How to retarget website visitors with Google Ads

5 steps to get started

You’ve been working hard on your SEO and content marketing to get people to your website, but how do you keep your brand in front of them after they’ve left your site? One way is by learning how to retarget website visitors with Google ads.

You’ve probably seen these ads — you checked out a pair of shoes, then you’re reading the news and those shoes show up in the sidebar. That’s retargeting. Remarketing ads from Google can appear on almost any site that is part of the Google Display Network, which includes more than 2 million sites that reach over 90 percent of people on the internet.

Retargeting ads are not just for big business anymore.

 

Even small businesses are practicing retargeting as an important marketing tactic to keep customers thinking about their brands well after they’ve visited their sites.

Editor’s note: Looking to ramp it up a notch on your SEO marketing efforts? Check out GoDaddy’s SEO Services to work less and rank higher.

5 steps to retarget website visitors

You can retarget website visitors with Google Ads with these five easy steps:

  1. Set up tracking on your website,

  2. Update your privacy policy.

  3. Create segmented lists based on how visitors interact with your website.

  4. Build your Google Ad campaigns.

  5. Review metrics and optimize.

We’ll dive into these five major steps to retargeting website visitors in a minute. First, read on to learn a little more about why retargeting is so important. Then get ready to dig into each specific step, and then learn a few advanced techniques.

Related: What’s the difference between Amazon advertising and paid ads on Google and Facebook?

Why retargeting is important

Today’s web shoppers have short attention spans. They can abandon the sales funnel for any reason — from a new Netflix notification that grabbed their attention to comparison shopping to their credit card just not being handy.

Retargeting helps bring those visitors back to your site so they can complete their conversions.

It increases the effectiveness of all your other marketing efforts, increases your brand awareness, and — most importantly — drives conversions.

Statistically, retargeted display ads get 10 times better click-through rates than standard display ads (0.7 percent for retargeted ads compared to 0.07 percent for standard display ads, according to CMO.)

Follow these 5 steps to retarget website visitors with Google Ads

To use retargeting, you’ll need to have a Google Ads account.

1. Set up tracking on your website

Log into ads.google.com, then visit Tools > Shared Library > Audience Manager.

Retarget Website Visitors Audience Manager

  • Click on the Blue Plus sign, then Website Visitors to create a new remarketing list.
  • Select Collect standard data available from this data source unless you’re ready for advanced remarketing with data feeds and personalized ads.

Retarget Website Visitors Ad Tag Data Source

  • Install the generated site tag on your website. The easiest way to track your website is with Google Tag Manager, or you can embed code directly into the header code on your site.

Be sure to add the code to your entire site — not just specific pages — to build the largest, most complete remarketing list possible.

Depending on the volume of traffic your website is getting, it might take some time to get enough people on your list to begin segmenting and running retargeting ads. You must have 100 active visitors or users within the last 100 days to use the Google Display Network for retargeting, and 1,000 active visitors or users within the last 30 days to use the Google Search Network.

2. Update your privacy policy

Installing a tracking pixel like the one that Google Ads uses to collect information for remarketing requires an update to your privacy policy. You’ll need to include:

  • a description of how you’re using remarketing or similar audiences to advertise online.
  • how third-party vendors, including Google, show your ads on sites across the internet.
  • how third-party vendors use cookies to serve ads based on someone’s past visits to your website.
  • information about how visitors can opt-out of cookies.

You can learn more about the requirements from Google on what to include in your privacy policy in the Google Ads Help Center.

Related: Tips for your Terms of Service and Privacy Policy pages

3. Create segmented lists based on how visitors interact with your website

You can create ad campaigns for specific categories of products you sell in your GoDaddy Online Store or specific content pages on your blog. If this is your first foray into Google remarketing ads, you can also create an audience of anyone who has visited your site for a basic ad campaign.

Related: Using customer segments to build lasting relationships

4. Build your Google Ad campaigns

Building an ad campaign for a remarketing campaign starts the same as a traditional Google Ads campaign. When you’d usually pick audience demographics to target your add, instead you’ll select the audience based on How they have interacted with your business.

Retarget Website Visitors Audiences

Pro tip: When building your ad campaign for Google Display Network remarketing ads, use as many ad sizes and formats as you can — including text ads, mobile ads, graphics, and HTML5. This helps you reach your audience at precisely the right moment, no matter where they are.

You will also need to set a budget for your campaign. Prices for remarketing ads are much lower than standard pay-per-click ads. (The average cost per click in AdWords across all industries is $2.69 for search and $0.63 for display, according to Wordstream.) You can also optimize for target CPA (cost per acquisition or conversion) to maximize your conversions.

Related: Using Google AdWords: 8 things every small business should know

5. Review metrics and optimize

No matter how much automatic optimization Google does for your remarketing campaigns, you still need to review your metrics and manually optimize your account regularly. Compare the performance of different ad creatives, including the copy, colors and calls-to-action. Develop new tests to increase your results.

Related: 8 costly call-to-action mistakes you’re making on your website

Advanced remarketing techniques

Once you’ve gotten comfortable with using remarketing to retarget your website visitors, you can start using more advanced remarketing techniques. These techniques can increase personalization and improve your results.

Remove exclusions for languages, locations and placements

If you’re running a standard Google Ads campaign, you are likely targeting people in a specific location or who speak the language of your website. With remarketing ads, you can remove these exclusions because you’re targeting people who have already visited your site. They are more likely to recognize your brand and respond to the ad regardless of the context.

Automate your frequency caps

Let Google’s algorithms optimize your frequency caps as it learns how likely each viewer is to click on and convert from your ad.

Leverage Dynamic Ads and a Data Feed

As an eCommerce seller, you can leverage dynamic display ads with a feed to easily re-show the exact product that the shopper viewed on your site. Your data feed from your GoDaddy Online Store should include your full catalog of products with relevant images, titles and prices.

Use remarketing lists for search ads

Remarketing isn’t limited to the Display network. You can also show ads to your past visitors as they do follow-up Google searches after they’ve left your website.

Expand your remarketing lists to reach new customers

Google is a powerhouse of information about customers — not just about the activity that they take on your site. With Similar Audiences targeting, you can reach new audiences with similar browsing histories and interests to your existing audience, increasing your visibility.

Customer list remarketing

If you have an existing list of contacts, like your email list, you can also upload the contact information to your Google account, and show them ads across different Google products when they are signed in with that contact information.

Connect, convince and convert

Retargeting website visitors with Google Ads is a powerful way to stay connected with your target audience, even after they leave your website. In most cases, for less than the price of a cup of coffee you can bring a visitor back and increase your chances of a conversion.

Image by: Simon Connellan on Unsplash

Brandi Johnson
Brandi Johnson is a marketing consultant and coach with over 14 years of online marketing experience, including content marketing and email marketing. She helps overwhelmed business owners create and implement marketing strategies that support their business goals with less time. You can find her blogging over at heybrandi.com or subscribe to her weekly podcast.