Segmented Google Analytics Audiences: Your Pandora’s Box to Remarketing

What are your customers doing on your website the first time they visit? Are they looking at specific pages? Putting items into a cart, but not following through with the purchase? Maybe they’re reading your Contact page, but not getting in touch.

That’s ok. Most website visitors don’t become customers right out of the ‘Pandora’s Box,’ so to speak. To convert their interest into a sale, they will need to return to your site.

Remarketing is a very effective and inexpensive way to remind them to return to your site through Google Adwords. But targeting every visitor who lands on any page on your site may not be the most effective way to increase sales.

A better use of your advertising dollars is to set up Segmented Audiences. By targeting only visitors who meet a certain criteria, you are increasing the chances they’ll return and ultimately become a customer.

The more you segment your audiences in Google Analytics, the more targeted your advertising can be. When it comes to remarketing, Google Analytics provides plenty of audience creation options.

Audiences are created using the Audience Builder in your Google Analytics. Navigate from Admin (lower left side navigation panel) > Property > Audience Definitions.

The first audience is always ‘All Users.’ If your All User audience is not set up, follow these instructions.  

Once you have your ‘All Users’ audience, go to the ‘Audiences’ home page.

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Opening Pandora’s Box of Remarketing

There are multiple combinations of audiences you can choose from. The more targeted your audience, the more precise your remarketing campaign will be.

Google Analytics’ ‘Audience Builder’ lets you go deep with segmentation. Let’s take a look at some remarketing audiences you can choose from:

Custom Audience Targeting

If you don’t like any of the standard choices below, you can always just build a custom audience to suit your needs by using the ‘Conditions’ on the Audience Builder home page. You will be amazed at the options available.

I have built many custom audiences to remarket to visitors who:

  • Abandoned their shopping cart;
  • Abandoned the Contact Us page without completing the form; or
  • Visited a group of product or service pages.
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Behavior

This is a powerful audience option because it’s based on what people actually did on your website.

You can target website visitors by:

  • Number of sessions – Visitors coming to your site a lot are likely considering a purchase, but something is ‘holding them back.’ This is the perfect time to give them an offer they can’t refuse.
  • Session Duration (per user or per session) — An indication of website engagement. The longer they are on your site, the more engaged they are with your brand.
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Date of First Session

This targets people who visited your website during a specific time period (holiday period, special promotion period, etc.).  Simply select your desired start and end dates.

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Traffic Sources

Traffic sources are based on Campaign, Medium, Source or Keyword (taken from UTM Parameters) from previous marketing programs.

Using these traffic sources allows you to retarget people who have visited your website from other campaigns run in the past.

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Technology-Based Audiences

This is a great option if you need to reach website visitors who have visited your website with specific technology types. As you can see, it gets quite detailed, from operating systems to browsers (even browser versions), screen resolutions, mobile device brand, and a lot more.

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Demographic Audience Targeting

Despite being, well… boring, demographics are a staple in many advertising programs. This audience builder lets you pick through your standard demographic criteria:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Language
  • Location (city, province / state, city)

The remaining criteria pull their designations for Google AdWords.

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Just Remember: Minimum Audience Size for Google Remarketing

Google likes big audiences. It takes a minimum of 100 users over 30 days to make presenting ads economical for you and them. So as you set up your remarketing audiences, check to see how many of your website users meet your criteria).  If it’s too small, don’t bother.

Getting Started with Google Remarketing Audiences

Getting Started with Google Remarketing Audiences

Buyers rarely make a purchase the first time they visit a website, so getting them to return to yours is crucial to making the sale. Remarketing is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to do this.

To get started with your remarketing campaign , you will need:

  • Google Analytics, to identify who will see your ads; and
  • A Google AdWords account.

Some Rules / Caveats of Google Remarketing (Check these Before you Start)

  • Google requires an audience of at least 100 users over a 30-day period.
  • Your Google Analytics and Google AdWords accounts must be linked together so Analytics can pass the audience members to AdWords.

Now, let’s begin by setting up your first Google Analytics remarketing audience.

Google Analytics Remarketing Audience Setup

By default, Google will display your audience to be ‘all users’ who visit your website. However, you do not have to enable this audience.

All Users Audience

  1. Log into your Google Analytics account.
  2. On the ‘Home’ page, follow the left navigation panel to the bottom and select ‘Admin’ (it will have a gear wheel icon next to it).
  3. In the middle column (Property), select ‘Audience Definitions.’
  4. From the Audience Definition drop down, select ‘Audiences.’
  5. Create your first audience’ screen will open. By default, Google will create your first audience and name it ‘All Users.’ It’s an audience that captures every user that lands on any page of your website.
  6. Open the dropdown menu under ‘Audience Destinations.’ If your Google AdWords account is linked to your Google Analytics account, you will see your AdWords account listed. Select it, and click ‘Enable.’

To ensure your audience was successfully created, select ‘Audience’ on the Admin main page.

Now you’re ready to set up your remarketing campaign in your Google AdWords account.

Remarketing: Those Ads That Follow You Around The Web

Remarketing: Those Ads That Follow You Around The Web

We’re all used to seeing ads online, but do you ever feel like a particular ad is chasing you? You visit a site, and then it seems everywhere you go online, you’re seeing ads for that site.

Well you are, and it’s because the site owner is using an extremely effective and inexpensive marketing technique called ‘remarketing’.

How Remarketing Works

When you visit a website for a business that uses remarketing, the site will drop a ‘cookie’ (small piece of code) into your browser. As you travel around the web, that code is matched with available ads, and chooses an ad to display based on your recent browsing history.

The browser cookie is usually set to expire after the ads have shown a few times.

How Remarketing Can Work For You

When you set up your remarketing campaign, you will define specific criteria for your target audience to meet, such as visiting a specific page, or a group of pages. When a visitor to your site meets this criteria, the cookie gets dropped into their browser. When this happens, they become members of your remarketing lists (you can have many lists), and your ad will appear for them when they visit other websites that display ads.

The best part is, you only pay if your ad is clicked. If they don’t click on your ad, you don’t pay. The cost for a click is generally quite low, but can vary depending on many factors.

Why Remarketing Works

Remarketing is very effective because 97% of buyers need multiple visits to a website before making a purchase or enquiry. This means only 3% of new visitors become customers on their first visit. Getting even a small percentage of the remaining 97% to return and complete a sale can give any business a nice sales lift. Remarketing offers the ideal strategy to do just that.

Reminds People to Come Back to Your Website – A 2nd Chance

Let’s face it. The internet is full of distractions. A visitor to your site may be very interested in what you offer, but after they leave, they may not remember how they found you in the first place. Without the strong brand recognition strategies larger companies have, small businesses can be easily forgotten. Remarketing reminds them of their visit to your site, and why they may want to return.

Still not convinced? Let’s look at how remarketing worked for one of my customers:

This company’s remarketing list criteria was that anyone who visits four or more pages on their site would be eligible to see their ads. When a visitor views at least four pages, they are expressing a significant interest in your business.

Before they began remarketing, about 2.5% of visitors were making sales enquiries. When we added remarketing, their sales enquiries jumped to 3% of visitors, which my customer estimated was an additional $2k sales per month.

Requirements for Remarketing

Setting up your remarketing strategy requires a few steps:

  1. You will need a Google AdWords account and Google Analytics loaded on your website.
  2. Ensure your AdWords and Analytics accounts are linked together so audience information can be transferred from Analytics to AdWords.
  3. Define your criteria for each remarketing list (viewed specific pages or set pages, viewed a certain number of pages, etc.). You can do this in Google Analytics.
  4. Set up a remarketing campaign in Google AdWords.
  5. Have website traffic of at least 100 users over a 30 day period for Google to show your ads.
  6. Create visual ads with a compelling message.
  7. Send those who click on the ads to a compelling landing page, preferably not one they saw when they previously visited your website.

Don’t be a stalker

Remarketing ads can be set so they only display a certain number of times to an individual. Use this feature. If a person hasn’t click on your ad after seeing it five times in a week, it’s unlikely they will change their mind on the sixth time. Stop showing them your ad, or you will be remembered negatively, as a stalker.

Get your remarketing started

The first step is to define your audience, or the criteria for people to see your ads. Google Analytics makes it easy to set up your audience. Go to:

Admin > Property > Audience Definitions > Audiences

Remarketing on Facebook

If you have a Facebook Business page, you can create a remarketing campaign where your ads appear in people’s Facebook feeds after they have visited your website and met your audience criteria.

There are a few Bird’s Eye customers experiencing great success with Facebook remarketing. It’s an effective way to approach previous site visitors. The difference between this and Google is you need to define your audience using Facebook’s powerful Pixel.

Marketing Results Through Tagging: How to Get the Specifics

Marketing Results Through Tagging: How to Get the Specifics

Marketing Campaign Tag has a Source, Medium, and Campaign.
You work hard at your marketing programs email and advertising campaigns and social media engagement. Your investment and hard work make marketing results important to you.

Wouldn’t it be great to know how well those activities are contributing to the specific goals you’ve set; things like:

  • Sales revenue
  • Leads generated
  • Number of new email subscribers

(more…)

Stop Damaging Your Own AdWords CTR?

Stop Damaging Your Own AdWords CTR?

We pay big bucks to advertise so naturally we want verification the ads are running as expected. For offline ads we pick up the newspaper to see our ad, or listen closely for our ad to play on the radio.

Boy (3-5) looking at cookie jar on kitchen counterThe Online Temptation

With online advertising it is tempting to verify our ads by doing Google searches.  If our ad appears we have the needed verification. Peaking at our own ads with a Google search can skew data and damage AdWords performance.  Here’s why:

Searching Your Ad On Google Is a Big NO NO!

Unlike offline advertising, online advertising there are statistics for everything, including how many times your ad is viewed.  When your ad is viewed it’s called an impression and an impression gets recorded every time your ad is seen, including seen by you.

Click through rate (CTR) is an important metric uses impressions and the number of times an ad is clicked.  The mathematical CTR formula is: Clicks / Impressions, expressed as a percentage.

Here’s an example; 100 people saw your ad and 20 clicked on it you would have a CTR of 20%.  If 30 people clicked on the ad, the CTR would be 30%.

How Click Through Rate (CTR) Impacts Your Ad Rank

Remember, Google only gets paid when ads are clicked, that’s why CTR is an important ad ranking criteria for them.  Google compares your CTR history against competitive advertisers to determine which ads appear at the top or bottom of their pages.  Ads with higher CTRs have a better chance of getting higher ranks and better positons.

Impressions Without Clicks Reduce CTR

When we go looking for our own ads, we have no intention of clicking on them that would cost money.  Our intent is to verify the ad is showing and perhaps how it is ranked.  Every time we seek out our own ad we trigger an impression without a click and that reduces our CTR.  Every time your ad gets an impression without a click, it negatively impacts your CTR.  Here’s an example; let’s suppose during a month your ad had 100 impressions and 20 clicks.  Your CTR is 20%.  However, during the month you peaked at your Google ten times so your CTR could have been 22% (20 clicks divided by 90 impressions) instead of 20%.

I know that 20% versus 22% doesn’t seem like that big a deal, but if your competitors are not searching their own ads, their CTR’s will be lower than yours… so you go down a couple of notches in Google’s ad rank.

Use the Simulator to Check Your Ad

Instead of searching out your ad on a live Google search and negatively impacting your CTR you can see your ad in the AdWords Preview Tool without triggering an impression.  Just follow the instructions on the next post “How to See Your Ads in Google”.