3 Tips for Creating RLSA Campaigns That Convert


With insights from Heather Kollme, Media Director

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) is a Google AdWords program that allows brands to customize and target search ads to consumers who have previously visited or engaged with their site. RLSA plays into consumer motivations and intentions, targeting qualified customers with the right message at the right time.

To maximize conversions, brands should leverage the following tips when creating RLSA campaigns:

1. Successfully targeting an audience

Google collects data on visitors that have visited a brand’s site. It also captures data on consumer engagement. For example, Google notes whether or not they’ve converted, whether they’ve left the site with a full cart, etc. Google also allows brands to retarget consumers that have visited their website within the past 180 days.

To remarket key consumers, brands should:

  • Implement a “tag,” or a short code, that can be placed onto a brand’s website. Once this code is live, it will start collecting user information and adding them to the brand’s list of consumers who have previously visited their site or have taken a specified action on the site.
  • Create additional lists for testing opportunities and campaigns by sifting through the data collected on consumers. Brands have the ability to segment consumers and have Google display ads to them based on their interests, intent, purchases and more.
  • Create negative lists, excluding consumers that may have already purchased an item that was previously in their cart—or perhaps excluding consumers who were previously searching for terms related to a holiday, once that holiday has passed; these consumers can be excluded from the targeting list, as they would no longer be searching for the products they were previously interested in.

2. Creating noninvasive ad copy

RLSA ad copy is different from traditional ad copy. With RLSA ad copy, brands are trying to motivate consumers to return and complete a purchase or to return and complete a specified action. Typically, this ad copy is targeted towards consumers who have previously visited the brand’s website and expressed interest in a certain product or service. They key to converting consumers with copy is to create ads that are subtle and noninvasive.

For example, Google is less likely to display a blunt and forced ad that states “Come back and buy!” Instead, brands should try and create ads that are specific to the user’s actions and motivation.

To illustrate, if an electronics company was retargeting a consumer who had previously purchased a product through their website and left a product in their “cart,” the ad copy might look something like:

Headphones: [Brand Name]
Still Interested in Headphones?
Discover More Great Products Today.

An ad like this plays into consumers’ intent and purchase decisions, providing them with a friendly reminder of products they may still be interested in.

Brands should also ensure that they’re not just creating one set of ads for each ad group and campaign, but rather creating multiple sets of copy created specifically based on a consumer’s intent. Testing Paid Search copy for RLSA is just as important as it is for traditional search. Brands should test different calls-to-action, offers and wording to understand what works better with their remarketing audience.

3. Keyword targeting tactics

For traditional search ads, brands can bid on search terms that are relevant to their Web pages. And while the same goes for RLSA, brands can actually hone in on specific consumers that have visited their sites prior. In fact, brands can target consumers with keywords based on their path in the purchasing journey.

To illustrate, if a consumer is shopping online for groceries, places items in their “cart” and then leaves the website to continue browsing the Internet for other grocery-related terms or options, brands can leverage RLSA to target those consumers and subtly remind them to come back.

Additionally, brands can use remarketing audiences in conjunction with DSA (Dynamic Search Ads) for maximum exposure. While DSA is a Google AdWords-run program that doesn’t use keywords, it still leverages the intent behind the consumer’s search query. Using this search targeting feature allows Google to crawl and understand the content of a brand’s Web pages. Then, it matches ads to consumers that are conducting searches with these categories/topics. For example, if a beauty brand activated DSA, their ads would surface depending on the content consumers searched for.  If that happened to be a certain type of perfume, the ad would link to the brand’s product page with that product.

To learn more about creating RLSA campaigns, contact Performics today.


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