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Comprehensive Guide: Setting Up a Google Remarketing Campaign from Start to Finish

Comprehensive Guide: Setting Up a Google Remarketing Campaign from Start to Finish

Google Remarketing campaign success made easy! Follow our step-by-step guide to maximize your online advertising efforts with expert insights and tips:

Research reveals that a mere 2 to 4 percent of website visits culminate in successful conversions. While this statistic may seem daunting, it can serve as a powerful motivator to supercharge your marketing endeavors.

Fortunately, numerous strategies exist to not only drive traffic to your website but also to compel visitors to take decisive actions. One highly effective approach involves launching a remarketing campaign within the Google Ads network.

But before delving into the specifics of remarketing, let’s first clarify: What exactly is remarketing?

Remarketing campaigns are meticulously crafted to display tailored ads to potential customers who have previously visited your website or interacted with your mobile application. This highly effective technique enables you to maintain a consistent connection with your intended audience, all the while strengthening brand recognition.

In this article, our focus centers on the art of reengaging potential customers and enticing them back to your website.

We will provide comprehensive guidance on establishing a Google remarketing campaign, ensuring that you can achieve optimal reach with your target audience. By the conclusion of this post, you will possess the expertise to design a remarketing campaign poised to deliver outstanding results.

Let’s embark on this journey.

The Different Remarketing Campaigns

Google provides two fundamental categories of remarketing campaigns within its expansive display and search advertising network:

  1. Customer Match Lists for Google Ads
  2. Google Ads Remarketing Audiences

Google’s Customer Match for Google Ads allows brands to directly integrate their customers’ email addresses into Google Ads. Google then matches these email addresses to Google Chrome accounts, enabling brands to target these customers when they are signed in. While Chrome users have the option to opt out of receiving Customer Match ads or personalized advertisements, they remain a favored choice among marketers.

It’s important to note that not everyone can access this particular remarketing campaign. You are only permitted to submit emails that you’ve collected through first-party data sources and not from purchased email lists. In other words, users must have willingly provided their information.

Furthermore, email lists must adhere to your country or region’s data protection regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Obtaining user consent for cookies in your marketing campaigns is also a prerequisite.

There are certain limitations to be aware of when running these campaigns, including:

  • Prohibition of displaying ads containing personally identifiable information.
  • Restrictions on uploading information for users under the age of 13.
  • Prohibition of advertising products related to sensitive personal information.
  • Strict adherence to Google’s ad policies.

Google Ads Remarketing Audiences, on the other hand, enable you to target specific user groups who have previously visited your website or app.

Understanding Your Remarketing Goals

There are typically three distinct categories that you might consider implementing:

  1. Campaigns targeting individuals who did not perform a specific action on a particular page: These campaigns are designed to capture leads from those who didn’t opt in on your landing pages.
  2. Campaigns aimed at individuals who progressed to a specific stage within your checkout process but failed to complete their purchase: The objective here is to convert those who have abandoned their shopping carts.
  3. Campaigns intended for individuals who haven’t yet explored a particular page you’d like them to see: These campaigns focus on promoting content or other key pages on your website.

Crucial to the success of your remarketing campaign is a clear understanding of the precise action you want your potential customers to take when they encounter your remarketing efforts.

Once you’ve defined your campaign’s objectives, you can proceed with the following steps:

  • Identifying which pages should include your remarketing tags.
  • Selecting an appropriate network and devising strategies for reaching your target audience on that network.
  • Comprehending how to craft tailored advertisements that resonate with your target audience.
  • Developing dedicated landing pages customized for the specific audiences you’re remarketing to.

Acquiring a comprehensive understanding of how to approach each of these aspects is imperative for achieving optimal results in your remarketing campaigns.

Creating a Remarketing List

If you intend to leverage Google Ads remarketing audiences for crafting a successful remarketing campaign, there are essential steps you must follow. These steps involve the installation of a remarketing tag and the creation of a remarketing list.

The good news is, you have the flexibility to employ either Google Ads or Google Analytics tracking to execute your Google remarketing campaign. The critical factor, however, lies in the correct setup of your chosen tracking method.

To set up Google Ads tagging, navigate to ‘Tools’ and then ‘Google Tag Manager’.

If you use one of the following website builders, Google offers pre-built installation configurations:

  • WordPress
  • MonsterInsights
  • Wix
  • Squarespace
  • Duda
  • Typo3
  • Drupal

If not, you can manually insert the tag into your website by placing it after the <head> tag of every page on your site. 

You can use Google Analytics tracking to create a remarketing list in the tool. 

For Universal Analytics, you find your tracking code by going to Admin > Property View > Tracking Info > Tracking Code.

Tracking Code

In Google Analytics 4 (GA4), significant changes have been introduced regarding tracking codes. To obtain your tracking code, follow these steps meticulously:

  1. Begin by signing into your Google Analytics account and select the specific property you wish to work with.
  2. Next, click on the ‘Admin’ tab, which is positioned at the lower-left corner of the page.
  3. In the ‘Property’ column, locate and click on ‘Data Streams.’
  4. A list of data streams linked to your property will be displayed. Identify the relevant data stream for which you need the tracking code and click on it.
  5. Within the ‘Measurement ID’ section, you will find the tracking code. It typically comprises a sequence of numbers and characters, commencing with ‘G-‘.

Additionally, in GA4, you have the capability to connect your Google Analytics and Google Ads accounts by following the steps outlined below:

Create Links

Once you’ve successfully implemented your remarketing tag, you can initiate the creation of a remarketing list. Here’s how this process unfolds within Google Analytics 4 (GA4):

  1. Begin by logging into your Google Ads account and proceed to ‘Tools & Settings’ (located under the wrench icon) in the upper-right corner.
  2. In the ‘Shared Library’ section, navigate to ‘Audience Manager.’
  3. Within the Audience Manager, click on the blue ‘+’ button to initiate the creation of a new audience.
  4. Select ‘Website traffic’ as the option to generate a remarketing audience, targeting users who have previously visited your website.
  5. Assign a distinctive name to your audience and specify the characteristics or conditions that your audience should meet. These conditions can encompass specific page visits, events, or other criteria.
  6. Optionally, leverage Google’s suggested options to automatically populate your audience based on particular user behaviors or interests. This can effectively broaden the scope of your remarketing list.
  7. Determine the membership duration, which dictates how long a user remains in the audience after meeting the specified criteria. Opt for a duration that aligns with your marketing objectives (e.g., six months).
  8. Lastly, click ‘Create’ to conclude the audience creation process.

For further insights into audience segments, Google provides valuable information if you wish to delve deeper into this topic.

  1. Begin by accessing the ‘Remarketing’ section and click on the prominent blue ‘+’ button.
  2. Opt for the ‘Customer list’ option, provide a suitable name, and select ‘Upload Emails, Phones.’
  3. Proceed to upload a plain text data file.
  4. Define a membership duration, and for those who are uncertain, a recommended period is around six months.
  5. Ensure to affirm compliance with Google’s data collection policies by checking the designated box.
  6. Finally, conclude the process by uploading and saving your list.

Setting Up a Remarketing Campaign

With your remarketing lists successfully configured, you’re now ready to initiate the creation of your remarketing campaign.

Navigate to your Google Ads account and locate the ‘Create New Campaign’ option by clicking the ‘+’ button situated in the top left-hand corner.

Next, proceed with the following steps:

  1. Select ‘Create a campaign without guided goals.’
  2. Opt for ‘Display’ as your campaign type.

Proceed with the following steps:

  1. Enter the target URL, which represents the page visitors will be directed to upon clicking on your ads.
  2. Assign a distinctive name to your campaign.

Next, adhere to Google’s comprehensive, step-by-step instructions for campaign creation. This entails specifying the campaign’s location, language, budget, and the type of traffic you wish to target.

Now, it’s time to craft your advertisements, and you have three viable options:

  • Utilize Google’s responsive display ads.
  • Upload your custom ad creations.
  • Replicate ads from a pre-existing campaign.

Additionally, ensure that your ads comply with Google’s stringent ad requirements, including:

  • Animations with a maximum duration of 30 seconds.
  • Images that meet specified quality standards.
  • Images that do not resemble site warnings or error messages.

If you lack pre-designed display ads and prefer to avoid the expense of a graphic designer for your inaugural campaign, consider using Google’s responsive display ads.

All you need to do is upload images (Google can suggest some options for you), include your logo, and provide various headline and body copy alternatives. Google takes care of the rest.

For a visual representation of what these ads can look like, refer to the example courtesy of Wordstream:

Once you’re done, hit “Create campaign” to launch your remarketing campaign. 

Best Practices for Google Remarketing

While creating a Google remarketing campaign may seem straightforward, it’s essential to exercise diligence to avoid potential pitfalls. Ensure your inaugural campaign launches successfully by adhering to these recommended practices.

  1. Validate Tag Accuracy:
    • Incorrect tagging is a common culprit behind remarketing campaign setbacks. Accurate tracking is paramount to create precise remarketing lists.
    • To confirm the correct installation of tracking code, you can utilize the Tag Assistant for Conversions Chrome extension. Open your website and initiate the assessment. A correctly set up tracking code should yield a result resembling the following:

1. Precisely Define Your Objectives: Remarketing campaigns thrive when they are built around well-defined goals. While it’s possible to utilize them for broad brand awareness, it’s crucial to remember that your target audience has already engaged with your website. To optimize your campaign’s effectiveness, prioritize objectives such as converting visitors into customers, prompting them to download specific content, or encouraging them to complete abandoned shopping cart transactions.

  1. Develop or Revise Your Privacy Policy: It is advisable to adhere to Google’s recommendations regarding transparency in remarketing campaigns. Therefore, any website implementing remarketing should ensure that its privacy policy is up-to-date and clearly communicates its marketing strategies.

Tracking Your Remarketing Campaign Success

Effective campaign tracking is essential to ensure the performance of your remarketing efforts. To initiate a robust tracking program, consider the following steps:

  1. Define Clear Campaign Goals: Begin by establishing well-defined objectives for your remarketing campaign. These goals should encompass a range of metrics, including high-value engagement indicators and conversion targets.
  2. Implement Conversion Tracking: Set up conversion tracking mechanisms to gauge the specific actions taken by users who have previously engaged with your website or content.
  3. Refine Audience Insights: Enhance your targeting and messaging strategies to create stronger connections with your audience.
  4. Choose Appropriate Attribution Models: Opt for an attribution model that offers a comprehensive perspective on the impact of your remarketing endeavors.
  5. Monitor and Analyze Key Performance Indicators (KPIs): Thoroughly examine data, identify noteworthy trends, and execute data-driven optimizations based on performance metrics.

With these insights, you can monitor your campaign’s success directly within Google Ads. For a deeper level of analysis, consider incorporating UTM codes into your landing page URLs. This allows you to track the traffic sources of your campaigns more accurately, facilitating a more comprehensive evaluation of their impact on your website.


The potential benefits of remarketing for your business are substantial. Virtually every business can reap the advantages of launching a Google remarketing campaign.

As you’ve explored in this post, the array of remarketing options available to you is extensive.

It’s worth noting that while our primary focus has been on website visitors, you can also tailor your remarketing campaigns to target individuals who have interacted with or visited your mobile app.

With that in mind, begin by selecting a specific goal and initiate a remarketing campaign with the aim of achieving it. As you gain experience, you can expand your horizons and experiment with more ambitious campaigns.

Wishing you the best of success in your endeavors!

Are you prepared to optimize the potential of every click?

Connect with Marketing Pro for unparalleled digital marketing solutions. We invite you to email us at [email protected]. Our team is ready to support and enhance your business.

Marketing Pro® on behalf of Google®

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