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Google Ads Retargeting

How Google Ads Retargeting Works

Google Ads retargeting, also known as Remarketing, is a campaign type in your Google Ads account that allows you to target people that have been on your website or app before.

There are a few things you need to do before you can run your Google Ads retargeting campaign:

  • Decide the type of remarketing that you want to run
  • Link your Google Ads and Analytics accounts to automatically import your audiences into your Google Ads account
  • Set up audiences that you will reach with your ads (we will do this in Google Analytics)
  • Create a remarketing campaign in your Google Ads account


Remarketing types in Google Ads:


Standard remarketing

This remarketing targets people as they browse sites and apps that are part of the Google Display Network. So you can create responsive display ads to target them, or upload your own custom display ads to target your past visitors.

Dynamic remarketing

With dynamic remarketing, you are targeting people with ads that include products or services that they have looked at on your website. It’s more advanced than standard remarketing and is more targeted because they see the products or services that they are most interested in.

Remarketing lists for search ads

After people leave your website and carry out follow-up searches on Google, you can retarget them with Remarketing lists for search ads. You use text ads as you would in a normal search campaign but you would tailor them to their past experience with your website.


Video remarketing

This allows you to retarget people that have interacted with your videos and channel on YouTube as they use YouTube and view videos, apps and websites on the Google Display network.


Customer list remarketing

This allows you to upload lists of contact information that you have received from your customers like their names and addresses. When they are signed into their Google accounts you can show them your ads across different Google products.



Link Google Ads and Analytics accounts

First you will need to link your Google Ads account to your Google Analytics account. If you don’t have an Analytics account, then go to to create one and then follow the instructions there to add tracking to your website. And to create a Google Ads account, go to Make sure you use the same email address.


When that is done, go to admin in your Google Analytics account, and under the Product Linking section you will see ‘Google Ads Linking’. Click that and then click the ‘New Link Group’ button to link your accounts.

Adwords & Analytics Linking



You will see your Google Ads account listed there and you can select it and then click Continue and follow the instructions to link them.


Setting up audiences in Google Analytics

To get started with Remarketing in Google Ads, you will need to create audiences of website, app and YouTube visitors that you will target. In this article we will be focusing on website visitors that you will retarget with a standard remarketing campaign.


Your audiences are groups of people that share similar traits, that are of importance to your business. For example, you can create an audience for people that have visited your ‘Services’ page


To create your first audience follow these steps:

  1. Go to the admin section in your Google Analytics account
  2. Click the Audience Definitions link under the Product Linking section
  3. Next click Audiences
  4. Click the red ‘New Audience’ button
  5. Choose the Audience definition and this can be all users, returning users, users who visited a specific section of your website
  6. Select how long the membership duration should be. The default is 30 days but this will depend on your particular industry and the buying process and length of the process that buyers go through
  7. Add your audience
  8. Choose the audience destination, which will be the Google Ads account that you linked to above


Create Google Ads retargeting campaign


Finally, you will create your Remarketing campaign to retarget your website visitors. Login to your Google Ads account and in the campaigns tab you will see a blue button which you should click.

Campaign button

Select to set up a new campaign and then set the goal for your campaign. For example you can choose the Lead goal, and then select Display and then choose to set up the standard display campaign subtype. Then follow the steps to update the settings like budget, locations, bid strategy and so on and in the ad group, select the audience that you created in Google Analytics.


Finally create your responsive display ad or upload image ads and you are now good to go.

Responsive Display Ads

Google will then review your ads and if all is ok then your campaign will start running and it will retarget your past visitors.


Contact me to discuss how I can help you set up an effective Google Ads retargeting campaign.

I'm a Certified Google Ads Expert and Marketing Author and in this blog I share my latest tips and secrets on how to promote your business successfully on the web and increase customer loyalty, retention and advocacy on Google Ads.

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