For me the remarketing lists in Google Ads should be a fixture in all our accounts. For those of you who are not experts in this pay-per-click thing and are just starting out in the world, or are simply curious. For you to understand well what is this remarketing and so you can contextualize it with Google Ads I will make a pretty basic explanation.

Remarketing or retargeting is when, let’s put an easy example, we visit any online store and within it we see one or some of their products/services that they offer us. Later we leave that website and enter any of our social networks or simply read the digital newspaper we like best. Right at that very moment he starts “chasing” us with those sneakers that we had seen and liked so much a few minutes before. We are going to find them in many places with the purpose that we make the purchase. Well, basically this is retargeting

Remarketing in Google Ads
The power of remarketing – Source: Google

Within the sector, speaking of retargeting, the most famous is the Cart Abandoned. One of the main players in our Facebook and Instagram campaigns. While in Google Ads not many people apply remarketing lists in their campaigns, unless we talk about Display campaigns. We could say that it is “the great forgotten“, and that it has existed within the platform for several years.
In my opinion, the RLSA should be a mandatory type of campaign within our account. It must be even more so when we have a well-defined strategy by a funnel. Since you are going to impact again on those people who visited your page.

So if you want to get more out of your account or your customers this post will help you get more potential to your account and especially to your Google Ads.

1 – What is Google Ads RLSA?

Its acronym refers to Remarketing Lists for Search Ads.

The objective of these is to impact again on those people who have already clicked on our ad and demonstrated an intention to buy. The benefit of this is that Google gives us the opportunity, with its RLSA, that we can again impact those people in a more personalized way. That is, we can segment these people, adjust specific bids for them and most interesting and beneficial of all: we can and should customize our ads to this target of customers. You know clients want ads that are relevant to them.

The power of remarketing in Google Ads
The power of remarketing vol. II

So the retargeting lists will give you the opportunity to impact again those people who have already shown interest in our products/services. It’s up to you to make these ads relevant so that your customers will click again and make a purchase. Yes, you read it right: that they make a purchase. I say this for the simple reason that these customers already visited you in your time demonstrating an intention to buy, if they do a similar search again and you impact them again with a custom ad for it we have all the chances of generating conversions.

It must also be said that we can create a thousand and one lists, put them into our campaigns hoping for a resounding success and to our amazement not to obtain the results we expected. So the key element here is that the remarketing list. You must do it segmenting very well your target audience, as well as having a high knowledge of all what you sell within your website. In the end, if you know well what you are selling and you also know which audience you should impact, you have half a conversion already.

2 – Advantages of RLSA campaigns

There are numerous advantages that you can obtain if you implement well the remarketing lists in Google Ads in your search campaigns. To mention some of the advantages you can get with them;

  • You will go after those clients who have not generated conversions for you but were interested in doing so. To avoid “getting your fingers caught” you should exclude buyers from these lists.
  • In your first steps, when you are creating your campaigns do not be alarmed because you will think that your search campaigns, which have been running for so long and are working so well, are going to compete with your search campaigns with remarketing lists simply because they both carry the same keyword. Well it’s not like that, don’t worry that your campaigns are focused on two different groups of people so you are not competing for the same keywordsince in one campaign you focus on a certain group and in the other you focus on another.

In the case of having a good data history in your account, you can rely on those keywords that have generated better performance.

  • Much higher bids can be made for these keywords. In short: you will be able to bid more money for those keywords and customers that are hottest in relation to the purchase.
  • You can work the long tail, without being afraid. You will be showing your ad to customers when they search for your products/services.
  • You can customize your campaign landing pages. If these landing pages are made with products and also with promotions or discounts I’m sure they will have a tendency to generate conversions.
  • As the icing on the cake; you will reduce your CPA’s, as well as your CPC’s and increase your CTR’s.

With all these benefits mentioned you will surely want to know how campaigns are done.

3 – How to create RLSA campaigns in Google Ads?

Now, let’s get to the most important part: the creation of the Google Ads RLSA campaigns.

Before proceeding to the creation of this type of campaign and so that you don’t jump into the pool, we must think about our strategy and/or adapt the campaign to it.

These are going to be the steps you have to take to implement RLSA successfully.

How do I create my lists for RLSA campaigns on Google Ads?

We have two clear options for creating our famous lists:

  • Create them from Google Ads. In it we can create audiences based on the URL’s of our website or they can also be created thanks to the Google Pixel, this must be already installed in our website (and if you don’t have it: you have a problem). It’s very similar to Facebook. Apart from these two ways, it is also possible to do it based on lists with the e-mail of our customers or users who have downloaded our app or who have interacted with our YouTube channel.
Create remarketing lists in Google Ads
How to create remarketing lists in Google Ads
  • Create them within Google Analytics. The advantage of creating them within this platform is that you can do them based on other metrics such as the number of page views, the percentage of bounce, the duration of the session, among others. Then these audiences can be shared on Google Ads very easily. Taking advantage of the fact that we talk about Analytics: our account may be badly audited, we may be having data duplication or we are simply not “capturing” our office IP. To avoid these little problems and save on expenses and health take a look at this fantastic post in which we audit a Google Analytics account in 45 steps.

Okay, and… If I want to further segment my remarketing lists on Google Ads?

I’m sure that when making these lists you will have thought of different combinations of segmentation with your customers, either by different variants. To do this you must have a campaign in “Observation + Bidding Adjustment” mode, this I will explain in point 4. But just so you understand quickly, this is that you don’t limit your ads to a specific group.

We want to further segment the campaigns
We want to segment even more

So if you have this kind of campaign and with that adjustment, within the audience you can segment your campaigns, even more so, with audience demographics(gender, education level, marital status), by prospecting interests in some cases, audience with purchase intent provided by Google, and similar audiences based on your visitors and buyers.

This is very interesting, as it helps you to target even more of your audiences and this translates into greater personalization for each group.

Can I create a new campaign with RLSA or can I take advantage of an existing one?

The answer is yes for both questions. As it is normal that each of them will have some advantages and disadvantages, it is up to you how you want to implement it.

If you want to implement these remarketing lists in an already running campaign there is no problem. You must add this list to a given campaign in the “Audiences” section.

The advantages of implementing it in an ongoing campaign is that will not overlap your keywords, your costs in this campaign decrease significantly as well as increase other rates that if they are beneficial and as you can not distribute better your budget and increase in the ad groups with the most attractive RLSAs for your account. As a disadvantage; if you don’t properly sort out your ad groups and diversify these retargeting lists the problem you will encounter is that your ads will not be customized for each group, but will go with the same message for everyone. And you know… clients want ads that are relevant to them.

If it is the case that you are going to start with Google Ads, either you have a new account or the campaign structure of the account you want to change, you can implement your lists in each ad group of the campaign. The advantages that you will obtain with this modality is that it will be much easier to implement this type of campaign, you will be able to bid for your best keywords and with more money, since by including your lists you will be bidding for people who are more likely to convert. So it’s in your best interest. The danger is that you are bidding on your own keywords, i.e. competing against your normal search campaigns. We will solve this with the following point.

Segmentation and Bid V.S. Bid Only

Many of you will have come across this option of retargeting strategies (the image below) and will not know very well which one to choose, what happens if I take one and not the other, which one suits me best.

Segmentation and Bidding and Only Bidding
Remarketing strategies in Google Ads

As you can see in “Segmentation and Bidding” the ads will only be shown in those lists that we have included, as well as in the segmentations that you have made based on demographic data, affinities and similar audiences. This is the best option to avoid competing with yourself and knowing that you are impacting only the group you have selected, your ads will be very personalized for them. “Bid only” will control your bids for specific audiences, but you are not segmenting as with the other option since you will be showing the ad to all those people who have placed the keywords you have placed in the ad group. The good thing is that here you expand your offer to new customers and your traffic will increase, otherwise you are limiting your traffic.

4 – Tips with RLSA campaigns

Here comes the most profitable part, as this is where pre-optimisation by means of tricks comes in. I’m going to tell you a series of tips that exist or you can do with the implementation of Google Ads remarketing lists in your search campaigns.

Make the most of the warm customers

If you see that you have a group that is more reactive to making the purchase and this group is well segmented and implemented within your campaigns… Why don’t you raise their budget and increase your bids? And don’t be alarmed if your cost or CPA’s go up because you will get more conversions, as this group is the most likely to convert.

The lookalikes we like so much on Facebook are also on Google!

If the super list you have created is giving you good results and is exceeding your goals: Why not create a similar audience? Google will generate for you, as for Facebook, a list created by him that is equal to the list you have created. Simply duplicate your ad groups and add this audience. It’s that easy.

Work the long tail

Yes, this is a good element to take into account in the remarketing lists of Google Ads. If we have a campaign with the option “Segmentation and bidding” you should know that we are only showing the audiences we have included. So if a keyword is proving very profitable or has a high purchase intent, if the customer is interested in the product and wants to make the purchase will be making related searches over the next few days. So by adding that keyword in phrase matching we appear in related searches and also we have to remember that we will be impacting with a personalized advertisement to this group.

Many of you announced that you are afraid of the long tail thing but if you are going to work on it I recommend that you first add these lists of negative keywords.

Create a specific landing page

If you see that it is not much work and you are able to work out a good landing page with promos and discounts you will surely convert much more. Also customize this account according to the audience you have segmented. With these two things the user will be much more time on your website and this will be positive for your campaign.

Take advantage of the recurrence of your products, as well as cross-selling

If you see that your products have a shelf life of two weeks, two months or others. Why don’t you combine your remarketing lists with exclusions? That is, if you have a product such as a deodorant that lasts about 1 month. You add your retargeting list and in turn add an audience which is buyers in the last 30 days excluding buyers in the last 20 days. You’ll be shocking those people who are running out of deodorant and are probably thinking of joining the shopping list or maybe you’re lucky, which is for sure, and buy the product in question.

And don’t forget about the possibility of cross-selling your products.

In these campaigns, treat those who have already bought from you differently from those who have not

If you are displaying ads about people who have visited your website and have not converted, to make sure you are doing things the way you want, you will have to exclude buyers from your audience. As you must also do the same in reverse. Simply because you have different messages and it will not be the same copy to a person who has bought you from someone else who has not.

Here, we take care of the clicks in detail

Maybe you didn’t realize that the client might click on you in more than one campaign, so you’re wasting your money and not taking full advantage of your budget. So you should exclude these lists in your normal search campaigns as those who have already made the first click on the others.

Pay close attention to your remarketing strategy

Pay a lot of attention to your bidding strategy. In the previous point I told you about them but let’s go into a little more detail; if in the selection of strategies you choose “Segmentation and bidding” when segmenting to the extreme you’ll see how your clicks and traffic drop as a result. Since you only focus on the clients on your list and not everyone.

Dynamic Remarketing for e-commerces

If you have an ecommerce with many product categories and subcategories it would be a rather laborious job to make retargeting lists based on URL’s. Google solves this problem with dynamic ads.

Do you have all the cookies?

Yes, I’m talking about cookies. For the Google algorithm to start working you need a minimum of cookies. In this case, unlike the 100 Display campaigns, they need a minimum of 1000 cookies in the last 30 days.

Cookies on websites
Beware of cookies!

Here’s a bonustrack from Google’s Support page, which is also very helpful.

5 – Conclusion

Now that you know all the advantages of implementing this type of campaign, you know how to do it and you also have several tricks and tips to start implementing them in your accounts without any fear. Like the “Cart Abandoned” on Facebook is one of those campaigns that you put if or if in your accounts, theRLSA will be a fixture in your Google accounts.

Cart Abandoned Google Ads
The famous abandoned cart

But don’t do it with all campaigns either, because the campaigns you feed your lists must have a purchase intention. If it is for another purpose, it is necessary to study well if it is worthwhile to impact on them again. An example would be with branding campaigns.

The only problem in getting the campaigns up and running is the cookies. You must have at least 1000. Therefore, when making these lists, they must be broad at first in order to put them into operation.

In the case of having a low volume account you should make a strategy like the following: focus your audience on “Observation” so you can shoot more people.

However, if the account is large and with a lot of pull, it is best to separate the campaigns for greater customization.

The most positive aspect is that you will be addressing a totally personalized message to a specific target and this will lead to beneficial results.

If you liked the article about remarketing lists in Google Ads, I have other articles about PPC just as interesting as the Google Ads Audit in 45 steps or the SKAGs method.
And if you don’t get too clear on this type of campaign, I invite you to click here.

See you at the next post!


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