3 Remarketing for Search Strategies for Success

Remarketing for Search is an amazing product that now allows you to utilize remarketing audiences in search. You can target audiences based around who has or hasn’t visited whatever page of your site that you want through different audience strategies. Combine all the various audience strategies with the various keyword strategies you could employ, and you’ve got yourself quite the list of options! Today, I’ll be showing you three strategies to get you started using Remarketing for Search successfully.

Hopefully you’ve got your site coded with your universal AdWords remarketing tag, so you can build out audiences in AdWords based on URL now. If that’s the case, you should be able to see estimated audience sizes for Google Search based on audiences you’ve already built out. I’ve found when I create new audiences based on URLs, the estimates for audience size are at least there by the next day.

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1. Marketing for Special Seasons/Sales

The first strategy is utilizing special audiences and keyword lists in combination with remarketing for search during special seasonal or sale periods. A perfect example of this is an eCommerce site during Christmas. Think about the product or service you’re advertising during this special season. Think about all the super generic terms you could use to describe your product or service or that people could be searching for that could possibly result in a conversion for you. There’s a good chance you’d never bid on those keywords because they’re so crazy competitive and likely to have low CTR and low conversion rates, right? Well, with Remarketing for Search, you can pre-qualify your audience and actually use these crazy keywords!

Using the example of an eCommerce site during Christmas, you’d want to target keyword lists that are generic for the season and for your items. So, let’s say it’s a site that sells a wide range of gifts. A possible keyword strategy for them would include “Christmas gifts,” “Stocking Stuffers,” etc. These keywords are very high volume in terms of searches and high competition during this time.

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If you pre-qualify your audience for this campaign to be people who have visited your site, you could see great results. They’re already familiar with your brand, so if they hated you before and you make it clear in the ad who you are, they’ll likely choose not to click. But if they were semi-interested before, and choose to click over again, they’re way more likely to buy.

This also allows you to lead to special landing pages. For stocking stuffers, the landing page could be the most popular items under $15, for example.

If you’re familiar with remarketing, then you’re familiar with all the awesome custom combinations you can make to target specific people. The most popular option for this is targeting people who have put something in your cart and not actually purchased it. Also, with this awesome product, you can target multiple audiences and use the bid modification system to change your CPCs for each. It would look like this:

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Here, I am saying that I want to show ads to all people who have visited my site, and I’ve set my CPCs to be appropriate for that size/quality of audience. However, if people have put something in the cart and not purchased it, I consider them more valuable and there are obviously fewer of them, so I want to bid an additional 40% to my max CPC.

2. Use Negative Audiences To Exclude Valueless Traffic

In the first strategy, I talked about how to target audiences with special keyword lists and modify the bids based on the quality of the audience. In this strategy, I’m going to talk about how to use negative audiences through Remarketing for Search to funnel traffic in your account, allowing you to better target and optimize.

Like the eCommerce site at Christmas in the last strategy, I need an example, so I’m going to use a monthly subscription service site. It’s not surprising that this client doesn’t want to pay for clicks when someone is currently a paying member. Before Remarketing for Search, I would have just had to block their brand name and hoped for the best, even though that would leave our brand wide open for competitors to bid on and get top ad position.

However, now, we can develop a strategy that will help out tremendously with this issue! You simply create an audience for the first page your members see after logging in, and then add that as an exclusion to all your search campaigns. This would prevent your ads from showing to anyone who is currently a paying member. That would look like this:

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With this strategy, you can be sure anyone seeing an ad has not logged into your members site in however long you make your cookie live for (I would recommend the max cookie like, here).

This strategy can also work if you’re trying to block people who use a part of your site that doesn’t make you money. Let’s say you have a retail portion to your site, but you also have a careers page. You might want to include an audience that targets your careers page as an exclusion at the campaign level in your branded campaigns. This would prevent any wasted spend where people are searching for your brand just to submit a resume.

3. Include Audiences In Search Campaigns Just For Bid Modifiers

In my first strategy, I went over how to develop special Remarketing for Search campaigns to target special keywords and audience combos. In the second one, I went over how to use negative audiences in your regular search campaigns to increase their value. In this third strategy, I’ll go over how to use targeted audiences in regular search campaigns to create a hybrid search and Remarketing for Search campaign that improves value through allowing bid modification for audiences.

With this feature, you have the ability to layer any remarketing audience in with any search campaign. The difference between a strictly Remarketing for Search campaign and this hybrid version is the difference between targeting options for “bid only” and “target and bid.” In the “bid only” mode, you’re telling Google the bid modification you’d like for that audience, but telling it to continue showing to the general search audience for the keywords in that campaign as well. Here’s an example:

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In this case, I’ve decided that people who have visited my sales page are more valuable than the general search audience, so I’d like to increase my CPCs by 20% for them. This allows me to set CPCs that are appropriate for the general search audience, but set specific ones for any remarketing audience I’d like, in accordance to their value/quality.

In theory, if you are cool with people who have been to your site clicking on your ads, you could utilize this strategy in all your search accounts.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily SEMPO.

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    2 thoughts on “3 Remarketing for Search Strategies for Success

    1. Using negative audiences is a great tactic, obviously it doesn’t work with every website but used correctly it can have a marked impact.

      Case in point, a larger client of ours has an online quotation system with (you guessed it) a login system. This quote ‘portal’ is used daily by a considerable number of clients.

      Thing is, these are all existing clients.

      We used remarketing in the way you described and shaved a good percentage off wasted spend as a result. This simply wasn’t possible before.

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