Varos Glossary

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

Lost leads are a fact of life in the eCommerce space. They also represent a significant drain on your store's revenue potential. While it's impossible to recapture all of them, remarketing lists can help you bring back some of your most promis

What Are Remarketing Lists for Search Ads?

Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs) is a Google Ads feature that allows a store owner to serve custom ads to users that have previously visited their website. The idea is that if a user has already visited a website on one or more occasions These ads can be targeted based on several criteria:

  • The frequency with which a user has visited your website.  
  • Pages the user visited, and how they interacted with those pages. 
  • Specific keywords and search terms. 
  • Whether or not the user added items to their shopping cart. 
  • Whether or not the user completed a purchase. 

What's the Difference Between RLSAs and Paid Search Retargeting?

RLSAs share a great deal in common with paid search retargeting, given that both tactics involve serving ads to users that have previously visited your website. However, there are several important differences between the two:

  • The scope of RLSAs is strictly limited to Google's search network. Paid search retargeting has a much broader focus, and may include social networks, non-Google ad networks, and even mobile apps. 
  • Ads served through paid search retargeting can appear in many different formats, including native ads, banner ads, and display ads. RLSAs may only appear as text-based search ads. 
  • When tailoring RLSA targeting, your focus is on how a user has interacted and engaged with your own website. Paid search retargeting provides a larger set of options and can also leverage information collected via third-party data providers.

Caption: With Varos, you can track ad spend and performance on multiple social networks and platforms

RLSAs are also distinct from display remarketing, which delivers ads to users via the GOogle Display Network. These users do not need to be actively searching for your products or brand to see these ads. As the name suggests, display remarketing also serves primarily visual ads.

The Benefits of Remarketing Search Ads

Here are a few reasons you should consider an RLSA strategy:

Best Practices for RLSA Campaigns

Understand Your Audience

You shouldn't just maintain a single RLSA. Instead, segment your visitors based on both their behavior and the expected return should they convert. Segmentation options include:

  • Potential high-value customers.
  • Visitors who've abandoned their shopping cart.
  • Repeat visitors. 
  • Customers who have purchased from your business in the past.

Prior to creating these segments, it's important that you make an effort to know and understand your audience, as well. Make sure you have informative customer journey analytics in place, as well as buyer personas and a journey map. This will allow you to more effectively personalize your ads.

You should also pay attention to the peak activity periods for your business, as it is within these windows that you'll want to schedule your ads. Lastly, for converted users, consider potential upsell opportunities.

Be Flexible — But Not Too Flexible

Each list you create should have its own bidding strategy and ad messaging. If two lists seem too similar to one another, it may be worthwhile to simply combine them. You should also use bid modifiers to adjust your bids based on engagement and value.

For example, a user who joined your mailing list is more valuable than a user who clicked on two pages then bounced.

Consider Your Conversion Cycle

RLSAs give you the freedom to determine how long a user remains on your remarketing list. Make full use of this functionality to align your remarketing efforts with how long it usually takes a customer to convert from the moment they first visit your site. Shorter durations are not always better. 

Mix, Match, and Monitor

You are not limited to using a single paid remarketing or targeting strategy. Nor should you. Combining multiple strategies and techniques is arguably the best way to achieve your business goals.

Just make sure you have a means of tracking and benchmarking your efforts.

Caption: Through integration with Google Ads, Varos allows you to track and benchmark spending on all your paid campaigns.

How to Create RLSAs

Before you can create a remarketing list, there are a few criteria you will need to fulfill:

  • An active Google Ads Account. 
  • A privacy policy disclosing your remarketing and data collection practices. 
  • Adherence to Google's Advertising Policies.
  • Enough website traffic to support at least one list with over 1,000 users. 

To create a remarketing list:

  1. Add Google's AdWords Remarketing Code to your website. This can be found in the Shared Library section of your Ads Account. 
  2. Set your criteria. Under the Audiences tab of your Ads Account's Shared Library, click on + Remarketing List. You'll then need to do the following:
  • Name your list and create a description for it. 
  • Choose which websites or apps the list applies to. 
  • Choose which users should be added to this list. 
  • Identify which pages you want the list to track. 
  • Set your list's membership duration. 

      3. Assign Campaigns and/or Ad Groups.  Finally, you'll need to either create a search campaign and associated add groups, or assign your list to existing campaigns/groups. This can be done through the Audiences subtab of your             Ads Account's Keywords and targeting tab. Note that remarketing lists should only be added to standard search campaigns.