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Remarketing is not really a new concept, but it is one that most online advertisers still do not take advantage, probably because of confusion about how it works. It is a very simple concept. Remarketing refers to the intentional display of ads to those who have previously visited your website. Ideally, you would want to concentrate this type of Internet marketing on those who visited your website but did not purchase from you or contact you. The Google AdWords interface makes it easy to set up remarketing ads, including setting up your remarketing campaign so that it only displays to non-converters.

To try remarketing for yourself, do the following:

  • Log into your AdWords account. That should be obvious.
  • Create a new content campaign, or click on an already existing content campaign.
  • Click the Display Network tab.
  • Click the Interests & Remarketing link.
  • Click the + Change display targeting button.
  • In the dropdown list, select an ad group.
  • In the Change display targeting section, find Interests & Remarketing and click Remarketing lists.
  • Click Create and manage lists.
  • Click New audience/remarketing list.
  • Supply a name and description, as well as a duration for the cookie that Google will use to track the visitors to your website to whom your site should be remarketed.
  • Click Save.
  • Click the link underneath the Tags/Definitions column in the table below.
  • Copy the code to whatever page of your website should trigger remarketing.

After doing this, whenever someone visits your website, he will then begin to see ads for your website on other Google content network sites. Easy, right?

A couple of things: first off, if it has been more than a few months (or maybe even a few days) since this post was written, then chances are excellent that Google has already changed the interface so that the above instructions are not entirely accurate. It should still be easy to figure out, but if you have trouble just Google how to do it.

Second, you really don’t want to continue showing your ads to someone who has already purchased from you or contacted you. Luckily, you can account for this by creating what Google calls a custom combination. This is basically combining two remarketing lists. For example, if you have one remarketing rule set up for anyone visits your website, but another remarketing rule set up for anyone who completes your contact form, you could create a custom combination so that you can tell Google to only show your ads to those who visited but did NOT complete your contact form. This way you are only remarketing to those who did convert.

It is a good habit to get into to only use remarketing for non-converters. Otherwise, you will waste impressions (and possibly money) showing ads to those who have already signed up with you, and you will be less likely to annoy your converters. Remarketing can give a bad impression if someone continually sees your ad everywhere she goes. So don’t overuse. Limit the number of times a remarketing ad is shown to the same person.

Remarketing is a fantastic marketing technique because it lines up nicely with the direct marketing concept of showing your ad X number of times to the same prospect. But use it wisely, or it could get you into some trouble.