Remarketing is not a new concept in digital marketing, but it is, however, massively underused. Let’s rephrase that: it just rarely gets used effectively.

Having a clear Remarketing can help you target your audience at many different parts of the marketing funnel, from driving brand awareness to putting a specific product in front of a user who didn’t purchase before leaving your website. Brand awareness at a fraction of the cost of traditional PR is always worthwhile, but Remarketing can singlehandedly increase ROI. Don’t think for one moment Remarketing is a fluffy marketing tactic that can't and won't move the needle on your KPIs.

(Example Remarketing Banners from Rent Inc)

At this point, we've not even mentioned how relatively 'cheap' it can be to re-engage a past visitor of your website!

In this blog, we are talking about Remarketing specific to Google Ads. You can also use Remarketing, or Retargeting (both words are used interchangeably), on several other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Linkedin, to name just a few.

The Details

Have you ever visited a website and then later that day started seeing banner adverts for that business/product/service following you around the web? If so, you are already familiar with Remarketing.

Remarketing happens when you visit a website, and the company in question places a cookie on your computer. No matter where you go on the web, (within the Google Display Network: 2 million websites!) the company can now identify you. In short, this means that you can show you ads related to the business/product/service which the user initially clicked on the pages of your website.

There are three kinds of remarketing campaigns and top-level strategies that you might want to familiarise yourself with as part of your Remarketing training 101.

Listed below, this forms the foundation for knowing the specific target audience you wish to show your banner adverts.

1. Campaigns aimed at visitors who did not take a specific action on a page – e.g. By doing this, you can generating leads from those who did not opt into your newsletter or request a consultation.

2. Campaigns aimed at visitors who reached a specific page within your checkout process, but did not complete their purchase– e.g. 'Cart Abandoners.'

3. Campaigns for visitors who have not seen a page that you’d like them to see – e.g. Can use this for promoting content or other pages on your site.


There are two technical parts to setting up a remarketing campaign. The first part includes installing a ‘tag’ on every page of your website and then creating a marketing list. The second part is running a campaign targeted at that ‘remarketing list.’

We will talk you through every stage of this setup in a future blog. If you need any help in the meantime, please reach out to us and we’ll talk you through the process.

Google Ads gives you the option to install the tag yourself or involve your developer. If you are already using Google Tag Manager, it is very straightforward, so don’t be put off by this stage.

Next, (still part one) when you set up a ‘Remarketing list’ Google gives you four options for the type of data you can use to make up your list.

  • Website Visitors
  • Mobile App Users
  • Customer Emails
  • Youtube Users

For simplicity, we are going to focus on Website Visitors.
Now we get to the good bit. Google will ask who which web visitors you want to add to your list. The options are:

  • Visitors of a page
  • Visitors of a page who did not visit another page
  • Visitors of a page who also visited another
  • Visitors of a page who also visited during specific dates

You can also add 'Custom Combinations' between the options, but it’s probably not necessary at a starter level.

For example, if you wanted to promote an event locally and you have an events page that users have previously visited, you know you can promote a relevant piece of content to them.

Note: The Remarketing campaign won’t appear to work until you have 1000 users on the list (the list that now exists on your website). Depending on the business in question, this can be anything between a few hours and a few weeks. In our experience, this is the most common answer to ‘why aren’t my ads showing?’


The hardest part of delivering any remarketing camping is probably the creative element. “What do we include in our banner ads.” Our advice is threefold: the ads should focus on a single message or idea, communicating to a single person, whilst being on-brand. It's not as easy as it sounds. This is before you consider there are over a dozen banner sizes you must be consistent across.

Glenn Fisher, in his excellent book on the art of copywriting, talks about the idea of clarity within your messaging, and it makes perfect sense. The average user online is hit with 5000 advertisements a day. And wait. This particular piece of research was from 2007. The number will have hardly gone down over the last decade.

Suppose you are attempting to dilute your message into three benefits you offer, within 1 of the 5000 adverts that your audience will see that day. In that case, you’re certainly not giving yourself the best chance to communicate your message. One message to one person. Don’t attempt to speak to your entire audience in one go.

When you are coming up with ideas for your ad copy, you may come across what you think is a fantastic and fresh idea: and it may well be. The first question to ask, “Is this on brand and does it speak in our tone of voice”. If it does, great. You may be onto a winner. If not, disregard and move on. The creative process of coming up with content for an advert isn’t easy, but it is fun and rewarding. The success of your remarketing campaign hinges on the creative element.

One of the most significant concerns users have with Remarketing is the extent to which companies bombard them with the same marketing message. When companies do this too much, it shows an apparent lack of expertise within Remarketing. The company, as an advertiser, has the ability, when setting up a campaign in Google Ads, to limit the number of times an advert can be shown in any given period through Frequency Capping. Frequency Capping eliminated the ‘creepy’ feeling many users now found overwhelming and downright intrusive, and rightly so if the frequency of the ad isn’t ‘capped’.

GDPR and Remarketing

At this point, you're probably thinking that you should be getting on with building a Remarketing campaign, but one question may still remain.

'Does Remarketing go against GDPR and privacy laws?'

Good question. And the short answer is no — as long as your website has a clear privacy policy that mentions how you obtain and use visitor data, including cookies.


So why wait. Don't delay. Remarketing is a tactic that many savvy businesses have been using for some time to reengage visitors who have left their website. Research has shown that 92% of users don’t purchase on their first visit to a website. This is a staggering statistic. If your business can afford to survive from the 8% who do make a purchase, or get in contact with you, on their first visit, congratulations. If you would like to convert the other 92%, Remarketing should be an essential part of your digital marketing strategy moving forward. An essential part that can target every area of your sales funnel and deliver real ROI.