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10 Killer Hacks for Remarketing Success

Presented on November 21, 2013

Remarketing is a great way to target your website visitors and customers so they come back and convert again. But you may not know how to use remarketing to achieve your marketing goals. During this webinar, Search Mojo’s Sarah Wyland and Scott Garrett will show you how to bend remarketing to your will and get buyers coming back to your website over and over.


Welcome to today’s webinar, “Ten Killer Hacks for Remarketing Success”. I’m Kari Rippetoe, Content Marketing Manager at Search Mojo, and I’ll be serving as your moderator for today’s webinar. Before we get started, I just have a few reminders for you. Firstly, a recording of this webinar will be made available for everyone who registered and will be sent via email by Monday at the latest. Secondly, there will be a Q & A at the end of today’s webinar, so if you have any questions for our presenters at all, please enter them in the Go To webinar questions box at the right of your screen. Finally, we encourage you to Tweet about today’s presentation using the #mojowebinar, plus, you can also follow us on Twitter @SearchMojo.

Today’s presenters are Sarah Wyland and Scott Garrett, Account Managers here at Search Mojo, who both have extensive experience with creating successful remarketing campaigns for a variety of clients, and they’ll be talking about some of the remarketing hacks that they have used for a couple of those clients today. But first, a little bit about Search Mojo. We were founded in 2005 and we specialize in all things search marketing including SEO, pay-per-click, social media advertising, online reputation management, and content marketing. Search Mojo is headquartered in Charlottesville, Virginia, and we also have an office in Charleston, South Carolina. We’ve been featured in several marketing publications and blogs, and we also speak at several conferences including SMX, Marketing Pros B to B forum, and PubCon. Our clients include a variety of B to B and consumer brands, non-profit organizations and educational institutions. And with that, I’ll turn it over to Sarah who will be giving you a brief primer on remarketing.


For those of you who might be new to remarketing, remarketing lets you show ads to users who have previously visited your website as they’re browsing the web. It’s a list. It’s a collection of cookies from people who’ve previously visited your site. It’s those ads you see if you’ve looked at say, a pair of shoes online and then as you continue to browse the web they kind of follow you from site to site. You can start creating these lists at any time, but they’ll only start getting visitors after you put the remarketing tag on your site, and you generate that through Google AdWords and you paste the remarketing code into every page of your website. And then you can start building your remarketing list based on characteristics within your URL such as product IDs, product information like name, brand, that type of thing. And I’m going to turn it over to Scott who is going to tell you about our first remarketing hack.


Thanks Sarah. Okay, so my first hack is dynamic remarketing. So dynamic remarketing is a must for any B to C eCommerce sites, and it was recently released out of Beta this past Summer by Google, and it makes it that much easier and cost-effective to do product-specific remarketing. In fact, Google has stated that click through rates were as much as 450 percent higher for remarketing ads when compared to campaigns that did not use dynamic remarketing for their marketing purposes. So these product-specific remarketing ads in the past required you to manually create unique remarketing audiences for each ad and also for each product. So while this might be fairly simple if your eCommerce site had a couple dozen products. Most eCommerce sites, as I’m sure you know, have hundreds if not thousands of products. So creating an audience and ads for each one product would be time consuming, costly, and might drive you insane. So what Google uses instead to automate this process is of course dynamic remarketing, and this is enabled through Ugu [SP] emergence center feed. So AdWords communicates with the feed and dynamic remarketing ads to identify which important features and elements go into creating each ad.

So the first step in prepping your site for this is is making sure you actually have a Google Merchant Center account and then uploading your product feed into that account. The second step is then placing a dynamic remarketing code on each page throughout your site. This allows AdWords to communicate with your merchant feed to ensure that the proper ads are showing to the proper page visits, coding to each project page. So for example, you can target users who have viewed specific products or groups of products, and you can also opt to remarket to shopping carted vendors, and you can actually remarket to them the items that were in the cart when they abandoned. So you can easily see that dynamic remarketing ads are very good, sound good, but they will only be as good as the quality of the feed that you’ve uploaded to the Merchant Center. So to do this, you need to make sure that your Merchant Center feed is your best friend. You need to make you keep it updated, and by doing so you’re going to make sure that you still have all the relevant products that go in and out of season for your store, for example, and also it’ll help you stay on top of errors that are present in the feed. So, here are the top things that you should consider while optimizing your editing within your Merchant Center prior to actually launching dynamic remarketing.

First, you want to ensure that you have correct product IDs. These IDs allow the dynamic remarketing code on your site to communicate properly with the Merchant Center feed and then it enables Google to determine which product to show through which ad, so it’s very important. So you want to make sure that both the feed ID and also the IDs on your product page match up. So next we want to make sure that your titles on your feed match the ones on your site as close as possible, but if the product titles are quite long then go ahead and truncate them to make them more viewer-friendly for the ads. The same can be said for your product descriptions. As some dynamic remarketing ads layouts do actually show the product descriptions in them, so you want to make sure they’re concise and to-the-point. Next you want to ensure that your feed contains the correct price, so the price actually matches up to the price of the products on your sites, because if you don’t Google will actually go ahead and penalize you for that and your products will be removed from the feed, so you won’t be able to advertise on them. And lastly and most importantly, you want to make sure that you have high- quality images in your feed.

The product images are the main feature of dynamic remarketing ads. Google suggests that your images are at least 800 pixels in height and width. I would also suggest to take some time and actually invest in some really nice, eye-catching product images that will be attractive to searchers. Because of course if the ad’s more attractive visually it will probably help you increase your click-through rate and ultimately increase your sales. So next I’m actually going to go into the ads themselves. So here are two examples of product remarketing ads. So these are two layouts I have displayed for you, but it does come in over 20 variations and 10 different sizes; from minimal views that only show the part of the images to more complex views, such as a revolving carousel layout which is the one actually on the right; so all these images within this one ad will rotate as the user glides over it, so it’s pretty neat. So this expansive number of layouts and sizes will help ensure that your ads are shown the most number of placements throughout the Google display network. But if you prefer that your ads don’t show on certain layouts, for example say you don’t like the minimalist view which is only a picture of your product and nothing else, you can choose not to show on that layout; however, by default and my personal recommendation is to actually have Google choose which layouts to show, and actually sizes too, because this will allow your ads to be shown in the most placements across the entire web. And who knows, over time you could come to realize your ad that is a minimalist view could actually be the one with the highest click-through rate and actually lead to the most sales. So it’s always important to keep an open mind in the ad layout. So overall, dynamic remarketing ads are a fairly easy and cost-effective way to advertise to previous visitors of your site, and it’s a great way to make sure you reach your shopping cart abandoners who are the most likely to return and actually convert on your site. So now Sarah’s going to talk about long- term remarketing lists.


So hack number two, long-term remarketing lists. This is probably my personal favorite hack that we’ve picked up on in recent months. We use it pretty extensively for one of my retail clients in particular. So what is a long-term remarketing list? It’s a list that contains members for the maximum amount of days, so that’s 540 days on the display network and 180 days on Google’s search network. I recommend going big, keeping the visitors on their respective lists for as long as possible. You can create smaller lists as well. So, say you want to market to someone who’s looked at riding boots on your site. You can keep them in for 540 days, and you can also make a list for a shorter term. I also recommend to build them early, especially if you already know you’ll anniversary- ing some upcoming sales, promotions you’re aware of that come up every year, and build them early and you’ll have them ready to go. Things to consider again, upcoming promotions, site structure, that sort of thing. And also recommend making them really granular, so sorting them by product type, brand name. So vegetable seeds for instance, they get their own remarketing list, but so do all the other vegetables. So we have the full list of anyone who has looked at any vegetable seed, but then we also have lists for people who have looked at broccoli and carrots and peppers and eggplant and so on.

So, why the long-term list? Well they pay off when you need them the most. Like for seasonal promotions, flash sales, high- value coupons, and as we come into the holiday season we’re finding them to be extremely useful for retail clients with black Friday sales, separate Monday sales, and then green Monday for clients that participate in that. And with a long-term remarketing list you can promote, promote, promote. You already have the audience there waiting for you, so there’s a flash sale on winter coats that you didn’t originally plan on but you have a lot of inventory and need to get rid of it before the temperature changes, well you already have an audience for that. Our next hack is ready creative ads. This is something that’s brand new, already what. Google has made it really easy for you to create your own display banners now and all you need is your own URL. You just plug that in and Google creates it for you. So it looks like this. You can see we plugged in our Search Mojo URL there and it scans the ad, gets images, finalizes the ad, and then you can get something that looks like this. And these are somewhat customizable. You can edit the headline descriptions, but in color. You can upload some images. You can’t necessarily change the background but you have a lot of options, so if you don’t have the resources or the bandwidth to make your own display banners this is a great option.

So how are we using these for remarketing? Well, we found that they work really great with coupons. So if you’ve got a coupon to promote, use the coupon’s URL to create an ad that looks like a coupon. This works really well for PDF. You get something that looks like this and that’s the ad. You’re going to have someone that’s going to click on what looks like a coupon and then you remarket to your audience that you’ve built that has previously viewed a coupon or product, brand, etc. So in this case we can remarket to our remarketing list for coupons, but we can also remarket to our equine feed list. And then combination remarketing lists, that’s hack number four. That is another personal favorite of mine. The idea behind this is if you know who your market is, remarket to them. So Google AdWords gives you the opportunity to combine remarketing lists with other factors like topics, age, gender, so forth. You combine those remarketing lists with known demographics or topics, and you get a really niche audience, and you can also exclude topics and ages which gives you the most custom audience possible. And so when you’re building this out in AdWords you get a little graphic that looks like this, kind of over in the corner there, and you can see that shaded-in part is them. That’s who you’re marketing to, and it tells you this particular audience will reach about 10 to 50 thousand impressions, and that brings in the Venn diagram of remarketing.

So let’s use winter coats as an example. You’re going to sell those winter coats, you’ve built a remarketing list, it’s got 50 thousand people on it. Well your primary audience is female, so you target to female within the remarketing list. That takes your audience down to 35 thousand people who are female and have already looked at your winter coats. And then you know, your age demographic is between 18 and 24, so you select those three categories and you get your Venn diagram here, and you get a target audience of 28 thousand people ultimately, which is where they fall into with this shaded area. And next remarketing hack I have for you is remarketing to KPIs. This is something we also do quite frequently with the retail client, and if you’ve got a brick and mortar store, create remarketing lists for conversion actions like store locators, ad views, coupons, inventory locator. These can potentially result in in-store conversions like purchases and coupon redemptions, and Google just recently released the cross-device conversion tracking so you can kind of start seeing if they printed your coupon did they go into your stores. We did this with one client in particular and we increased coupon prints by 103 percent month over month, so they were really happy with that and we are looking forward to being able to see how that translates into store conversions. I’m going to hand it back over to Scott and let him talk about using LinkedIn.


Number six, using LinkedIn. And when I say LinkedIn, I’m referring to using it in a B to B remarketing context. So that being said, traditional search advertising for B to B industries on search industries like Google AdWords and Bing can be very expensive and very competitive. For example, one of my clients used to do B to B search advertising and they were an IT company, so one of the key words that they wanted to bid on was IT monitoring. And this keyword fetched well over 19 dollars a click and that just got us in the front door. We still had low ad rank on that, so you should expect to pay much higher to see end results in terms of click volume and also ultimately leads when you use standalone search advertising for most B to B because these key words that you’re bidding on are very expensive and very costly to you. So one solution then is to avoid the competitive and expensive search networks for B to B products and instead opt to advertise on display networks. While display networks such as Google provide complex interest topic placement and contextual targeting, these targeting options do often fall short in capturing the truly niche markets that many B to B advertisers want to target. Therefore, what display platform allows you to actively advertise to niche B to B audiences? The answer seems to be LinkedIn. So you might be saying to yourself that LinkedIn doesn’t currently support remarketing and you are correct. I’m not suggesting you use LinkedIn as a remarketing platform but rather use LinkedIn to build your B to B remarketing audience, and then use that audience list that you built and advertise it across several advertising platforms.

So first off, LinkedIn is the social network for professionals to network, post jobs, and show off their resumes. This mass professional information about each individual user allows LinkedIn to give some truly niche targeting options to advertisers. The major target options include targeting LinkedIn users by their company, by their industry, by the company’s size, their job title, their job function, their seniority, skills, and groups, and this allows you to truly get some very unique and targeted audiences. For example you can target lawyers that specialize in medical malpractice or senior executives in cloud computing companies. So once you actually capture that target niche audience through the targeting options on B to B, how do you remarket to that across the web? All you need to do is to simply add the proper remarketing code to landing pages that you are landing your LinkedIn visitors on, so that your marketing lists can start targeting and capturing the people from LinkedIn. So these lists will contain of course users who have designated themselves as your target market through their LinkedIn profile and activity, and also, if you make sure with adding the tracking code that you include AdWords tracking code and AdRoll tracking code on those pages. You will soon be able to remarket to those niche audiences on expansive display networks of Google and AdRoll.

And then the next step is to simply sit back and watch the clicks and sales come in, hopefully. So all in all, remarketed to users will have a much higher awareness of your company and its products and services when compared to a non-remarketed user; this is exactly the point of niche B to B advertising. It will only show your ads to your target market, then have the remarketing ads follow them across the web to help them keep aware of your company and through your marketing ads you can offer them [white] papers or webinars to further nurture them and to show your company’s thought, leadership, or even your products or your services, and then hopefully through these multiple touches you will finally result in an actual sale. So that all being said, you don’t need to stop using your niche remarketing lists on the display networks. So my number seven hack then, is using RSLA which is remarketing lists for search advertising. This will allow you to compete and use your niche remarketing lists that you built on LinkedIn for Google search. So Google currently is the only search engine that is offering this service of remarketing lists for search advertising, and it pretty much effectively gives you the option to bid higher or to serve your keyword-triggered ads searchers that are already contained within your remarketing lists, so this gives you greater control over who sees your ad. It also gives you control to determine how much you’re willing to bid for each click from someone already contained within your remarketing audience when compared to a regular searcher who is not contained within your remarketing audience.

This of course helps you weed out irrelevant traffic to your site and helps you control your costs and ensure that only your niche audience that you’ve determined through LinkedIn sees your ads. So this will give you great coverage. So for example, say that IT professional that you targeted to on LinkedIn, who then clicked on your LinkedIn ad, who’s then tagged with your remarketing bucket, was then retargeted to on Facebook and also remarket to on a popular IT cloud computing site. We’ll now have a much higher chance of seeing your search ad on Google when he or she types in IT monitoring, because they are part of your marketing list, and you can actually bid higher to them. And you don’t mind paying a higher premium for that click because you know that person has been to your site and has been retargeted to many times before and when they type in IT monitoring they’re more likely to see your ad and hopefully click again, and these multiple touches are really going to help you in the long run. So that being said, you can use RSLA not only to intentionally target specific members of your niche audiences, but you can also use them to exclude members. So that is my number eight hack.

So exclusions, so that’s the little sad guy in the red who got excluded from the group. So when I say exclusions, why would you want to exclude an audience? So for example, say you want to build a remarketing list for all the users who have already logged into your product page or subscription page, that is, if you have one. You can take that list that you gathered and then exclude them from seeing any of your ads. This will allow you to save quite a bit of money by avoiding advertising to current customers, because these customers may be searching on your product or name, just to find the log in page, and then if you set up this list you can ensure that they don’t see your ad and that you don’t waste clicks on your ad. More or less, that you don’t waste clicks on people trying to sign in to your product or service. So now, Sarah will actually go into details about the more broad keyword targeting in remarketing lists for search ads.


So number nine hack, broad keyword targeting. So you already know these people are your customers. They’ve looked at your site, they’ve looked at products, they’ve looked at white papers, they’re definitely interested in what you’re offering. So pay for them. Bid higher on the people you know have converted or are more likely to convert, which means things can get expensive. You know some of these more broad keywords, they can get pricey. But if you have an audience you know converts, it’s money well spent. It is a smaller audience, but you’re going to have a higher click-through rate and a higher conversion rate, and you’ll ultimately get a higher return on your investment. It’s the old adage “you get what you pay for”. For example, let’s take the horse feed audience. So we’re selling horse feed. We’re remarketing to our equine audience, which has 26 thousand members. The broad keyword “horse feeds” can get a little pricey. Here’s a chart comparing with and without remarketing. We had a higher click-through rate, we had more conversions, the conversion rate was ultimately the same and we did pay a couple dollars more cost per conversion, but they were ultimately more valuable conversions because it was our target audience. That’s not bad. We’re getting a very targeted audience on a broad keyword, and that audience is also converting. So we’re definitely getting what we pay for, which is one of our favorite hacks to use again. And I’m going to let Scott wrap things up with telling you about the future.


Okay, so number ten, the future. So the future is not as ominous as it may sound. So what does the future have in store for remarekting then? Well it seems both Google and Facebook have recently announced efforts to more or less consolidate their remarketing platforms. So Google’s double click, which is more or less a product offering of theirs is soon to join the Facebook exchange, which is Facebook’s platform that allows advertisers such as as AdRoll to remarket to users on Facebook. So this potentially means that in the future AdWords, which is also a product of course of AdWords, will also have access to the Facebook exchange for display advertising and also remarketing to users on Facebook, or maybe even AdWords will gain access to the demographic targeting available on Facebook, which does seem unlikely but however unlikely it is still exciting from an advertiser’s point of view, because we’ll be having a wealth of data we can use then to remarket and advertise to users on Facebook through AdWords which is one step less than going through Facebook for the advertising. And also from a user point of view, it’s a bit scary because of course, if Facebook shares its data with Google they will know way too much about me and be able to reach me way all over the web. So overall, this consolidation would of course make it easier for marketers to remarket to users across both Facebook and Google. So that is it for me. I’m going to pass it off to Kari to wrap things up. Thanks.


Great, thank you Scott and thank you Sarah. And if you’re looking for more help and you want to find out about remarketing for your business, then you can get in touch with Sean McCusty, and there is his contact information there. And just to let you know about our next webinar which will be in three weeks, Janet Driscoll Miller will be answering the question that’s on the minds of a lot of people; “Is SEO dead”? So she’s going to be showing you how you can actually keep SEO alive across all of your marketing channels, and that will be on December 12th, at 2:00p.m. Eastern and you can register today for that webinar at search-mojo.com/SEO. And if you’d like to connect with either of today’s presenters, there is all of their social media information there and you can also connect with Search Mojo through Google+, Twitter, or Facebook. And now we will take a few questions.