AdWords or Analytics Remarketing
I must admit, from the moment AdWords launched Remarketing I was hooked, it was a great concept and it generated great results. Not to mention the stroke of genius on Googles part to create such a simple solution that will let us pay for the same traffic over and over again.
As SEM’s started to become better users of Remarketing, we very quickly realised that targeting the All Visitor audience was probably not the smartest way to go. A lot of us (and yet, not all!) dropped All Visitor targeting and split their audience lists to match their site structure, purchase funnel, basket drop outs etc.
And whilst this method of targeting is infinitely better they were still not true measures of actual engagement. I can spend 30 seconds and move to basket with no intention of buying at all and yet I will then most likely become part of several audience lists having moved through the journey.
That of course brings you to the next common mistake made by most, not excluding audience lists within Remarketing campaigns. For instance, if I enter a website via the Google Shopping channel, move through the purchase funnel and abandon at the basket I will most likely appear in the following audience lists:
- – All Visitors
- – Product Viewers
- – Purchase Funnel
- – Basket Abandons
If you are using different messaging to target each audience list as you should be, then which message am I going to receive? Well if you if you have failed to exclude audiences, the answer is a lottery. Ideally, you only want me to receive the Basket Abandon message. So if you insist on using All Visitors as well as other audiences then you should ensure you exclude audiences in the following way:
Exclude: Product Viewers, Purchase Funnel, Basket Abandons
Exclude: Purchase Funnel, Basket Abandons
Exclude: Basket Abandons
Now, going to back the original point of the article, AdWords or Analytics Remarketing? Having worked on an awful lot of PPC Campaigns in the past 8 years and audited more than I can genuinely remember I can say with some confidence that 99% of them do not use Analytics Remarketing. This, I must is a HUGE mistake. AdWords remarketing is nice, it lets you target by URL and make custom lists too (again, you don’t see too many doing that) but it doesn’t give you as much flexibility as Analytics does. Whilst the following AdWords audiences are clearly beneficial:
- Product Viewers
- Purchase Funnel
- Basket Abandons
They can still be considered quite vague and conversion rates from them will not be as good as they can be. Fundamentally, you will still be wasting money targeting people who just aren’t going to buy.
January is a great example to look at the health and supplements market. How many people visited these types of website, then again and again via Remarketing before they just got too busy for this new healthy lifestyle they dreamed up whilst merry on New Year’s Eve.
So what is better about using Analytics? The answer is in two parts, flexibility and engagement. Let’s look at flexibility first. Analytics has far more data about the people who visit your website and how they engage with it. You can use all of this to create audience lists that give you the power to actually advertise to the right people at the right time, instead of the blanket advertising AdWords gives you.
Engagement is the biggest part of this answer, to target people on how they truly engage with your website is far more powerful than looking at what URL they landed on. Below are a few examples of audience lists I use.
Visit Duration 5 Mins or More
Lots of people can visit a page which might be a product page, but what if they leave within seconds or view 3 products quickly without taking in any real detail? I prefer to concentrate on how long they spend on a website and then combine that with URL’s and make combinations such as ‘Products More Than 5 Mins’ etc.
Viewed 5 Pages or More
This could be any amount of pages you like, ideally the more pages someone visits, the more engaged they are with your website. How engaged is someone who visits 1 or 2 pages? Then of course there are those people who can be very engaged and spend 5 minutes of more viewing 1 or 2 pages, but they will get picked up in the ‘Duration 5 Mins or More’ audience list.
It might seem strange to target visitors who have already visited your website more than once, but these people are clearly very engaged and like your brand and product, but it would be naive to assume they are just visiting your website. They could be deciding between you and several others, Remarketing to these people will help to keep you at the front of their mind.
Firstly, you should use Analytics to understand your demographics, is your product bought mostly by men or women and between which age brackets? You can then breakout your audience lists in the following ways:
- 1. Male
- 2. Female
- 3. Male 18 to 24
- 4. Male 25 to 35 etc
This enables you to create Ads that speak to that gender and age group and select budgets based on your key demographic.
So, personally I think the time has come to leave AdWords Remarketing, making Analytics Remarketing the winner. And now you can utilse Analytics Remarketing lists in your RLSA campaigns!.