Remarketing for Search Ads with Google Analytics

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Remarketing for Search ads (RLSA) is similar to display remarketing in that you are showing ads to users that have already visited your site. However, instead of showing ads on the display network, remarketing for search shows your ads on Google Search. Alternatively, RLSA audiences can be used as a negative audience to ensure that your ads do NOT show to certain users who have visited your site previously.

Google recently introduced the ability to use remarketing for search ads with Google Analytics. Previously, using remarketing for search ads was only available when using AdWords remarketing audiences.




Advantages of Google Analytics RLSA

–          You just need GA code, no need for AdWords remarketing code

–          Analytics allows you to create more specific audiences

–          The ability to copy and share lists across multiple linked accounts




Disadvantages of Google Analytics RLSA

–          Like AdWords remarketing lists, RLSA lists must have at least 1,000 cookies

–          Lists based on age, gender, interests and other demographics and dimensions cannot be used. See the full list here.





Effective ways to use RLSA

–          Negative audiences for all previous site users to increase your reach.

–          Negative audiences for users who have already converted or have visited ‘logged in’ sections of the site if you want to target potential customers instead of existing.

–          Increased bids for engaged users who didn’t convert to increase the chance of getting them back to your site.

–          Customise your ad copy for new vs existing customers. E.g. you could use ‘Welcome back’ or similar wording for past customers to encourage them to purchase or sign up again.

–          Target users who have visited your site and then are searching using competitor brand keywords. Consider increasing bids and/or offering something extra (e.g. 10% off) to get these potential customers back to your site instead of losing out to competitors.

–          Customise ad copy based on the section of your site that users have previously visited.


How to set it up

–          Ensure that remarketing is enabled in your Analytics account. Either edit your tracking code or go to Tracking info > Data collection

–          Existing analytics audiences (created before RLSA for Analytics came out) do not seem to work with RLSA. You will need to either edit an existing audience or create a new audience in order to be able to add it to a search campaign.

–          Once that is done, go to the search campaign you are wanting to add or exclude the remarketing audience from and go to ‘Audiences’ and then ‘+Remarketing’ or ‘+ Exclusions’.









For most, the main benefit of RLSA with Google Analytics is that AdWords remarketing code is not needed. If you haven’t used remarketing for search ads before, I recommend trying out some of the uses mentioned above if they are relevant to your business. RLSA can be a great way to advertise more effectively, and get more out of your marketing budget.

Leanne discovered her passion for marketing and data during her Bachelor of Management Studies majoring in Marketing. Leanne’s wide knowledge of digital marketing, in particular paid search, SEO and social media, has flourished after working alongside some of the best minds in the industry at Online Republic and Search Republic. She has passed all of Google's qualifications and prides herself on staying up to date with the latest industry news and trends.

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