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How To Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

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How To Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

Remarketing is an essential part of any Google Ads strategy.

It’s no longer a question of if you should run remarketing campaigns; it’s how you should run remarketing campaigns.

With more devices in households than ever, remarketing is imperative to recapture and engage your audience for a second (or third or fourth) chance at their attention.

To launch an effective Google Ads remarketing campaign, it’s crucial you master the setup.

This guide will help you cover not only the basics of setting up a remarketing campaign but also advanced tips and tricks to get the most out of your marketing dollars.

1. Ensure Proper Tagging Is In Place

For remarketing to serve impressions, it is vital that the proper tracking is on a website.

Most websites will use either Google Analytics or Google Ads tracking, I recommend having both sources as options.

Google Ads Tag

If your Google Ads account starts from scratch, a Google Tag must be implemented.

To find this specific to your account, navigate to Tools & Settings > Setup > Google tag.

Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022
Ensure Proper Tagging Is In PlaceScreenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

If you’re used to the “Global Site Tag” name, it is now named the Google tag.

Google now offers installation configuration with any of these website builders:

  • Drupal.
  • Duda.
  • MonsterInsights.
  • Typo3.
  • Wix.

If you are manually installing the tag, it must be placed immediately after the <head> tag of every page of your website.

Lastly, if you have Google Tag Manager, you can install the necessary code in your website container.

Google Analytics Tag

Google Analytics tracking is required before being able to create any remarketing list within the platform.

To find the tracking code, navigate to Admin > Property View > Tracking Info > Tracking Code.

Google Analytics tracking is required before being able to create any remarketing list within the platform.Screenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Checking For Tag Implementation

The easiest way to check if tags have been implemented properly is to download the “Tag Assistant for Conversions” beta extension in a Chrome browser.

Navigate to your website and run the Tag Assistant. If implemented correctly, the results should look similar to this.

The green check mark means that there are no issues identified with the tag setup.

How To Launch Your First Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

2. Create Intentional Remarketing Lists

Once you have ensured tracking is in place, it’s time to create intentional remarketing lists.

The intention is extremely important when crafting remarketing audiences.

If you simply targeted “All Visitors” to your website, you’re missing out on so many opportunities.

Google Analytics and Google Ads provide many options to segment your site viewers as granularly as you want.

Keep in mind that a list that is too narrow will have difficulty serving.

The key is to find a balance between audience size and their intent.

Google Analytics Lists

I prefer to create remarketing ads in Google Analytics (or GA4 if you’re already using it).

Because there is onsite behavior data to layer onto lists, it gives more options to qualify that audience.

To create an audience in Google Analytics 4, navigate to Configure > Audience Definitions.

Note: This is assuming that a user has already linked the proper Google Ads and Google Analytics accounts for data sharing.

Google Analytics ListsScreenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Now, it’s time to get creative.

The key is to create multiple remarketing lists based on the categorization of your website.

A few starter ideas to consider when creating a remarketing list portfolio:

  • Category page viewers.
  • Purchasers/Leads (to exclude in campaigns).
  • All Qualified site traffic (determined by time on site, whatever amount is considered above average for your business).
  • Quality Blog Viewers (determined by time on site, whatever amount is considered above average for your business).
  • Cart Viewers.

In this example, I want to create a remarketing list of anyone who visited a specific landing page and watched at least 50% of the video on that page.

The two key pieces of information to input would be “page” AND “video percent” (not “OR”).

The two key pieces of information to input would be “page” AND “video percent” (not “OR”).Screenshot from Google Analytics, August 2022

Once completed, don’t forget to choose your audience destinations.

Always be sure to choose the Google Ads account for the list to import.

By doing so, the list can be used for Remarketing campaign purposes.

Google Ads Lists

To create lists in Google Ads, navigate to Tools & Settings > Audience Manager > Segments.

Google Ads ListsScreenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

There are five different types of remarketing lists available to create:

  • Website Visitors.
  • App users.
  • YouTube users.
  • Customer list.
  • Custom combinations.

This article gives a more in-depth breakdown of how to create effective YouTube remarketing lists.

Depending on the goal, create your necessary remarketing lists and choose a list duration. The maximum duration a user can stay in a list is 540 days.

The benefit of Google Ads remarketing lists is that they give the option of pre-populating the list with users in the past 30 days. Google Analytics does not offer retroactive audience filling.

3. Determine Proper Assets

The most popular remarketing campaign type is within the Google Display Network (GDN). However, there are Remarketing Search campaigns as well.

Before creating the proper assets, ask these questions first:

  • What is the user being asked to do?
  • What should the message consist of?
  • Does the landing page experience match the ad messaging?

There are key components to consider when creating remarketing assets. Below are some of them:

  • Static image formats
  • Responsive image formats
  • Headlines and descriptions (if using responsive format)
  • Landing page experience

The full list of uploaded display ad specifications for Google Ads can be found here.

It is important to note that if using the Responsive Ad format, images must be ratio based and are not the same as static image requirements.

4. Create A Remarketing Campaign

Remarketing campaigns can be built in either the Google Ads interface or Google Ads Editor.

Start with the campaign name, budget, and settings. If you’re creating multiple remarketing campaigns, keep track by putting the audience name in the campaign.

The campaign settings can make or break performance. When they are not properly managed or maintained, expect some volatility in performance. These include:

  • “Observation vs. Target” setting.
  • Bid Strategy setting.
  • Targeting Expansion setting.
  • Location setting.
  • Frequency Cap setting.

When adding audiences to a remarketing campaign, choose the “Targeting” setting instead of “Observation.”

By keeping it in “Observation” mode, audience targeting is not narrowed at all.

By keeping it in Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

When selecting a bid strategy, be sure to select one based on your goals.

For example, if you are to use “Target CPA” and set the bid too low, Google will throttle impressions, and the campaign will be at risk to serve.

Lastly, be competitive with bids because the targeted audiences have already been introduced to your brand.

The next setting, “Optimized targeting,” is one that Google has conveniently hidden within the Ad Group settings.

Always keep this off in a remarketing campaign.

If you went through the trouble of creating a targeted list, why on earth would Google want us to expand to lookalike users in the same campaign?

Always keep this off in a remarketing campaign.Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

The default setting is “People in, or who show interest, in your targeted locations.”

While this is the recommended setting according to Google, I recommend changing it to “in or regularly in targeted location.”

By changing it to the middle selection below, it allows for narrower targeting.

By changing it to the middle selection below, it allows for narrower targeting.Screenshot from Google Ads, August 2022

Lastly, frequency cap settings are still important because seeing the same ad multiple times daily creates a bad user experience.

Be sure to set frequency caps at a moderate level per user.

5. Analyze, Refine & Optimize

You’ve officially launched your first remarketing campaign!

That’s all there is, right?

Wrong.

It is important to keep a pulse on campaign performance early on. Some of the key items to watch for in the early days include:

  • Ensure audience size is large enough to show impressions.
  • Placements (where ads are showing).

After a few weeks of data (give or take, depending on the audience size), there should be enough information to start making optimizations based on performance.

The goal is to continually refine.

Remarketing campaigns are not a “set and forget” strategy.

Pulling It All Together

A remarketing strategy involves more than just targeting a group of users. It intertwines technology, audiences, messaging, and more.

Without even one of these areas, a remarketing campaign may not truly live up to its potential.

Follow the tips above to ensure your next Google Ads remarketing campaign is set up for success (and don’t forget to monitor performance!)

More Resources:


Featured Image: Chinnapong/Shutterstock

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Google On Traffic Diversity As A Ranking Factor

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Google answers the question of whether traffic diversity is a ranking factor for SEO

Google’s SearchLiaison tweeted encouragement to diversify traffic sources, being clear about the reason he was recommending it. Days later, someone followed up to ask if traffic diversity is a ranking factor, prompting SearchLiaison to reiterate that it is not.

What Was Said

The question of whether diversity of traffic was a ranking factor was elicited from a previous tweet in a discussion about whether a site owner should be focusing on off-site promotion.

Here’s the question from the original discussion that was tweeted:

“Can you please tell me if I’m doing right by focusing on my site and content – writing new articles to be found through search – or if I should be focusing on some off-site effort related to building a readership? It’s frustrating to see traffic go down the more effort I put in.”

SearchLiaison split the question into component parts and answered each one. When it came to the part about off-site promotion, SearchLiaison (who is Danny Sullivan), shared from his decades of experience as a journalist and publisher covering technology and search marketing.

I’m going to break down his answer so that it’s clearer what he meant

This is the part from the tweet that talks about off-site activities:

“As to the off-site effort question, I think from what I know from before I worked at Google Search, as well as my time being part of the search ranking team, is that one of the ways to be successful with Google Search is to think beyond it.”

What he is saying here is simple, don’t limit your thinking about what to do with your site to thinking about how to make it appeal to Google.

He next explains that sites that rank tend to be sites that are created to appeal to people.

SearchLiaison continued:

“Great sites with content that people like receive traffic in many ways. People go to them directly. They come via email referrals. They arrive via links from other sites. They get social media mentions.”

What he’s saying there is that you’ll know that you’re appealing to people if people are discussing your site in social media, if people are referring the site in social media and if other sites are citing it with links.

Other ways to know that a site is doing well is when when people engage in the comments section, send emails asking follow up questions, and send emails of thanks and share anecdotes of their success or satisfaction with a product or advice.

Consider this, fast fashion site Shein at one point didn’t rank for their chosen keyword phrases, I know because I checked out of curiosity. But they were at the time virally popular and making huge amounts of sales by gamifying site interaction and engagement, propelling them to become a global brand. A similar strategy propelled Zappos when they pioneered no-questions asked returns and cheerful customer service.

SearchLiaison continued:

“It just means you’re likely building a normal site in the sense that it’s not just intended for Google but instead for people. And that’s what our ranking systems are trying to reward, good content made for people.”

SearchLiaison explicitly said that building sites with diversified content is not a ranking factor.

He added this caveat to his tweet:

“This doesn’t mean you should get a bunch of social mentions, or a bunch of email mentions because these will somehow magically rank you better in Google (they don’t, from how I know things).”

Despite The Caveat…

A journalist tweeted this:

“Earlier this week, @searchliaison told people to diversify their traffic. Naturally, people started questioning whether that meant diversity of traffic was a ranking factor.

So, I asked @iPullRank what he thought.”

SearchLiaison of course answered that he explicitly said it’s not a ranking factor and linked to his original tweet that I quoted above.

He tweeted:

“I mean that’s not exactly what I myself said, but rather repeat all that I’ll just add the link to what I did say:”

The journalist responded:

“I would say this is calling for publishers to diversify their traffic since you’re saying the great sites do it. It’s the right advice to give.”

And SearchLiaison answered:

“It’s the part of “does it matter for rankings” that I was making clear wasn’t what I myself said. Yes, I think that’s a generally good thing, but it’s not the only thing or the magic thing.”

Not Everything Is About Ranking Factors

There is a longstanding practice by some SEOs to parse everything that Google publishes for clues to how Google’s algorithm works. This happened with the Search Quality Raters guidelines. Google is unintentionally complicit because it’s their policy to (in general) not confirm whether or not something is a ranking factor.

This habit of searching for “ranking factors” leads to misinformation. It takes more acuity to read research papers and patents to gain a general understanding of how information retrieval works but it’s more work to try to understand something than skimming a PDF for ranking papers.

The worst approach to understanding search is to invent hypotheses about how Google works and then pore through a document to confirm those guesses (and falling into the confirmation bias trap).

In the end, it may be more helpful to back off of exclusively optimizing for Google and focus at least equally as much in optimizing for people (which includes optimizing for traffic). I know it works because I’ve been doing it for years.

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Asier Romero

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The Complete Guide to Google My Business for Local SEO

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The Complete Guide to Google My Business

What is Google My Business?

Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that business owners can use to manage their online presence across Google Search and Google Maps.

This profile also puts out important business details, such as address, phone number, and operating hours, making it easily accessible to potential customers. 

Google My Business profile shown on Google MapsGoogle My Business profile shown on Google Maps

When you click on a business listing in the search results it will open a detailed sidebar on the right side of the screen, providing comprehensive information about the business. 

This includes popular times, which show when the business is busiest, a Q&A section where potential users can ask questions and receive responses from the business or other customers, and a photos and videos section that showcases products and services. Customer reviews and ratings are also displayed, which are crucial for building trust and credibility.

Business details on Google My Business profileBusiness details on Google My Business profile

Using Google My Business for Local SEO

Having an optimized Google Business Profile ensures that your business is visible, searchable, and can attract potential customers who are looking for your products and services.

  • Increased reliance on online discovery: More consumers are going online to search and find local businesses, making it crucial to have a GMB listing.
  • Be where your customers are searching: GMB ensures your business information is accurate and visible on Google Search and Maps, helping you stay competitive.
  • Connect with customers digitally: GMB allows customers to connect with your business through various channels, including messaging and reviews.
  • Build your online reputation: GMB makes it easy for customers to leave reviews, which can improve your credibility and trustworthiness.
  • Location targeting: GMB enables location-based targeting, showing your ads to people searching for businesses in your exact location.
  • Measurable results: GMB provides actionable analytics, allowing you to track your performance and optimize your listing.

How to Set Up Google My Business

If you already have a profile and need help claiming, verifying, and/or optimizing it, skip to the next sections.

If you’re creating a new Google My Business profile, here’s a step-by-step guide:

Access or Create your Google AccountAccess or Create your Google Account

Step 1: Access or Create your Google Account:

If you don’t already have a Google account, follow these steps to create one:

  • Visit the Google Account Sign-up Page: Go to the Google Account sign-up page and click on “Create an account.”
  • Enter Your Information: Fill in the required fields, including your name, email address, and password.
  • Verify Your Account: Google will send a verification email to your email address. Click on the link in the email to confirm your account.

Step 2:  Access Google My Business

Business name on Google My BusinessBusiness name on Google My Business

Step 3: Enter Your Business Name and Category

  • Type in your exact business name. Google will suggest existing businesses as you type
  • If your business is not listed, fully type out the name as it appears
  • Search for and select your primary business category

Adding business address to Google My Business profileAdding business address to Google My Business profile

Step 4: Provide Your Business Address

  • If you have a physical location where customers can visit, select “Yes” and enter your address.
  • If you are a service area business without a physical location, select “No” and enter your service area.

Adding contact information to Google My Business profileAdding contact information to Google My Business profile

Step 5: Add Your Contact Information

  • Enter your business phone number and website URL
  • You can also create a free website based on your GMB information

Complete Your ProfileComplete Your Profile

Step 6: Complete Your Profile

To complete your profile, add the following details:

  • Hours of Operation: Enter your business’s operating hours to help customers plan their visits.
  • Services: List the services your business offers to help customers understand what you do.
  • Description: Write a detailed description of your business to help customers understand your offerings.

Now that you know how to set up your Google My Business account, all that’s left is to verify it. 

Verification is essential for you to manage and update business information whenever you need to, and for Google to show your business profile to the right users and for the right search queries. 

If you are someone who wants to claim their business or is currently on the last step of setting up their GMB, this guide will walk you through the verification process to solidify your business’ online credibility and visibility.

How to Verify Google My Business

There are several ways you can verify your business, including:

  • Postcard Verification: Google will send a postcard to your business address with a verification code. Enter the code on your GMB dashboard to verify.
  • Phone Verification: Google will call your business phone number and provide a verification code. Enter the code on your GMB dashboard to verify.
  • Email Verification: If you have a business email address, you can use it to verify your listing.
  • Instant Verification: If you have a Google Analytics account linked to your business, you can use instant verification.

How to Claim & Verify an Existing Google My Business Profile

If your business has an existing Google My Business profile, and you want to claim it, then follow these steps:

Sign in to Google AccountSign in to Google Account

Step 1: Sign in to Google My Business

Access Google My Business: Go to the Google My Business website and sign in with your Google account. If you don’t have a Google account, create one by following the sign-up process.

Search for Your BusinessSearch for Your Business

Step 2: Search for Your Business

Enter your business name in the search bar to find your listing. If your business is already listed, you will see it in the search results.

Request access to existing Google My Business accountRequest access to existing Google My Business account

Step 3: Claim Your Listing

If your business is not already claimed, you will see a “Claim this business” button. Click on this button to start the claiming process.

Editing business information on Google My BusinessEditing business information on Google My Business

Step 4: Complete Your Profile

Once your listing is verified, you can complete your profile by adding essential business information such as:

  • Business Name: Ensure it matches your business name.
  • Address: Enter your business address accurately.
  • Phone Number: Enter your business phone number.
  • Hours of Operation: Specify your business hours.
  • Categories: Choose relevant categories that describe your business.
  • Description: Write a brief description of your business.

Step 5: Manage Your Listing

Regularly check and update your listing to ensure it remains accurate and up-to-date. Respond to customer reviews and use the insights provided by Google Analytics to improve your business.

Unverified Google My Business profileUnverified Google My Business profile

Step 6: Verification 

Verify your business through postcard, email, or phone numbers as stated above. 

Now that you have successfully set up and verified your Google My Business listing, it’s time to optimize it for maximum visibility and effectiveness. By doing this, you can improve your local search rankings, increase customer engagement, and drive more conversions.

How to Optimize Google My Business

Here are the tips that I usually do when I’m optimizing my GMB account: 

    1. Complete Your Profile: Start by ensuring every section applicable to your business is filled out with accurate and up-to-date information. Use your real business name without keyword stuffing to avoid suspension. Ensure your address and phone number are consistent with those on your website and other online directories, and add a link to your website and social media accounts.
    2. Optimize for Keywords: Integrate relevant keywords into your business description, services, and posts. However, avoid stuffing your GMB profile with keywords, as this can appear spammy and reduce readability.
    3. Add Backlinks: Encourage local websites, blogs, and business directories to link to your GMB profile. 
  1. Select Appropriate Categories: Choose the most relevant primary category for your business to help Google understand what your business is about. Additionally, add secondary categories that accurately describe your business’s offerings to capture more relevant search traffic.
  2. Encourage and Manage Reviews: Ask satisfied customers to leave positive reviews on your profile, as reviews significantly influence potential customers. Respond to all reviews, both positive and negative, in a professional and timely manner. Addressing negative feedback shows that you value customer opinions and are willing to improve.
  3. Add High-Quality Photos and Videos: Use high-quality images for your profile and cover photos that represent your business well. Upload additional photos of your products, services, team, and premises. Adding short, engaging videos can give potential customers a virtual tour or highlight key services, enhancing their interest.

By following this comprehensive guide, you have successfully set up, verified, and optimized your GMB profile. Remember to continuously maintain and update your profile to ensure maximum impact and success.

Key Takeaway: 

With more and more people turning to Google for all their needs, creating, verifying, and optimizing your Google My Business profile is a must if you want your business to be found. 

Follow this guide to Google My Business, and you’re going to see increased online presence across Google Search and Google Maps in no time.

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LinkedIn Rolls Out New Newsletter Tools

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LinkedIn Rolls Out New Newsletter Tools

LinkedIn is launching several new features for people who publish newsletters on its platform.

The professional networking site wants to make it easier for creators to grow their newsletter audiences and engage readers.

More People Publishing Newsletters On LinkedIn

The company says the number of LinkedIn members publishing newsletter articles has increased by 59% over the past year.

Engagement on these creator-hosted newsletters is also up 47%.

With this growing interest, LinkedIn is updating its newsletter tools.

A New Way To View & Comment

One of the main changes is an updated reading experience that displays comments alongside the newsletter articles.

This allows readers to view and participate in discussions more easily while consuming the content.

See an example of the new interface below.

Screenshot from: linkedin.com, June 2024.

Design Your Own Cover Images

You can now use Microsoft’s AI-powered Designer tool to create custom cover images for their newsletters.

The integration provides templates, size options, and suggestions to help design visually appealing covers.

More Subscriber Notifications

LinkedIn is improving the notifications sent to newsletter subscribers to drive more readership.

When a new issue is published, subscribers will receive email alerts and in-app messages. LinkedIn will also prompt your followers to subscribe.

Mention Other Profiles In Articles

You can now embed links to other LinkedIn profiles and pages directly into their newsletter articles.

This lets readers click through and learn more about the individuals or companies mentioned.

In the example below, you can see it’s as easy as adding a link.

1718346362 491 LinkedIn Rolls Out New Newsletter ToolsScreenshot from: linkedin.com, June 2024.

Preview Links Before Publishing

Lastly, LinkedIn allows you to access a staging link that previews the newsletter URL before hitting publish.

This can help you share and distribute their content more effectively.

Why SEJ Cares

As LinkedIn continues to lean into being a publishing platform for creators and thought leaders, updates that enhance the newsletter experience are noteworthy for digital marketers and industry professionals looking to build an audience.

The new tools are part of LinkedIn’s broader effort to court creators publishing original content on its platform amid rising demand for newsletters and knowledge-sharing.

How This Can Help You

If you publish a newsletter on LinkedIn, these new tools can help you design more visually appealing content, grow your subscriber base, interact with your audience through comments, and preview your content before going live.


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