppl are just malicious. Karma will get them 🙂

  • Name

    “release anticipated”
    Do you think it will released in March 2010 or April 2010 ?

    • Ryan Sammy

      Well there is no set release date and we haven't bee notified of one. If the beta testing goes well they will probably release it over the summer. I would keep checking for an announcement.

  • ppc company india

    Great content on remarketing. Thanks for sharing a worth reading article here. Was really a useful one to me.

  • ppc company india

    Great content on remarketing. Thanks for sharing a worth reading article here. Was really a useful one to me.