7 Tips For Correct Retargeting With Google Adwords

An increasing number of online shops benefits from the opportunities of retargeting to get potential buyers back into their own shop and turn them into customers. In the Google display network, which according to Google reaches about 83% of the world’s internet users, Google also offers its customers the option to deliver banner and text ads to website visitors (as hinted in our post about targeting opportunities).

Mechanics of retargeting activities

Generally retargeting activities are directed towards addressing website users again in a later phase of the purchase process and lure them back into one’s own webshop. If a user visits your web presence, she is marked with a retargeting cookie for later identification. If the user now visits websites participating in the Google display ad network, she is presented with suitable advertising material.

7 Tipps for correct retargeting

  • Use different remarketing lists! By placing several unique remarketing tags visitors of different product categories can be addressed individually. If, for example, a visitor of an angel shop visits websites with products related to fly fishing, he can be displayed specific banners for this category after leaving the shop. Furthermore, buyers should be addressed differently from shopping cart cancellers and visitors without conversion activity. In the near future it should be possible to fill dynamic banners with products of previously visited product detail pages and deliver them within the Google display ad network via Google Display Ads. Google is testing this feature right now in selected regions and intends to counteract the increasing competition from companies like Criterio.
  • Carefully decide on your membership duration! To reach maximum efficiency you should consider in detail how for how long the attraction of website visitors is sensible. For products whose buying process usually lasts for just a few days (f. ex. skin lotion) the cookie’s duration should be chosen differently compared to more complex products who may be researched for several weeks or months (f. ex. travel or cars). To be able to specifically address certain user groups with offers again at a later date, the use of an additional cookie with maximum duration (540 days) may be considered.
  • Employ frequency capping! To prevent some internet users from feeling pressured by obtrusive advertisements, one can employ frequency capping to determine how often (per day and/or week) the advertisements are displayed to the user. Here, it’s necessary to test how the limitation of impressions impacts the click- and conversion rates.
  • Separate Text Ads and Banner Campaigns! Text advertisements and banners are usually distinctly different with regard to clickrates which directly influences the amount of average CPCs. To optimally adjust your bids, retargeting activities with text ads should be clearly seperated in own campaigns (or ad groups) from image ads.
  • Rotate your Advertising Material! Too frequent exposure to an advertising medium may cause so called “ad burnout”. Here, the banner or text ad is mentally suppressed after a certain amount of impressions and not further conciously perceived by the user.
  • Use All Available Formats! To reach the maximum amount of contact points, all formats of image ads and text ads should be employed, if possible. Not all publisher allow for text and image formats.
  • Factor in release delays! Especially with limited time promotions one should note, that especially image ads may be in review several days before beeing cleared by Google.


Correctly employed, retargeting activities can be a great access to generate additional revenue potential (at a reasonable price/performance ratio) and strenghten buyer loyalty (through repeated contact with your brand). You should consider primarily the use of individual remarketing lists, carefully choose the right response time and amount of impressions and further factor in release delays.