The Remarketing Guide for Dummies (2023)

The Remarketing Guide for Dummies (1)

Have you ever visited a website, and then the next day, while browsing online, you saw an ad for the very same website? Or have you ever visited a webstore, added items to your cart, but didn’t check out? Then the next day, while browsing online, you saw an ad featuring the products you left in the cart? Congratulations, you were “retargeted.”

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing, also known as retargeting, is a very common and popular form of digital marketing in which marketers serve ads to users who have visited their website, or a specific web page, and who have or have not taken a specific action. It’s an effective way to target people who have already shown some interest in your business or brand.

Because you are targeting past visitors or existing customers, it’s called “re”-marketing. Think of it as a second chance to convert, up-sell, or retain customers with online ads or campaigns. You can do remarketing in different ways and with different ad platforms, like Outbrain, Google ads, or Facebook ads.

Whichever way you use it, remarketing is an absolute MUST in every marketer’s playbook.

Remarketing vs Retargeting

While the words ‘retargeting’ and ‘remarketing’ are sometimes used interchangeably, they have some important differences.

When it comes to retargeting vs. remarketing, the main difference is in the strategy. Retargeting is mostly about serving ads to potential customers based on cookies while remarketing is usually based on email. Remarketing works by collecting the information of users and creating lists, which are used later to send sales emails.

(Video) Google Ads Remarketing For Beginners (Full Guide)

Retargeting and remarketing are both effective methods in their own right, yet a combination of both may be the best strategy to boost your digital marketing activity and improve your bottom line.

A word about behavioral retargeting

If you’ve been hearing about “behavioral retargeting”, it’s actually another (longer!) way of saying “retargeting”. Behavioral retargeting is when you target online customers based on their past behavior online, such as which web pages they visited, how long they spent on each page, and which links they clicked on. Retargeting is much the same, as it involves remarketing to people who have visited a certain page or clicked a certain link, or any other action you define.

Today, digital marketing – and remarketing – is all about the customer’s interests and behaviors. After all, these are the best way for marketers to determine what their customers are really looking for and capture their mindshare.

If you are new to remarketing or you want to try it out for your business, we‘ve put together the ultimate beginner’s guide covering all the basics of the “what, how, why, where and when” of remarketing. Plus a few bonus pro tips as well. So don’t wait, start remarketing today!

Example of remarketing

Here’s a fictional example: Joan visits the “Shoes R’ Us” web store, looks at a particular pair of shoes, but doesn’t purchase them. Later, Joan visits another website – say, her favorite entertainment news site. Shoes R’ Us is running a remarketing campaign via an ad network that partners with this entertainment site. Joan sees an ad by Shoes R ‘Us featuring the same or similar shoes to the ones she was looking at the other day.

The aim of the retargeting ad is to remind Joan of those shoes she was interested in, and maybe by seeing the ad, she will be convinced to click and make the purchase she didn’t make previously.

Pro tip: You can use first-party data lists from your DMP to create remarketing lists. Here’s how to do it with Outbrain.

(Video) What Is Remarketing | Benefits & Types of Strategies

How Remarketing Works?

It’s not difficult to set up a remarketing campaign for your website. What it requires is pixel installation.

When you create a campaign with a particular ad network, the network will provide you with a small piece of code (called a pixel tag) to add to your website. Every time a new user visits your site, the code will drop an anonymous browser cookie and the user will be added to your retargeting list. When the same user visits another site that hosts display or native ads from your ad network provider, the system will serve your ad to this particular user. This will occur as long as you have an active campaign running.

Google’s move to shut down the use of third-party cookies will impact the ability of marketers to remarket. That’s why it is important to advertise on platforms based on the use of first-party data that allows tracking. The cookieless world is already happening, so start planning now for tools and tactics that will allow you to remarket in the future.

What are remarketing pixel tags?

Pixel tags are those small pieces of code on a webpage that enable websites to place cookies. Cookies are ‘crumbs’ left by website visitors. Every visitor has a unique yet anonymous ID, so their website activity can be tracked by their trail of cookies. In remarketing, the ad server can access the visitor’s ID and save it to the relevant remarketing lists.

Pro tip: Every time you start working with a new ad network, the first thing you should do is add their pixel and start populating audience lists. Here’s how to set conversion tracking with Outbrain.

What is a remarketing list?

A remarketing list is a list of website visitors who perform a certain action on your site. For example, a “Homepage” remarketing list comprises all the visitors to your homepage over a specified period. As the visitor lands on your homepage, their cookie is added to the remarketing list.

Then, you can remarket only to the list of people who visited your homepage.

(Video) Google Ads Remarketing Tutorial (Step-by-Step FULL Guide)

You can create all sorts of remarketing lists, and tailor your ad messages to each list.

Pro tip: Check out this article and video about how to create custom remarketing lists on Outbrain.

Benefits of Remarketing

  • Capitalize on lost website traffic.
  • Target people who have already visited your site and shown interest in your offering.
  • Target audiences who are more likely to convert.
  • Keep your brand at top of mind by strategically showing ads to interested audiences.
  • Affordable marketing tactic available on a range of platforms and channels.
  • Suitable for every industry and vertical.
  • Comes in many ad formats, including display ad, search RLSA, dynamic carousel and more.
  • For e-commerce – dynamic retargeting enables marketers to serve personalized ads for different users based on products or services they viewed on your website.

Your website may be attracting lots of traffic, but the fact is, the average conversion rate for first-time visitors is low. On e-commerce sites, a ‘good’ conversion rate is only around 2.5% to 3%. What does this mean? Most traffic does not equate to sales. Remarketing is your best option to capitalize on all that potential in your traffic.

Targeting people who have already shown an interest in your business is one of the most effective ways to remind them to come back to your site. Retargeting can be used in all verticals and industries, though it is obviously an important tactic in e-commerce. Check out how the Marc O’Polo fashion and lifestyle brand used Custom Audiences Retargeting and automated bidding to get 1500% increased Return-On-Ad-Spend on the Outbrain network.

Pro tip: Use remarketing ads to offer special deals that were not available on the first visit to your site, like a discount coupon, “buy one, get one free”, or some other offer to entice the customer.

When should I use remarketing?

When to remarket? That’s a great question – and a tricky one. Some marketers use the “always on” tactic, meaning they constantly run a remarketing campaign for all users who visit their website but don’t convert (ie. don’t make a purchase, or complete a form, or download an asset).

But many marketers opt for a more advanced and personalized approach to remarketing. You can focus your remarketing campaigns according to predefined criteria. For example, you may want to run remarketing campaigns only for visitors who land on certain pages, such as a particular product page, or only for users who visit your website at a certain time of day or year (for example, during a special sales period). It will really depend on your overall strategy, and what you’ve got going on at a given time.

(Video) BEGINNERS GUIDE TO REMARKETING IN GOOGLE ADS | how to setup a retargeting campaign in Google ads

Pro tip: With remarketing, it’s really important to avoid ‘overkill’. You don’t want to risk annoying potential customers by showing them too many ads. Put a cap on how many ads can be seen by each user – up to three per day.

Where can I retarget my customers?

There are a number of different platforms and channels that you can use for remarketing. And here they are:

  • Simple display remarketing: The most simple and popular type of remarketing. Just display an ad to people on other sites after they have visited yours, on display ad networks like Google, Yahoo, and Bing.
  • Native advertising: Marketers can re-engage their website visitors with valuable content, recommended across premium publishers in native ad placements.
  • Search remarketing: Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) is a feature that lets you customize your search ads campaign for people who have previously visited your site.
  • Social media remarketing: Show your retargeting ads to people on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok after they’ve already engaged with your brand or business.

Remarketing is a great way to increase ROI on your ad spend. If your budget is limited, or if you already feel you’ve paid enough for that first click, you can experiment and finetune your approach for remarketing purposes.

Pro tip: Dig into your data and find out which devices, OS, and even geo locations bring you the highest conversion rate. Create remarketing campaigns according to these segments, and see how they perform. You may well be able to reduce your costs and increase your conversion rate, at the same time.

The reason why visitors to your website didn’t convert is something you can never really know for sure. Maybe they became distracted and simply left. Maybe they didn’t like the offer. Maybe the offer was outside of their budget range. Maybe they are just browsing now, but plan to purchase in a few months. Whatever the reason, retargeting/remarketing is a great way to keep your business or brand at the top of their minds. Keep giving them reminders and reasons to come back. Eventually, they might! Then you’ll be on your way to generating more leads, conversions, and sales for your business.

Remarketing Costs: How Does It Work?

Remarketing typically works on a Cost-Per-Click (CPC) model, as well as CPM (Cost-Per-Impression), and CPA (Cost-Per-Acquisition). This means that you define how much you are willing to pay per click, impression, or conversion, giving you the control to manage your spend and adjust your bids according to the specific remarketing list or campaign.

Remarketing is an effective and cost efficient way to attract customers. This is mainly due to the fact that you are targeting people who have already shown interest in what you have to offer, and are already started on the funnel journey to conversion.

(Video) What is Remarketing? What is Retargeting? Remarketing and Retargeting Explained For Beginners

With the right targeting and budgeting, you can achieve good results with your KPIs.

Feeling more confident about retargeting now that you’ve read our “dummies” guide? Start a retargeting campaign on Outbrain today.


What is remarketing in simple words? ›

Remarketing refers to engaging audiences who have already interacted with your brand, to encourage them to take a desired action that may interest them, such as conversion. For example, customers might log in to your site and add products to their shopping cart, but leave without purchasing.

How do I use Google remarketing? ›

Standard Google Ads remarketing
  1. In your Google Ads account, click Tools ( ).
  2. Under Shared Library, select Audience Manager.
  3. From the menu on the left, click Audience Sources.
  4. In the Google Ads tag card, click Details. ...
  5. Scroll down and expand the Google Ads tag section.
  6. Scroll down further and select Use Tag Manager.

What are remarketing strategies? ›

Remarketing is a tactic that involves showing ads to people who have visited your website or used your mobile app. This strategy is a particularly cost-effective way to increase your sales conversions, because you're reaching out to customers who have already expressed interest in your products or services.

What are the two basic goals of a remarketing campaign? ›

“Retargeting” and “remarketing” are quite similar as they are used to achieve the same goals: Target audiences who already visited your site and know your brand. Engage and target people who are most likely to make a purchase.

What are the two types of remarketing? ›

There are standard remarketing and dynamic remarketing. They both follow the tenets of showing ads to previous visitors, and dynamic remarketing takes the personalization a bit further.

What is remarketing vs retargeting? ›

remarketing, the main difference is in the strategy. Retargeting is mostly about serving ads to potential customers based on cookies while remarketing is usually based on email. Remarketing works by collecting the information of users and creating lists, which are used later to send sales emails.

Is Google remarketing worth it? ›

Remarketing is cost efficient.

When compared to traditional paid advertisements, Google remarketing ads with retargeting campaigns cost much less to reach the same audience and can be highly cost effective to online advertisers.

Is Google remarketing free? ›

Signing up for an account is free. You'll only pay when your customers take action, like when they click your ad to visit your website or call your business. To set you up for success, we'll provide reports and insights so you can track your ad's performance and costs.

How effective is Google remarketing? ›

Remarketing, also known as retargeting, can dramatically increase your conversion rates and ROI. This is because past site visitors who are already familiar with your brand are much more likely to become customers or complete other valuable actions on your site.

How do you create remarketing? ›

Follow Google's best practices for Display remarketing
  1. Use Google Tag Manager to tag your entire site for creating remarketing lists.
  2. Create remarketing lists that you can target with different bids or ads.
  3. Set your remarketing bids and formats. ...
  4. Modify your campaign's restrictions. ...
  5. Expand your remarketing lists.
Nov 1, 2022

What are the main types of remarketing? ›

6 major types of remarketing
  • Display remarketing. Display remarketing is perhaps the most common remarketing type. ...
  • Search remarketing. Another common type of retargeting is search remarketing. ...
  • Dynamic remarketing. ...
  • Video remarketing. ...
  • Email remarketing. ...
  • Social media remarketing.
Sep 11, 2021

What makes a good remarketing ad? ›

If you're just getting started with remarketing, consider using simple display ads with clean images, text, and CTA buttons that guide people back to your site to buy.

How many users do you need for remarketing? ›

Remarketing lists must contain at least 100 active visitors or users in order to deliver your ads. With fewer than 100 active visitors, your campaigns will not serve your ads (lists targeting Google search [RLSA] must have at least 1,000 active visitors or users).

How do you retarget customers? ›

If a customer leaves your site, track them very quickly by placing a retargeted ad on the next website they visit. If they abandoned their cart, retarget them with the item that's still in there, giving them a little nudge to remind them to go back and complete their purchase.

What is standard remarketing? ›

Standard remarketing is the most common form of remarketing. It tracks and targets customers who have visited your website using pixel tags and their cookie data. For example, you can remarket to everyone who has visited your homepage in the past month via a banner or text ad on Google, an email, or a social media ad.

Which targeting option is best for achieving? ›

The best targeting option for achieving brand awareness is through the use of custom affinity audiences. Affinity audiences are the audiences that search engines define and categorize based on their characteristics.

What is the difference between remarketing and customer match? ›

Customer match is a kind of remarketing but it's the only kind that is based on customer lists with email addresses, phone numbers and sometimes other information in them.

Is remarketing a part of SEO? ›

Since PPC and retargeting are two SEO tactics that are usually implemented simultaneously, your agency can advise the best techniques required to identify brand-appropriate keywords and other tactics to ensure a successful remarketing campaign.

Why is remarketing important in business? ›

56% of companies use remarketing to gain customers. Remarketing helps you to regain visitors by showing them advertisements in other places such as news website, blogs and article. Remarketing ads allow you to create custom messages which attract visitors to revisit your website and complete a purchase.

Are display ads the same as retargeting? ›

While display ads are used for prospecting new customers, retargeting ads are used to show ads to existing customers and people who have already visited your site based on their cookie information. As people visit and interact with your site, you are able to create campaigns to effectively re-advertise to them.

What is the disadvantage of remarketing? ›

Cons of remarketing in Google ads
  • Annoying users. ...
  • Remarketing ads may be ignored overtime. ...
  • Limited traffic amount. ...
  • Requirements to use remarketing. ...
  • Wasting your ad budget. ...
  • You need to follow the policies. ...
  • It can be a little hard for beginner advertisers.

How much does remarketing cost per click? ›

How much does Google remarketing cost? Google Remarketing Costs range from $0.66 to 1.23 Per Click. In comparison, the average cost for click (CPC), on Google for search or display ads is between $1 and $2 for search ads and less than $1 for display ads. These are only averages.

What size should Google Ads be for remarketing? ›

The size limit for all image ads is 150 kilobytes. Google Ads Editor doesn't support double-sized images (for example, a 640 x 100 image for a 320 x 50 ad slot) for high-resolution display devices.

What is not a benefit of Google remarketing? ›

Allowing customers to quickly reorder products that they have already purchased is not a benefit of google analytics remarketing. This is a direct answer for the “What is Not a Benefit of Google Analytics Remarketing?.

How much should I spend on Google Ads per month? ›

Recommended Monthly Budget You Should Allocate to Google Ads

Our strategists recommend starting budgets ranging from $1,000 to $10,000 monthly based on factors such as the client, industry, objectives, and targeted locations.

How much does it cost to advertise on Google per month? ›

Google Ads costs anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 per month with an average cost-per-click (CPC) of $1 to $2 for the Google Search Network and $1 for the Google Display Network in 2023. Google Ads pricing can vary depending on various factors, like your industry, campaign targeting, and ad network.

How do I get rid of Google remarketing? ›

Navigate to a Google Ads engine account, campaign, or ad group. Click the Ad group remarketing targets tab. In the reporting table, select the check box next to one or more ad group remarketing targets. Click Edit ▼, and then click Pause, Resume, or Remove.

How much should I spend on retargeting? ›

For most brands, we recommend putting 60-90% on prospecting budget toward prospecting, with the remaining 10-40% toward retargeting. If you're spending more than 40% of your budget on retargeting, consider expanding your budget.

What is the difference between remarketing and retargeting in Google Ads? ›

Retargeting is really focused on paid ads (and can take a variety of forms, and target a broad range of individuals). Remarketing is focused on email campaigns and reaching out to those who have already had interactions with, allowing for more specific upselling and messaging.

How do I create a remarketing search ad? ›

Setting up remarketing lists to use with RLSAs
  1. Log into AdWords.
  2. Go to the Shared Library, and then Audiences tab.
  3. Click the red +Remarketing List button.
  4. Name your list clearly so you can easily tell what it is.
  5. Choose Websites if this list is for your website, or Mobile Apps if it's for an app.
Oct 22, 2022

Do I need Google remarketing tag? ›

Google Ads remarketing: If you're looking to enable basic remarketing only, the Google Ads tag is recommended. If you already run Remarketing Lists for Search Ads on your site, you can continue to use the same tag.

How do remarketing ads work? ›

Retargeting works by utilizing “cookies,” small pieces of data stored by a web browser that remembers users who visited your ad or webpage. Marketing teams can then utilize this cookie data to serve ads to the users again to remind them of what they wanted to buy.

Why is retargeting so expensive? ›

Due to the level of technology on show, and the better success rates involved, retargeted ads are typically more expensive than their display-based counterparts.

What is the first step of retargeting? ›

The first step of display retargeting is to define your target audience. This can include individuals who have visited your website or app, abandoned their shopping carts, or shown interest in specific products or services.

What is an example of a retargeting ad? ›

A good example would be a user browsing through your site, entering in their email, but then forgetting to return. Your retargeted email ad would be reminding them of their visit to their site or any specific items they viewed. Pixel-based: Pixel-based, or cookie-based, retargeting is a bit more involved.

What is an example of re targeting? ›

For example, if you run a blog as part of your website, you might retarget users who land on a specific blog post of yours. The content of the blog post gives you a major clue about what those users are specifically interested in.

What is remarketing also called? ›

Remarketing and retargeting are used interchangeably, but there are key differences paid media advertisers should be aware of. Learn more here.

Why should you use remarketing? ›

Remarketing is a very effective way to reach customers and encourage them to come back to your website and are too good to ignore. You can target customers directly, and since you know they've already seen your site and product at least once, you know that they at least have some interest in your business.

Why is remarketing useful? ›

Increase Conversions on your Website

Remarketing helps you to regain visitors by showing them advertisements in other places such as news website, blogs and article. Remarketing ads allow you to create custom messages which attract visitors to revisit your website and complete a purchase.

What is a failed remarketing? ›

Under normal market conditions, if a bondholder exercises the "put" feature, a remarketing agent usually can obtain funds to repay the bondholder by reselling the bonds to another investor. If a new investor cannot be located within the time period for remarketing, a “failed remarketing” occurs.

How effective is remarketing? ›

Retargeting can increase conversion rates by as much as 150%. Retargeting ads have an average CPC of about half of search ads. B2B retargeting outperforms B2C retargeting by over 400% on conversions per impression.

What is not a benefit of remarketing? ›

The straightforward answer for, “What is Not a Benefit of Google Analytics Remarketing?” is to allow the user to reorder the product which has been already purchased by him.

What is the best frequency for remarketing? ›

We typically recommend 17-20 ads per user per month, but you can work with your retargeting provider to determine what makes the most sense for your campaign. Have you ever made a purchase online only to find you''re still being inundated with advertisements for that company or product?


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