Ads That Follow You Online – Remarketing for Business avatar
Ads That Follow You Online – Remarketing for Business

Have you noticed that soon after you visit a website the company’s ad seems to follow you around the web? Sometimes even too much, and it seems a little freaky?

Remarketing, a great tool from Google Adwords, is responsible (click here for more on PPC).

When you visit a website, a cookie gets placed on the user’s computer and allows the advertiser to “re-market”, or show you their ad again and again as you visit other websites for up to a year.

Remarketing is a fantastic tool for businesses, but setting a good campaign, one that does not “freak out the consumer” is important. Remarketing is simple (as simple as any Google thing is… and i’m trying not to be too sarcastic here).

If you think about it, Remarketing is like traditional media in many ways, but better. It is intended to keep your brand in the mind of the consumer in hopes of bringing them back to your website for a sale. Remarketing is particularly effective for products that have a long sales cycle. The difference from traditional marketing is that you are targeting people that you have a relationship with via a visit to your website, but did not convert into a lead, which for most websites, is a high percentage of people.

So maybe someone went to your website, let’s say a gymnastics school for kids, and liked the schedules and prices, but decided not to call at that moment.  A few days after their visit to your website(you can decide exactly when) you can show your ad to this person while they are browsing the web. This ad typically costs much less than a Search Ad (one where you show your ad when the person actually queries for “gymnastics school in San Diego”, for example).

A Remarketing ad might show in a blog that talks about sports, or when a person is reading an online magazine article about raising kids.

So how would a small business use Remarketing to stay in the minds of the consumer?

Here are 2 practical examples that feature my favorite gymnastics school here in San Diego: Gyminny Kids.

1. The new parent looking for extracurricular activities for her child.

When you move to a new area, or when your kids reach a certain age where you want to put them in extracurricular activities, you typically start your search online. Normally, a parent would probably click on a few schools, say gymnastics, swimming, soccer, etc, to see what’s available, prices etc. So an “informational” visit to Giminny Kids is likely. Yet to expect “conversion” at this point of the decision making process is not reasonable.

So here’s where Remarketing comes in. More than likely, it will take a few days for the parent to make a decision. Well, soon after visiting Giminny Kids’ website, the gym could start serving ads to those visitors enticing them to come for a Free Class, maybe a meet-and-greet, maybe offering a discount for new members.

2. The parent who has a kid enrolled in Giminny Kids.

Why advertise to me? I already have my kids there…. Well, here’s the thing, most parents are busy running around trying to keep schedules, homework, the household… so I really don’t even realize that Thanksgiving is coming up like in a couple of weeks!  Well, Giminny Kids has “November Camps” for that week where the-kids-have-no-school-oh-no-what-am-I-going-to-do kind of week.  Yes, they try to hand out flyers, they say it via the speakers, but in reality, I don’t pay attention while I’m there. Normally I’m late for something else, I have to remember to get the kid’s shoes, I didn’t park right, etc. etc.  But at work, or late at night when I’m at the computer, I’m ready to receive this type of information.  Show me an ad, let me know your specials, let me know that it’s parent’s night out and you want me to have a date night. Remind me, really, I will appreciate it.

Here’s how remarketing comes into play. Yes, very very likely, I visited their site before I signed up my kids. So they have me. They don’t have to advertise to me every day. In fact, it can be months before they have an event that they want to share, but the reality is that they have me. They should market to me.

Here’s a brief look how to set a remarketing campaign in Google Adwords:

1. The first thing you need to do is start collecting the list (or lists) of people that you want to re-market to (or in the context of this blog post, a list of people that you want to have your ad follow around :). Log in to Adwords, click on Shared Library.



2. Click on View Audiences

Click on Setup Remarketing

Copy the code on this page and install on your site. You need to install this code on your website for it to work.

Set up your first list. If you’re just starting with remarketing, put your URL on the filed for List Definition.

The field for  Membership duration indicates how long you want to have a person on the list (from the first time they visited the site). Assuming you are not a completely aggressive advertiser, I would suggest you make it 1 year. The reality is that the length of duration depends on what you will be using the list for. So for example, if you are using it to advertise your monthly promotions to your current clients (like in my example above with Giminny Kids), then 1 year is ok. If, however, you are using it to entice people to call you for the first time, then 30 days is enough, maybe even too long. You really don’t want to annoy people by showing your ad so  much that they get angry with you, or freaked out because you keep following them around the web. :) So be careful.

Under the Remarketing List Name type “all visitors”. This list will be gathering names to all visitors to your site. You can choose any name you want depending on what type of people you’re going to gather with this list. Back to our Giminny Kids example, we could set up a list for all people who visited the “Camps” page. We can then do Remarketing ads to those people in particular that advertise the camps that Gimminy Kids offers each season. We could also set up a list of people that visited the Fun Zone page and advertise specifically to those people when we have fun zone events, discounts, etc.

Click Save.

This screen shows you the list that was created called “all visitors”, it’s based on a rule (in this case, all visitors to the site). It’s Open, which means it’s gathering members  (as long as you have the code installed on your site), and it has a membership duration of 30 days. The second line item has the tag (code that should be installed on the site) on the last column.

Once you install the code on your website, the list will start to grow.

Now, you have to go to create your campaign.

Go to All Online Campaigns, and click on “+ New Campaign” and select “Display Network Only”


Name your campaign. Then choose Remarketing, set your budget, then open Ad Scheduling and Delivery Options. Select the number of times you want the ad to show to a person in one day. This is called Frequency Capping. Normally you would want to put a 1 or a 2. That way you’re not annoying people. :)

That’s it for the settings particularly for Remarketing.

Now, you can create your ad group.


That’s about it. You’re ready to create ads just like you would for the content network.

Remember, remarketing is a powerful tool that when used correctly it can be so targeted that your ads will be very effective – which means, less cost for better results. Good luck.

If you have any questions, send me your comments!! :)

Oh, and if you want to know more about Giminny Kids, they are on 17022 Camino San Bernardo, San Diego 92127

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