Everybody loves remarketing (or Raymond) on Google Ads.
There are few who would argue against the efficacy of remarketing to do anything from give you a second shot at a sale or blow past cart abandonment.
But most people using remarketing are using it in its most basic form: targeting all website visitors using the display network.
It’s easy to set up in just minutes and can net some decent results, so, why not?
But there is one type of remarketing list that most people aren’t using:
Remarketing lists for search ads, otherwise known as RLSAs.
So, what are they? Why are they better?
Let’s dive into RLSAs and how to use them today.
What Are Remarketing List for Search Ads?
You know what a remarketing list is already, and remarketing lists for search ads work the same way:
Adding previous site visitors to a list to bring them back to buy.
But instead of typically retargeting on the display network, you do it on the search network.
Let me give you an example.
First, a searcher heads to Google and searches for “SEO tool.”
They click on your search network ad and navigate to your website.
They click around for a while, but fail to purchase.
Here is the turning point with RLSAs.
Instead of using display tactics, you target them again for that search (or other keywords) again.
So, when users on your remarketing list head back to Google for more research on the topic, you show up again with increased bids and a higher chance at bringing them back for less than what you paid to secure the first click.
You have two common options when using the remarketing list for search ads strategy:
- Optimizing and increasing your bidding amount for the existing keyword you used to attract the visitor in the first place.
For instance, increasing bids by 50% on “SEO Tool” keyword that brought them to your site, so when they search again, you are likely to get that click and bring them back.
- Bid on keywords that you didn’t bid on before.
For instance, targeting more broad terms. This will only target those on your RLSA that are searching for that, not everyone searching for the broad keyword.
These remarketing lists are powerful. One advertiser increased their conversion rate by 161% using RLSAs.
So, why are they superior?
Why RLSAs are Better than Display Remarketing
Display remarketing is extremely common on Google Ads.
It’s the default, go-to setting for remarketing your site visitors.
But it has major flaws that can’t be overlooked when trying to make the most out of your budget.
First off, ad blocker.
Unfortunately for advertisers, ad blocking has been on the rise for years now. According to one study from Statista, over 30% of people in the United States use ad blocking tools online.
That’s 30% of your potential target market gone.
According to the New York Times, it’s risen by 30% worldwide in the past year alone.
People hate traditional ads. Plain and simple.
Secondly, people have major banner blindness.
Ads have become so apparent and intrusive that users simply tune them out.
It becomes white noise that gets ignored time and time again.
But RLSAs are different:
They target users on the search network with search ads, not intrusive display popups.
So when your remarketing list searches for a related keyword, you can bid on it to capture their click for a second shot at selling.
Ready to implement it?
Here is how to get your RLSA setup in just a few minutes.
How to Set Up an RLSA on Google Ads
To set up a remarketing list for the search network, you first need to ensure that your remarketing tag is installed on your website.
If you know it is, great!
If you think it is, use the Google Tag Manager to double check.
If it’s not, you can quickly install the remarketing tag from the audience manager in your Google Ads dashboard:
From here, select the audience sources tab:
Using the Google Ads tag setup, you can easily copy and paste (or email) the remarketing tag to place on your website:
Now that you have your remarketing tag setup, it’s time to set up your RLSA.
To do this, you can either set up a new campaign or create an RLSA based off an existing campaign on the search network.
Once you create a new campaign (or if you want to create from an existing campaign), head to the audiences section:
Click the blue pencil icon or add a new audience from the dashboard if it’s an existing campaign.
For audiences, you have two distinct options:
- Targeting: ensures that you only run ads to members of your remarketing list for search ads.
- Observation: targets both members of your RLSA but also those who haven’t visited yet. This is a combination list that allows you to bid higher for remarketing but isn’t strictly for remarketing.
Pick whichever type suits your needs. If you want to run strictly remarketing campaigns, I recommend the “Targeting” option.
This allows you to get more specific with the ad creative rather than catering to new searchers and people who have already visited with a single ad.
This can cause a mismatch in messaging and poor performance.
From the audience table, select “How they have interacted with your business” as the audience observation type:
Select all of the checkboxes for each remarketing list you want to include in the audience.
Once you’ve done that, save your list!
If you chose the “Targeting” option rather than “Observation” you will have a strict audience on the given campaign that is targeting people who have visited your site before.
And since it’s on the search network, you can run search ads geared towards them for existing keywords or new ones you think they will be interested in.
Here is how to improve basic RLSAs and how to optimize them for success.
3 Ways to Succeed with RLSAs
Ready to take your RLSA performance to the next level?
Here are a few key ways to succeed with RLSAs.
1. Broaden or tighten your keywords
One of the biggest benefits of remarketing lists for search ads is prequalification.
Because they have visited your site and shown interest in the past, you have already done the qualifying. They are slightly brand aware, meaning you can target broader search keywords without worry of paying $50 per click for no conversions.
Because your list is a remarketing list, you have a predefined audience.
So typically when bidding on a broad keyword like “SEO tools,” you would be competing against many other advertisers for the same, cold traffic.
But with RLSAs, you are not bidding on the traditional volume associated with that search term:
Normally, that’s a super competitive keyword with tons of searches.
But with RLSAs, it’s different:
By restricting your audience to remarketing lists, you are only bidding on the “SEO Tools” term when a member of your remarketing list searches for it.
This allows you to have more freedom in what you target, since you aren’t going to be paying for thousands of clicks that are just browsing.
You are paying for clicks from already qualified searchers who have interacted with you before, giving you the advantage of brand awareness in the search results and increased chances of converting them.
Now you can target any related keyword to the original keywords that brought your audience to your website in the first place.
For instance, if your audience found you originally by searching for SEO tools, create an ad group that is more specific, like: SEO audit tool.
Or an ad group that is broad: SEO guide.
The options are endless here because you’ve already done the lead work.
2. Adjust bid modifiers based on audience segments
With RLSAs, as you likely saw in the audience creation process, you can select multiple factors to include in your remarketing list.
By selecting multiple factors, you can remarket to a variety of potential customers from frequent visitors and bottom-of-the-funnel leads to people who have only engaged once or twice.
And the great thing about that is the ability to adjust bids based on audience types.
Adjusting bids for different audiences can help you focus your budget on those most likely to convert the fastest.
Simple logic tells you:
If a user has visited my website five times, they are more likely to have done their research, putting them closer to buying from me than a second-time visitor.
To take advantage of this, bid higher on them!
In the audience section of your campaign, you will notice the bid adjustment column next to each audience.
If you only see a single audience, create more RLSAs using the steps in this article and apply them to your current campaign.
Label them with audience names that you can recognize by potential to convert.
This could be relating to pages on your site, like a pricing page, signifying they are close to converting.
Or it could be by keyword intent.
You get the point.
Once you’ve done that, adjust your bids to reflect higher amounts for “warmer” leads.
Here are a few examples of how that would look in practice.
First, based on visit amounts:
Second-time visitor: normal bidding amount
Fourth-time visitor: 15% increase in bids
Five or more visits: 25% increase in bids
Or, time on site:
180 seconds on site: increase bids by 15%
Or keyword intent:
Seo tool: normal bids, low intent to purchase, looking for information.
Seo audit tool: medium intent, more specific. Increase bids by 10%
Seo audit tool features and pricing: high intent, increase bids by 20%
Or pages visited:
Landing page: normal bids
Pricing page: 10% increase in bids
Pricing page, features, and multiple visits: 20% increase in bidding.
Tailor your bidding to match the audience segment most likely to purchase. The closer they are to purchasing, the more you can reasonably bid to land them as your next customer.
3. Combine Facebook Ads with RLSAs for Cheap Wins
One commonly noted problem with remarketing lists for search ads is low volume, or lack of tons of traffic and conversions coming in.
While the conversions you do get will be much cheaper, unless you are driving 10,000 unique visits a month to your site, traffic won’t be crazy high.
Since you aren’t targeting broad terms on their own, you are limited in audience size.
A great way to augment this is by running cheap ads on Facebook to bring in traffic to your website that funnels into RLSAs.
The benefit here is cheap traffic that is interested in your product or service. Not to mention, easy multi-channel advertising that reaches them beyond just Google or Facebook alone.
To do this, I recommend running a basic Facebook campaign where the content of your ad focuses on driving visits from interested users.
You can target a wider audience interested in your space and offer them free content or even link them directly to a blog post on your site that relates to the product or service you sell.
For instance, like this ad from AdEspresso:
It’s low risk for the user, as the offer is free.
For ebooks or content like blog posts, people generally won’t click if they aren’t interested, meaning you won’t be paying much in wasted ad spend.
By driving the traffic back to your website, you are filling your remarketing list continually with cheap and easy clicks, keeping your RLSA fresh for continued advertising.
Typical remarketing lists are good, but they are just that: typical.
They can get you results for a little while, but nowhere near what you could achieve using RLSAs.
With increased ad blocking technology, display ads are less engaging and users and far less receptive to them.
This means that your display remarketing ads will rarely reach users.
And if they do, they are already banner blind and likely won’t see them, even if they are already there.
RLSAs have the benefit of targeting your remarketing list where they enjoy searching; directly on Google’s search network.
Want to boost your remarketing results? Implement RLSAs and watch your performance go sky high for less effort, time, and money.