Remarketing lists for search ads or short RLSA are a great opportunity when the PPC budget is tight, this is particularly the case for PPC budgets in small businesses. In short, RLSA, like the Google Display Network, can serve an ad to a user who previously visited your site. The main difference here is that the ad is served as a traditional search ad and does not differ from other competitor ads on the search network - besides the ad copy of course. The creative PPC practitioners spot endless opportunities using RLSA and indeed, this is a great technique which you should include in your PPC strategy when pitching to your boss when the time comes round where money talks.
Keep it flat
If you read our posts about the perfect Adwords account structure, you know by now that we like things flat. A flat hierarchy in a company means mostly great agility and flexibility and avoids mutli-layered power struggle going through the different management levels. Similar to this, we always advise to split RLSA from search campaigns. We don't want to go into detail how to set up a RLSA campaign which you can read directly on Google's website, but would like to point out some key features which simplify the monitoring and control process.
RLSA bid only or target and bid - which one?
RLSA is an audience you can attach on adgroup level. Seperating the campaigns between search ads and RLSA ads will give you greater budget control. When setting up RLSA campaigns with the Google Adwords Editor, the default RLSA is bid only - make sure you're changing this setting in the audience tab on the Google interface to target and bid. Changing the bidding option means that the ad will only be served if the remarketing tag fires up. If the user hasn't visited your site or a specific part on your site, the ad will not show. And this is ultimately what we want, serve the user with the normal search ad in a search campaign and be more aggressive by raising your CPC bids within the RLSA campaigns.
Why should I use RLSA campaigns?
Competition is fierce and you might not be able to afford to be on first position. If you however work with RLSA and select the target and bid option, you can guarantee that the ad will only show to users who previously visited your website and by now familiar with your brand or have at least seen the logo. The second time round, it is worth being much more aggressive. Yes, CPCs will be expensive but the conversion rate tends to be much better as the customer already indicated to be partly interested in your brand or your products. Raise up your CPCs and get top positions and improve your CTRs, you can even bid on keywords which you otherwise would not dare to bid on.