What is Google AdWords Remarketing, and how does it work?

Reading Time: 7 mins

Google AdWords Remarketing allows you to turn unconverted visitors into conversions, and increase the revenue of your ecommerce store.

Remarketing essentially allows you to add visitors to your website to a list, who will then be targeted with specific adverts of your choosing, based upon their actions on your site. They will see these adverts across Google Search, and the Google Display Network, which spans over 2 million websites. This encourages users to return to your website, and finally make the conversion you’d originally been hoping for.

Could it work for you? Have you noticed a number of visitors to your site who aren’t making purchases, despite the fact they’re showing a strong interest in a particular product? Remarketing allows you to reconnect with the customer, and position targeted ads to customers who have previously visited your site, as they browse the rest of the internet.

Google AdWords Logo

So how does Google AdWords remarketing work?

It places cookies on the visitor’s computer which meet your criteria, and their cookie ID is then added to your remarketing list. It works by adding a remarketing tag to your website, creating remarketing lists for any webpages, and then building campaigns for the lists.

You can use multiple lists, with different criteria, to suit every need you could have. This could be customers who visit particular web pages, and don’t purchase an item. Or customers which visit your site, and don’t fill in a form.

For instance, you can target audiences based on:

  • The product page visited
  • Particular checkout process page
  • Webpages not visited

Google have put together this short infographic to visualise how remarketing works:

Google AdWords Remarketing How It Works

What can it achieve for my business?

  • Close deals with indecisive shoppers

You can retarget advertisements to people who viewed specific sets of websites before departing the site. This means you can tailor ads to a customer’s needs, and bring them back with an enticing advert.

  • Bring back shoppers who placed items in their basket without purchasing

Ecommerce shopping cart abandonment is always a tricky issue for online retailers, but remarketing could be the solution. Advertising to those who reached a certain checkout page and then left means you could close the deal.

  • Retain past customers who have made a purchase before

Past customers who have already done business with you may still be interested in whatever else you have to offer.

  • Reach new target customers or demographics who view certain webpages

Perhaps they viewed a promotional page or video you have posted; you can target specific regions or audiences who have viewed any page.


If your product is something that is more of a considered purchase, rather than the kind of item you buy on a whim, remarketing is the ideal way to increase purchases. If your process to make a sale is long, and competitive, then remarketing means that you have many added chances to make that conversion that customers are already interested in.

Remarketing is effective because, in contrast to advertising blindly at customers who may not be interested, customers have already expressed an interest in your products or services. They’ve already visited your site for one reason or another, and that means there’s something that initially attracted them to your brand in particular. Why not cash in on this, and continue to advertise to a group of people who are actually interested?

What types of remarketing are there?

  • Standard Remarketing – display advertisements on the Google Display Network to past visitors of your website
  • Dynamic Remarketing – Dynamic advertisements display the products and services they viewed on your website
  • Search Ad Remarketing Lists – Advertisements are shown to visitors when they continue to search on Google, once leaving your site
  • Video Remarketing – advertisements are shown to users on YouTube and the Display Network, who have previously interacted with your YouTube channel or videos
  • Mobile App Remarketing – if people have used your mobile application or mobile website, advertisements will be shown when they use other mobile apps or mobile sites.

Remarketing can take the shape of text or image display formats. It can increase your brand’s profile, and keep your company in the forefront of a customer’s mind. Remarketing is a cost effective method to extend your reach, gain return visits from potential customers, and lower cost-per-click.

For more information, check the video from Google below.

What can I do with Google AdWords remarketing?

  • Push products towards interested customers

You can show customers products when they are most likely to make a purchase. If they’ve already searched for your product, or visited related webpages or apps, your timely advertisement will emerge at a timely opportunity.

  • Raise brand awareness 

Through long-term, consistent advertisements, you can easily seed concepts about your brand in a customer’s mind. You can reach audiences on the Google Display Network that consists of 2 million websites, and Google Search.

  • Different forms of advertisements

Remarketed adverts can be static images, animated imagines, text, or videos.

  • Integrate remarketing with Google Analytics

You can view, manage, and create remarketing lists in Google Analytics. This ensures you can keep track of your remarketing campaigns, and monitor them accordingly. You can also create and manage remarketing lists directly within AdWords. You can control how long a cookie ID stays on a remarketing list. You can also limit the number of ads per day which are shown to individuals.

What do I need to get started with remarketing?

Remarketing isn’t too demanding to get started with, but you will need to ensure you have the following before starting a campaign:

  • 100 cookie ID’s on each remarketing list
  • Highly relevant adverts for visitors
  • Advertisement enticement to encourage a second visit

If this sounds like it could benefit your business, or already have ideas for a campaign, it’s never too late to get started with AdWords.

If you think Google AdWords could benefit your business, get in touch with the team at Xanthos, who offer a comprehensive AdWords Pay-Per-Click management service to increase traffic, and revenue, for your business. Read about our services by clicking here, contact us, or call on 08450 740 068.