Remarketing Lists for Search Ads Fill a Giant Google Adwords Hole

In the past few months we have seen quite a few updates and changes to Google Adwords. Along with a slick site redesign, Google has rolled out some new features. One new offering that we at Flying Cork have found to be particularly successful has been the launch of Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA).


Remarketing in general is a novel idea. A potential customer clicks on one of your ads, but may or may not convert. No matter what action is taken (including inaction), a cookie is placed, and these site visitors continue to get served your ads as they make their way around the internet. It is an extremely powerful way to stay engaged with your audience.


Prior to the launch of RLSA a few months ago, the display network was the only way to go about remarketing. While I strongly believe in remarketing on the display network, it made little sense that remarketing on the search network wasn’t an option.

For those unfamiliar, RLSA works by showing your ad to those on your remarketing lists whenever they search your keywords on the Google Search Network. Since you are only bidding on ads being served to the people on your list and not to everyone on the internet, you can bid on keywords that may be more generic or broad than the targeted keywords in your other campaigns. Visitors who have been remarketed to are more likely to convert and these conversions are more valuable since they would be clicking on your ad for the second, third, etc., time. The strategy is to bid higher on these keywords to make sure that your ads have the best possible placement and get the most eyes.

There are many different options available when building your remarketing lists. In our most recent RLSA campaigns, we have remarketed to two lists. One list contains our “converters”, those who came to our site and converted. The other list is “non-converters”, those who came to our site but left before converting. For those who converted, we would like to bring them back and offer them another opportunity to convert. These “converters” are more likely to either repeat the conversion process or to take the next step in the conversion funnel. And those who did not convert? We want another shot!

Since their initial click has already shown that they have some interest in what you are offering, these are people you want to focus on with a more specific offer. What’s more, because they have previously been on your site, you will know a bit more about them (even if it is just what keyword they clicked on to get there), which will help you better target the next ad they see. You can even get more specific and market directly to those who added items to their cart, but left before completing the sales process. However you decide to target, write ad copy that speaks specifically to your audience.

Setting up an RLSA campaign is a must in any Adwords account. This is not a feature that should be overlooked, even if you haven’t had great success with remarketing on the display network. Of course, if you need a hand getting started, we’d be happy to help!