How-to 10 min read

What is remarketing and how to configure it

Remarketing is a way to return visitors who once left your website. It implies establishing contact with a "warm" target audience and is an excellent alternative to paid search advertising or an addition to it. Remarketing can be configured for different websites which users often visit.

What is remarketing

This is one of the advertising directions which is based on the actions performed by a particular user. In fact, it looks like this: a person looked for a smartwatch and added one model to the basket. Then his wife distracted him, and afterward, the website was closed. To make sure a man does not forget about his incomplete purchase, a reminder of it will "haunt" him on other websites and on social media for some time.

What tasks does remarketing perform

  • Increasing sales;
  • returning customers;
  • increasing the conversion rate;
  • reminding about a brand or a product;
  • returning advertising investments.

With the help of remarketing, it's as if you are "catching up" with a customer who has performed some action on the website or at least once visited your website.
Why do I need remarketing
Configuring remarketing can complement any traffic source. This direction is used to return visitors who have performed a useful action on a website. For example, 20 out of 50 people made a purchase. Using remarketing, you can remind about the choice of goods or an abandoned basket to the remaining 30 visitors who can return to the website and complete their purchases.

It is believed that remarketing is worth using if your website traffic is over 300 people a day. But if you sell expensive goods, a hundred visits per day is enough. Returning customers to online stores, selling luxury goods (when you need to think about everything beforehand for purchasing them), inviting users to a webinar, etc are particularly relevant.

Types of remarketing depending on the goal of your advertising campaign

Display networks. All resources are available where an advertising banner can be displayed. They are used to "catch up" with a client who has left a website.
Look-alike audiences. You can select audiences with similar interests from the lists of existing advertising campaigns.
Search remarketing. Impact on users who have already been to your website once.
Dynamic remarketing. Impressions of a product that was viewed by a particular user.
Customer Match. Remarketing based on the list of email addresses
Many people leave a website without making a conversion. They can have various reasons for this. Regardless of their motives, remarketing makes it possible to heat up "warm" customers, return them to a website and lead them smoothly to making a purchase.
Dynamic remarketing which is actively used by online stores has the most subtle impact on a user. It is aimed at showing specific products that people viewed on a website in an advertising banner.
This is the case when you look at office chairs and then see them on all other websites for a while longer. Some online stores haunt former website visitors for several more months with banners. This approach causes nothing but irritation.

To avoid this, specify the particular period of user remarketing in the Google Analytics or Ads settings.

For example, the maximum period of user remarketing in Google Analytics is 540 days. You can configure an advertising campaign aimed at returning a customer to an abandoned basket lasting 5-7 days and offer the might-have-been buyer an additional discount.

Configuring dynamic remarketing

You can set up tracking statistics for different goals and parameters in Google Ads and Analytics. The interfaces of these tools are different, so let's consider the settings in each of them.

How does remarketing in Google Ads and Analytics work

When creating an advertising campaign, these two tools are combined into one. You can use each of them to configure remarketing, but Analytics offers more options for this. The first step is to log into your Analytics account and activate the user data collection feature.
Data Collection for Google Signals
Then you need to link this account to the Google Ads service:
Linking Google Adwords and Google Analytics
After that, data from one service will be transferred to another one. You can also use the audience from Analytics in your Ads campaigns.

You can also link your Analytics account with the Merchant Center service which is also used to configure remarketing, but not in all countries. In Ukraine and Kazakhstan, this service does not work, and for a Russian audience, it is better than Ads because of the simplified setup.
Remarketing at Google Merchant Center
If your target audience is not only in the Russian Federation, it is recommended to set up remarketing through Google Ads and Analytics.

The next step after connecting these services is to add product information to Google Ads in the form of tables. Such a file is called a feed. To download product information, you need to log into your Ads account and find the business data section in the "Tools":
Google Adwords Business Data
Then, click the Plus button in the "Data feeds" section and select the following lines in the dropdown menu:
How to create a Google Adwords data feed
After that, you need to download the table in the .xls, .xml or .csv format. It should contain the following items: product id, its name, description, photo, price, and a link to a page with this product. The penultimate step is to configure user parameters by which an audience will be selected for displaying advertisements:
Google Analytics Custom Definitions
Next, create and upload data to this section. Special parameters indicate the values that will be used when displaying the banner advertisement. You can read more about creating custom parameters in an advertising campaign in the Google Ads Help.
Google Analytics specific options
As a final step, add the data to the Google Analytics counter on your website:
<!-- Global site tag (gtag.js) - Google Analytics -->
<script async src="https://www.googletagmanager.com/gtag/js?id=UA-118800233-1"></script>
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
gtag('js', new Date());
gtag('config', 'UA-*********-*' , {‘custom_map’: {‘dimension1’ : ’ecomm_prodid’ , ‘dimension2’: ‘ecomm_pagetype’ , ‘dimension3’: ‘ecomm_totalvalue’}});
//Sending custom dimensions to Google Analytics//
gtag (‘event’ , ‘Ecomm Product ID’ , {‘ecomm_prodid’ : <ecomm_prodid>}); // Here you need to specify the product identifier value. For example, 42565, 649845
gtag (‘event’ , ‘Ecomm Page Type’ , {‘ecomm_pagetype’ : <ecomm_pagetype>}); //Page type is an additional parameter. For example, home, cart, purchase
gtag (‘event’ , ‘Ecomm Total Value’ , {‘ecomm_totalvalue’ : <ecomm_totalvalue>}); //Total value is an additional parameter. For example, 100,05, 1700,00
Where UA-*********-* is the unique tracking code and <ecomm_prodid>, <ecomm_pagetype>, and <ecomm_totalvalue> are special parameters primarily uploaded to a server.

To determine the audience for displaying advertisements, go to Google Ads Help and select the appropriate vertical from the list.
Select Google Adwords ad serving audiences
Select Google Adwords
In the next window, you need to select parameters and identify a personal digital account.
Google Object Configurations
After clicking the "Create" button, the desired audience will be imported and displayed in the Analytics account. They will also be available in the appropriate audience section of the Google Ads service. In order for everything to work as it should, you only need to select the previously created user parameters in the dynamic attributes section through Analytics:
Google Analytics Dynamic Attributes

Remarketing on social media

In order for advertisements to "catch up" with website visitors on social media as well, it is necessary to create so-called pixels for each social network. To do this, go to the business accounts of social networks and enter the necessary data there. For example, retargeting for Facebook and Instagram is created like this. You need to create a pixel in the Ads Manager, generate the code and add it to Google Tag Manager.
Pixel Facebook Ads Manager
Setting up a Facebook pixel and adding to the site
Setting the Facebook pixel code
In the parameters' settings, you can enable/disable the Instagram feed and specify the conditions for the advertisement to appear in the feed.


Remarketing and retargeting are related concepts. They are a tool for interacting with "warm" customers who have visited your website at least once in the past.

In remarketing settings, you can specify the period and websites for displaying advertisements. You can also configure unique parameters for selecting the target audience: visiting specific pages, performing a series of actions on a website, an abandoned basket, and so on.

Configuring dynamic remarketing or retargeting can be done through Google Ads, Analytics, and business social media accounts. With the help of this tool, sales are increased, conversion and trust of a "warm" audience to the website are growing.

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