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Go deeper: Build an AdWords Dynamic Remarketing Campaign


Display / August 22, 2017

Your AdWords campaigns are doing well, but something is missing… You want to pull prospects in a little deeper. You may be ready to run a dynamic remarketing campaign, which not-so-gently reminds past visitors of products they viewed. Here’s an overview of how to do it.

The internet knows you really wanted to buy that dinosaur onesie. You only looked at it once, and now it follows you everywhere you browse. It has happened to all of us: we randomly look at a product online. And then that product stalks you, a constant reminder.

Despite its creep factor, remarketing is a goldmine for advertisers. A 2016 article from WordStream noted that remarketing conversion rates actually increased with impressions, which means that people who see a remarketing ad multiple times are more likely to buy.

So how is Google’s dynamic remarketing different?

Google’s dynamic remarketing has automated the process of showing people the products they viewed on your site. Once cookied, visitors will see an ad featuring images and pricing — as if they are looking at the product on your site. While not always pretty, these ads have proven to be very effective at bringing shoppers back.

Dynamic remarketing ads bring together Merchant Data with AdWords campaign management. They rely on a product data feed to dynamically populate display ads with products that your visitors viewed on your site.

The end result looks like this:

We’re going to outline the process of setting up dynamic remarketing in broad strokes, so you know what the general process before you dive into the nitty gritty. For detailed instructions, see Google’s dynamic remarketing set-up guide.

  1. Create your dynamic remarketing campaign in AdWords

Start with logging into your AdWords account to create your dynamic remarketing campaign. Just like setting up any new ad product or campaign in AdWords, there is a path and a process to follow. We’re not going to explain it in detail here, but Google describes it very well in this tutorial.

  1. Build your Google Merchant Center feed… if you haven’t already

To create dynamic remarketing ads in AdWords, start by linking your AdWords and Merchant Center accounts. Then get to work uploading a data feed of your products into Google’s Merchant Center. This isn’t always an easy process, but stay with it. If you are a retailer, you can use the same data feed for your Google Shopping Ads… so the time you spend doing this will bring dual benefits.

  1. Tag your website and test

Get on the phone with your coder. Here is where you add the dynamic remarketing tag with custom parameters to your site. Find your remarketing tags in the Shared library folder in your AdWords account. It always helps to send these detailed instructions to whomever updates your website. Once implemented, make sure you test your tags using the Google Tag Assistant Chrome extension.

  1. Make your ads

Here comes the fun part. Log back into your AdWords account and start building your ad creative. In the Ads tab of your dynamic remarketing campaign, select Ad Gallery and click on Create. Here you can choose from various image ad layouts. We’re going to be honest with you: the image ad options aren’t spectacular. As always, do the best with what you’ve got.

Optimize, Optimize, Optimize

Once your campaign is up and running, keep watching and optimizing. Segment your visitors and adapt your content and bids for different user behaviours, such as product views, abandoned carts, and purchases. You can also A/B test different ad creatives by running identically-sized ad variations to exactly the same audiences. Like any ad campaign, success comes with learning how these ads perform for your unique product and market.


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