Google AdWords RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads)

October 12th, 2015 by Steve Butler

BLOG-Google-RLSABy now most all digital advertisers know of the power of Remarketing (a.k.a. Retargeting). Remarketing works because it creates a constant digital reminder to people who had previously expressed interest in the product or service that you provide. If you’re doing Remarketing already, Google AdWords RLSA builds onto the Remarketing backbone that you already have in place.

It’s not a secret that most shoppers don’t purchase a product the first time that they visit your site. Many shoppers will visit your site and your competitors as they progress from research and eventually into the purchase mode. The fact that they’ve visited your site before and are looking again for your product is typically a strong indication that the shopper is closer to the moment of purchase. RLSA allows you to identify these past visitors, and then bid more aggressively for them when they do a search.

Implementation Steps:
Adding RLSA is only possible after you’ve made the Remarketing audience(s) available to your Search campaign(s). This can be done directly in the AdWords interface, but is more easily accomplished via AdWords Editor. The following steps should allow you to quickly add the audiences into the Campaigns and Ad Groups that you feel most likely to see value from this process:

  1. Open up AdWords Editor and Enter CID or search by account name.
  2. Filter campaigns for Search Network Only.
  3. Go to Keywords and targeting under MANAGE, and select Audiences.
  4. Click on +Audiences.
  5. Select all campaigns that you want to add RLSA to, click OK.
  6. Remarketing Lists > Select the lists you want to add, click OK.
  7. Click on Edit ad group flexible reach; Highlight all ad groups (Command+ A).
  8. Under Interest and Remarketing, select Bid Only (instead of target and bid). This is VERY important. Do NOT select Target & Bid as you will get far different results.
  9. Check that Bid Only is applied to all audiences by going back to ‘Audiences’ and seeing that each list has Bid Only under targeting.
  10. Post changes.
  11. Check in the account again, under Audiences that the lists were applied to all campaigns with Bid Only.
  12. Set bid adjustments (positive or negative).

Once the audiences are in place, you’ll be able to review the performance of these past visitors at any time by clicking on the Audiences Tab. Here you’ll see how these past visitors have performed and then compare their results to the performance of those who had not been to your site before. If you find that past visitors do perform well, increase the bid multiplier. If you find that they perform more poorly, decrease the bid multiplier.

It is also possible to use RLSA as a way to filter out people who are unlikely to buy from you. Assume that your product is one that is generally purchased only once and never again. RLSA would allow you to exclude an audience of past buyers so that even if they were looking again, your ads would not show.

The use of RLSA can fit many situations. Some examples might include:

  • A typical campaign that is restricted to Phrase and Exact match keywords only can be modified to include Broad match keywords as long as the shopper has already shown interest in your products/services by visiting your site previously.
  • Visitors to a site’s golf shoes page(s) might be targeted again with more aggressive bids should those same customers now be looking for golf clubs. Look for cross selling opportunities like this to enhance the reach with shoppers who have a known relevancy to your business.

Implementing RLSA is quick and easy, but using it wisely requires some thought. Reach out to a reputable PPC management agency today to discuss how RLSA can help improve your results.

Google AdWords Editor 7.0 Released for Download

December 17th, 2008 by Mike Tatge

One of my favorite Google tools has recently had an upgrade and is now available for download, AdWords Editor 7.0. The previous version of AdWords editor was 6.5.1. You can find out which version of AdWords editor you are currently using by opening AdWords New Arrival - Google AdWords Editor 7.0Editor, then view Help/About AdWords Editor. AdWords Editor 7.0 is about 16.6 Megs in size and should take about 2-5 minutes to download over any high speed internet connection.

When you open AdWords Editor you should be prompted with the upgrade screen automatically.

Now before you upgrade, there are some important things to consider. If you have comments or unposted changes, I would recommend you click “Backup then Update” when you see the automatic prompt to upgrade. This allows AdWords Editor to create a backup file that includes any unposted changes and/or comments. Once you have installed the new version you can simply import the backup file. Google Help has a great article on the steps needed to correctly import a backup file (AEA). Personally, I always recommend backing up any files before upgrading any software.

It’s also important to note that after you upgrade to AdWords Editor 7.0, you will need to download your account(s) again.

There are some notable improvements to AdWords Editor 7.0.

First page bid estimates are now shown for keywords. The first page bid estimate is the approximate max CPC bid it would allegedly take for your ad to be shown on the first page of Google results. Previously minimum cost-per-click bids were displayed.

Keyword Quality Scores are now displayed in the Keywords tab. This column will display a number from 1 through 10, with 1 through 4 being poor, 5 through 7 being OK, and 8 through 10 being Great. There is a great help article on how AdWords calculates Quality Score, for those interested in jumping down the rabbit hole.

The Keyword Opportunities Tool, still in BETA, now uses your AdWords Editor 7.0 language and location settings. You can change the Keyword Opportunities locale used for the results by clicking the very small blue “Edit” link that appears at the very upper right of the Keyword Opportunities tool window. The sentence will read “Results are tailored to…” There is also a great help article with more information on how to change the Keyword Opportunities Tool’s language and location targeting.

Speaking of Language and Location settings, you can now view your campaigns targeting settings on the Campaigns tab. Now, these columns are hidden by default, however you can select them with the column chooser.

The Keyword Expansion tab now shows “absolute numbers” instead of the odd scaled values previously seen. The numbers supposedly reflect the traffic for the last month.

Adwords Editor 7.0 now has optional usage tracking. This allows Google to collect completely anonymous statistics about how you use the different features. The statistics do not include personal information or any of the contents for your AdWords account. The idea here is that the information gathered will help the design team further understand what needs improvement. This feature is turned off by default, and can be enabled, or disabled, by going to Tools menu/Settings, and then select “improve AdWords Editor by enabling usage tracking.”

When it comes to PPC management, Adwords Editor 7.0 is truly a must have tool. It could very well be the most popular software on my machine. It’s great to see the AdWords Editor design team continue to release new improvements on a regular basis. In a recent meeting with Google, I also submitted my personal AdWords Editor wish list that included separate data for Content and Search, as well as the ability to compare data from different time periods, along with graphical representations, as seen in the Account Snapshot tool. Considering the recent improvements, perhaps my wish list is not too far off in the future.

I recommend you download AdWords Editor 7.0 today.

Google AdWords & PPC Advertising Platform Wish List

December 8th, 2008 by Jack ODonnell

I have just a few things I’d like to see happen with the Google Adwords platform, so I think I’ll just mention them here. Consider it my Google holiday wish list.

Actionable Reports:

Every report should be an actionable report. By this I mean if I run a Placement Performance Report that shows me numerous content sites that are clearly spending too much, or not converting well at all, then I want to be able to just click a checkbox next to that site and have it PPC Holiday Wish Listautomatically be excluded from further searches. I don’t want to have to run a report, analyze it, then manually create a list of sites to exclude. I want the system to provide me with the data then allow me to take action upon that data right then and there on the spot. This really doesn’t just apply to Google. It applies to all the PPC search platforms, including Yahoo and MSN. We should be able to immediately take some kind of action from every report we run without having to look at the data in place then make adjustments somewhere else entirely.

AdWords Editor Content Isolation: 

AdWords Editor should have a separate tab for Content traffic and spend that highlights and isolates Content traffic spending. Keeping on the Content theme, because the volume of Content sites is so huge, Google should allow us to put in a threshold conversion cost barrier that will automatically exclude a site if the spend reaches a certain unacceptable level. It would be nice if we could put in a parameter that tells Google to automatically exclude a certain Content site if its spend reaches a certain level without producing a conversion. It’s something we do anway, so why not set up an automated function to do the same thing we are going to do manually. It would also be nice if such a parameter could be extended to some of the Search Partners as well. If a site doesn’t work, I don’t want it.

Even though these things don’t exist (yet), the great thing about software-driven advertising platforms is that the possibility exists that they might happen at any time. That’s just another feather in the PPC advertising cap. This is an advertising medium that has the potential to always get just a little better.

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