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I know it’s been a couple of weeks since our last instalment but I can honestly say that by the looks of it my New Year’s businesses Resolutions are paying off. I’m two and half months in and already we’re only a few weeks away from opening Click Convert USA. By mid April we’ll be up and running in Santa Rosa, California. As I write this blog, I am crossing the Irish Sea on my way to visit Google in Dublin. It should be in insightful chat with the strategy team.  I’ll keep you all updated on this as I’m sure there will be a few stories to tell along the way and most definitely important lessons to be learned.

Any way back to the final one (for now) of our top 5 tips series. From the response we have had from the last 2 I’m glad to see that many of you have found them useful and they have urged you to take action.

So here are your Top 5 tips for Remarketing.

Remarketing is perhaps one of the most misunderstood areas of AdWords and yet it provides a highly effective method to increase conversion through not just AdWords, but all internet channels including SEO and email.

Before I jump in to explaining my top 5 tips to improve you’re remarketing, I should perhaps take the time to explain what Remarketing is.

In its simplest form Remarketing or retargeting lets you show your ads to visitors of your website as they browse the internet on other sites. Nearly everyone I speak to when I explain AdWords remarketing says ah, those ads stalking me around the net.

Internet marketing is changing (it always has and will) but this time we are moving away from the beloved model of direct marketing where you advertise and user’s rapidly convert into customers. The ever expanding options of what to do with your precious time on the net have exploded. No longer is Google the go to destination, and as result users make use of many different sources on the way to a purchase. As a result, advertising solely on Google is not enough anymore. We need to now engage with users after they leave your site. Presenting them with highly relevant ads and offers post visit and making sure your brand is on their mind when they’re ready to buy does radically improve your ROI. Before you reach the conclusion that Google’s days are numbered, it worth noting that Google has the largest network of third party advertising sites.

So how do they work? Just add a small section of code to your website and as users visit your site the code from Google adds a tracking cookie. As the users travel around the net, text ads and banner ads are shown to visitors from your site. This is vital difference between the normal display advertising and remarketing in that it is only those who have been to your site see the ads.

You can achieve even higher conversions by combining other targeting methods, such as interest categories, demographics, or keyword campaigns to refine your audience. It’s worth mentioning as a side note that the display network has changed dramatically and it is now possible for to expand the reach of your advertising in a more target manner, you could target only women between the ages of 18-24 who have not yet visited your site, and present them with an offer that is tailored to them.

The interesting element is that whilst remarketing can generate high numbers of impressions for your brand, users don’t often click the ads. This isn’t to say that users don’t buy; it’s more likely the case that they view the ads and navigate back to your site directly to convert. This is known as view through conversions.  Remarketing jogs users minds as to the search or requirement that they had for your offering and puts them back into the buying process.

The effect of remarketing has been a hotly debated topic in SEO circles. With most remarketing users returning to purchase via a brand name search there are questions as to whether SEO or AdWords generates the conversion. My personal view is that SEO has been artificially subsidised by pay per click for many years and Google is only now providing users which the data to prove the case.  Whatever the truth, it is clear that users now use a diverse range of channels on their route from awareness of your brand, to consideration and ultimately to conversion. You need a balanced approach that must include remarketing.

Yes, John, that’s very interesting but what about the hard numbers? Remarketing for many advertisers is now the third largest sales route after their brand and product listing ads. It’s not unusual to see as much as 20% of conversions coming from remarketing

Top 5 remarketing tips

1) Remarketing code. For anyone with the original remarketing code it is vital to monitor your list size. Many advertisers have suddenly found out that their audience list has no one in it or it has reduced in size dramatically. The issue is that Google introduced dynamic remarketing code which has a single tag. However, if you had existing tags using the old tag per audience approach, it conflicts with the old tags. This was the bane of my life trying to solve the issue of missing audiences. Google Ireland didn’t know the answer, the Google forums were stumped and answers only became to surface after the issues was escalated to the remarketing team. In the meantime we developed a work around which turned out to be Google’s solution. Once your main list size begins to grow, examine if it is feasible to create sub audiences or segments.

2) Segment your audiences. Google suggests a whole range of possibilities including segmentation by age, interests etc, but to for most these aren’t effective. Principally most advertiser’s lists aren’t large enough. However, segmenting your audience by product or service category can be very effective at increasing your conversions. A typical example would be an outdoor activity website supplying various brands of cycles. A remarketing audience would be created for each brand within cycles. Ad groups can be created with ads targeting each audience segment.

3) Advert creative’s, Advert response rates climb rapidly on launch but equally trail off rapidly. The secret to highly effective remarketing is to keep changing the advert creative’s in order to keep your users engaged and interested. With remarketing become a main stream element of an advertiser’s tool box, the competition for your users attention is rapidly increasing. Couple this to banner blindness – the effect where users fail to notice your adverts as they have been over exposed to them. Reducing the number of times a user is exposed to the ad can help, but it is not as effective as displaying new ads. Remarketing is so vital to our core account management and mentoring services that we have two graphic designers creating ads full time for customers. Don’t let graphic designers pressure you into highly creative ads. They don’t work. Direct response advertising is a skill and a black art in itself. Create your ads specifically to your brands don’t let them copy any major brands you’ll find this especially ineffective

4) Marketing schedule – So you have designed your display ads and they look wonderful however that’s not where your job ends? What you need to do is make sure that potential customers don’t become blind to your adverts. So how do we do that then? First and foremost you need a plan Display/Banner style ads need updating on a regular basis otherwise people just ignore it if they are seeing the same ad over and over again. Now to make this effective you need to set up a marketing schedule, take a look at the upcoming events of the year and see how they could fit with your product or service. By having this schedule it will make it easier for you to refresh your display ads.

5) Dynamic Remarketing (also known as Product Rotators) is a facility to run display/banner ads using products from your merchant centre account.  Google tracking code is added to the site which passes details of the products viewed by visitors and the types of pages viewed. Visitors browse your site and post visit dynamic remarketing will then continue to show an advert that includes the specific products they have viewed on your site. Sounds great but if you just use the out of the box solution from Google you will have issues. Yes it’s very easy to set up however Google only has a small number of templates therefore everyone who is using them have very similar adverts and they all begin to look the same. You really need to create your own templates so that you stand out from the crowd and stop your ads from being invisible. Again changing the creative regularly is vital to success and positive ROI. It is vital to monitor the sites/placements where your ads are showing. Working out which placements are credible is not easy and with often thousands of sites to review, we have found it is best to automate the selection of negative placements. Without regular monitoring of negative placements dynamic remarketing is challenging.

So there you have it our top 5 tips for remarketing. If you are not following these steps then you are potentially at the edge of a very large precipice. If you aren’t doing remarketing at all then ask yourself why not? You are missing out on a lot of new and repeat business. Remember Google AdWords is a very complex beast and as the weeks pass by it only becomes more and more complex. We pride ourselves on being the leading AdWords business in the UK and find out about these changes so you don’t have too! So give us a call today and see what we can do to keep you in the AdWords loop.