How to Setup a Google AdWords Remarketing Campaign

Chad Kearns, Vice President of Marketing Services
How to Setup Remarketing Hero

Remarketing campaigns through Google AdWords offer advertisers an additional tactic to drive potentially high value visitors back to their website in an effort to grow overall conversion figures.

Remarketing campaigns allow businesses to stay connected with their target audience after they leave their website by showing ads to them on other websites across the web. Users who have already visited your website are likely to be more engaged with your brand messaging and offering after their first visit. Typically, returning visitors browse more pages and convert more often when coming back to a website after their first time. That said, remarketing can be an extremely powerful tool when working to increase the ROAS (return on ad spend) of your pay-per-click marketing efforts.

While remarketing can be a powerful channel for digital marketers, setting up your first campaign can be a challenge. To help with that, we’ve provided a step-by-step look at how to create your first Google AdWords remarketing campaign.

How to set up a Google AdWords Remarketing campaign:

There are three core components of setup required to create and activate a remarketing campaign for your Google AdWords account.

1. The first step is to create an audience to remarket to. This remarketing audience is used to pool website visitors who then can be remarketed to. Called a ‘remarketing list,’ the audience specified is essentially a collection of users who qualify based on requirements set by an advertiser.

2. The second step required in this process is to create a remarketing campaign within your Google AdWords account. Creating this kind of campaign is similar to the standard campaign setup in AdWords.

3. Lastly, advertisers need to add a series of text or image ads into the created campaign. Through this blog post, we will show how to upload image ads into your campaign for remarketing purposes.

How to Create a Remarketing List in Google AdWords:

After logging into your Google AdWords account, click the ‘Shared Library’ link in the lower left navigation bar.

Select Shared Library in Google AdWords

Then click into the ‘Audiences’ section.

Select Audiences to Setup Google AdWords Remarketing

If this is your first time remarketing, you will need to add a remarketing tag to your website. This small snippet of code allows for visitors to be tagged with a cookie required for your remarketing ads to be shown to them once off your website. Having this tag active and installed on your website is required in order to pool your remarketing list.

Google AdWords will automatically create an ‘All Visitors’ audience list to help you get started. This list will pool all visitors who have visited your website.

Next, enter a membership duration for the list, which will determine how long the visitor’s cookie will stay on your list. The default and most common membership duration is the 30-day window.

Add Remarketing List information in Google AdWords

Once your list is created and the remarketing tag is implemented on your site, an audience list size will begin to populate.

How to Create a Remarketing Campaign in Google AdWords:

Once your remarketing list has been created, it’s time to turn your attention to creating the Remarketing campaign in AdWords. To initiate the process, navigate to the ‘Campaigns’ tab of your AdWords account and click the ‘+Campaign’ button. Then select ‘Display Network only.’

Select Display Network only in Google AdWords

Walk through the guided process to complete campaign setup. If you’re not sure which campaign settings to use, check out our post on optimizing campaign settings.

Next, name your first ad group (typically the same name as the audience you created), set an initial default bid, and then select ‘Interests & remarketing’ as the targeting option. Once selected, a drop down will appear. Select ‘Remarketing lists’ as the targeting category.

Click the arrow to the right of the ‘All Visitors’ list to select it. Completing this process has now assigned the remarketing list you created to the remarketing campaign being put together.

Select a Remarketing List in Google AdWords

How to Upload Image Ads into Google AdWords:

Before moving forward on adding your image ads into your campaign, make sure all the banner ads you have are formatted and sized within Google’s ad requirements.

Once you have your ads formatted and sized properly, adding them into your campaign is as easy as dragging and dropping.

Add Image Ads in Google AdWords

When all your ads are uploaded into the account, click ‘Save ads’ to complete the campaign setup process.

That’s it! After creating your remarketing list, remarketing campaign, and uploading your ads, your campaign is all ready to serve ads. Please keep in mind that when adding image ads, Google usually puts those through a review process. During that review, your ads will not be eligible to show. Typically that review process is no more than 24 hours long.

Small Business PPC Services - Portent

Chad Kearns, Vice President of Marketing Services

Chad Kearns

Vice President of Marketing Services
Vice President of Marketing Services

As the vice president of marketing services, Chad is responsible for leading Portent’s marketing, sales, and services teams. He is dedicated to ensuring clients receive top-notch service and results, and is continually looking for ways to improve and expand Portent's expertise. When not at Portent, you can find Chad hiking, skiing, playing soccer, and spending time with his family.

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