google ads remarketing

How To Create a Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

Google Ads remarketing campaigns are a great way to capitalize on interest that’s already been shown in your product.

What are Google remarketing ads? They are a special type of ad product from Google that only gets shown to users who already know about your brand.

It takes multiple visits to a website before the average consumer trusts a brand enough to make a purchase. Using Google Ads remarketing, you’ll be able to keep interest in your site high and help get those visit counts up high enough for users to make a purchase.

In this post, we’ll tell you how to set up this powerful feature. 

Setting up remarketing tags

To track visits to your site so those users can be remarketed to, you need to first set up a Google Ads tag on your website. 

From the navigation bar in your Google Ads console, click on the tool icon. When it opens, you’ll see a list of categories with functions underneath. Click on Audience Manager under the shared library section. 

In the menu that pops up, select Audience Sources. To set up the Google Ads tag on your website, find Google Ads tag in the list that appears and click on set up tag. Later, you can try some of the other options to use Google Ads remarketing in more places.

Select the desired options from the dialog that pops up and then click save. You’ll be presented with several ways to get the tag. You can install it yourself if you are tech-savvy. Otherwise, you can email it to a web developer or use the Google Tag Manager to install the tag.

Create remarketing lists

Next, you have to tell Google to whom you want to target your remarketing efforts.

Setting up the tag on your website is enough for some of the options, but other options may require more effort on your part.

The options we told you to come back to in the previous section will offer you ways of setting up the Google tag for those targets.

Let’s look at what the type of remarketing in Google Ads are:

  • Website visitors — By setting up the Google Ads remarketing tag on your website, you are ready to use this option. It will show remarketing ads to anyone who visits your site after you add the remarketing tag. You’ll be given a complete set of options to refine who you want to show ads to, just like you get with other Google Ads products.
  • App users — We live in an omnichannel world. Businesses no longer sell exclusively from their websites anymore. If your business has an Android or iOS app that users engage with, you can also track them there. The same location you got the website tag from will give you the source code you need to add to your app to make remarketing work.
  • YouTube users — By linking your YouTube channel with your Google Ads account, you’ll be able to remarket to users who have engaged with your YouTube videos in a variety of ways. You can target viewers of a specific video or playlist, viewers of any video, users who have subscribed to your channel, and more.
  • Customer list — So far, the remarketing options only work for visitors who engage with your content after you’ve installed the tag. But you likely have existing users that you’d also like to target with these ads. For those, you can upload a list of emails to Google, and they’ll try to match them up with Google users and create a remarketing audience from them.
  • Custom combinations — If you want to mix and match the various options to create a hyper-targeted campaign, you can do so in the custom combinations section. For example, you can choose to target people who have visited your site, but have not viewed a certain one of your YouTube videos. 

In addition to the options that are specific to a given remarketing type, you’ll find a few options at the bottom of the setup dialog that apply to whichever type you’ve chosen. 

These options, initial list size, and membership duration determine how long users will be shown your ad after they’ve engaged with your Google Ads tag. The length you choose will depend on your circumstances and may be one of the things you wish to experiment with to find the best results. 

If you navigate to the settings for each individual campaign, you’ll find the option to cap the frequency at which users are shown your retargeting ads. This is important because, while you may want to have a long membership duration to ensure that people are seeing your ads for as long as they need to for them to be effective, you might be wary of overdoing it and making customers get tired of your ad. 

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Making the most of your campaigns

No matter how powerful the ad product is, running an ad campaign is never a set it and forget it type of process.

Getting the best results will mean continually refining your settings and experimenting with different ways of doing things. A/B testing is a great way to compare different strategies so you’re constantly improving.

Your marketing department may have already created buyer personas. Creating different campaigns for those different personas is an obvious improvement to make. You can also try creating different campaigns for frequent visitors to your site vs infrequent visitors, or any other combination you may find useful.

Membership duration and frequency capping are powerful tools when used correctly. It may take some experimentation with these values before you get the best results. 

Of course, as with any ad campaign, making frequent updates and comparisons to ad copy and landing pages will help keep your campaign fresh and aid you in finding what works best for your customer base. 


Getting the best results from an ad campaign requires a bit of patience and a lot of experience.

If you want to let someone else handle your Google Ads remarketing campaigns so you can spend more time on other areas of your business, contact us today to see how we can help.

Ben Rea

Digital Marketing Production Lead
Ben is a marketer with a laser focus on developing, implementing, and optimizing holistic strategies that skyrocket KPI’s. He has been in the digital marketing industry for 10 years and specializes in SEO, Content Marketing & PPC.

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