Google Adds New Remarketing Features to Analytics

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

digital-marketingThe speed of the internet can be a double edged sword for business owners trying to market their services online. On the one hand, it brings an almost constant stream of potential customers to a business’s website, but visitors may move onto the next shiny thing on the web before the business owner had a chance to convert the visit into a sale. Remarketing is an effective way to reach people who have recently visited a site, and Google has updated some its remarketing tools to make it more intuitive for online retailers.

For a quick review, remarketing (or retargeting) is when a marketer sets up an ad campaign that shows content to people who have recently visited pages on a certain site. A key example can be seen on eBay, Amazon and Facebook. If an online consumer goes to an online retailer like Amazon and eBay, and then go to Facebook, some of the Facebook ads they will see will be for the products they perused on Amazon or eBay.

“Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) allows you to tailor your search ads and based on your visitors’ past activity on your website,” wrote Lan Huang and Xiaorui Gan on the Google Analytics blog. “Now you can leverage more than 200 Google Analytics dimensions and metrics to create and activate your audiences for remarketing, then use those audiences to reach and re-engage your customers with a consistent message across both Google Search and Display.”

Remarketing ads work well because they gently remind the user about products or specials they had been interested in before. Consumers are more likely to convert on an item they showed interest in before than on an item they hadn’t seen before it was displayed in an ad. This can be seen by the fact that most remarketing campaigns have higher conversion rate than their ordinary PPC cousin.

For example, Google reports that TransUnion increased their conversion rate by 65 percent and average transaction value by 58 percent by using remarketing audiences in their ad campaigns. Similarly, CPCs for existing customers dropped 50 percent, which led to an accompanying 50 percent drop in their cost per transaction.

Google Adwords users who want to start remarketing campaigns can easily do so through Google Analytics. There is now an Instant Activation feature where Analytics users can create custom audiences for remarketing in just a few clicks.

Retailers shouldn’t feel bad about using remarketing for several reasons. First, retargeting doesn’t require the advertiser to have special information about the consumer, other than the fact that their IP address had visited the site of an advertising partner. Information on the places website visitors go to before and after their visit to another site is a basic part of analytics, so though remarketing may sound intrusive, it doesn’t require more information that the consumer already gives.

Second, remarketing ads are simply part of the tradition of advertising that has existed since the creation of mass media. From the earliest days of print, content publishers have been able to offer content for free, or at reduced prices by showing relevant advertising to media consumers. Serving ads to people based on the sites they’ve been to has allowed the content on the internet to remain largely free for decades. Remarketing is even better because it guarantees that ads shown to consumers are relevant.

For more recent news about Google, read this article on plans to update the Hotel Finder app.

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