How to Set Up a Remarketing Campaign

Setting up a Remarketing campaign for Google Search (RLSA) or Google Display campaigns is easier than you think! We’ll show you step-by-step in the Google Ads platform how to create remarketing lists & apply them to your campaign.

17 minutes

Key points you can
learn in this lesson.

Goal Development

Develop remarketing campaign goals.

Remarketing Lists

Create your remarketing lists.

Building Out Your Campaign

Create your remarketing Display/Search campaign.

Our key metrics increased. More importantly, we implemented a lot of new tactics and test scenarios, which will boost our company’s future prospects.
Dave McCue
Digital Marketing Manager at Allstate

Lesson Preview

In this lesson, we’ll be walking through how to set up remarketing campaigns in Google Ads.

What is a remarketing campaign?

A remarketing campaign is a campaign that uses previous site visitors as your targeted audience. Remarketing can be done in both Google display, Google search, and many other ad networks like social media platforms. 

Why is this important?

Remarketing campaigns play a large part in your advertising funnel. It often takes more than one interaction with your website before someone purchases or fills out a form. Remarketing gives you the ability to control the conversation between steps and advertise relevant content based on the information you currently know about the user (location, pages visited, time on site, etc.)

What you’ll need:

The Process:

Step 1: Identify Your Remarketing Campaign Goals

Remarketing campaigns are used to remind previous site visitors of your products or services. With that in mind, the goal of this campaign will likely be to get users to complete the goal action of your other marketing campaigns. 

Step 2: Building a Remarketing Campaign

In order to remarket to site visitors, we first need to track them. This is done by placing a piece of Google Ads code across your website. Once the tag is in place, you will be able to place a cookie on your site visitor’s browser and display ads as they browse the web.

1. Setting up your Google Ads Tag

  • First, navigate to the “Tools & Settings” dropdown in your Google Ads account. 
  • Then select “Shared Library” and click “Audience Manager.” 
  • You will now be in the Audience Manager dashboard. From here, you can click the audience source button in the blue portion of the screen or navigate to audience sources on the left. 
  • You will now see a list of audience sources to choose from. For this lesson, we will be using the Google Ads source. Click on “SET UP TAG” to navigate to the next step.
  • If your goal is to remarket based on page visits, you may click the first option in the data source settings. If you are looking to track specific events and serve specific ads based on the event, you may click the second setting.

  • You will now see multiple options for installing your tag. 
    • Install the tag yourself:
      • This is the best option if you are not using Google Tag Manager and have the authority/knowledge to edit your website’s code. The tag will need to be placed on every page of your site. 
    • Email the tag:
      • This is the best option if you have Google Tag Manager installed on your website. 
    • Use Google Tag Manager (recommended by Directive)
      • This is the best option if you have someone on your team or have sourced someone to help you with your website. 
      • Sneak Peek: In our next lesson: Tracking Implementation, we’ll show you how to easily add this tag to Google Tag Manager. 

    • Once you have your tag setup, it is time to build out your specific remarketing lists. 

2. Building out specific remarketing lists.

Google will automatically start tracking visitors who visit every page that your tag is installed on. In order to achieve optimal performance from your remarketing ads, you will want to build out additional audiences in your account.

Here are some examples of specific audiences:

      1. Product page visitors
      2. Product page visitors and visited cart
      3. Cart visitors that did not convert
      4. Home page visitors
      5. Location directions page visitors

To add more audiences, navigate back to your audience manager:

  • Once you are in the audience manager, you will see that Google has already created a list for all site visitors. You may also see an AdWords optimized list. This list will be filled with site visitors from all of your lists that Google thinks have the highest probability of converting. This is a list you will want to test once you expand your current lists and let them collect data. 

  • To create an additional list, click the blue  “+” button in your audience lists view and select Website Visitors. 

    • You will now see all of the options involved in creating a new audience in your account. 
      • Audience Name
      • List members
      • Match type settings
      • Page match rules
      • Initial list size
      • List member duration 
      • List description

  • For Directive, we want to make a list of people who have visited our PPC service page and have not converted. 
    • Here are the settings we used to create this list.
      • Audience Name: PPC (Non-converters)
      • List members: Visitors of a page who did not visit another page
      • Visited page: URL contains /services/ppc
      • Unvisited page: URL contains /thank-you/
      • Initial list size: Include people from the past 30 days
      • Membership duration: 90 days
      • Description: Users who visited the PPC page and have not filled out the proposal form

  • This new list will allow us to use both display and search remarketing to capture the attention of users who showed interest in our PPC deliverable and have yet to pull the trigger on a proposal request.
    • In display campaigns, we can show image and text ads across the web for our PPC service and remind users of the value of our proposal.
    • For search, we can increase bids for these users to make sure our ad is in a top position when they search our PPC service related keywords. 
  • After creating your new list, you should see it appear within your audience lists view.

  • You will have to wait for your list to get enough users before you can use it within a campaign. 
    • Search campaigns require 1000 users.
    • Display campaigns require 100 users. 


3. Now that you have built out a strategic remarketing audience, it is time to set up a campaign. Let’s start with display. Display remarketing is a great way to remind previous site visitors of the action you wanted them to complete. You may also want to remind them of your core value propositions as they browse the web and continue their research on your product and/or service.

Related lessons.

Get full access to all lessons
today for only $99.