How to Set Up Audiences in Your Google Analytics for the Best Retargeting Campaigns

It was back in 2010 when remarketing ads appeared in Google AdWords and now are one of the leading ad strategies in the digital world. According to Invespcro,

  1. 46% of search engine marketers think retargeting is the most underused digital marketing strategy,
  2. Retargeted websites visitors are 70% more likely to convert on retailer’s website,
  3. Acquiring customers is the main objective of 56% of retargeting ads.

With these promising stats in mind, let’s understand how to create audiences for your retargeting campaign using your Google Analytics. But, first, we will show how to set up a remarketing tag on your website.

Our post contains screenshots to make your job easy, and we have some Google retargeting best practices to share with you afterward.

How to set up remarketing tag on your website

Before creating any type of audience, you should first add a remarketing tag to your website.

To do it, go to your Google Ads account and choose Tools and Settings on the top right side. Then, select Audience Manager under Shared Library and go to Audience Sources on the top left side.

audience sources

Click Set up tag under Google Ads tag and you will appear on the page shown in the screenshot below.

If you want to retarget all your visitors, you should select the first option – “Only collect general website visit data to show ads to your website visitors.”

However, the second option – “Collect data on specific actions people performed on your website” is more advanced. Google retargeting best practices say that it allows you to retarget those who took certain actions on your site and match certain criteria you’d like to consider.

create the google ads tag data source

To finalize the process, you will need a little help from your developer as you need a piece of code added to your site.

Once done, you can start thinking of creating audiences and launching your retargeting campaigns. To know how to set up audiences, move to out next section.

How to create audiences through your Google Analytics account

Go to your Google Analytics account and follow simple steps we will describe below.

First, click the Admin button on the lower left side, go to Audience Definitions and select Audiences.

go to Audience Definitions and select Audiences.

You will see a New audience button and preset audience you may choose. For example, you can choose returning visitors, new visitors, user who completed a transaction, etc.

Google allows you to further optimize your retargeting ads and set more advanced parameters as well. You can choose your audience based on

  1. demographics (age, gender, language, affinity category, in-market segment, location)
  2. technology (operating system, browser, device category)
  3. behavior (sessions, session duration, transactions)
  4. date of first session,
  5. traffic source,
  6. advanced setting such as conditions and sequences.

After you choose all the parameters in accordance with Google retargeting best practices, you should add Google Ads as a destination and publish your audience in your Google Ads account. You will easily find your new audience in your Google Ads Audience lists. While the number of audiences in Google Analytics is not limited, there is a limit of 20 audiences that can be shared with Google Ads.

Once you have your retargeting tag set up and your audience created, you will move forward creating a new campaign and adding parameters like ad objective, budget, etc.

3 best practices of creating audiences and running retargeting ad campaigns

best practices of creating audiences

1. Segmenting is key to success

As per Google retargeting best practices, retargeting all your website visitors is almost always a weak decision. Moreover, retargeting all of them with the same ad again isn’t professional either. Let’s bring an example considering you a SaaS company.

A user visiting your SaaS pricing page and booking a demo/free trial page is supposed to have high buying intent. So you should retarget them with a bottom-of-the-funnel ad (for example, featuring case studies).

However, those visiting your Blog, Resources or About sections don’t seem to have high buying intent. You’d like to retarget them with a middle-of-the-funnel ad or might not even consider retargeting.

Google retargeting best practices show that visitors who stay on your website only for 1-2 seconds and visit only 1 page aren’t worth targeting either. They probably visited your site unintentionally or didn’t find what they were expecting.

Another thing to pay attention to is retargeting your existing customers. If they are customers, showing them a free trial ad is nonsense. You’d probably like to retarget them with an upselling ad or an ad promoting your referral program.

2. Not all visitors are created equal (aka pay attention to visitor demographics)

pay attention to visitor demographics

Well, the visitor visited your website, browsed multiple pages, and even viewed your pricing page. Is he/she a perfect visitor to retarget? Not yet.

You should make sure he/she belongs to the group of people you actually want to convert. If your visitor is from Austria but your ideal customers are based in the USA and Canada, you don’t need to retarget that visitor.

That’s why it’s important not just to launch a retargeting campaign but carefully consider who will see your ad.

3. Conversion optimize your website so your ads actually bring results

Most digital marketing campaigns have one final goal in mind – bring visitors to the company’s website and ensure conversion. Retargeting ads aren’t an exception. According to Google retargeting best practices, one of the key factors contributing to your high-converting ad campaign is a high-converting website.

Low website loading speed, bugs in submission forms, and other errors are there to reduce your conversion rate. And it will definitely be unfair if you blame retargeting ads for that failure.

We have a post dedicated to the most common SEO problems, including conversion-related ones. You can check it out to avoid mistakes that might cost you leads and customers.

Start retargeting qualified visitors with Andava

Retargeting ads are there to work! Advertising to users who already know your brand is supposed to be effective and it takes some professional-level efforts to have retargeted visitors converted.

If you don’t have a team who can launch a sales-driven retargeting campaign, contact the Andava marketing experts. We will conduct a free audit of your website and Google ads campaigns and create ads that will convert.