Contrary to what you may hear, remarketing is not a magic bullet and it won’t automatically work wonders for your account. As with anything else in your PPC accounts, test it! Today, we’ll go through 5 areas to walk through while troubleshooting a poor performing remarketing campaign.

1: Who Are You Remarketing To?

The audience you are targeting is the most important part of the Remarketing campaign. The standard “All Visitors” audience is often times not specific enough to be effective.

I always suggest using the most specific audience you can, while still generating a large enough audience. Try segmenting your audiences by specific pages on your site, then tailor your ad copy to speak directly to those users.

Google Analytics is also a great tool for building remarketing audiences. Here you have the ability to target by user behavior, such as time on site and pageviews. Another aspect of the remarketing audience not to be ignored is the cookie window length. Some very successful remarketing strategies have been based upon the membership duration, and splitting it into several audiences (ex: 0-10 days, 11-30 days, 31-90 days, etc.)

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2: What Structure Are You Using?

Take a look at how your remarketing campaigns are segmented. Are your image ads and text ads in separate ad groups? Does each audience have its own ad group? Are campaigns segmented by theme? You see where I’m going here. Make sure that the structure makes sense, and is easily understood by anyone else who may be looking into your account.

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Here’s an example of how to outline campaign structure and strategy. This is useful when you’re planning on launching new campaigns or restructuring current ones.

3: What Ads Are You Showing?

Take a look at your remarketing ads and then review your normal Search and/or Display ads. Are they the same? If they are, try testing a different message! This is especially important if you are targeting users who already came through a paid ad.

Your ad copy should also be relevant to the audience you’re targeting. For example, if a user visits the running shoes section of your site, your ad should speak to running shoes instead of a broader ad showing various images of shoes. I also like to test image ads for remarketing efforts. These types of ads can really stand out on a page, so test a few different variations.

4: Where Are Your Ads Showing?

Whenever I’m troubleshooting a poor performing remarketing campaign, I often look at the placements. Check for any placements that are spending a significant amount and not converting, or any placements that are completely irrelevant. This is an easy way to cut wasted spend.

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5: How Often Are You Showing?

This is something that can be easily forgotten, but you have to remember that you are showing ads to real people, and real people get annoyed seeing the same ad over and over. This is where frequency capping comes in handy.

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Simply navigate to the campaign settings and scroll down to the Frequency capping setting. Here you can set the max number of impressions per time period for either the campaign, ad group or ad. I generally set the frequency cap to no more than 10 impressions per day per campaign.

Closing Thoughts

A successful remarketing campaign requires thought and planning. When troubleshooting a campaign, going through the above steps will ensure you’re covering all your bases and move your Remarketing efforts forward.