How To Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

Remarketing is an essential part of any Google Ads strategy.

It is no longer a matter of whether you should run remarketing campaigns; It’s how you should run your remarketing campaigns.

With more devices in homes than ever before, remarketing is essential to recapturing and engaging your audience for a second (or third, or fourth) chance to capture their attention.

To launch an effective Google Ads remarketing campaign, it is imperative that you master the setup.

This guide will help you cover not only the basics of setting up a remarketing campaign but also advanced tips and tricks for getting the most out of your marketing dollars.

1. Make sure the correct marks are in place

For remarketing to serve impressions, it is necessary to have proper tracking on the website.

Most websites will use either Google Analytics or Google Ads tracking, I recommend using both sources as options.

Google Ads tag

If your Google Ads account is starting from scratch, you must implement a Google tag.

To find this for your account, go to Tools and Settings > Setting > Google Tag.

Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022
Make sure the correct tags are in placeScreenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

If you are familiar with the name “global site tag”, it is now called the Google tag.

Google now offers to configure installation with any of these website builders:

  • Drupal.
  • Duda.
  • MonsterInsights.
  • Typographic 3.
  • Wix.

If you are installing the tag manually, it should be placed immediately after the tag for every page of your website.

Finally, if you have Google Tag Manager, you can install the necessary code into your website container.

Google Analytics tag

Google Analytics tracking is required before any remarketing list can be created within the platform.

To find the tracking code, go to Admin > View Website > Tracking Information > Tracking Code.

Google Analytics tracking is required before any remarketing list can be created within the platform.Screenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Verify the implementation of the tag

The easiest way to check if the tags have been implemented correctly is to download the “Tags helper for conversionsbeta in the Chrome browser.

Go to your website and launch Tag Assistant. If done correctly, the results should look similar to this.

A green check mark means that there are no specific problems setting up the mark.

How to launch your first Google Ads remarketing campaign

2. Create destination remarketing lists

Once you’ve made sure the trace is in place, it’s time to create deliberate Remarketing lists.

Intent is very important when crafting remarketing audiences.

If you simply target “all visitors” to your website, you are missing out on a lot of opportunities.

Both Google Analytics and Google Ads provide several options for segmenting your site viewers as precisely as you want.

Consider that list Very tight They will have a hard time serving.

The key is to find a balance between audience size and their intentions.

Google Analytics Lists

I prefer creating remarketing ads in Google Analytics (or GA4 if you’re already using it).

Since the site has behavior data that is put into lists, it provides more options for qualifying this audience.

To create an audience in Google Analytics 4, go to Configure > Audience Definitions.

NB: This is assuming that a user has already associated Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts that are appropriate for data sharing.

Google Analytics ListsScreenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Now, it’s time to get creative.

The key is to create multiple remarketing lists based on your website ranking.

Some initial ideas to consider when building a remarketing portfolio:

  • Category page viewers.
  • Buyers/Prospects (to exclude in campaigns).
  • All eligible site visits (determined by time spent on site, whichever amount is considered above average for your business).
  • Quality blog viewership (determined by time on site, whichever amount is above average for your business).
  • Shopping Cart Viewers.

In this example, I want to create a remarketing list for anyone who has visited a specific landing page and viewed at least 50% of the video on that page.

The two main pieces of information to enter will be the “Page” and the “Video Ratio” (not “or”).

The two main pieces of information to be entered will be Screenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Once you’re done, don’t forget to choose your audience’s destinations.

Always make sure that the Google Ads account is selected for the list to import.

By doing so, the list can be used for remarketing campaign purposes.

Google Ads listings

To create listings in Google Ads, go to Tools and Settings > Audience Manager > Slides.

Google Ads listingsScreenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

There are five different types of remarketing lists available for creation:

  • Website visitors.
  • application users.
  • YouTube users.
  • customer list.
  • custom groups.

This article provides a more detailed breakdown of how to create effective YouTube remarketing lists.

Depending on the objective, create the necessary remarketing lists and choose the duration of the list. The maximum period a user can stay on the list is 540 days.

The benefit of Google Ads remarketing lists is that they provide the option to pre-populate the list with users from the last 30 days. Google Analytics does not offer retroactive audience mobilization.

3. Determine the appropriate assets

The most common type of remarketing campaign is within the Google Display Network (GDN). However, there are search remarketing campaigns as well.

Before creating proper assets, ask the following questions first:

  • What is the user asked to do?
  • What should the letter consist of?
  • Does the landing page experience match the advertising messages?

There are key components to consider when creating remarketing assets. Here are some of them:

  • Still image formats
  • Responsive image formats
  • Titles and descriptions (if using responsive format)
  • Landing page experience

You can find the full list of display ads specifications uploaded to Google Ads here.

It is important to note that if you use a Responsive ad formatthe images must be based on proportion and not identical to the requirements for still images.

4. Create a remarketing campaign

Remarketing campaigns can be created in either the Google Ads interface or Google Ads Editor.

Start with the campaign name, budget, and settings. If you are creating multiple remarketing campaigns, follow up by placing the audience name in the campaign.

Campaign settings can make or break performance. When not properly managed or maintained, expect some fluctuations in performance. These include:

  • Observation vs. Goal setting.
  • Set up a bid strategy.
  • Expand targeting setup.
  • Site preparation.
  • Determine the number of impressions.

When adding audiences to a remarketing campaign, choose the ‘Targeting’ setting instead of ‘Observable’.

By keeping it in the ‘observed’ mode, audience targeting is not narrowed at all.

by keeping it Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

When choosing a bidding strategy, be sure to select one based on your goals.

For example, if you were to use Target CPA and set your bid too low, Google would reduce impressions, and the campaign would be at risk of exposure.

Finally, be competitive with your bids because your target audiences are already introduced to your brand.

The next setting, ‘Enhanced targeting’, is one that Google has conveniently hidden under your ad group settings.

Always turn this off in your remarketing campaign.

If you’ve got the trouble of building a targeted list, why on earth would Google want us to scale to look like users in the same campaign?

Always turn this off in your remarketing campaign.Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

The default setting is “People who are on or who show interest in your targeted locations”.

Although this is the recommended setting according to Google, I would recommend changing it to “At or regularly at the target location”.

By changing it to the middle selection below, it allows for narrower targeting.

By changing it to the middle selection below, it allows for narrower targeting.Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

Finally, frequency capping settings still matter because seeing the same ad multiple times a day creates a poor user experience.

Make sure to set the number of impressions at a moderate level for each user.

5. Analyze, refine and improve

You’ve officially launched your first remarketing campaign!

That’s all there is, right?


It is important to monitor campaign performance early on. Some of the key items to watch in the early days include:

  • Make sure the audience is large enough to show impressions.
  • Placements (where ads appear).

After a few weeks of data (give or take, depending on audience size), there should be enough information to start making performance-based improvements.

The goal is continuous improvement.

Remarketing campaigns are not a “set and forget” strategy.

Pull it all together

A remarketing strategy involves more than just targeting a group of users. It combines technology, audiences, messaging, and more.

Without even one of these areas, your remarketing campaign may not truly live up to its potential.

Follow the tips above to ensure your next Google Ads remarketing campaign is set up for success (and don’t forget to monitor performance!)

More resources:

  • 6 Remarketing Campaign Mistakes You Should Avoid
  • Remarketing Guide: 8 Types of Remarketing You Should Do
  • Winning at Retargeting: Tips for Reconnecting and Converting

Featured image: Chinnapong/Shutterstock

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