Remarketing is a fundamental strategy of any SEM campaign. It allows you to re-engage your site visitors across the Google Display Network and Google Search Network by showing tailored ads that aim to increase branding, conversion rate and ROI. This is achieved through driving a desired action (e.g. enquiry, first time purchase, repeat purchase, cross-sell or up-sell opportunities).
Whilst most SEM Managers should be able to get your remarketing campaign up and running relatively quickly, the question is whether the campaign has been set up to get the most out of your remarketing budget.
While our SEM Team run a number of deep Analytics reports on user behaviour before commencing a remarketing strategy, there are two quick reports that you can run to help drive the best results for remarketing campaigns: Time Lag Reports and Repeat Purchase Reports.
Far too often, remarketing campaigns seem to rely on a generic audience list consisting of all visitors to the website for a default 30 day window. While this may achieve a good cost per conversion over the short term, you may be limiting the potential of your campaigns by ceasing ad serving before a user is likely to convert or wasting spend on users who have passed a time when a conversion was likely.
As such, it is important to look at how long users take to complete a desired action on your website to determine an appropriate cookie length for your campaign. This analysis can be done through the Time Lag Report in Google Analytics, which can be accessed using the following path: Conversions > Multi-channel Funnels > Time-Lag in the Google Analytics menu.
In the Time Lag Report, you can accurately identify the percentage of site visitors that have converted from the day of their first visit. A tip to get the most accurate data here is to filter out the first day click conversions, as it is not likely a key focus of your remarketing campaigns. In the example above, there are around 41% of users that converted after 30 days from their first site visit. This means that you are potentially losing 41% of SEM conversions if your remarketing campaign is set on the default 30 day cookie window.
When implementing remarketing, it is also important to consider if you have a strategy in place for your already converted users. A common tactic would to exclude these users from your main remarketing lists. This is fine if your business is enquiry-based or runs off a one-time lead capture. However, what if you are a retailer or within the e-com vertical? By excluding converted users, you may be missing out on potential up-sell and cross-sell opportunities, thus decreasing your ROI in the long run.
Similar to the Time Lag Report, Analytics provides the ability to identify when your return visitors are likely to repeat an action on your website. This allows you to create specific remarketing lists that target users at times when they are likely to convert again, thereby reducing wasted spend and lowering your cost per conversion.
To access this report, you will need to view the Frequency & Regency Report under Audience > Behaviour. Within this report, navigate to the ‘Days Since Last Session’ report. Before analysing this report, you will now need to filer your data to only include repeat visitors who have converted. To do this, simply create a custom segment that looks at users who have visited your website > 1 and have completed a goal or transaction > 1.
As shown above, we can see that around 96% of users purchase again within 30 days of their first transaction. After this period, repeat conversions decrease, indicating that a lengthy cookie may not be needed.