Guide to Google Remarketing Ads

You can find out more about the basics of remarketing on Google here. This article is more specifically aimed at the strategies behind remarketing and how you can get the best out of your Google Ads remarketing campaigns. 

As with any marketing campaign, you need to start with your goal and then work backwards and remarketing on Google is no different. Remarketing ads can play a very important part in various stages of a sales funnel.

Remarketing for Brand Awareness 

Brand awareness is vitally important to any business, but it becomes even more essential for lesser-known brands or smaller to medium-sized companies and local businesses. 

If your goal is to increase awareness of your business, remarketing can be a great way to do this. This can be done in a number of ways:

  1. Simply remarket to all of your website visitors with a generic message 
  2. Upload a database of email addresses (known as customer match) of people who made an enquiry via your website, but never became a customer
  3. Target users who have interacted with your YouTube channel or videos

Remarketing for Consideration 

Awareness alone won’t be enough to close the deal. This is where consideration comes in. Consideration is more targeted, as many businesses will offer a range of products or services. A garage may sell new and used cars, offer repairs and servicing, leasing, valet, parts etc. So for consideration, the audience you target and the messaging you display to them need to be more specific, as it wouldn’t be very effective to advertise to someone interested in servicing their car, an ad to lease a new one. So if we stick to the example of a garage, below are some ways you could focus your targeting to increase consideration:

  1. Create segments of your website visitors and show them more specific ads based on their behaviour on your website. So visitors to new car sections may see ads based on new vehicle deals and similar makes and models. Repeat this for used car sales, repairs and servicing, leasing, valets etc.
  2. Upload a customer list of your previous customers 11 months after they last had their MOT as a timely reminder to come back to you for their next MOT. 

Remarketing for Sales 

Now we have raised awareness and begun to peak consideration, it’s time to be more direct with your messaging. 

By targeting users that have either been exposed to previous ads or taken more detailed or more recent activity on your website, you can create tailored offers and deals directly to people who will be more likely to buy from you. 

Using our previous example of a garage, here are some more targeted options you could try:

  1. Create a remarketing audience with a 30-day duration to ensure relevancy. Users who visited new car pages, configurators and finance calculators exhibit more signals that they are a serious potential customer more than simply someone dreaming of a new car. Ads highlighting extended test drives, finance offers and other new car deals to these people will have a far better impact than a generic car dealership ad. If your website has enough traffic, you could even drill this down to specific makes and models where appropriate. 
  2. Upload customer lists regularly of people who have taken test drives. Give these audiences a 30-60 day duration to ensure you don’t advertise to people who may of already made their purchase. These ads could highlight limited-time finance deals and other time-specific offers to entice them back. 
  3. Upload customer lists each month of previous service or MOT customers based on when they will need their next service or MOT. 

These are just a few examples of remarketing strategies you could adopt. Depending on your business type, there will be many other options available.

Remarketing Ads Creatives 

Where the strategy behind your campaign and the targeting you use are vitally important, if you fail to get the ad creative and messaging correct, it will all be in vain. You must ensure consistency with your ad creatives if you want to build on brand awareness and consideration. You also need to craft well constructed and attractive offers. If you don’t, your competitors will happily step in. 

Your brand identity needs to stand out, the imagery used needs to look genuine and not like every other stock image. Giving people an incentive to click is also vital. Incentives may include money off, free upgrades, discounts on future purchases etc. Put yourself in your potential customer’s shoes, what would grab your attention? What would you see as great value? 

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads 

Remarketing lists for search ads, or RLSA for short, allow you to target specific users who have already interacted with your website, whilst they search on Google. The value here being, if a person has already visited your site, downloaded a PDF, had a test drive etc, they are more aware of your business/product. 

Sticking to the garage example above, you would use lists for the similar areas visited on your website. So if a prospective client was still looking for car servicing, if they had visited that section of your website before, you could apply a bid modifier and bid more competitively for anybody searching, who had previously visited your service section of your website. 

RLSA’s give you and your campaigns more insights and signals about a searcher, and you can then modify your bids up or down accordingly. 

If you run a real estate website for example, and a user has previously browsed your website and specifically used your mortgage calculator, you could assume that user to be more serious about buying a house and increase your bid specifically for users who have used your mortgage calculator.

You can also upload your email subscriber list, so if people are searching for your product or service and are on your email list, you can bid more competitively for them too. 

You can take things to the next level by running targeted campaigns to people who are only on your remarketing lists. Whilst the volumes for these campaigns may be low, you can craft specific ads that only those users will see, maybe with higher discount offers or very specific deals. 

The car dealer could offer discounts on servicing and MOT’s to all of their customers that had bought their car from them for example. 


To make RLSA’s work better for you, think about certain actions on your website that indicate more than someone just browsing casually. Views to your pricing page, contact page, email subscribers, people who got to the checkout page etc. These all display a higher level of interest and intent, so therefore, if these users are continuing to search, then they still have not made a purchase yet.  

Remarketing and remarketing lists for search ads are more complex and take some time and expertise to setup, but once in place, they can really help your business by reaching people who already have been exposed to your brand. This in turn increases the likelihood of a user buying your product or service. 

If you have any questions about remarketing, then feel free to reach out to us for a chat.

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