A Fine Balance: Google’s Remarketing Rules

A Fine Balance: Google’s Remarketing Rules

By David Bird
Remarketing can be a powerful incentive to get web users to return to your website or Facebook page after they have visited. Often times, a return visit results in a sale or contact. It’s pretty exciting tool.

But at the risk of being a ‘killjoy’, Google has certain governing rules that need to be followed, or your ads may not show at all. Being aware of these rules before you embark on your remarketing campaign can save you time and money.

Remarketing Governing Rules for All Businesses

There are two main rules governing AdWords: Audience Size and Protecting Privacy:

Audience Size

When you create an audience in Google Analytics, <link to Audience Creation> it must have a minimum of 100 active users in the last 30 days. When you create your audience, Analytics will tell you your audience size.

If you are making a Remarketing List Search Ad (RLSA) campaign, you must have a minimum of 1,000 active users in the last 30 days.

Learn more about audience lists, size, membership, etc.

Your Policy on Audience Privacy

Remarketing ‘follows’ people around the web, and that raises obvious privacy issues that Google takes seriously. If you don’t have a privacy policy, it’s a good idea to create one. Web users are more apt to trust sites that are clear about their data use.

In terms of setting your remarketing privacy policy, yours should basically inform people you are using cookies for Google’s (and other platforms) marketing. Some of the details about this can be found on the ‘Policy requirements for Google Analytics Advertising Features’ page.

Check Before You Build

If you want to avoid having Google stop showing your ads and start sending you warning letters, review the governing rules before you begin your remarketing campaign.

A Case Study in Google’s Remarketing Rules—Personally Identifiable Information

Here’s a policy I wish I had understood before I created the campaign for a client:

MyLiberty.life is an ecommerce business selling incontinence products (diapers, pads, etc.) across Canada. We set up a remarketing audience to get people back on the website after their initial visit, just like I had done for other clients.

However, when MyLiberty’s ads were not being seen by anyone (we had zero impressions), I knew Google was not showing the ads at all and investigated why.

Personally Identifiable Information is a No–No!

It turns out, Google placed MyLiberty Life’s products in the health category, and clicks on remarketing ads may reveal personally identifiable information, or PII (incontinence, special needs children, etc.) about the person clicking. Essentially, ‘when using certain personalized advertising features, additional requirements apply.’

There are several product categories that Google considers revealing PII, including alcohol, gambling, restricted drugs, health, and more. While remarketing is a no-no with these products, you can still actively advertise them on Google.

Look before you create

If you think your product falls into Google’s PII category, check before your start creating remarketing campaigns.