What is Remarketing and How Does it Work?

Remarketing with Display Network Advertising consists of advertising your business with text, image, interactive and video ads, and placing those ads on websites where your customers are likely to be found. How it differs from standard display advertising is through its ability to target more closely.

We place a discreet tag on your website (usually referred to as a “pixel”) and every time a new visitor comes to your site, the tag anonymously drops a browser cookie on your visitors computer. When the tracked visitor continues to browse other websites online, we collect valuable information about them and then use that information to better distribute your ads, ensuring maximum frequency and effectiveness.


Have you ever wondered why, after visiting on a company’s website, you suddenly start seeing their ads pop-up on other websites you visit? Remarketing is a form of online advertising that allows you to continue interacting with “bounced” traffic once they leave your website. For many websites, only 5% of traffic converts to purchase on the very first visit. Remarketing lets companies continue to influence the remaining 95% of online users, making it possible to regain that lost traffic and convert those leads into customers. Remarketing ads remind your customers about your brand and then drive them back to your site to make a purchase.


Ways to Remarket:

Standard remarketing: this form of retargeting enables you to show ads to your past visitors as they browse Display Network websites.

Dynamic remarketing: this is similar to standard remarketing but it takes retargeting to the next level that includes products or services that people viewed on your website. With dynamic remarketing, we can tailor your messages and ads to your audience and bring back previous visitors to complete what they started.

Remarketing for mobile apps: this shows your ads to people who have used your mobile app or website as they use other mobile apps or websites on the internet.

Remarketing for search ads: this type of remarketing shows ads to your past visitors as they do searches for what they need on Google (after leaving your website).

Video remarketing: if you have a business that relies on video content, video remarketing makes it possible to show ads to people who have previously interacted with your videos or YouTube channel as they use YouTube or browse other Display Network websites and videos.

Email-list remarketing: this type of retargeting allows you to upload a list of email addresses (maybe your customer email subscribers or inquiries) that your customers have given you. When those individuals are signed into Gmail, YouTube or Google Search, you can retarget to these individuals giving you more control of who to show your ads to.

Better Targeting:

Perhaps the greatest benefit of remarketing is the ability to optimize your targeting efforts and improve your advertisements relevancy. Having a retargeting strategy set in place provides you a much better chance of reaching people who are more likely to buy – giving you the option to reach those individuals after they’ve already interacted with your business. These ads can be shown when they’re searching for products (such as the ones you carry) or visiting other websites online, appearing everywhere, to give your brand more relevance and attention. Generally speaking, the greater your impressions, the higher your conversion rates.

Remarketing Steps:

First and foremost, you need to have an AdWords account to initiate any remarketing efforts. After you have successfully set up your AdWords account, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right campaign: you need to first define your objective and pick the right campaign type for your remarketing. You have the option of choosing the Search Network or the Display Network (or both).
  2. Add a remarketing tag to your website: to start using remarketing, you must first add a remarketing tag across all pages of your website. If you’re not familiar with coding, you can always reach out to a company to do this step for you (or ask us to do it).
  3. Create a remarketing list: after you tagged your website, it’s time to start creating remarketing lists. For example: you can create a list of people who landed on a specific page on your website but had not yet converted (purchased their order, called your business, or left an inquiry).
  4. Add remarketing rules and custom parameters: you must also create some rules and parameters to compile the correct audience lists in your remarketing initiatives. You may want to customize a list to a specific audience or website page. For example: a travel agency wants to reach people who came to their website for vacation packages but haven’t purchased anything. To create this list you must put the parameters to include individuals who have visited their search result page but have not visited their purchase page.
  5. Create a new campaign and ad set with the new remarketing list for the targeting of your Display Network.


Remarketing List:

After you’ve successfully tagged your website, created your remarketing list, added rules and parameters, and created your new campaign, you must put your remarketing list to work. Instead of targeting for certain keywords as you would for a Search only campaign, you’d set up your retargeting Display Network campaign with your remarketing list under your ‘interest and remarketing’ tab.

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Remarketing Placement:

It’s time for placement options. ‘Where’ you want your ads to show are dependent on where you feel your target audience would be most likely be seen. There are thousands of websites to choose from. For my campaign type, and for explanation purposes, I had initiated YouTube and Kijiji as my top contenders for my ads to appear.

Placement Options for Retargeting (automatic or manual selection):

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YouTube Ad Placement (example):


Kijiji Ad Placement (example):

For many companies, applying a retargeting strategy can be exceptionally powerful. Not only will your brand be more visible, but it will increase your chances of conversions by focusing on people that matter most to your business.