by David Roberts on April 10, 2017 | Google Ads

Don't Make These Common Remarketing Mistakes

At Rocket, many of our new clients come to us with well-established AdWords accounts that have been operational for years. However, time and time again, we see common mistakes that have been made in their structure and setups. This article is going to look at some of the frequent faults we see with Google Remarketing.

1. Tag ‘em and Bag ‘em

Before you can even begin your Google Remarketing Campaign, you need to have the correct AdWords Remarketing Tag installed on your website. The AdWords tag allows a cookie to be placed on your visitors’ browser which will then allow your remarketing Ads to be served to them post-visit.

While this is straightforward, we often see mistakes being made with clients with mature AdWords campaigns. A common scenario may be that the client has added new pages to their website without having informed their PPC team. These pages remain untagged and thus they don’t help generate numbers for remarketing lists. Even worse, is building a completely new website and neglecting to revisit the tag implementation on the new site! This will render your remarketing campaigns completely ineffective.

You can always quickly check your tag status in the Audience settings in your AdWords console. If you see the red exclamation mark, you may need to check your tags.


2. The Naughty List


So, you’ve you got your Remarketing Tags firing on your website, great! Now, in order to run effective remarketing campaigns, you should be thinking about segmenting your audiences to show the right buyer persona the right message based off of their website activity.

AdWords will normally generate some automatic lists for you such as "All Visitors", but to get your remarketing really effective you should think about creating your own lists and avoid the one-to-many remarketing message approach.

Often when we audit accounts we can see simple mistakes that hinder the performance of the client’s remarketing campaign.

The most obvious of these errors is a failure to setup proper campaign exclusions.

Scenario: You sell a SAAS product. You want to show display remarketing Ads to everybody who visited your pricing page, however, you don’t want to waste media spend on your existing clients. You would want to setup two lists. One for visits to the pricing page and one based off a triggered event of logging into your SAAS platform. You would then need to exclude the logged-in users from your display campaign to the pricing page site visitors. This will stop any unwanted media leakage!

Another common setup error we see is overlapping durations.

Scenario: You have an ecommerce store. You want to offer promotions to clients who have abandoned their cart. You setup two lists with two different promotions. List one is for customers who abandoned cart two days ago, with a 10% off display promotion. List two is for customers who abandoned cart four days ago, with a 20% off display promotion. This is great, but unless you minus the two day list from the four day list, you may end offering a 20% discount to clients who would have returned with the 10% discount.

Probably the most frequent error we see when it comes to lists is clients who have gone too niche. If you try to get too clever with your segmentation, you might spend all this time setting up campaigns only to find you don’t have enough users for your Ads to actually serve.

Remember: You need a minimum of 100 website visitors tagged within thirty days for your display remarketing to serve. For search remarketing this number goes up to 1000 visitors.

Pro Tip: We have just covered off AdWords Tags and Remarketing Lists. It is important to also mention that you can use Google Analytics instead of AdWords Tags to cookie users and to build lists for remarketing. In fact, Analytics allows for a much greater level of sophistication when it comes to building lists. You can effectively create a list using any of the data available to you in Analytics, which is far superior to what you can do in AdWords. Deploying the Analytics tag via GTM, will normally mean you won’t get issues with missing AdWords tags on your site as well.

3. RLSA – Not what you need to work at a bar!

rlsa lists

RLSA, what is it? Remarketing Lists for Search Ads.

For some time now, it has been possible to remarket to search visitors in a similar way you have been doing your display remarketing.

Scenario: A visitor comes to your website, they are cookie-d and placed in a list. They go and perform a new Google search and you can do a variety of things. For example:

  1. You can have a new piece of Ad Copy shown to this user, perhaps with a stronger call to action or offer, which does not get shown to a visitor looking for your product/service the first time around.
  2. You use a bid modifier to target the user more aggressively. E.g. the user visits your pricing page. They perform another search with a relevant target keyword. You use a 15% bid modifier to bid more aggressively for that user as they are still in the market for what you are selling. This method typically sees you pay a higher CPC for a lead but will result in a lower CPA as the visitor is already familiar with your brand and more likely to convert. Conversely, if there is a likelihood that the user will not convert you can also use a bid modifier to decrease your bids.

So, where do we see the common mistakes with RSLA? Firstly, it's the complete absence of this tactic on so many well-established accounts. For a feature which has been available for several years, it’s amazing how many great brands and businesses we see who are not utilising RLSA.

Secondly, where clients go wrong is the strategy behind deploying RLSA, particularly bid modifiers. Without going too deep, it is important to have a full understanding of your search remarketing lists, conversion rates, CTR’s and CPAs before you start paying higher CPC’s. Many campaigns can be just as effective with 0% bid modifiers as they can be with 50%. So, don’t waste spend if you don’t have too!

4. Breaking Bad

bad creative

If you get all the steps above right and your design team outputs bad creative, it goes without saying that your remarketing campaign is likely to perform poorly.

Like all advertising, there is good and bad and it pays to take time to get your display creative right. Working in design elements to somehow demonstrate a level of scarcity, social proof, time sensitivity, authority, brand consistency and reciprocity will pay big dividends.

Too many times have we seen creative sets which have offers which are out of date, poorly formatted images, bad calls to action or irrelevant images.

Get the creative right!

At Rocket, we love helping our clients take their remarketing campaigns to the next level, so if you think you need help with the above get in touch with the team at Rocket today.

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