The Next Wave of Google AdWords Remarketing

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A couple of months ago Exclusive Concepts was introduced to a new AdWords format called Dynamic Display Ads that has the potential to reshape how remarketing campaigns are run. This feature allows advertisers to remarket to visitors by showing them the specific products they viewed. These products are pulled from the advertisers’ Google Merchant Center feed and inserted into the display ads. Naturally, we were intrigued.

We are always looking to get our clients involved with new features to help them stand out from the competition and ultimately to show them a better return on investment. In a PPC world characterized by rising cost per clicks (CPC), we believe dynamic remarketing is a way to reduce CPCs while still showing highly relevant ads. Dynamic display ads offer a great solution to help with cart abandonment (those who add products to the cart but don’t end up purchasing) while showing more relevant ads earlier in the shopping funnel.

This post explains the process of setting up dynamic remarketing ads and the results we’ve seen so far.

Dynamic Remarketing

Dynamic ads being shown based upon viewed products

*Image courtesy of Google

Setting Up Dynamic Remarketing

Like many Google testing programs, you’ll need to answer a few questions before beginning (make sure you have the ability to make coding edits). Additionally, you need to have a high quality Merchant Center feed. In other words, if your Merchant Center feed contains many errors, then dynamic remarketing won’t work well for you. As always, you should have conversion tracking set up.

You’ll need to add a smart pixel to your site which will ultimately shape the dynamic remarketing campaigns and ad groups that are created.  At Exclusive, we have crafted a solution for this implementation.  Once your campaigns and ad groups are setup, you will add the necessary remarketing custom combinations.  Once all custom combinations are associated with the appropriate campaigns and ad groups, you can begin creating dynamic ads.

Dynamic Display Ads

To create dynamic display ads you’ll need to click the “New ad” button within each particular ad group. You should choose the “Display ad builder” option as you must use Google’s display builder to create the dynamic ads.

Here’s where the real fun begins! You are able to design your ad while seeing your actual products within the template. Even better is the ability to create both dynamic image and text ads.

In the ad builder you have several templates to choose from and many customization opportunities. The templates allow you to display one to eight products at a time with arrows that allow users to toggle through the items. Among the many customizations are:

  • Headlines
  • Button colors
  • Text on buttons
  • Text size of product summary messaging and color
  • Background colors

Once you’ve completed your ad, you can view it in all of the available Display Network sizes.

Initial Results

Judging from early results, we’re encouraged by the performance of the dynamic remarketing campaigns. The cost per conversion in each account is slightly higher than the account average, but we’re seeing a fair amount of conversions while also seeing hundreds of view-through conversions. You do have to take this metric with a grain of salt because you can’t attribute revenue, but nonetheless, these ads are playing a role in the conversion process. We’re also finding that the click-through rate (CTR) is much better with dynamic remarketing vs. general remarketing. This finding doesn’t come as a surprise as visitors are able to see the exact images they viewed instead of a static or general flash graphic. A similar comparison would be how dynamic keyword insertion works on the Search Network.

We’re really excited about implementing more dynamic remarketing campaigns for our clients. General remarketing is wonderful, but does leave impressions (and conversions) on the table, if not managed correctly. Even when managed correctly, general remarketing takes considerable effort and resources (between ad and promo creation) to work extremely well. The setup process for dynamic remarketing takes some time, but once this step is completed, it is relatively straightforward to manage — and you know visitors are seeing relevant images. It would be nice if Google allowed you to create your own ad templates, but this nitpick is minor. The future of AdWords dynamic remarketing looks positive.