RLSA Google

RLSA Google Ads – How to use and set them up.

Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA Google Ads) allow advertisers to customize their search ads and target people that have previously visited their site, tailoring bids and ads to these specific visitors. They’ve been around since July 2021.

For instance, when people leave their shopping carts without buying anything, you can use RLSA for connecting with these people when they continue searching for what they need through Google Search. 

The most important reasons to use RLSA are to optimize bids for existing keywords for those specific visitors that are in your remarketing lists or to bid on keywords that you don’t normally bid on for those people. These can help you increase your sales and conversions since you can bid on more broad keywords for those people that already showed interest in them. 

In general, as you can target your search campaigns more accurately, this results in more efficient use of ad spend, better conversion rates, and a better ROI.

Remember, you can have your search ads created with Clever Ads Campaign Google Ads Creator.

How are RLSAs different from display remarketing?

Did you think that RLSAs are similar to traditional display remarketing campaigns? If so, you are completely wrong. The only thing they have in common is that they both use cookies to track users and add them to remarketing lists.

That being said, the way that the lists are used is totally different because RLSAs do not just automatically show text ads to users because they are on remarketing lists; contrary to the case with display ads. People need to be actively searching for the keywords targeted by the search campaigns that those remarketing lists are included in.

How to set up your RLSA

  1. Create a remarketing list and add a remarketing tag (from Google Ads) to every page on your site. This code will tell Google Ads to add every site visitor to your new remarketing list through cookies.
  2. Once you add the remarketing tag to your site, you can add this remarketing list to the campaigns or ad groups you desire and customize the bids and keywords for them. Take into account that you need to gather at least 1,000 visitors after you install the tag for the RLSA to start working.

Maximizing conversions through RLSA

There are some winning strategies for using RLSAs properly:

Showing ads only to users who have already visited your website allows you to make the most out of a small, or very small, ad spend. 

Finding and targeting intent-driven audiences that are the most valuable for you is a great way to build out audiences. You can think of behaviors or events that have a greater likelihood to convert, like the time spent on your website, the visited pages and product viewed, or the email signups.

Using RLSAs, you can choose to have your search ads shown only to people who have already visited your site, so your small budget will last longer than on standard google search terms. 

You can also take advantage of it by bidding on more generic terms, but only for those qualified users that already know you, thus keeping the cost low. 

Normally, generic terms are more expensive and generate a low conversion rate. The result of using RLSA is a lower risk of wasting ad spend, and the ability to widen campaigns and see if more generic terms are able to bring conversions. We recommend that you create a completely separate campaign and test it before

Including RLSAs, not only in your search but also in your shopping campaigns, is really important for accumulating data. Once you gather data to work with, then you can use these lists to segment and adjust your bids.

We also recommend that you specifically test your brand campaign with RLSA if it is focused on driving new visitors. You can add this remarketing list as a negative audience to make it more qualified. 

Using both RLSA and non-RLSA for non-branded campaigns, you can capture both familiar consumers and those who may not know your brand at all. You can do so with very low keyword or product bids, but very high RLSA bids.

Another thing you can do is exclude converted users from your campaign so you do not waste your ad spend serving ads for people that are no longer interesting for you if that applies to your business.


rlsa infographic


Some crazy-effective ideas

If you are only using RLSA for adjusting your bids, keywords, or ad texts then you are not reaching the full potential of RLSA. 

The problem with RLSA is that it cuts the impression volume, resulting in a low search volume, as they only target people familiar with your brand and products. RLSA does not reach people that don’t previously know you, so it does not increase the impression volume.

However, it does decrease your cost per click and triplicates your CTR and conversion rates. And some “crazy-effective” ideas to boost these results are:

  1. Dump all your non-RLSA search ads in order to have cheaper audience growth campaigns and don’t worry about low search volume by combining them with cheap display and social ads. If you make a smaller circle of people that already know you bigger through display ads, your remarketing cookie pools can get boosted and so your conversions.
  2. Combine RLSA with demographic bidding for search. This way you can adjust your bids if you want to target by age and gender, in combination with remarketing and keyword targeting. How do you find the perfect target audience through that combination? By creating great content and promoting it in your target market, building a remarketing audience and retargeting it through social and display ads, filtering by behaviors and demographics, and capturing those qualified leads.
  3. If you take into consideration that your cost per click will depend on what the other advertisers are bidding on the same keywords you are targeting. If your competitors and partners would follow an RLSA only strategy, then bids would decrease for those keywords having you all lower CPCs and higher conversion rates for everyone involved.

Using these strategies your RLSA strategy can be much more successful (and profitable), proving RLSA is much more than just tweaking your bids, ad texts, and bidding. These strategies are also applicable to Bing and Facebook ads, and other advertising platforms.

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