What You Should Be Doing On Your AdWords Remarketing Campaigns

Whether you are happy with your current remarketing campaign, thinking of starting one up or questioning why it’s not going as well as you had hoped, here are a couple of optimisations & alterations that you should be actively considering. These apply to both display and text retargeting campaigns, and whatever you have chosen is best for your business, the first thing you need to consider are the different ways you can alter your ad copies and what products, services and campaigns would best benefit from this.

If you want to show more ads or a different ad to someone who has already visited your site in the past, you’re gonna need Dynamic remarketing. Remarketing has proven to be a highly effective way to maximize conversions. This allows you to show specific ads to all of or your remarketing audience, and this is where it gets really interesting, only to people who visited or performed certain actions on your site. For example, you can advertise a specific product or service to someone who has already visited the page for that particular product, or you can take it even further and only retarget those who have added a certain product to their basket, but never went through with the purchase. In fact, roughly 70% of carts with items in them are abandoned, 1 in 5 calls to a business are abandoned, and 96% of website visitors will leave without taking the marketer’s desired action and you should be intently doing something about this.

Now, this can all get a bit expensive, especially if you’re running multiple campaigns at once, so it’s important not to lose track of what you’re trying to achieve with PPC. For most business, it’s all about clicks and conversions. Get them onto your site, and buying stuff. But of course for many business, it’s also about brand recognition, and remarketing is a power tool for either goal. The customer knows about you because they have been on your site, so let’s keep reminding everyone that we’re an option. The two most likely groups on average, to convert and those that come in through searching for a branded term, and those who come in via a remarketing ad.

Bid modifiers

Bid multipliers are a percentage multiplication of your default keyword bid. For example, if you see that one of your campaigns converts more in a particular location, you can bid more for people in that location! Likewise, if you see that campaign conversion rate drops on Sunday mornings, make it so your ads bid less for this part of the day. Of course it’s not always easy to know what keywords or audience members this applies to, and to what extent you should be modifying your bids.

They key metric to look for when thinking about bid modifiers is often the conversion rate. You can apply multipliers anywhere between -90% and +900%, this may seem like getting the right percentage is a shot in the dark but there is a simple calculation that can be done to reach the exact percent with which to multiply your bids.

bid adjustment formula

For example, let’s say that London has a conversion rate of 7.69% and the campaign average is 5.52%. This results in a +39% bid multiplier. To apply, add London as a targeted location and apply the multiplier directly in the AdWords interface. Now this is a good starting point but this is not a case of ‘set it and leave it’ as you may have to do some adjusting if the CPA is too high after conversions starting appearing on the scene.

If the purpose of your campaign is to drive traffic to your site or your conversion volumes are too low to make a sensible decision on bid adjustments, the same principle can be applied to other metrics such as CTR.

Of course, if you solely base your adjustments on CTR, you’ll want to also factor in engagement metrics such as bounce rate. You don’t want to bid aggressively for a audience with a high CTR if the majority of those users are bouncing! Similarly, if your aware of a particular location or day part with high spend but lack of conversions, applying a negative multiplier will ensure your bid is lowered for poor quality traffic.

As with all optimisation you do in your AdWords accounts, bid multipliers should be reviewed. The landscape of your data and the way each dimension performs will change with time. Make sure to review performance regularly to check your adjustments are having the desired effect. Revisit the data and be sure to recalculate adjustments once they’ve had a chance to work their magic as they will likely need tweaking.

Look over here!

Pretty simple tip, but make it eye catching without straying away from your brand image. This is probably the most important aspect to consider and the most difficult to give clear direction. This facet of ad creation is very much context driven. To succeed at creating something eye-catching requires an in depth knowledge of your customer base and demographics. What else are they interested in? What do they do for fun? What kind of music do they listen to? What industries are they following? Having your finger on the pulse of what your audience finds appealing is key to a successful ad. For display ads, go easy on the text. Use the power of the image to sell your band and services as where possible. And don’t be afraid to mix it up! Some of your ads will perform worse than others, but there is often room for improvement, no matter how small.


In the current PPC climate, it’s no longer enough to just turn on basic remarketing to those who have visited your site before. Bid modifiers, a few killer ad copies and a little bit of knowhow and experimentation go a long way in tallying up those desired conversions. These need to be monitored & adjusted to make sure you’re not pouring your daily budget down the drain. You will not always get it right at first, and you have to be aware of the data is telling and have your fire extinguisher at the ready. If you follow these steps and are attentive to what your account is telling you, the only thing that’ll be burning up is your CPA.

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    Chris Simmance, Marketing Consultant and International Keynote Speaker


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