Add3 – Digital Marketing Agency with offices in Seattle & Portland

This is the 2nd post in our 3-part series on retargeting. See Part 1: Choosing a Retargeting Platform and Part 3: Retargeting Best Practices & Optimization. Get the full series of posts and more in our downloadable Guide to Retargeting PDF.

Better Basic Retargeting

Retargeting can be as straight forward as:

1. User comes to site. >> 2. User does not purchase >> 3. Retarget that user.

But did you know that there are more ways you can retarget that audience and more ways you can use it to find new audiences?



First, here are some more considerations for standard retargeting beyond the simplified 1,2,3 approach. Even with a straight forward “visited and left” retargeting audience segment, there are ways to get creative with segmentation. For example – you could target audience segments with specific ads based on:

  • Pages viewed on your site
  • Time since the last visit to your site
  • How far a user may have made it down the sales funnel / where they abandoned the shopping cart

These types of retargeting can be limited in scale, but extremely effective.

Advanced Types of Retargeting

Dynamic Retargeting

For businesses selling durable goods, dynamic retargeting is a great way to manage retargeting with high volumes of products and offerings in an extremely targeted way. Dynamic retargeting allows advertisers to show the exact products a user viewed in ads without creating unique pre-defined audiences for every single product on the site. Most retargeting platforms offer some sort of dynamic retargeting capability and Google AdWords recently released dynamic remarketing across all verticals, making it applicable for business like hotels, airlines and educational institutions.


Another way to use retargeting lists is through Google’s RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads). Google AdWords allows advertisers to layer remarketing audiences onto search campaigns to bid only or target and bid on the applied audiences.  In other words you can retarget your audience right in search results!

With “bid only”, your search ads will continue to show for ALL users when your keywords trigger ads but with RLSA you can set a bid adjustment (increase or decrease) for users who are part of the given remarketing list. This target and bid setting allows advertisers to show ads to ONLY users within the remarketing list. This can open up broader keyword targeting for keywords that may not perform well in general, but may perform much better for a user who has been to an advertiser’s site before.

look-a-likeLook-a-Like Audiences

Lastly, a spin-off of retargeting lists, look-a-like audiences open up an entirely new user pool of qualified potential customers. Look-a-like audiences are created through the advertising platform to target users who have similar behavior and cookies to those in a retargeting audience. They tend to be further up the sales funnel, but provide a great opportunity for incremental volume. In other words – it’s more of a really targeted awareness play.


All of these retargeting methods allow advertisers to reach new qualified audiences. With the right message and timing they can make the most of departed site visitors and turn them into customers!


Coming next week in part 3 – Tips and tricks to setting up and optimizing retargeting campaigns.

Want a sneak peek of Part 2? Download our Guide to Retargeting!

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Nora Park

About Nora Park

Nora Park is an Account Director at Add3. She has been doing paid search marketing for 8 years; the past 5 with Add3. Outside the office, Nora enjoys running, cooking and spending time with her husband and 2 year old son, Tyson.

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