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Remarketing with Google Analytics

Lindsay Keller Posted by

In my previous blog post, I went over the evolution of running remarketing campaigns with Google and how to set up remarketing lists in Google AdWords. Now I will focus attention on the most recent update to Google’s remarketing feature, remarketing with Google Analytics. In this post, I will show you how to create a remarketing list and review some of the additional options available to you in setting up your remarketing list in Google Analytics.

Please note that you must have administrator access and have an active Google AdWords account that is linked to your Analytics account in order to use this feature. If you have access to this new feature, you will find the tool as a tab under the Admin tab of your selected profile as seen below:

Google Analytics Remarketing Lists Tab1 Remarketing with Google Analytics

The first difference between setting up your remarketing lists in Analytics as opposed to Adwords is that with Analytics you don’t have to add a separate remarketing code to your website. You will just need to change one line of code on your existing Analytics tracking code that should already be on all your website pages.

To implement remarketing, replace the bold text in this example:

Google Analytics Tracking Code Remarketing with Google Analytics

with the bold text in the example below:

Google Analytics Remarketing Code Remarketing with Google Analytics

Once this change has been made, you can create as many different remarketing lists as you’d like. To get started click on +New Remarketing List and you will see the following options:

Google Analytics Remarketing Options1 Remarketing with Google Analytics

You will notice that you have the option to target all of your site’s visitors and visitors who have viewed a specific page or section of your site. Options for targeting are similar to what can be defined in Google AdWords. In addition to those two options, you are also given two additional options. The options are to target all visitors who have completed a goal that you have set up in Google Analytics or you have the option to create your own remarketing type using Visitor Segments.

By using Google Analytics to set up your remarketing lists instead of AdWords, you can take advantage of the data in Analytics and create lists based on metrics and dimensions, such as visit duration, browser, operating system, country/territory, city, and goal completions. In addition, you can identify visitors who performed a specific sequence of actions on your site and create a custom audience for those actions. If you choose to create your own remarketing list using Visitor Segments, you will be presented with the two options, a Dimension & Metric Filter or a Sequence Filter, as seen below:

Google Analytics Remarketing Visitor Segments1 Remarketing with Google Analytics

Setting up Visitors Segments is a lot like setting up advanced segments in Google Analytics, however in this case you can identify visitor behavior across all sessions within the previous 7 days, rather than only for individual sessions during that time period. With the Dimensions & Metrics Filter, you can select an audience of visitors who have visited your site a certain number of times and spent over a certain dollar value in the past 7 days. You could also use the Sequence filter to select an audience of visitors who have visited specific pages in a particular order across all visitor sessions in the 7 days prior to the current visit.

You can get much more targeted with your remarketing lists in Google Analytics, but remember each audience must gather 100 unique visitors who meet the defined criteria before you are eligible to start serving ads to that list on Google’s Display Network. You will notice on the remarketing list set up page that there is a Get Estimate button allowing you to look back over the previous number of days defined in your membership duration to see how many users have met your set conditions for that time period. This is just an estimate of how many visitors might meet your defined criteria in future days.

Please note that membership duration is the number of days a user’s cookie stays on your remarketing list. The default membership duration is 30 days and the maximum limit is 540 days. It is best to choose the membership duration that best fits with your sales cycle.

Lastly, you will specify which AdWords account should be associated with your new remarketing list you just created. Your remarketing list should then appear in that account within minutes. Now that you know how to set up remarketing lists with Google Analytics, it’s time to get started!

If you have any creative remarketing list criteria you plan on using or have already stated using, please share! You can comment below or find me on Twitter @lindskeller.


About the Author: Lindsay joined Search Mojo in July 2011 as a Jr. Account Manager, managing both search engine optimization and pay per click advertising accounts. She graduated from James Madison University in May 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a focus on Business to Business Marketing. Lindsay discovered her interest in search engine marketing when she participated in the 2011 Google Online Marketing Challenge (GOMCHA).

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