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Remarketing Across Ad Exchanges With DoubleClick Search

Jennifer Johnstone
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Secret keyEvery PPC professional knows that remarketing is a no-brainer. It's a simple fact: people who've already clicked on your ads, but haven't converted, are more likely to do so than those who haven't engaged with your ads at all. Similarly, those who've taken one action on your website are more likely to take more actions.

In fact, in most accounts, your remarketing campaign should be one of your best-performing campaigns in terms of conversion rate and return on investment.

However, many advertisers seem to have a few roadblocks when setting up remarketing campaigns – some have trouble getting the code added to their site in a timely fashion, others have trouble mapping their remarketing flow, and some are just unsure of how to reengaging users.

Regardless, as an advertiser, you should waste no time in getting at least a basic remarketing campaign up and running.

This post will walk you through DoubleClick Search's Display Remarketing from search ads feature. It's an easy way to remarket across ad exchanges and allows you to leverage cross-engine signals using a tagless workflow. The best thing about it is that advertisers have full control – and they're not waiting on a Web team to add tags and QA setup.

How DoubleClick Search's Remarketing Feature Works

  1. A user submits a search query to a search engine
  2. Your search ad appears and a user clicks on it
  3. Although on your site, the user does not complete the conversion action
  4. As that same user browsers the Internet, you can serve them remarketing display ads encouraging a conversion
  5. With the repeated exposure to ads for your site, the user is more likely to convert

By using this feature in DoubleClick Search (DS), you are able to retarget users via display channels after they have shown interest by clicking on the paid search ad managed in your DS account.

How to Use This Feature

Ensure that you already have the right tools in place:

  1. You're managing a search account through DoubleClick Search. The more the merrier when it comes to how many search accounts you have set up in DS, as you can remarket to users across multiple engines (Bing, Google, etc.).
  2. You have a clear conversion action on your site and you are tracking it using a Floodlight (or multiple Floodlights) in DS.
  3. You're comfortable setting up a display remarketing campaign through Google Display Network (GDN) or DoubleClick Bid Manager (DBM).

Remarketing Strategies

Although I position this feature as a means to an end (to set up basic remarketing on your own) it doesn't mean you can't develop complex and winning strategies to re-engage users. The type of strategy you select will depend on how much data you are currently getting from your Floodlights, but here are some that are worth considering:

  • Basic: Remarket to people who've left your site without converting at all.
  • Complex: Remarket the next logical action to users who have gotten partially through your conversion funnel, without completing the true conversion action. For example, if a user has completed one page of a sign-up flow, but hasn't submitted their responses, encourage a submission. Or, if they've put an item in their cart, but haven't made the final purchase, create messaging that encourages them to do so. Heck, you might even consider serving them a discount or coupon in your remarketing ad.
  • Advanced: If you have an ecommerce site, you're likely selling multiple products. Group similar users together into multiple remarketing lists derived from a basic structure (e.g., category, brand, product). Create a flow that makes assumptions, such as, "If a user bought 1 product from brand X, we'll serve them remarketing ads focused on other products developed by that same brand." Or, "If they've bought 1 specific product, we'll serve them remarketing ads focused on accessories for that product.”

You can create an endless amount of strategies for remarketing and we all get a little excited about the possibilities. If you're new to remarketing, I suggest you focus on the highest-impact strategies first, and ensure you have large enough user lists to remarket to before spending the time to develop some of the more advanced strategies.

Remarketing Reminders

Please remember to remarket responsibly. Though remarketing pays dividends, it's important to respect users with careful frequency capping and respect dollars by tracking real incrementality.

Also, understand how remarketing from search ads is different from traditional remarketing. Because you're remarketing based on users search query, down to the keyword-level in DS, you can leverage a number of signals.

Consider grouping your keywords into buckets like, "high-intent," "medium-intent," and "information-seeking." Then, you can change your messaging based on which user you are targeting.

For example, High-Intent users may only need to see another ad or two to make the purchase if their original query included terms like "purchase" or "buy." Medium-Intent users may need more of a push, like a coupon or discount that makes them feel they are making the right decision by purchasing. Whereas, Information-Seeking users may need to go to a Testimonials or Product Review page if their query included terms like "price of" or "reviews for."

How to Get Started

Read this helpful article in the DoubleClick Search Help Center. In it, you will find a full and thorough implementation guide for setting up DoubleClick Search's Display Remarketing from search ads. If you have any questions along the way, please comment below.


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