The Best AdWords Retargeting Strategies

7 Effective Retargeting Strategies from Marketing Experts

Retargeting campaigns are the ones helping you bring your visitors back so they finish the purchase of the product they were interested in before. These type of campaigns are great, not only because they help you connect with people that already knows you but also because Google retargeting campaigns are less costly with lower CPCs and higher conversion rates.

Also, maintaining customer relationships is cheaper than attracting new ones. This means that even though it’s very important to grow and bring new people to your site, it will always be worth it to invest on reconnecting with the audience you already have.


Google Remarketing / Retargeting

Get them to purchase and re-engage with you is a very easy thing to do through Google Remarketing Ads. You won’t need to have any personal information from your visitors like their email, but only have them visiting any site of your online store. This way you can use retargeting for building brand awareness, increasing your audience engagement and acquiring customers.

While retargeting has proven to be one of the most effective techniques for leading sales, a poorly set up Google Retargeting campaign could be harmful for you. Then, let’s learn from our seven easy Google Remarketing strategies to build and maintain closer relationships with your visitors and customers, and boost conversions quickly:

1/ Be fair, don’t bombard your audience with ads.

Let’s be honest, most people hate ads. Ads interrupt people from what they were doing online. Pop-ups interrupt the browsing experience every time you enter a site, you have to scroll past a dozen ads everytime you want to read news if you are lucky not to accidentally click on one of them, and watching series or listening to music are also activities you cannot do without being interrupted by ads.

Most ads are intrusive, and creepy remarketing stalks you with the same display ad everywhere you go. That’s why a lot of people are using ad blockers nowadays. However, 77% of people agree with the statement “I wish there were a way to ad-filter instead of ad-block completely”. It seems customers don’t completely hate ads, but they hate bad ads.

When talking about retargeting ads, it’s not that difficult not to be that intrusive to annoy your current and potential customers. This is because you are probably showing them something they like, as they previously showed interest on it. But you should find a balance in terms of how many times you show the same ad to the same audience. This applies not only to avoid overbearing but also to prevent under-serving. Serving too few ads could cost you a lot of money left on the table. So how often should you show your ads to your audiences?

a/ Setting an appropriate frequency capping could be the difference between reminding your audience about your brand and products, and stalking them until they hate you.

You can set your frequency capping in the Settings tab of each of your campaigns, ad groups and ads. The more campaigns and ad groups you have, the lower the frequency frequency you show your ads, just in case visitors are in more than one remarketing list. You can set it on daily, weekly or monthly limits.

We recommend you set around 2-3 impressions per week, per campaign for starting. Then review your reach and frequency and optimize it and re-adjust it according to the data you find in your Dimensions tab.

b/ Adjust your list membership duration to your products and services needs.

It’s important to set membership durations only for as long as they are required, it makes no sense to follow visitors for hundreds of day.  For most products, if they didn’t convert after a month showing them the ad, they will never do. So we recommend you setting your membership durations depending on your goals.

For instance, if your product or service last for more than a year, for example yearly insurances, then you should target them for at least a little more than that amount of time, let’s say 13 months. If you want people to sign in after a free trial of 15 days, target them for 30-45 days, so they have at least a couple of weeks to think about it.

c/ Narrow your audience by excluding people that proved not to be interested.

Refine your targeting and target only quality visitors that had a quality interaction with your site. You can do this by excluding people that spent less than a few seconds on your site and the ones that bounced. You can easily build these lists on Google Analytics and then combine them on Google Ads to exclude the different groups you select.

Choosing correctly how you target your ads, how often and for how long you show them, is the first thing you should think of for building the most effective Google Remarketing Ads.

2/ Display the right ad creativities for connecting with your audience.

Retargeting allows you show your ads to people that already visited your site, which makes it essential to display a message that automatically convince them to click your ad. For instantly connecting with them so they remind you, you have to make sure the ads are well branded. People watching these ads already saw your logo and are familiar with your site’s design, colors and products. So the ad should absolutely have continuity with your website design and include your logo.

Classify the ads you display depending and segment the retargeted people

  • For people that visited a concrete product page but didn’t purchase it, it will be much more effective if you display that same exact product in the ad you show them.
  • If you are targeting people that already made a purchase, for generating repeat purchases, your ad creative should include a discount that they can apply in their next purchase.

Some other things you should think of when designing your Google Remarketing Ads

  • You can create both animated and static versions of each ad. Animated versions usually get a higher conversion rate, but not all sites support them. This way you ensure to make the most out of your ads.
  • Create all banner sizes allowed by Google, or at least the most extended ones. This is important because not all sites support all ad formats, so the more formats you have the more possibilities that your ad shows up. The Ad sizes that work best are 728 x 90 (most clicks), 300 x 280 (2nd most clicks) and 336 x 280 (highest CTR).
  • Regardless on the type of message you want to use for getting them back on each ad, there should always be a call-to-action button. Depending on the strategy it could state “Get Coupon”, “Buy Now”, etc. It should always outstand so people click and don’t go unnoticed.

Once you activate your ads, keep a close look and test your ads through Google Ads experiments. Change colors, call to actions, images, etc., and optimize your ads frequently for continually improving your results.

You can create both animated and static versions of each ad. Animated versions usually get a higher conversion rate, but not all sites support them. If you’re looking to design an animated banner for your ad campaign, you can always hire a freelance animator on a platform such as Twine.This way you ensure to make the most out of your ads”.

3/ Take into account the view-through conversions.

Not all purchases coming from seeing your Google Retargeting Ads come from actually clicking on it. This is called the billboard effect, billboards rarely leads to immediate purchases, but are all about branding. They keep your brand “top of mind”, educate your customers and result in more sales later, these sales are called view-through conversions. But how do you track them?

The billboard effect of your Google Remarketing Ads can be tracked on Google Ads, in the view-through window. View-through conversions are tracked whenever a member of your audience sees a retargeted ad, and then visits your site without clicking the ad. You can set the maximum amount of days in which that visit will be consider a  view-through conversion. By default it’s set a 24-hour view-through window, but you can set a 30-day or the amount of time you consider that better fits your business.

4/ Segment your audiences with Google Dynamic Remarketing Ads.

Dynamic Remarketing

Not all your visitors have the same value. Visitors that made a purchase or almost did (cart abandoners) have a higher value than visitors that visited your home page and left. Segmenting these visitors will help you optimize your retargeting strategy.

That’s why it’s no surprise that Google Dynamic Remarketing Ads show a higher ROI than normal Google Remarketing Ads. Dynamic Remarketing Ads are highly customizable, as you can personalize your message and creativities depending on the visitor’s past behavior, using information from their previous visit to create ads that appeal to them. A golden rule is to use a different call to action for each of the sales funnels.

You can easily set Google Dynamic Remarketing Ads by creating a Display Network campaign first on your Google Ads account. Select Display Network > Sales > Standard Display Campaign. Once you complete the creation of the Google Ads campaign, select the remarketing options, go to Audiences < Remarketing and select a remarketing list.

5/ Create your Google Remarketing Lists for getting the highest ROAS possible.

How to design your Google Ads segments depends on the structure and size of your eCommerce store. The bigger you are and the more visitors you have, the more convenient is for you to have lots of very granular segments. Remarketing lists need a target of a minimum of 100 active visitors for working on the Google Display Network, and a minimum of 1.000 for Google Search Network. So the more visitors you have, the more granular you can be on the segmentation of your campaigns.

If you are a mid-sized eCommerce store, you will probably not have enough users for each segment.

Segment your remarketing lists in at least the following categories

  • All visitors: 6, 35, 90, 360 days
  • Product visitors: 6, 35, 90, 360 days
  • Category visitors: 6, 35, 90, 360 days
  • Shopping Cart: 6, 35, 90, 360 days

You should also take into account if they visited your site more than once, you can check this on Google Analytics. These users have a higher value than the ones that just bounced.

The 6, 35, 90 and 360 days are just an example of time ranges that usually have a good performance, but as mentioned in previous sections, you should adapt it to your business. If your average buying cycle is longer, just make it longer so it fits your needs.

The reason of setting different days is to bid higher the fresher the user is. This way you will bid higher for your 6-days list than for your 35-days list and so on. For example, you can bid $.8 for fresh visitors on your 6-days list, $.6 for visitors on the 35-days list, $.4 for visitors on your 90-days list and $.2 for the ones in the 520-days list. Of course there are higher chances that people from the 6-days list convert than from the rest.

The 360-days list will be useful for advertising your discounts and special offers to people that visited your store in the last year. It won’t be as effective as traditional remarketing but could help you make some sales.


Retargeting is a powerful advertising tool that you can use in all kind of online businesses. Have you used Google Remarketing before? Had you applied any of the tricks we mentioned in this article? If so, did they work? Btw,

have you familiarized yourself with the PMAX campaigns from Google and Microsoft? They’re quite noteworthy and not to be overlooked!

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