Retargeting List - Segmentation

Once your site is tagged, it’s time to define your remarketing lists. You want to create different lists based on each customer’s journey through your website so that you can target them with different bids or ads. Being able to identify which stage your customers have reached in their purchase journey can also determine how valuable they are and result in more effective targeting and messaging that accurately reflects their needs.

A remarketing list is a subset of your site visitors who are segmented by their on-site activities. For example, you may want to show one ad to someone who visited your shoe shop’s homepage, and another ad to people who visited a product-level page for a specific pair of shoes.

Tip

As an alternative to the category page viewers segment, some companies use a “Search Results viewers” segment. For example, many airline ticket websites are focused on flight searches, and a search tool often provides the main path into their site.

Below are five remarketing lists we recommend, moving from the largest and broadest to the most precisely targeted. If you’re using dynamic remarketing, these lists are automatically created for you. If you’re using the Google Analytics remarketing tag, the remarketing list set-up is handled in the Google Analytics front end. But the basic setup instructions for your remarketing lists are the same whether you set up in Google Analytics or in Google Ads.

Recommended List Segmentation Strategy
 

As a caveat, list segmentation will vary slightly depending on whether you’re implementing standard or dynamic remarketing. We’ll note the differences below where appropriate.

These people visited your homepage but didn't move any further into your site.

  • Your strategy: Since this list is segmented based on the broadest interactions that a person can have with your website, your messaging should be more general and speak to what your brand has to offer, such as 'Discover great deals from Acme Clothing'.
  • How to do it: Create a remarketing list where the URL equals your homepage URL 'https://www.YourDomain.com'.

These people have visited a category-level page of your site, but not specific products. For a clothing company, a “t-shirts” or “jeans” page would be a category-level page. This list implementation will depend on whether you’re applying standard or dynamic remarketing. Below are steps to creating lists for each type of remarketing:

Tip

As an alternative to the category page viewers segment, some companies use a “Search Results viewers” segment. For example, many airline ticket websites are focused on flight searches, and a search tool often provides the main path into their site.

Standard Remarketing

  • Your strategy: Showcase display ads for different product categories. Since people on this list have indicated interest in a particular product category, let’s say car insurance, your messaging can speak to special offers or discounts.
  • How to do it:
    • Create separate remarketing lists for each product category using a URL that contains the "category name".
    • Exclude all users who moved even deeper into your site so that you don’t overlap lists. You can do this by creating a custom combination list containing your product category page viewers and exclude lists 3 – 5 (Product or offer page viewers, basket abandoners, past converters). Repeat for each category.

Dynamic Remarketing

  • Your strategy: Since ads are automated, the need for creating a remarketing list for each product category goes away. These automated ads can dynamically pull in products that your potential customer viewed and speak to special offers, discounts or new arrivals. You’ll want to create one remarketing list as a catch-all for those who went further into your site to view your category-level pages.
  • How to do it:
    • Create a catch-all list for all viewers of your category-level pages using URLs  that contain each “category name”.
    • Exclude all users who moved even deeper into your site with custom combination lists so that you don't overlap lists.

People who viewed specific product pages on your website but added nothing to their shopping basket. If we continue with the clothing company example, your “Acme Brand shirts with heart” web page would be a product-level page.

  • Your strategy: You’ll want to re-engage users with dynamic ads containing the product or service that the person previously viewed (we’ll get more into dynamic remarketing later in this guide). Your messaging may also speak to special discounts or offers to resonate with your potential customer.
  • How to do it: Create a remarketing list and include all people who have reached specific product pages on your site. Exclude basket abandoners and past converters.

We recommend that you limit the overall number of your remarketing lists to the above strategy or similar, depending on your site structure and traffic volume. Fewer lists means you’ll have more people in each of those lists, and that will make it easier for you to optimise with more statistical significance.

Your cookie length duration will depend on your business objective and the length of time you expect your ad to be relevant for the visitor. For example, a shoe retailer may choose a cookie length of 30 days since it may not take as much time for a person to purchase shoes. A car insurance company, on the other hand, may choose a cookie length of a few months or a year plus, due to their longer sales cycle.

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