One of my favorite things about Re-targeting with AdWords is the ability to easily separate audiences. You can essentially hand-pick the site visitors you want to target, and tailor ads accordingly. In the past, if you wanted full control over audiences you had to create individual tags for every single page on the site.
Thanks to the not-so-recent release of the global remarketing tag, you can have full audience control without owing your developer(s) a fine steak dinner. So how do you take advantage of this newfound control? Here are five of my favorite tips to try:
1: Break out homepage bouncers
More than likely, when you first take a look at your re-targeting audiences you’ll find that the vast majority of users come from the homepage. What you won’t see is the number of users who left without taking any action on the site. Needless to say, these folks are far less engaged and less likely to convert even after the fact.
To break them out, create an individual audience that includes users that reached the homepage (use “equals” and a few different variations so you capture everything) and exclude users that hit basically any other page. Target this audience in its own ad group and exclude it from others to see if these folks are worth the money.
2: Target checkout/conversion abandoners separately
It’s no secret that a user who indicates interest in your product is more likely to convert than a regular site visitor. To take advantage of this, break out the folks who add something to their cart, start the checkout process or hit a contact form on your site. Chances are there’s an element in the cart/form that you can easily pick out to build an audience.
Take a look at Threadless as an example; the cart URL remains the same, regardless of how many shirts I add.
Threadless is an example of a site with a single-page checkout (e.g. the URL never changes as you proceed through the process) which limits what you can do with URL based codes.
Depending on your checkout process however, you may be able to target users who abandon at the shipping page with a free shipping offer, and those who abandon earlier with a % off.
3: Re-target multiple devices
One of the more magical things about the universal tag is that it doesn’t need to be varied by device. This allows you to target mobile and tablet users easily without adjusting your audiences. Just make sure to include your re-marketing tags on the global footer for your mobile site, and to have appropriately mobile-sized image assets.
4: Don’t pester your customers
I’m pretty annoyed at my bank. I frequently log in to check on my money (fiscal responsibility!) and still am frequently retargeted. If they were trying (which can be a pretty valuable tactic) that’d be one thing, but I keep seeing ads for products I already use. It seems like they remembered to exclude converters but not their actual customers.
I recommend creating a current customer list in AdWords. Create a custom audience that includes any pages on the site that you need to log in to see. Include any URL that may hit “my account,” login pages or even better yet, log-out pages. Exclude this audience from all other ones to ensure you spend efficiently and don’t alienate your customers.
5: Easy segmentation (but don’t go overboard)
The global re-marketing tag makes it extremely easy to target your audiences in a ton of different ways. Additionally, since AdWords lowered the audience threshold to only 100 users, you can get extremely granular extremely quickly.
My only advice to you is don’t go overboard. While it’d be wonderful to target every single page separately, instead think about how users visit your site, and target them accordingly. If they reach a lower level category page, chances are they reached the top one as well and will already be in your audiences.
Note: many of these tactics can be done with Re-Marketing for Analytics as well. However I’ve typically avoided that tool due to potential issues with AdBlock.