Google SERPs Remarketing

SERPs Remarketing is here and making a splash in the world of search marketing. Are you ready!?

Remarketing for Search is a powerful new targeting option for marketers that is likely to be a  game changer for search marketers and leads to new complexity in creating and managing search campaigns. Google’s aim is to enable marketers to increase brand awareness, obtain new customers and tailor ads to existing customers within the search engine results pages (SERPS) via remarketing strategies.

In one case study this effort has seen a  145% increase in click through rate (CTR) versus its original campaigns.  Yet remarketing has proven to be a highly effective strategy in converting customers in all channels from email to DM.

Until now, Adwords remarketing was solely based on the Google display network (GDN) and was a product where digital marketers could select various audiences based on their behavioural web page browsing history. Remarketed ads would be targeted to entice potential customers, who may have entered the conversion funnel but were certainly at a point of consideration, back to a certain webpage where they are more likely to perform a conversion function.

Google’s Remarketing for Search takes the benefits of remarketing and leverages them within the SERPs. It allows advertisers to target users on the search network based on their keyword search history within the SERPS. It facilitates a more personalised search experience, as it gives the opportunity to create and target ads based on a users’ level of interaction with the brand, from new user to premium member.


  • Maximizing relevant ad copy. If you know a user has been looking for “red shoes” on your site, use that information to stand out among your competition in the SERP when the user next searches on “women’s shoe stores.” By applying your knowledge of what the user has been looking for, you can likely increase your CTR and drive visits, while increasing your quality score.
  • Value of the customer and associated click value. A user who is familiar with your brand is more likely to convert to a buyer and as such, being able to reach known users within the SERP should impact your bidding strategy. Just like you can increase your CPCs on keywords that convert better to maximize potential, now you increase your CPCs on known customers to maximize potential.
  • Landing Page Selection. Knowing the content the user has visited can impact the landing page your search ads link to. In the above “red shoes” example, the standard landing page for “women’s shoe stores” may be your homepage, or a store listings page. However, knowing the user is interested in red shoes, and with “red shoes” in your ad copy, you can land the user back to your red shoes page. You are in effect, creating personalized landing page relevancy based on the user’s history.

The rules of SERPs remarketing:

1.  The Ad copy cannot explicitly give call to actions that show you know what the browser is looking for.

2.  Unique campaigns must be created separately from existing campaigns

3.  Clients must use Google remarketing pixels before retargeting can occur

To add a remarketing pixel to your website this is the easiest guide we found to take you through this process. puzzleRemember that the implication of using this new tool is the need for additional privacy policy documentation in relation to the “Cookie Law” that came into effect in the EU.  Google explains what you should look at adding to your site to cover this new method of collecting user data. However if you have used remarketing before on your website then it is likely you have this covered.

Remember that normal quality score rules apply to SERPs remarketing. Quality score will remain crucial to working towards an optimised a cost effective campaign that is displayed on Google at the lowest possible cost.

Quality score factors that effect SERPs remarketing:

  • Your keyword’s past clickthrough rate (CTR): How often that keyword leads to clicks on your ad
  • Your display URL’s past CTR: How often you received clicks in the past for any specific URL
  • Your account history: The overall CTR of all the ads and keywords in your account
  • The quality of your landing page: How relevant, transparent, and easy-to-navigate your landing pages are
  • Your keyword/ad relevance: How relevant your keyword is to your ad copy
  • Your keyword/search relevance: How relevant your keywords are to what people are searching for
  • Geographic performance: How successful you have been in the areas you are targeting
  • Your ad’s performance on a site: How well your ad has been performing on websites (for the Display Network)
  • Your targeted devices: How well your ads have been performing on different types of devices – you get different Quality Scores for different devices


What’s the difference between remarketing, retargeting and remessaging?

In short. The company that refers to it:

Retargeting was the original term for serving ads based on a searcher’s previous search history.  Retargeting ad networks use terms like “cookie” and “pixel” for the snippet of code that allows them to serve ads to anyone who has previously visited a website, opened an email or been exposed to other opportunities where code can be inserted onto a landing page.

Google uses the word remarketing for AdWords’ ability to serve ads through the Google Display Network to anyone who lands on a page that has an audience tag.

While finally Bing calls this very same concept remessaging.

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