6 pieces of remarketing advice from 6 Google Certified Trainers

Posted on Monday, 29. May 2017 in category Google Advertising. 7 min read • Written by

Andraž Štalec

Retargeting users using Google AdWords, Facebook Ads or any other remarketing platform is nothing new. For  years  now advertisers have been using this targeting method increasingly more to optimize their campaigns and deliver better performance to their digital campaigns. But to achieve even more exceptional results, advertisers are now looking for new, effective remarketing techniques, ones that go much further than simple remarketing campaigns.

We asked six Google Certified Trainers, the crème de la crème of Google AdWords experts, to share their experience with remarketing.



Ivan Rečević

Marketing technologist consultant @ Gaia Consulting / @irecevic

Remember the old saying that a customer can only have 2 out of 3 things? These three things are price, quality and speed. If you need something fast and high quality it will be expensive. And you can play this game all day long.

At any rate, remarketing with AdWords is almost the same game. Visitors to a website leave a trail of needs, and this need can be marked with one (or three) tags. A Google AdWords Remarketing tag is often used for such basic use – put it on a website and collect information about the visitors. Or use Analytics information for proper segmentation of remarketing lists.

This is just a matter of taste and preference. I like to mix things up a little – like custom tagging with Analytics (outside comfort zones that defined templates for different verticals offer) .

But the basic idea (and use) is as follows:

  • Depending on the site vertical (bank, retail etc.) visitors have needs
  • Needs are represented by 3 categories (price, quality, speed). Sometimes speed can’t be used due to the type of products or services offered and exist here for purposes of complete reference
  • Each visitor need can be defined using 3 level marks – low, medium, high; as follows:
    • Price of product: low, medium or high
    • Quality of product: low, medium or high
    • Speed (how fast visitor needs it, or there’s a time component to service): urgent, neutral, long tail
  • This means that if you send within a remarketing tag three additional markers with different values you can have 27 different combinations (33) representing a wide range of visitor needs
  • You can work with only 2 additional markers, which will give you 32 variations
  • Build responses to visitor needs (based on three component values) with remarketing messages
  • Use speed to determine timing (along with Google Analytics data in Time Lag report)
  • Mix it up with Google Analytics remarketing lists



Egils Boitmanis

Co-owner @ Infinitum 8, CEO @ Digital Journey / @egilsb

Remarketing is all about segmentation and communication. There are several ways of segmenting your audience that should be tested to achieve the best results: stages of customer journey, audience characteristics, days since last visit, interest in site content.

Days since last visit

It’s important to understand the average time a person uses to make a decision. Once we know ZMOT and other parameters, we can be sure that our remarketing strategy is getting to the people at the right time. For example, if a potential client would like to purchase a product or service, it’s highly likely that if we show remarketing ads 30 days later with a call to purchase, we would see low return performance, since the potential client has very likely already made his decision. You can check “Time lag” reports in analytics to get the idea. 

Interest in website content

In order to create a strategy that performs, it’s important to understand at which stage of the customer journey the person is. The closer the person gets to the completing the conversion, the higher his interest. For example, a person that has come to the website and immediately left is less likely to turn into a customer than a person that has added a specific product to the shopping cart, but left without completing the process.

Importance of communication

Depending in which phase of the customer journey the audience is we should communicate through adapted messaging, since people have different expectations at different stages of  the customer journey.

Focus on optimization

Since remarketing tends to bring greater revenue volumes, higher conversion rates and overall better performance, the advertiser is usually interested in reaching most of the audience. In other words, display or search impression share plays a big role in remarketing campaigns.

While the above-mentioned tactics and strategies work really well, we mustn’t forget one very simple but time- powerful remarketing benefit – its ability to affect our subconscious mind. The simple logic of the ad following the user can ‘’trick’’ the average mind into thinking that, ‘’Wow, this product or service must be very popular, they have ads everywhere’’, so sooner or later the person returns to the site to at least check the offer again. Consequently, this grows brand awareness as the product/service becomes subconsciously connected with the brand .



Ondrej Slama

Performance Director @ Adexpres.com / @ondrejslama

Create a segmented audience by lifespan (e.g. 1–2 days, 3–7, 8–14, 15–30 etc). I’ve always seen a big difference in results when targeting and combining audiences this way. At the same time, don’t overthink it, and remember you need a minimum of 100 active cookies (1000 in search) over the last 30 days for each audience to run. Many complex remarketing strategies never took off completely as a result of insufficient data.

Don’t smirk at the maximum 450-day cookie lifespan. I often encounter the opinion that no one wants to be retargeted for a year-and-a-half. Of course not – constantly that is. What if your customer purchases a pair of summer shoes? Don’t you think it would be a good idea to retarget her again next summer? Just create a positive remarketing audience of summer shoe customers lasting 450 days and add the same audience with a  365-day lifespan as negative and watch the conversions roll.

Use similar audiences to your advantage; but from my experience, never expect them to perform the same as their original remarketing twins. It’s best to keep similar audiences in separate ad groups, because after all, the copy ought to be different for someone who has never come across your website before.

My last tip is to watch out for remarketing when analysing ad copy or placements in a display network. Analysing ad or placement performance without taking out all remarketing ad groups is clearly just going to mess up your research. That’s when clear, systematic campaign and ad group naming (rather than labels, which work mainly in AdWords) really pays off.



Cristian Ignat

Chief Canopyst @ Canopy / @CristianIgnat

Remarketing is crucial in any digital strategy you have. There are two important ways this method can help you: by increasing your brand notoriety (by showing your brand multiple times to the same audience); and increasing sales (by reminding your audience about your brand and your products). I see three important directions for remarketing that should be part of any business:

Dynamic Remarketing

This way the ads will show the exact products (with image, price, discount etc.) to the audience that was interested in exactly those products. See how Booking shows you the hotels you are looking at when you are looking to organise your vacation.

General Remarketing

You first need to know the average time your audience uses to decide to buy your products / services. Then you should have a general remarketing campaign, which I recommend for branding. You want that when your audience really needs your products to remember you, too. The banners from this campaign should bring your logo and the main differentiators up front.

Remarketing for Search

Online its easy to change your mind and compare brands. You want to make sure the visitors that were on your website will see your brand again when they’re looking again for information about what you offer. This is why you want to have a dedicated Remarketing for Search campaign that contains more general words and higher bids than normal.



Ivelina Manova

Managing Director @ Accella Digital / @AccellaDigital

Building powerful remarketing lists

We can create Google Analytics audiences by using data on specific page-views, but also use custom event tracking on specific elements. Developing lists based on page-views is more common and easiest to set, both from Google Analytics and Google AdWords. There are many successful combinations, including:

  • viewed a product or category but haven’t purchased
  • abandoned shopping cart

You can integrate event tracking in Google Analytics to count on click elements. Such implementation can be useful when add to cart or outbound buttons are not firing a new page but are seeing a high engagement rate. Some of the lists that can be effective:

  • Add to Cart / Add to wish list events lists
  • Download a whitepaper/document

The effectiveness of the remarketing efforts depends on the quality of the traffic the website is receiving. So, make use of all available segmentation options in Google Analytics to supercharge your remarketing audiences with powerful behaviour-driven data, such as age & gender, device or recency and other.



Andraž Štalec

CEO @ Red Orbit / @andrazstalec

My first advice would be not to use remarketing only at the end of the purchase journey, but throughout the decision journey. Start building your own audience at the beginning of the consumer decision journey (top of the funnel). Use remarketing to retarget users that demonstrated at least a minimal interest in your product/service and start building a relationship with them. Create remarketing campaigns that educate users, nurture your relationship and push users further down the funnel.

Also, cross-match your remarketing list with your own CRM data to create more specific segments. Use past user behaviour, AOV, CLV, customer size, and frequency of purchases to create smart segments. Not all users are the same. Some are totally new to your brand, some are loyal, some are active buyers, some are switchers. Adapt your interactions with those users based not only on which phase of the consumer decision journey they’re in, but also to which smart segment they belong.

Regardless of how advanced your current remarketing strategy is you should always be testing new ideas. You never know when and where you’ll find another gem.


What are your best remarketing practices? What works for you and what not? How many remarketing lists do you have? Do you find your remarketing efforts a good investment?

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