Trying to grow your paid search account can be frustrating when you feel that you’ve maxed out all of your obvious keyword options. Don’t fret, because Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs) could very well be your saving grace.

These audience lists allow you to tailor your search campaigns specifically to people who have already visited your website, or even specific pages or sections of your website. They also allow you to bid higher to show ads to returning visitors in a stronger position. Searchers who are already familiar with your brand are generally more likely to convert, and we’ve seen conversion rates nearly 2x higher for returning visitors.

If a site visitor is searching again, make sure you stay top of mind. Image via Pexels.

If a site visitor is searching again, make sure you stay top of mind. Image via Pexels.

Things to Know

  • Your remarketing list must have at least 1,000 users before you can employ it for an RLSA campaign.
  • The RLSA feature is only available for Search Network campaigns, although you can use remarketing lists to retarget visitors via YouTube and the Google Display Network.
  • Available bid adjustments range from -90% to +900%, meaning they can be virtually shut down or get really, really aggressive.
  • RLSA lists are added at the ad group level.
  • There are two Bid Settings that you can use with RLSA lists:
    • Bid Only: In this case, you are simply adjusting bids for your RLSA list. If you apply a bid only RLSA list to your “coffee mugs” ad group with a +10% bid modifier, the total number of searchers eligible to see your coffee mugs ads will not change, but you will bid 10% higher each time a previous site visitor matches to one of your coffee mug keywords.
    • Target & Bid: Target & bid RLSA lists limit your targeting exclusively to members of that RLSA list. If you apply a Target & Bid RLSA list to your “coffee mugs” ad group, then your coffee mugs ads will only be eligible to show to previous site visitors.

What is an RLSA Campaign?

An RLSA campaign is a campaign that leverages RLSA lists to show ads only to previous site visitors. While your cookie pool will be small in comparison to the total number of available impressions on the Google Search Network, you also know that your target audience is highly-qualified, based on their earlier visits to your site. The ability to target previous site visitors offers several advantages.

How to Use RLSA Campaigns to Your Advantage

One of the fantastic things about RLSA campaigns is that they are incredibly versatile, and can be customized to meet your advertising goals.

Keyword Research

One of the best uses of RLSA campaigns is to better understand what other terms your site visitors are researching. Because the cookie pool for your RLSA campaign is relatively small, you can use broad match types to gather additional traffic, and then analyze the SQR for new keyword opportunities. An advertiser selling computer monitors, for example, might bid on the broad match keyword computer monitor and discover that many visitors go on to search for “computer screen.” You could then add computer screen keywords into your regular Search campaigns.

Higher ROI/Lower CPA

Because previous visitors to your site are typically more likely to convert, your RLSA campaign will usually have a higher conversion rate than regular non-brand campaigns. You can leverage your RLSA campaign, along with bid only RLSA lists, to return previous visitors to your site and ensure that you remain top of mind as they research a purchase.

RLSA Competitors Campaign

An RLSA competitors campaign allows you to target your previous site visitors when they search for your competitors. The advantage of this campaign is that you can bid higher than you typically would in a competitor campaign, achieving a strong position to remain top of mind for valuable prior visitors.

Your previous site visitors are significantly more likely to convert than the general searching public. RLSA campaigns are a great way to bring them back to your site, and also to understand their search behavior and how to better target them throughout the internet.