Google Remarketing: What is it & How Does it Work?

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How does google remarketing work

Today, an ad is not just an ad. Each marketing strategy serves as something more powerful. It’s a way to connect with users across various platforms and tap into their intrinsic buying cycles.

You know when you added those shoes to your cart, then exited the website, only to see those exact shoes advertised on your weather website.

Meet Google remarketing: the advertising tactic that is revolutionizing the way we behave and shop online. A remarketing strategy allows a brand to revisit customers (or potential customers) who have previously interacted with them. You can reposition your product/service in front of audiences – again.

Considering that only about 5 percent of paid traffic actually converts on the first visit, if you’re selling a product, you want the chance to track down those 95 percent of your other first-time website visitors. Remarketing provides a powerful way to find interested customers and convince them to actually follow through with a purchase.

That’s the simple explanation for remarketing, but there’s so much more to this tactic. In this post, we’ll dive deeper into the strategies for remarketing, how they work, and how they could benefit your business. What is Remarketing?

Remarketing is the concept of remembering visitors on your website through the use of cookies and displaying targeted advertising (or impressions) to past visitors. Depending on your settings, remarketing allows you to connect with these visitors after a few weeks or months through text or image ads. The idea is to remind your past visitors about your product, service, or business through advertising impressions on the Google display network.

What is Google Remarketing?

How remarketing works foxxr

Google defines remarketing as:

“A way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app. It allows you to strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites, thus helping you increase your brand awareness or remind those audiences to make a purchase.”

Let’s say you sign up for a travel website and browse trips to Greece, then decide not to hit “purchase” on your vacation package. The next thing you know, you’re seeing banner ads about flights and hotels in Greece from the same provider on websites in the massive Google Display Network.

The travel brand is using a calculated tactic to reposition a product they know you’re interested in right in front of you – but outside of their website. The goal is to reel you back in, and in most cases, it works, especially if they’re pairing the ad with a coupon code or discount.

Roughly 13 percent of the top million sites in the world are using remarketing. If you really want to convert visitors into buyers, it will take more than one interaction, and a remarketing campaign gives you that opportunity.

How Does Remarketing Fit into a Broader Marketing Strategy?

Remarketing part of larger marketing strategy

Google remarketing is part of a larger marketing strategy, one that focuses on learning about your potential customers. You want to know:

  • When they visit your site
  • What they looked at
  • If they added things to the cart
  • How many times they’ve visited

Instead of casting a super wide net and trying to bring in customers who don’t know your brand, you’re spearfishing – going after specific potential customers who already have your products/services on their radar.

Let’s talk about how remarketing would actually work within your current marketing plan.

You might already have a marketing campaign, but you need one that revisits the potential customers, not just one that shouts your brand name from the rooftop.

How Remarketing Works

Remarketing example

Now you understand the general flow of remarketing campaigns. But why do they work? How are they effective?

When you strategically place a remarketing ad somewhere, you reignite the buying process. Maybe the customer wasn’t planning to come back to your website and hit “purchase,” and this spurs them to do so now. Perhaps they weren’t 100 percent sure about buying, but this ad changes their mind.

You might feel like you’re “bombarding” someone who doesn’t want to be bothered after seeing your products, but remember the “mere-exposure effect” that’s been used in marketing since the 1960s.

The more times we encounter something (a brand, a product, a person), the more we tend to like it. If these customers were already willing to spend time on your website and shop around, then their favor for your brand and eagerness to buy will likely increase with a strong Google remarketing campaign.

Although this entire process might seem like a pain to set up, it’s not as challenging as it seems – especially with the right help. Partnering with a team of marketing experts like ours at Foxxr gives you access to tried-and-true remarketing strategies that get results quickly.

Ways to Remarket with Google

Standard Remarketing

The first remarketing strategy we’ll discuss is the typical Google Display Network ad. This is that banner ad that pops up when you’re on a blog or that one on the sidebar when you’re reading the news.

Standard remarketing

Using the data you’ve gathered, you can set up remarketing ads that appear across Google and a variety of websites. These advertisements work similarly to Facebook ads, but they market repeatedly to users in many different places.

Dynamic Remarketing

Next, there’s dynamic remarketing. Rather than just presenting an ad that seems relevant, this strategy revolves around the user’s specific behavior. This is that ad we talked about earlier – the one that presents the exact product you were already looking at, but in a different place.

Dynamic remarketing

This is an extremely direct marketing approach. You’re not just putting your brand name out there again – you’re positioning products you know the user once looked at in their line of sight.

Dynamic remarketing ads tend to perform very well, especially if you include a discount, shipping offer, coupon code, or another prompt to get the viewer to revisit your page and make a purchase.

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

Your next option is to remarket based on who has visited your website and what they’re searching on Google. That sounds confusing, but let us explain.

Remarketing list search ads

Image Source

A shopper appears on your website, looks around, then leaves. You, the seller, will optimize your ads, keywords, and bids to target this exact shopper – and similar ones. Over time, the remarketing ads will work to convert these visitors as they look for similar products or topics on Google.

Confused by the thought of “bidding” for visitor conversions? Talk to a Foxxr expert. We’ll explain the process and show you how remarketing lists can benefit your business.

Video Remarketing

Now, let’s talk about a fan favorite: video remarketing. Everybody and their 12-year-old kid is on YouTube, so why not take some of your remarketing tactics there?

Let’s say you’ve been dealing with a broken AC unit, so you turned to a website to learn about other options – like central AC systems powered by solar energy. You don’t make any purchases, but decide to research on YouTube how to maybe fix your old unit on your own.

Video remarketing ad example

Bam. That’s a perfect opportunity for the solar company or another website you visited to remarket to you on YouTube. Before your instructional video begins, a 30-second ad plays, encouraging you to reconsider what they’re offering.

This can be achieved by linking your Google Ads account with your YouTube channel. A marketing team will help you create a series of remarketing lists to tackle specific YouTube searches and videos.

Customer List Remarketing

Customer list remarketing

Your final option for a remarketing campaign is to use the customer lists you already have. If you have customer email addresses that are associated with a Google account, you can specifically target them with Google Ads if your account has reached $50,000 in ad spend. Facebook also allows this without the ad spend requirement.

Whether you’re a big corporation or a small mom-and-pop brand, if you have an email list, you can upload that contact information to begin a powerful remarketing campaign.

Why You Should Use Remarketing?

Roughly 68 percent of businesses now have an allocated budget for remarketing. If you don’t, that’s an entire realm of advertising potential that your brand might be overlooking.

Why use remarketing

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Whether you’re concerned primarily about driving sales activity or boosting brand recognition, the reasons to start remarketing strategies are clear. Some of the top benefits include:

Well-Timed Ad Targeting

What better time is there to target a customer than when your products are already on their mind? Unlike a generic Google Ad, a remarketing ad is not random. It’s appearing at just the right time based on when the user last visited your website.

The default algorithm for most Google Ads is to target the customer for roughly 30 days after they visit your website, but this can be changed to properly reflect your marketing goals. You can change how often these ads are appearing and how long they are targeting a customer.

More Focused Ads

Another big benefit of using remarketing ads is how precise they are. If you’re a sporting goods store, you’re not just targeting anyone who likes sports. You’re targeting people who like the products YOU sell and who are likely very familiar with your brand.

In addition, you can make your ads hyper-focused with specific discounts, coupon codes, and other enticements.

Larger Reach

Although you could retreat on your own with Facebook ads alone, that’s a small scope to target. With Google remarketing ads, you can expand your reach substantially.

Present your ads on blogs, news sites, and other social platforms. As long as your customers are visiting a website that is a part of the Google Ad network (which has more than two million websites), they can see your ads. That’s a massive reach for fairly minimal effort.

Efficient Cost Management

We recommend remarketing strategies to many clients because they are affordable. Not only do most remarketing strategies offer a high ROI, but they’re also relatively inexpensive to set up and maintain.

Quick, Easy Ad Creation

Yet another benefit of remarketing is the ease of ad creation. Producing text, images, and videos for these ads doesn’t take long or require too much effort – especially if you work with a marketing company that can easily tackle these tasks.

Precise Data Tracking

Lastly, you’ll also have access to a plethora of informative data when you use Google remarketing strategies. You need to know exactly where your customers are coming from to properly manipulate your marketing tactics, and with remarketing ads, you can follow people’s behavior.

The more data you have to play with, the more you can fine-tune advertising campaigns to reach interested customers more effectively.

How to Get Started with Google Remarketing

Should you begin a remarketing campaign, it won’t take long to start seeing some conversions roll in. This is a powerful strategy, and even if it doesn’t pull in immediate purchases (which is unlikely), it gets your brand out there in the eyes of valuable shoppers.

At Foxxr Digital Marketing, our goal is to push your current boundaries to bring in more revenue and customers. We’re always on the lookout for innovative marketing strategies, and we know our way around a stellar remarketing campaign.

If you’re ready to take the leap and start remarketing for your brand, give us a call at (727) 379-2207. You can also contact us online to schedule your free consultation.

First Published: September 4, 2018

Updated: April 26, 2021

Avatar for Brian Childers

Brian Childers

Brian Childers is the Founder and CEO of Foxxr Digital Marketing, a St. Petersburg, FL-based agency specializing in home services marketing. An accomplished SEO expert with 15years of experience, Brian and his team has a proven track record of driving organic growth for home service businesses. Under his leadership, Foxxr's team of digital marketers crafts data-driven SEO strategies that consistently increase website visibility, generate high-quality leads, and boost revenue for clients in the competitive home services sector.