dynamic retargeting for merchants

Imagine going to a store you love and having employees from the store follow you around for the rest of the day making purchasing suggestions based on the products you looked at. They’re always on hand to show you that pair of shoes you were lingering in front of or that MP3 player you were thinking of purchasing as a birthday present. No matter where you go, these employees are a constant reminder of items that are back at the store waiting for you.

While this might be a bit annoying in real life, Google offers a subtler and much more effective advertising method called Dynamic Remarketing. Dynamic remarketing displays customized ads to visitors based on the part of your website they visited. If a visitor was browsing tennis shoes on your site, then Google will pull the information for those shoes from your website and place it into a dynamic ad that the user will see when visiting another site in the Google Display Network (GDN). Using dynamic remarketing on your website makes it much more likely that users will come back and make a purchase.

Google’s Dynamic Remarketing program offers Google’s brand of search retargeting to all users with a Google merchant center account. This is a powerful tool for boosting revenue, as it keeps interested customers in the sales funnel longer.


How It Works

What makes this technology dynamic is that it tailors ads across the web based on your visitors’ activity on your website. Basically, you add a tag (a snippet of code) to your site, along with a parameter for the product ID and a few other customer parameters. When someone visits your website, the tag automatically adds them to a list based on their activity and keeps track of them via a browser cookie. When the user visits a different website in the Google Display Network, then the tag uses the product ID to pull the product image, name, and price to the dynamic ad.



A hand giving a business card through a monitor
  • Auto-optimized layouts: Choose to customize your ads with your brand characteristics, or just upload your logo and let Google select the most optimum layouts for the user and device.

  • Products recommendation engine: This feature chooses the best mix of ads to display to users in groups of one, two, four, or six. It selects products based on popular choices on your website, what items the user was closest to purchasing, and the items that are most frequently purchased together.

  • Real-time bidding algorithm: Calculates the best bid for each impression. The system drives each bid up or down in real time based on expected performance.



  • Affordable: Before Google Dynamic Remarketing, search retargeting was closed to smaller operations because of budget restrictions. Unlike other search retargeting programs, Google Dynamic Remarketing has no minimum spends. This makes it a great choice for small to mid-sized businesses.

  • Effective: Google maintains more targeted information on users, thereby allowing marketers to bid to specific demographics according to characteristics like age and gender.

  • More control: With Dynamic Remarketing, you can control what sites you show up on by bidding up or down on specific sites, or choosing not to appear on them altogether.

  • Large potential reach: The Google Display Network reaches 80% of all internet users worldwide, and includes spots on Youtube, Blogger, and Gmail.

  • Choice in Pricing Models: You can choose either a PPC or CPA pricing model, and Google will optimize your campaign for clicks and/or conversions based on your business goals.


How Soon Does It Start Working?

A remarketing list must have at least 100 cookies on it before it can display a related ad on the GDN. A list for Google search ads must have 1,000 cookies before it tailors users’ search result ads. Visitors are added to your lists within seconds of their arrival on your site, and there is no maximum number of cookies a list can contain.


Tips for Your Dynamic Remarketing Campaign

  1. In order to use the service, you need to link your Google Merchant account with your Adwords account. Note that you can link multiple Adwords accounts with your merchant account.

  2. After running one or two campaigns, use what you’ve learned to create your own custom lists. This will allow you to better target your visitors and optimize your bids for future campaigns. For example, you may want to create lists for users who view specific product categories, or a list for frequent visitors to your website.

  3. You can add the tag to specific pages of your site, or place the tag in the footer of your website for it to work across all pages.

  4. Use Google Tag assistant, a free Chrome extension, to check whether or not you’ve correctly added a tag to your site.


Like most PPC programs, there may be a slight learning curve associated with Google’s Dynamic Remarketing.  Dip your feet in with a carefully-controlled spend and optimize your campaigns as you generate data in order to get the best results from this new program.

Now, we want to hear from you.  Have you started using Google’s Dynamic Remarketing program?  If so, share the impact it’s had on your business in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “What You Need to Know about Google’s New Dynamic Remarketing for Merchants

  1. As a publisher and a user I do not like re-marketing ads. They are not relevant to site content, so they get almost zero clicks. They are the past, the user moved on already.

    1. I Agree with u Kimball.
      I believe if a User actually wants more information or is planning to purchase a product he can again search for it.. (google/bing). Displaying a users past preferred/searched product doesnt seem a good idea.

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