Adwords Remarketing : The Complete Guide

Google Adwords Remarketing is an amazing way to retarget potential customers who have expressed interest in buying your product or service, by visiting your website or signing up for your product, or by taking some other action on your website, but haven’t made a purchase yet. Adwords Remarketing enables you to re-engage with those customers and persuade them to buy your product or service. Here’s the complete guide to Google Adwords Remarketing to help you retarget customers and grow your business.


How does Google Adwords Remarketing Work?

Before we begin, let’s understand how Adwords Remarketing works. Basically, you need to install a tracking code on your website, that you obtain from Google Adwords. When a person visits your website, Google Adwords will place a cookie on his browser that sends information back to Google about the pages he visited while he was browsing your website. Now, when this person visits another website in the Google Display Network, or uses a Google Service such as Google Search, GMail, YouTube, etc. he’ll be shown ads about your website.


You can also read how Google Adwords works under the hood to optimize your Google Ad Campaign Performance. Also, take a look at How to Become a Google Adwords Partner


Adwords Remarketing Options

Google Adwords offers multiple remarketing options to retarget customers in different ways. Let’s look at them in detail.

1.Standard Remarketing – In this feature, Google Adwords enables you to display ads to your past visitors when they browse a website or app in Google Display Network.

2. Dynamic Remarketing – It allows you to display product or service specific ads to past visitors, who have those products or services on your website.

3. Remarketing for Mobile Apps – Adwords lets you show mobile ads to past visitors to your mobile app or mobile website, when they view other mobile apps and mobile websites in Google Display Network.

4. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) – RLSA enables you to target past visitors on Google Search Networks using search ads, when they perform search on Google or any of Google’s partner sites.

5. Video Remarketing – Adwords allows you to target visitors who have interacted with your YouTube videos and channels, by displaying ads on YouTube or through Google Display Network websites and videos.

6. Email List Remarketing – Email list Remarketing allows you to retarget customers by simply uploading a list of email addresses to Google Adwords. These users will be served Google Ads if they’re signed in to Google Services such as Google Search, GMail, or YouTube.


Learn how to monitor Ad Campaign Conversion rates using Google Adwords Conversion Tracking Tool. You can also learn how to do YouTube SEO to optimize your YouTube videos.


How to Use Google Adwords Remarketing

Here are the steps to set up Google Adwords Remarketing for your business

1. Select your Audience

The first step in your Adwords Remarketing Campaign is to clearly select your target audience, that you want to re-engage with your Google Retargeting Ads. There are tons of way you can define your target audience in Google Adwords. Here are some of the common ways you can select your target audience. You can target:

  1. People who visited certain pages on your website
  2. People who visited your checkout page but didn’t complete a purchase
  3. People who did not visit certain page(s) of your website
  4. People who spent a certain amount of time on your website
  5. People who visited a certain minimum number of pages
  6. People located in a specific country, state, region, city, provide or other geographical location
  7. People belonging to a specific demographic

You can even target audience based on custom combinations. For example, you can target people who visited certain pages but did not visit a specific page.


2. Create an Adwords Remarketing List

Once you’ve decided whom to target with your Google Remarketing Ads, you need to a create a list of website visitors (called Remarketing List) in Google Adwords who will be displayed your Remarketing Ads.

To create a Remarketing List, log in to Google Adwords and go to Shared Library in the lower left navigation bar.

how does adwords remarketing work

Next, click Audiences.

adwords remarketing create target list



If you’re creating an Adwords Remaketing Ad for the first time, you’ll need to place a code snippet (called Adwords Remarketing Tag or Google Remarketing Code) on your website, that places a cookie on your visitors browser and tracks the web pages he visits while on your website. It is required by Google Adwords to show Remarketing Ads to them when they visit other websites in Google Display Network, or Google Services such as Google Search, YouTube, GMail, etc.

Once you’ve installed the Remarketing Code on your website, you’ll see that Adwords has already created a default Remarketing List for you, for all visitors that have visited your website.

You can customize this audience list by selecting an option from dropdown list and adding targeting rules by clicking +Rule . You’ll also need to specify membership duration for your remarketing list, that determines how long the visitor’s cookie needs to stay on your Remarketing list. The default membership duration is 30 days, and it’s also the most commonly used membership duration.

adwords remarketing list

Once you’ve created your Remarketing List on Google Adwords, and added Remarketing on your website, click Save


3. Create Remarketing Campaign in Google Adwords

Once you’ve defined the target audience, you need to create a Remarketing Ad Campaign in Google Adwords. To do that, go to Campaigns Tab of your Adwords Account, and click +Campaign button. You’ll see a dropdown, select Display Network Only

adwords remarketing create remarketing ad campaign

Each option you select will provide a step-by-step walkthrough that helps you set up the remarketing campaign.

Next, name your ad campaign, enter a bid amount, and select Interests & Remarketing as the targeting option. At this point, you’ll see a dropdown (shown below) where you need to select a targeting category. This will tell Google Adwords that you’re creating a Remarketing Ad Campaign. Next, select Remarketing Lists as targeting category. Click the option for All Visitors. This will assign your remarketing list to your remarketing Ad campaign.


Learn how to set up your Google Adwords Campaign.


4. Upload Images into Google Adwords Account

Finally, you need to add the banner images for your Remarketing Ad Campaign. Before you do this, ensure that your ad images comply with Google Ad sizes & specifications.

Once you’ve formatted your images properly, you can simply drag & drop them onto Google Adwords to include them in your Remarketing Campaign.

adwords remarketing upload image

After you’ve uploaded your ads into your account, click Save Ads to save your Remarketing campaign.

Please note, when you add image ads, they’ll be sent to Google for review, which takes about 24 hours. During this time, your ads won’t be displayed.


That’s it!

To summarize, you need to create a remarketing list, create a remarketing ad campaign, and upload your image ads to create a retargeting ad using Google Adwords.


Check out our list of Best Google Adwords Campaign Examples to Improve your Google Adwords Quality Score.  You can also use Google Adwords Preview Tool to see how your Ads look like and improve them.



Google Adwords Remarketing provides an amazing way to re-target website visitors and app users using remarketing Ad Campaigns, and gives you an opportunity to effectively pitch your products & services to people who have shows interest in your business, but may not have made a purchase for some reason or the other. Hopefully, this guide helps you set up Adwords Remarketing Campaign in Google Adwords and improve your PPC Advertising Campaigns.


Bonus Read: 5 Best PPC Management Software to manage your PPC Advertising Campaigns.


Have you used Google Remarketing Ad Campaigns? Do you have any tips for Retargeting visitors?


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