Google AdWords advertisers – have you ever wanted to get back in front of potential customers who visited your website, left your website, and then later searched Google for phrases relevant to your products and services?
Thanks to RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads), now you can. Despite its overly-complex name, RLSA is actually very simple, and almost identical to the Google AdWords campaigns we’re all used to. The only difference – you’re simply adding an audience to your AdWords campaign targeting settings, so that your ads only appear to people who have previously visited your website.
Think of this ‘audience’ as a fictional tropical island, with all your previous website visitors located on that island. You’re Google AdWords campaign is simply targeting people on that island, so only people who have previously visited your website will see your ads. Everything else is exactly the same as a standard Google AdWords campaign – easy! And the great news? You’re only 60 minutes away from your first RLSA campaign, so let’s get started!
1. Install The Code
Open Google AdWords and navigate to Shared Library > Audiences. If you haven’t yet installed the remarketing code on your website, follow the instructions to install the code.
Total Time Taken: 10 Minutes
2. Check Your Traffic
Due to privacy issues, the minimum audience size required for an RLSA campaign is 1,000 people, so you’ll need to ensure you have at least 1,000 (and ideally 1,500) people in your remarketing list. Open Google Analytics, and check how many people visited your website in the last 30 days. Significantly more than 1,500? Great, less than 1,500? Extend the date range until you have at least 1,500 visits and make a note of the time period (e.g. 60 days).
Total Time Taken: 15 Minutes
After 7 years running PPC campaigns, I thought I had it sussed. I thought that people searching for specific long-tail searches were further along in the buying cycle than people searching for shorter, generic phrases, and therefore more likely to convert. I thought that targeting long-tail keywords provided a great opportunity to segment different types of searchers, and bid differently depending on how much qualification was contained in their search. I thought long-tail keywords provided a great opportunity to respond to the specific needs and preferences of each searcher, and provide tailored and relevant ad messages which solve their unique problems.
It turns out I may be wrong.
A long-tail PPC strategy, consisting of thousands of keywords and thousands of tailored ad messages catering for a wide range of searcher needs and preferences, can indeed lead to higher click through rates, higher Quality Scores, lower CPCs, and higher conversion rates. It’s a methodology I have abided by for 7 years, generally achieving far superior results than more generic PPC strategies which instead target shorter, more generic searches.
The logic of long-tail theory is sound too:
- Compared to shorter keywords such as ‘flooring’, people who make long-tail searches such as ’14mm bamboo flooring melbourne’ are generally more knowledgeable about what they want, are further along in the buying cycle, and are therefore more likely to convert.
- Because the searcher has provided signals such as ’14mm’, ‘bamboo’, and ‘melbourne’, you can be more confident they are searching for exactly what you offer, allowing you to bid higher for searches which contain those qualifying words, leading to a higher return on investment.
- And because the searcher has been very specific, you can show targeted ad messages which are tailored to ’14mm Bamboo Flooring’, take the visitor to a landing page which showcases your 14mm bamboo flooring range, and be confident that your campaigns will generate fantastic results.
It all sounds great. But we are making one big assumption about one important variable – knowledge.
Suppose you wanted to run a marketing campaign on the Google Display Network. You upload a set of image ads, specify your targeting options, and let Google serve your ads on publishers which Google believes are relevant to your targeting options.
Let’s say you’re willing to pay $2.00 per click. Your ads receive 10,000 impressions and achieve a click through rate (CTR) of 0.03%, which very typical for a traditional display campaign. This means you, the advertiser, will receive 10,000 impressions x 0.03% CTR = 3 clicks.
Since publishers receive 68% of revenue, total revenue from the 10,000 impressions is split as follows:
- Publisher: 3 clicks x $2.00 CPC x 68% = $4.08
- Google: 3 clicks x $2.00 CPC x 32% = $1.92
The revenue received by Google and the publisher is highlighted in the red and green shaded areas below.
Now let’s see what happens if the advertiser were to achieve a 10x higher CTR of 0.3% with more engaging mage ads and more relevant targeting settings. Let’s also assume that the advertiser is now willing to pay only $0.50 per click – only a quarter that of the previous example.
Last month, eBay released a study suggesting that showing paid ads for your brand terms on Google is a complete waste of money.
As an experiment, eBay paused their paid ads for the keyword ‘ebay’, and found that the reduction in clicks from their Google paid ads was made up for by an increase in clicks from their Google organic listings. eBay therefore concluded that bidding on your brand name is a complete waste of money.
Wrong. If, like eBay, you simply provide an ad message for your brand name as a mere navigational link (i.e. so that your simply appear in the paid listings), you will probably notice that any increase in paid clicks from your brand keywords is met with an equal decrease in organic (natural) clicks from your brand keywords, with no added value being created.
However, paid ads for brand terms can create significant value for your business if the execution of your brand ad strategy is more involved than simply providing a mere navigational link, for example: