Remarketing: Rethinking your digital campaigns

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Options are a-plenty when it comes to digital marketing. PPC, SEO, email marketing, content marketing, social media etc. etc. But there is one form of digital marketing that allows you to serve adverts to prospects that have already visited your website. It’s called ‘remarketing’.

Remarketing works by Google – the ‘biggy’ when it comes to remarketing – capturing the IP address of a visitor to your site and allowing you to serve your adverts to that individual when they visit another site that accepts Google adverts.

Ever noticed when you leave a site selling shoes, for example, that ads for that same online shoe shop appear again on another site? That’s remarketing.

There are several ways to remarket with Google:

Standard remarketing: serve banner adverts to past visitors of your website using Google’s Display Network websites and apps – sites that offer the space for Google ads. We’ll cover this later in this post.

Dynamic remarketing: serve banner adverts based on specific products and services the visitor viewed on your website.

Remarketing for mobile apps: serve banner adverts to those who have used your mobile app or mobile website as they use other apps and mobile websites.

Remarketing lists for search ads: customise your search advertising campaign to people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to those visitors who have engaged more actively with your site (by visiting a number of pages or a specific area on our site) when they’re searching elsewhere on Google.

The benefits of remarketing are obvious. Reconnect with past site visitors in a highly targeted campaign without the need for a contact database, and ultimately an increase in revenue (if done right).

To set up a remarketing campaign with Google sign in to your AdWords account, create a new campaign, selecting ‘Display Network only’:


Select ‘Remarketing’ on the right of the next screen and you’re ready to start setting up your new campaign. Google has a comprehensive guide to using their system here. You will need to add a small snippet of code to your website, but this is relatively simple so either you or your Webmaster can do it.
A few best practices to follow:

Update your Privacy Policy – Before you start adding the necessary code and building lists change your Privacy Policy on your website so that it declares you’re using DoubleClick cookies (the tool Google uses to make their remarketing work) to retarget past visitors.

Lists membership duration – Remarketing lists have a limit to how long a person’s cookies remain on the list (up to 540 days). Be mindful that that your ad will be following a past visitor for this period – or less according to how you set your campaign up. No-one wants to be followed by the same ad everywhere and visitors can clear their cookies or even block seeing your ads entirely by clicking the AdChoices icon.

Frequency capping – This should be considered in conjunction with your list membership durations, so try to limit a visitor impressions to two a day as maximum.

Here’s a blog post with a few great examples of remarketing campaigns.