In the social media world, we talk about “pixels” and “remarketing” and “custom audiences” quite frequently. Capturing traffic to later advertise to on our social media platform of choice is very powerful because we are showing our ads to people who already have visited our website and have at least some knowledge of our business and what we sell.
If you have taken advantage of your own Facebook pixel, LinkedIn pixel or other social media platform’s pixel traffic for ads, you might be wondering if Google offers something similar for use on AdWords, its online ads platform.
And the answer would be: YES. You can create remarketing audiences in your Google AdWords account to use in your Google ads.
Google AdWords Remarketing Audiences
When signed in to your Google AdWords account, click on the “Tools” wrench icon along the top navigation bar, over on the right side. Doing so will reveal the full Tools menu. Click on Audience Manager under Shared Library.
When inside your Audience Manager, you’ll see that you can filter by Remarketing and Custom audiences along the top navigation, and by Audience lists, Audience insights, and Audience sources along the left sidebar menu.
Google AdWords Audience Lists
By default, your view is your list of remarketing audiences. You’ll see that there are a few remarketing audiences that are “automatically created”, listed as such in the Type column.
When creating a new remarketing audience of your own, choose from a list of options including website visitors, YouTube users, and customer lists.
Note: If creating a YouTube remarketing list, you first need to link your YouTube account to your AdWords account.
To create a new remarketing audience, click on the blue circle with the white plus sign in it. Next, you’ll need to give your audience a name, then set the rules for the remarketing audience including the page(s) visited on your site and how many days of visitors you want to include in your website remarketing audience. You can go back 540 days.
After saving your new remarketing audience rules, your new audience will begin to populate.
Google AdWords Audience Insights
You’ll need at least 1 audience of 1,000 people or more to access your Audience Insights.
Google AdWords Audience Sources
When you visit your Audience sources tab, you’ll see that your options are:
- Google Ads tag
- Google Analytics
- App analytics
- Google Play
If you haven’t connected these accounts to your AdWords account, you’ll first need to link each one.
In the case of your Google Ads tag, you will need to copy and paste your Ads tag into the <head></head> section of your website in order to start capturing that traffic to use for your Google AdWords ads.
Click on the blue Details tab to view your Ads tag and instructions on how to install it.
The Tag setup area expands to reveal the HTML code that comprises your Global site tag, and that needs to be copied and pasted into your website.
When viewing your Google ads tag under Audience sources, click on the vertical line of 3 dot on the right. Then click on Edit source. The “collect standard data” radio button will be checked by default, but you’ll need to click on the user_id checkbox in the general parameters section, then click to save.
After adding your Global tag to your website, keep in mind that Google reports traffic on a 1 day delay. Check tomorrow to see if you are recording tag hits and growing your audience size.
Adding an Audience to a Google AdWords Ad Group or Campaign
First, select an audience from your list of audiences. Then click on the vertical line of 3 dot located on the top right corner.
More about Google AdWords Remarketing Audiences
Google offers standard and dynamic remarketing options. Your standard remarketing is like your Facebook “base” pixel – you are tracking all the traffic on all pages of your site. The dynamic ads are tied to a specific event occurring on your website, and just like Facebook’s event tracking. Google dynamic remarketing requires additional specific code added to a specific page of your site – just like with Facebook – in order to track and record that specific event.
You also will need to set up custom parameters for any dynamic event tracking you’ll be doing. Read more about it here. Custom parameters are by industry type, with the option for a custom (other) event tracking as well.
Read more about the Global site tag and event snippets here.