How To Optimise Your Google Ads Remarketing Campaign

Published On 30 Oct, 2021

New York

Post Updated: 30/10/2021

PPC can be scary, especially for small businesses that don’t have a huge budget. Quite frankly – it should be! Google Ads can suck up all of your money if not configured correctly so it’s best to approach it with caution. However, remarketing is fairly simple and pretty cheap. The idea of this post is to run you through some basic optimisation tips for your remarketing campaign to make it work as best as possible.


What is remarketing?

A Google Ads Remarketing campaign shows ads to people who have previously visited your website. For example, if someone visited your site a week ago, you could then show banner ads around the web on other websites to usher people back to your website to enquiry/buy.

According to an article from Kwanzoo, Retargeted visitors are 70% more likely to convert on a website compared to those who aren’t targeted for the second time.

Let's get into the tips:

1. Tailor Your Lists

The most common approach for a remarketing campaign is to show ads to all visitors that have been to your website.  If you offer more than one service/product, it might be best to split your lists up so that you can have specific messaging to increase the chances of visitors converting. For example, if you are selling boys shoes and girls shoes, you wouldn’t want to show ads about boys shoes to visitors that were interested in buying girls shoes. Google Ads allows you to create multiple lists so that you can specify to only show specific adverts to people who have visited specific pages.

Another tip for remarketing lists is to exclude people who have already converted/enquired. Google Ads makes this really easy by allowing you to exclude any users who are on your 'converters' list.  The 'converters' list is automatically generated by anyone who triggers a conversion that you have set up in Google Ads.


2. Exclude Mobile Apps

Mobile apps can be a huge pain because most people are too busy trying to do something else, the ads appear very small which is useless and they get in the way causing many accidental clicks. So in my opinion, it’s probably best to turn them off.

There used to be a really simple way to exclude mobile apps from a display campaign. Then for a short period, Google removed all options, forcing you to show them on mobile apps. This resulted in costs spiking and many people turning off their remarketing campaigns.

The new way to disable mobile apps is to head to 'Placements' within your remarketing campaign. You then want to head to 'exclusions'. You then need to click on 'App Categories' and select every single one. This can take a few minutes as there are over 140 different categories, but it's certainly worth the few minutes of time if you care about not wasting money.

You can also add 'mobileappcategory::69500' as a placement exclusion which should block all app categories without having to tick each box so this should save you some time. Here is a full guide on how to do it.


Google Ads Placement Settings


3. Exclude Website Topics

Website topics in Google Ads allow you to exclude certain types of sites in bulk without having to list every single one. If you head over to the ‘Display Network’ tab in Google Ads and then click the ‘Topics’ sub-tab, you should find the site category option at the bottom of the page. Depending on your industry, you may wish to keep some topics as enabled.


4. Review Placements

The placements tab in Google Ads allows you to see what sites your ads have been showing on. For ongoing maintenance, I recommend that you review the placements list to see if your ads are showing on any low quality/spammy websites or one’s you don’t want to display ads on.

The most common examples are things like crossword helpers and foreign news websites that are worth excluding. PPC protect also has a list of 60,000+ low quality placements that you can exclude from day 1 to save you a lot of time and wasted clicks.

5. Set A Frequency Cap

I would also recommend you think about setting a frequency cap as visitors can get frustrated when they start to see your ad on every single website they visit. In the settings for your display campaign, it will allow you to set a limit of how many times an ad can be shown a day/week/month per ad/ad-group/campaign. I tend to say about 5 impressions a day per ad group, but again it depends on your preferences.

According to Google, the optimal frequency for remarketing ads is 17-20 impressions per user per month, as this frequency has been found to be effective without being too repetitive or annoying to users.


If you want peace of mind that your remarketing campaigns are set up correctly, get booked in for a PPC audit service and one of our experts can check everything over.

Freelance PPC Consultant

Ryan Scollon is the founder of Ryan Scollon & Co. He has been helping brands grow their business through PPC & Google Ads since 2013. You can often find his insights quoted in publications like The Independent, SEMrush, Search Engine Roundtable, WordPress,, Lunio, Being Freelance Podcast & many more. Connect with Ryan on Twitter & Linkedin.

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