What Are Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)?

Have you ever visited a website, looked at a product, left the website, but then saw an ad on Google for the exact same product that you were looking for? I come across ads like this several times a week.

We see these ads because we are placed on remarketing lists. We have shown interest in a product and a company would like to remind us that it is still available for purchase if interested.

As a business, using remarketing lists will help you get in touch with prequalified prospects for conversion. In this post, we explain how you as a company can use remarketing lists for search ads to attract interested website visitors to the conversion, and explain the best practices for using these lists.

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RLSA target groups

RLSA audiences are created by adding a snippet of code (called a tag) to your website that will automatically add your audiences to specific lists based on the action taken on your website. Once the tags are in place, you can bid on these segments and add them to your marketing campaigns. Here’s a guide from Google on how to set this up.

Creating specific RLSA audiences helps marketers capitalize on the already interested, very valuable audience members as it may not be that difficult for them to convert. This increases conversions, sales and profits. Plus, you’ll get the most out of your budget as these users will be more qualified so you spend less on brand awareness.

If you’re a little confused, consider this example: You are selling fiber optic pools and a user on your website started a pool maintenance work order, but then they bail out. Because they were so close to conversion, you can add them to a remarketing list and serve them up for your business every time you query for “fiber pools” or related keywords.

Let’s go over some best practices for using RLSA campaigns in your marketing.

RLSA campaign best practices

1. Know your audience before you start.

As with any marketing process, it is important to understand your target audience before building your RLSA lists and running your ads. Consider creating buyer personas and customer journey maps to see what customers are thinking about at different stages of their customer journey for more targeted ads.

An additional step could be to change your bids based on the demographics of the target audience. If your users are signed in to Google when they search, you can further segment and adjust your bids and lists based on available information such as age and gender.

2. Change bids according to user level.

Once you’ve created accurate journey maps, you probably know which customer actions are most important to drive conversions for your target audience – this is where you should use RLSA. Use your website codes to keep track of where your users are in their journey and bid higher on those closer to converting, i.e. the closer they are to making a purchase.

3. Customize the messages according to the user action.

Make sure the messages on your RLSA ads match the action you want the user to take or the action they’ve already taken that put them on your list.

For example, if a visitor landed on a pricing page, you can share an ad with them warning them of an upcoming discount.

You can do this by creating specific tags in your Google Ads account that record what action a user has taken and change your bids to show relevant copies based on the action taken.

4. Upsell to converted users with related products and services.

You may not be thinking of using RLSA on converted users, but it is a worthwhile strategy if you are selling products or services that will improve the experience when used together.

For example, if you sell cameras, you will not be offering camera equipment to users who have not checked out on your website. Once a user Has However, once you’ve made a purchase and you have a unique list for those who took that action, you can serve them ads for camera equipment to upsell.

The important thing to note with this tip is that not all converted users are worth retargeting with RLSA. Suppose you have a user who is currently negotiating with a sales rep. In that case, approaching them again could be a waste of money as they may be ready to convert after talking to your team.

5. Bid for general terms.

While it’s important to bid on terms that are directly related to your business, it’s also worth bidding on general business-related search terms that your audiences may also be looking for. For example, if you are selling SaaS, your audiences may search for your competitors before they make a decision so that you can bid on the competitor’s brand names.

If you choose to go down this route, make sure that you don’t spend all of your money on more general terms as your business related keywords will be the most relevant.

Example of an RLSA campaign

A few weeks ago, I was working with my friend’s mother to surprise him with a birthday present. He likes to travel, so we opted for a TSA approved suitcase. I spent a lot of time researching various websites and visiting several pricing pages.

I added a product from a brand called Away to my cart, but we bought it from another company. Away probably kept track of how close I was to the conversion and added me to an RLSA list. Now I see this a paid targeted ad from Away in the search results for the words “Luggage” and “TSA Suitcase” as shown in the image below.

Example of rlsa remarketing lists for search ads: luggage

Over to you

The people you add to your remarketing lists should help you increase conversions.

Take the time to create detailed customer journey maps in order to know critical points of conversions and to create appropriate lists. As a result, you are likely to find that your RLSA campaigns attract leads and increase business revenue.

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