What is remarketing?

At a high level, remarketing is a form of digital marketing that enables a site to show targeted ads to consumers who have already visited their site. These ads are served while past visitors are browsing the web, watching videos on YouTube, or even looking through their social media accounts. Remarketing is all around us, and it’s an excellent way of keeping your brand top-of-mind and inviting visitors to come back for more. Because past visitors who are already familiar with your brand are far more likely to turn into customers, remarketing also has the potential to dramatically improve your conversion rates and ROI.

In a Nutshell….


Remarketing vs. retargeting

While remarketing and retargeting have similar end goals, there are important differences in the strategic implementation of each. Retargeting is often referred to as online ad placements that target users who have interacted with a website in some way. Typically, third parties place the ads and show your ad on other sites. Retargeting is done using cookies.

Though very similar to retargeting, remarketing is a little different. Remarketing is often referred to as email campaigns that are able to re-engage customers in their inbox. For example, if a customer abandons their shopping cart, you can send them an email reminding them to go back and complete their purchase.

How does remarketing work?

Remarketing is a cookie-based technology that uses Javascript code to help track a user’s actions through different touch points as they engage on the site. Remarketing can be executed through various advertising platforms, commonly used with Google AdWords, Bing, and the Facebook/Instagram platform.

If you already advertise on any of these platforms, you take a small piece of code, also referred to as a pixel or tag, and place it on all pages of your website. The pixel is not visible to your site’s visitors and won’t affect the site’s performance.

Once you place the pixel on all pages of the site, or as many as your site platform or web master will allow, you will be able to build audience pools based on specific actions, pages, duration of time, and conversion completion to then re-engage with that audience. The goal is to recapture their attention in a unique way that would resonate with them.

For example, let’s say you own an ecommerce business that specializes in the sale of all-natural beauty products. You can tell through your Google Analytics account that many users are making it all the way to the “Cart” page but never actually purchasing the product.

So, you might create an “Added to Cart” remarketing audience based on those people. This way, you can show those specific visitors a highly targeted display ad that reminds them of the product that they added to their cart. We already know that they are interested in your beauty product, so now you can draw them back to complete their purchase.

What different types of remarketing are there?

In general, there are five distinct types of remarketing. Each one can be used individually, but it’s a good idea to interchange and use multiple types together.

1.Standard Remarketing: This is the process of showing ads to users who previously visited your website, as they browse other websites and apps on the Display Network.

For example, say a user visits your company’s website, then leaves to browse a completely different website. On this new site, they see an ad for your company’s website.

2.Dynamic Remarketing: This is a step above Standard Remarketing. It’s the process of showing ads with products or services that the user may have seen previously on your site or app.

An example of this would be if a user were shopping for shoes on your website, left the site, and then later was served an ad for the exact shoes they viewed earlier on your site.

3.Remarketing Lists for Search Ads: RLSA ads are only available in Google Adwords, and can be very effective when implemented well. This feature allows you to tailor your search campaign based on whether a user has previously visited your website or app.

RLSA ads can be used in two different ways:

  • First, you can make bid adjustments on your ad groups for users who are searching on Google with the same keywords that you are bidding on.
  • Second, you can set up search campaigns that are only triggered if a user searching for a keyword you’re bidding on is currently on your remarketing list.

RLSA ads are different from your standard remarketing in that a user still needs to be actively searching on Google with the keywords you are bidding on.

For example, let’s say someone visits your site, browses around for a few minutes but then leaves. This visitor is obviously more valuable than someone you hasn’t been to your site at all, correct?

Well, with RLSA ads, if a visitor has already been to your site and searches a keyword that is relevant to your business, you can bid higher and retarget them with an RLSA ad. RLSA ads tend to not get as much volume but tend to have high click-through rates.

4. Video Remarketing: Video remarketing is the process of showing ads to people who have interacted with your videos or YouTube channel while they use YouTube and browse Display Network videos. For example, if you are watching a video on YouTube that is on a certain company’s channel, you may later see an ad on a different video about the first company.

5. Customer List Remarketing: Using customer match, you can upload contact information that your customers have given you. Then, when those users sign into their Google account, you can show your ads to them. The most common use of this is email subscription sign-ups.

What are the benefits of remarketing ads?

Remarketing ads can help drive sales, increase subscriptions, and promote general awareness of your company.

According to Google, the following are benefits you can expect to find when using remarketing ads:

  • More access to people likely to purchase your product.
  • Ability to create lists and remarketing audiences.
  • Large-scale reach.
  • Real-time bidding, which results in efficient spending.
  • Performance reports to show how and where your ads are performing.
  • Easy ad creation using templated layouts.