Google remarketing: The basics

Consider this. You visit a supermarket/department store. Have a look at some shoes, maybe even try some on. From the footwear section you go onto the dairy aisle and you compare cheese to decide what will work best for your dinner party that night. Without purchasing anything you go on with the rest of the day. Now imagine having somebody follow you around on that same day reminding you of those red shoes you tried on, or that block of cheese that really was good value for money. What are the chances that because of these reminders you go back to that shop and purchase those goods or similar? The key thing is you went back to that same shop. That therein is the principle of Google Remarketing.

Remarketing is a form of online advertising that uses cookies to tag visitors to a website. Once tagged, the user is presented with adverts, promoting your site and products while they browse the web (sites within Google Display Network) or when they search Google for terms related specifically to your products. The process uses a line of code, which is added to the pages of your site. The code, otherwise known as ‘tag’, is activated when an individual’s browsing activity meets the criteria i.e. add a tag to the webpage on dishwashers. Visitors to that page are added to the dishwasher remarketing list and then as they browse elsewhere within the Google Display Network, dishwasher ads pop up.

The tool can be applied in several ways. Initially you may decide to target everyone who visits your homepage, however, the costs incurred for this will be considerably high. To narrow the focus and increase the relevance of advertising, remarketing lists are recommended. These can be numerous and as varied as you require with the option of adding other targeting methods such as demographics.

Ads that are used for remarketing purposes within the Google Display Network can take several forms including text, images, video or rich media.

Aside from the obvious advantage of remarketing, that your customers are encouraged to buy from you; there are other benefits, namely brand exposure. Furthermore remarketing allows you to maintain a connection to visitors of your site, even after they may have forgotten about you.

Despite best efforts, it is worth noting that users do have the option of opting out of seeing remarketing ads and can do so easily by making changes to their browser settings.

Put simply:

  • Remarketing has a 300-400% Conversion Rate Boost (compared to standard ads based on Google 2012 data)
  • Lower cost per action and higher click-through rate.
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