Retargeting ads are pretty much a necessity when it comes to advertising your online store. They help you get your brand back in front of previous site visitors who may have left without completing a purchase.

Google offers its own set of remarketing tools to help retailers ramp up their advertising. One popular option is Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, better known as RLSA.

What are RLSAs?

RLSA is a Google Ads feature that allows you to customize search ad campaigns to shoppers who previously visited your site. With RLSA, you can adjust bids and ads towards these visitors as they are shopping on Google or one of Google’s search partner sites.

An example from Google:

Say you’ve created a remarketing list of people who bought running shoes from your sporting goods site. Instead of helping you reach broad groups of people interested in “running,” similar audiences will identify that people on this list tended to search for “triathlon training” and “buy lightweight running shoes” before coming to your site and making a purchase. Based on this, similar audiences will then find other people with similar search behavior, such as people who searched for ‘buy lightweight running shoes’.

The difference between RSLA and standard retargeting ads, is that with RLSA your ad is only served to a shopper who is actively searching on Google.

Use RSLA to group visitors based on what website pages they visited (i.e., home page only, a specific product page, the checkout page). Once you’ve segmented the shoppers, you can target them with ads that are relevant to what they’ve done on your site, select what keywords you’d like to bid on for each segment and even increase the bid for individual segments.

Google lists out two basic strategies for using RLSA:

  • Optimize bids for your existing keywords for visitors on your remarketing lists. This could include increasing your bid by X amount for those who visited your site within the last 30 days.
  • Bid on keywords that you don’t normally bid on for shoppers that visited your site recently or have previously converted on your site

How to Set Up a RLSA:

  1. Create a website remarketing list.
  2. Add the remarketing tag from Google Ads to your site (this can go on every page). This lets Google know to add each website visitor to your list.
  3. Add this remarketing list to existing campaigns and ad groups. You can then raise or lower your bids for those shoppers on the list.

If you want to take it a step further, use a custom combination list to target users by the page they visited on your site.

Google requires that an RLSA must have 1,000 cookies before you can use the list to tailor your search ads.


Final Thoughts

If you’re looking to re-engage shoppers while they are actively searching on Google, Remarketing Lists for Search Ads is the the way to go. By tailoring ads and bidding strategies to already interested shoppers, you’re more likely to grab their attention and bring them back to your site. For more information on RLSAs, check out Google’s help center article.