How to improve Ad Spend Efficiency with Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

Your business can go beyond keywords and save money with AdWords and Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs). RLSAs where first introduced in the summer of 2013, but even today, they are still underused.

With RLSAs, ad spend is used more efficiently and improves conversion rates, giving a better return on investment (ROI). They help businesses to avoid bidding on generic keywords that generate low, if any, conversions.


What are RLSAs

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads can be used to tailor search campaigns, based upon whether a user has previously visited your business’s website or app. They can also be used to create ad campaigns based on what pages the particular user has visited.


RSLA Process


A search ad group can be created to only show ads if the user is on the specific Remarketing List and if the user is making a search, with the keywords that your business is bidding on. The Remarketing List can also be used to adjust bids targeted at specific ad groups. We cover this in more detail later on.


RLSAs use cookies to track users and to add them to Remarketing Lists for the advertiser’s use.
These previous website visitors need to be actively searching Google, using the keywords in the search campaign, in order to be targeted. Whereas with standard marketing, ads are shown to users who are generally browsing on the Google Display Network.


Overall, RLSAs will let your business tailor search campaigns, in order to target valuable and more qualified users, who essentially are already aware of your business’s website and brand. RLSAs can be particularly attractive to small businesses, that may only have a small AdWords budget. They can be used to avoid the extensive and strategic optimisations that PPC traffic campaigns may need, to become successful.


How to implement RLSAs strategies

Next we take a look at the various RLSAs strategies that businesses can employ:

  1. Your business can use RLSAs strategies to avoid using more generic keyword terms, like ‘Nike’, and instead bid on more concise terms, such as ‘Nike trainers’. These concise keywords can be put in its own ad group and be used to target RLSAs members, who have visited the Nike trainers page of your website before.
  2. This strategy will reduce the risk of wasting ad spend. If desired, the strategy can be expanded upon in separate campaigns, with more generic keyword terms, to monitor conversion success.
  3. Your business can run brand campaigns with RLSAs, that are targeted at just those who have never visited your website before. To do this, a campaign needs to be set up in the normal way, but the audience needs to be set as a negative audience. It is also possible to run two brand campaigns, to separately monitor the success of marketing the brand to new visitors against previous visitors.
  4. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads can be used to run campaigns for low-profit, high return-rate or poor converting products. Here spend can be kept to a minimum by only targeting qualified customers, who may have bought from your business’s website before.
  5. It is possible to create bespoke ad text and landing pages, to target existing website visitors or those who have purchased from the website before. For example, a campaign could be created to promote a discount for previous clients. When doing this, your business should exclude this audience from existing campaigns, so as to not overlap. Campaigns can be trialed on a small group and the rolled out, if successful.
  6. Your business can use RLSAs to exclude converted users from future ad campaigns. Some businesses, like a marketing company or a company that sells one piece of software, would not want to keep spending on ads that are visible to clients they have already converted. This can be done by excluding visitors who have seen the final conversation thank-you page. If there is a small chance that this client may purchase another product or service, then RLSAs can be used to reduce the ad bidding for these clients.
  7. Your business can use RLSAs to increase ad bidding, on successive special occasion dates, for those who bought, for example, special occasion flowers.. Here the ‘Visitors of a Page During Specific Dates’ can be used to set campaigns that have a maximum duration of 180 days.


Do you need help with RLSAs?

If you need help with Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, then Odyssey New Media can set up, run and analyse campaigns for your business. Contact Odyssey New Media for help at or call us on 0844 500 6911.