Introduction: Dynamic Remarketing

Remarketing And Google


Mary Weinstein

Author Profile | Mary


What Is Remarketing?

Why Is Remarketing A Good Choice For Ecommerce Business Owners?

What Is Google Dynamic Remarketing?

How Does Google Dynamic Remarketing Compare To Remarketing Platforms?

What Is Remarketing?

Google Dynamic RetargetingRemarketing (also referred to as retargeting) is a form of online display advertising which allows online retailers to show ads to shoppers who have visited the retailer site and left. These shoppers have abandoned the site, or bounced, but are still likely to convert on a site.

“Dynamic remarketing lets you reach your past site visitors with ads that show the specific products people viewed on your site”- Google

If you are shopping around for boots for example, and you visit an online store and look at boots, the retailer knows:

1) You are looking to purchase boots or
2) You are looking to purchase shoes in the near future and most likely
3) You like their site, or something made you browse there.

The online retailer who owns that store can then remarket to you as you browse on other websites using a cookie. So those boots, similar boots, or ads for that site will show up at the top or side of other web pages as  visual ads while you browse. The retailer knows that based on your shopping behavior, you are more likely to purchase boots (you were shopping for them remember?), so sites you’ve visited will follow you around with ads related to what you’ve viewed. Basically saying “Hey, remember this site and these boots? Don’t you want to buy them?”

Here is a visual simplification of what remarketing looks like:

Dynamic Remarketing

For online merchants, setting up a remarketing campaign involves using a piece of site code (sometimes called a pixel) which drops a cookie on user browsers who visit your site, and helps determine when to show those remarketing ads and to who. In addition to remarketing using ads, marketers can also use email remarekting, CRM remarketing, and search remarketing.

Here is Google’s explanation of how Remarketing works:

For an even more detailed run down, check out Google’s webinar on Dynamic Remarketing:

Why Is Remarketing A Good Choice For Ecommerce Business Owners?

Remarketing is a top choice for online marketers as the return on investment (ROI) tends to be higher than other forms of advertising. Logically this makes sense, since merchants are marketing to shoppers who are already interested in the seller’s website, or products, having already visited the site, viewed products, added something to their cart, or even purchased something from the site.

target logo retargeting couponsThink about the coupons you get from a brick and mortar store (e.g Target) right after a purchase. Target already knows you shop at their store, and they know what type of products you purchase. Consequently, the likelihood that you shop at Target again is higher than if Target was just sending that coupon to someone else.

If you want to take that analogy to the next level with Dynamic Remarketing, if the coupon Target gives you is related to items you purchase (e.g shaving cream or face wash, if you  just bought razors), then you are likely to purchase something at Target again, most likely something related to what you just bought.

Other forms of advertising target broader user audiences, whereas remarketing allows online sellers to show ads to shoppers who are more likely to actually be looking for that item or site.

How Can I Remarket?

For remarketing options, retailers have had two options to diplay ads to site visitors: use retargeting platforms like Adroll or Mediaforge OR use Google remarketing.

Adroll Retargeting PlatformWhile a good choice for larger retailers, remarketing platforms are limiting for smaller merchants who cannot meet their $2000/mo spend minimum, whereas Google has no limit on monthly spend levels.

Prior to Google’s Dynamic Remarketing, in order to remarket, merchants sent product information to Google and/or Remarketing Platforms similar to how listing on Google Shopping or Nextag work. After sending product information using the data feed, merchants could then change who would see their ads, as well as the content of ads and bidding associated with those ads.

While it wasn’t possible to do dynamic retargeting on Google, other providers had/have their own dynamic retargeting platforms and bought ads on behalf of their customers on ad exchanges.

What Is Dynamic Remarketing?

Traditional remarketing allows merchants to display ads to shoppers who have visited their site. However, these ads are often limited for ad content. Instead of remarketing using product specific ads (e.g for boots), sellers are only able to remarket for their website. So instead of saying “Hey remember these boots?” marketers are limited by displaying ads which are site targeted “Hey remember this site?”

Dynamic remarketing takes traditional remarketing to the next level with product-specific ads. 

Retailers have long been able to use dynamic remarketing using the Remarketing Platforms, but considerations like monthly spend and remarketing management have limited this ability for many merchants.

What Is Google Dynamic Remarketing?

Google Dynamic Remarketing Google logo

Google’s Dynamic Remarketing is unique in that it adds a level of automation to the existing model of dynamic remarketing. As noted earlier, to remarket using a remarketing platform, merchants need to set up ads and tailor where and how they appear, much like how Google Shopping works.

Google Dynamic Remarketing allows merchants to target ads based on products and makes the management process much more intuitive with more automated elements:

Elements Of Google Dynamic Remarketing

  • Google Auto Optimized Layout Feature– Chooses ad layout for performance.

Merchants can choose from a selection of pre-set dynamic ad templates which later can be A/B tested.

Here are some dynamic ad template examples:

Google Dynamic Remarketing ad types

  • Google Product Recommendation Engine– Chooses products for ads: related products, popular products, and products online shoppers have viewed before.

“The product recommendation engine determines the best mix of products for each ad, factoring in elements such as related products, most popular products, and items previously viewed.”- Google

  • Google Real Time Bidding Algorithm–  Calculates bids for each impression.

Merchants can choose to use Google defaults for product ad content and audience, and or they can tailor those metrics through the AdWords login. Although Google does have default elements for all of these variables, merchants still need to set up ads and install tracking before getting started with Google Dynamic Remarketing.

Google also has 5 pre-set up visitor segmentations for when you set up a dynamic remarketing campaign, which you can use or modify. Meaning when you go to set up a Remarketing ad, you can choose visitor groups which you want your ads to show up for:

  • All visitors– Everyone who’s come to your site.
  • General visitors – People who visited your website but didn’t view specific products
    The dynamic ad will include the most popular products from your site.
  • Product viewers – People who viewed specific product pages on your site but did not add them to the shopping cart
    The dynamic ad will show the products that your visitors viewed and mix in recommended products.
  • Shopping cart abandoners – People who added products to the shopping cart but didn’t complete the purchase
    The dynamic ad will prioritize items added into the shopping cart, and will mix in a few other viewed products and recommended products.
  • Past buyers – People who purchased products from you in the past
    The dynamic ad will show related products by looking at popular items and items commonly purchased together.

How Does Google Dynamic Remarketing Compare To Remarketing Platforms?

Google Dynamic Remarketing should give Remarketing Platforms a bit of a run for their money, but both Remarketing options have variables which are appealing to different merchants.

Google Dynamic Remarketing vs. Remarketing Platforms

Google Dynamic Remarketing vs. Remarketing Platforms Social Implementation Remarketing Program Start Dates
Google Dynamic Remarketing Google Plus Influence Set-up: Requires development knowledge.Mechant Influence: Bids are set for you. Adroll- 2007, Vizury- 2008, Criteo- 2005
Remarketing Platforms Facebook Influence Set-up: Requires development knowledge.Merchant Influence: Choose your bids and budget. Google AdWords Remarketing-  2010


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Google Dynamic Remarketing Guide 2.0