PPC Remarketing Setup: Part 2 – Audiences

October 4, 2013

Welcome back readers! Last week I showed you how to set up the needed accounts in order to effectively manage your remarketing tags. Today we will take the next, and probably most important, step in our journey to launching awesome remarketing campaigns.

This next step may be the most critical and possibly the most difficult. If you get it right you may see great success, if you get it wrong- well you’ll spend some money on learning an important lesson.

Identifying Potential Remarketing Audiences

First and foremost think about where your users may be at in their purchase. Are they ready buy? Or are they still reading customer reviews and asking their friends about a product offering in your industry? If it helps review the purchase funnel on our ppc management page. Keep this in mind as you look for potential audiences.

Website Content

Take a look at your website. Are there distinct pages or sections that certain users would find valuable? Are there certain product pages or product categories that are more highly sought after? On the other hand, are there pages or product categories that have potentially valuable traffic (ie. product pages that have high traffic yet possibly low sales volume). Basically consider the structure of your website and consider setting up audiences for these specific pages, sections, product categories etc…

Google Analytics Traffic Data

Now lets take a look into Google Analytics and use valuable data to help us make more informed decisions on what audiences you want to target. Log in to your account and navigate to the Audience tab (this should be the default page that you see right after logging in).

Review the traffic data for these predefined user audiences. Thinking about your business and your industry are there user groups that you want to target? For example let’s say Dan Johnson sells high end enterprise level IT software. His sales cycles are long and his potential clients do a lot of research before they purchase. In this case it may be valuable for Dan to target Returning Visitors.

One useful tool is the Visitor Flow report in this section. With this tool you can see how users navigate through your website. This can help identify certain pages or patterns you can use in identifying key audiences.

As I’ve mentioned before, think about the purchase funnel. Are there users on your website that visit but don’t purchase (signup, download etc…)? You may want to target this group of people.

I would also suggest taking a look in the Traffic Sources section (just below the Audience section I’ve been discussing). There may be potential user segments you could target here as well (ie. possibly referral traffic from your Facebook page).

After identifying some potential audience segments I would recommend you set up goals and even goal funnels in Analytics to test them.

Setting Up Identified Audiences

Once you’ve identified a number of audiences you want to target you’ll need to create them. Now before we move any further we need to distinguish what type of remarketing campaign you’ll be using these audiences for. More specifically, will you be using any of these audiences for search campaigns? If the answer is yes then we’ll need to create these specific audiences in the Adwords interface, since Adwords doesn’t have the capability to use audiences created in Analytics for search campaigns.

Adwords Audiences for Search Campaigns

Login to your Adwords account and navigate to the “Shared library” tab in the lower left hand column. Then select “View >>” under the Audiences section. This will take you to the Audiences menu.

If this is the first audience you’ve created for your account you’ll be given an option to “Set up remarketing”. Select this option and follow the instructions. Adwords will create a default remarketing list for you. This list can be useful so don’t delete it yet.

However, if you’ve already completed the previous step then under the Audience menu select the “+ Audience” drop down menu and select “Remarketing list”. Then name your remarketing list and add a condition. For this example we’ll base the criteria off users who visit a certain page on the website.

Select “Save” and you’ll see your newly created remarketing list in the Audience menu. It will take some time for the Adwords system to update and calculate the list size (the number of visitors who fit the criteria for the list).

Before moving on I would recommend creating a remarketing list of users who have purchased a product, filled out a form etc. This will be helpful to add to your other audiences as a negative audience (I will explain more about this in next week’s post).

Google Analytics Audiences

Google Analytics is a great tool for creating remarketing audiences. It’s way more flexible and allows you to create more custom audiences than the Adwords interface does. Before we beginning make sure you’ve linked your Google Analytics and Adwords accounts- you can learn how to do this here.

Now, log in to your Analytics account (if you haven’t already) and navigate to the Admin tab (you can find it in the top right hand corner of your screen). Under the “Property” menu select “Remarketing”, then “Lists”.

Next, select “+ New Remarketing List”. This page is where the magic happens. Here you have for options for creating a remarketing list. The first two allow you to generally target users who visit the website or a certain page. The bottom two options allow you to set up more custom options. This is where you can create the audiences based on the criteria you’ve identified in the Audience and Traffic Sources tabs under the Reporting menu in Google Analytics.

Select the option that best fits the user segment you want to target, select the dimensions etc that you’ll need, name the list and set a membership duration. You’ll also need to select the Adwords account you want the list to be connected to. When you’re done setting the criteria and the desired Adwords account select the “Get estimate” button. This should give you an estimated audience size.

Now save your audience. Since you’ve connected your Analytics and Adwords account the list you’ve just created will show up in your Adwords account. You’ll now be able to apply the audience to a select adgroup or adgroups.


I hope you found this information helpful as you work towards creating your remarketing campaigns. Next week I will cover how to set up remarketing campaigns and applying your selected audiences to them.

Do you have further questions? What other ways have you found useful in identifying and creating remarketing audiences? Please don’t hesitate to leave a comment below.

Stay tuned next week for more on PPC remarketing.

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