Show Returning Visitors Extra Love Through RLSA

By Shannon Glass | @shannonkglass | Account Manager at Hanapin Marketing

In light of Valentine’s Day, love is in the air and the PPC world is not exempt. We love to see those green deltas when comparing week-over-week or month-over-month performance. We love to see more clicks, more conversions, and more revenue. We also love when all of the above happens effortlessly. Unfortunately, we can’t magically make account performance blossom but we can ensure we are utilizing simple, yet effective, techniques.


One technique is to bring back those customers who you hope already love your business. We like to stick with what we know is good. So when a user, who has previously been to your site, decides to search for a product you offer, show them you care by placing your search ad right in front of their face. How can they resist? Utilizing RLSA in your search campaigns can achieve this goal.


What Is RLSA Again?


Remarketing Lists for Search Ads. They are audience lists that include users who have previously been to your site and/or completed or didn’t complete a specific action while on your site. They allow you to customize bids, ad copy and keywords for those users who are included in the audience list and are still searching. They are useful if you want to target those specific users and bring them back to your site in hopes that they will move further down the funnel or make a final purchase.


The Process


You have a remarketing list, you create the audience, and you set the bids and begin to watch performance. What more could there possibly be?


First, you need to decide which remarketing list you would like to utilize. If you are an ecommerce business, you may want to target those who have been to your site but did not make that final purchase. If you are a lead generation client, you may want to target those who downloaded a whitepaper but did not request a quote. Speaking of whitepapers, check out this whitepaper that will teach about 15 different audiences you can target.


Image of shared library


Above, you can see exactly where you need to go in AdWords to create a remarketing audience. If you would like to get a little more creative, below you can see where to create a more comprehensive remarketing audience from the admin tab in Google Analytics.


Image of remarketing label in analytics


Next, you need to decide between two paths. You can create entirely new campaigns, keywords, and ads and layer your remarketing lists on top of them. Or you can use the keywords you already have and layer the remarketing list right there. Both are viable options and will give your campaigns that extra boost they need.


Path 1


The first path is to create new campaigns or ad groups, keywords, and bids. This process will give you more control over the ads you are showing the intended user, the organization of keywords and the cost-per-click you are willing to pay. You will have the ability to call out specific actions within your ad copy to entice users back to your site. You will also have the ability to pick and choose exactly which keywords you are willing to bid on based on historic performance.


Path 2


The second path is to layer your remarketing list on top of your existing Search Network keywords. With this option, you won’t have as much control over ad copy but in the end, less work is required. You simply go to the audiences tab in the AdWords interface and add a remarketing list to your search campaign. You will then set a bid adjustment for each remarketing list you are using. The bid adjustment will then alter the keyword max CPC in an auction when the user matches the remarketing audience.


Closing Thoughts


Whether ecommerce or lead generation, bringing back those previous visitors is a simple and effective way to increase your sales and conversions. The user may not realize it but you are in a sense saying, “I am willing to pay a little extra just so you can see my ad because you took the first step and visited my site.”