5 Advanced Tactics for RLSA Audiences

To help better target customers throughout the various stages of the purchasing journey, have a read of our top RLSA audience tactics to reach your target audience.

The digital and paid search landscape is evolving. Instead of merely targeting keywords, it’s important for advertisers to adopt more sophisticated methods of targeting to better reach their chosen audience, or reach out to a new, wider audience.

RLSA audiences are a perfect example of this, and although they have been around since 2013, we see that they are massively underused by PPC managers.

If you’re looking to maximise the performance of your overall Google Ad campaigns and you’re not already utilising RLSA audiences in your strategy, it’s time to roll out RLSA ads across your account. To help you, here are our five advanced tactics for RLSA audiences.

What is an RLSA audience?

Remarketing lists for search ads, or RLSA for short, is a Google feature that gives advertisers the ability to tailor and customise their search campaigns based on whether or not a user has previously visited their website or app, and the specific pages that user viewed during their interaction.

It can be used in two different ways:

  1. Making bid adjustments on ad groups for users who are searching on the Google platform and using the keywords you are bidding on as part of your campaign.
  2. To set up search ad groups that are only triggered and show ads if that user is on your remarketing list and searching with the keywords you’re bidding on.

RLSAs differ from traditional display marketing – while they have the concept of using cookies and tracking users in common, RLSAs don’t automatically display text ads – the user needs to be actively searching on Google with your chosen targeted keywords.

When should you use remarketing lists?

There are many reasons why you should use RLSAs. For example, if you’re looking to target more qualified and valuable users who already have some awareness of your brand, RLSAs can help you to do this, thus resulting in an increase in revenue for your business.

Additionally, RLSAs can be used to reach out to new customers that share similar behaviour to your existing customers and remarketing segments. This is ideal for broadening your reach which can benefit both brand awareness and sales.

How to set up RLSA campaigns

There is a specific set of instructions for how to set up RLSA campaigns. It’s important to remember that you can apply remarketing lists for bidding and targeting to your ad groups or campaigns, but not to both levels at the same time for any given campaign.

With that in mind, here are the steps to follow to set up your remarketing list for search ads campaigns in Google Ads:

  • Step 1 – Create a new ‘Search campaign’, or you can select an existing search campaign or ad group.
  • Step 2 – Click ‘Audiences’, located at the top left on the menu.
  • Step 3 – Now, click the pencil icon to add your audience list.
  • Step 4 – Under the ‘Add’ to section, choose ‘Campaign’ or ‘Ad group’. Remember, you can only choose one or the other.
  • Step 5 – Click ‘Select campaign’ or ‘Select an ad group’ and choose the campaign or ad group you want to target.
  • Step 6 – Click the ‘Website visitors’ drop-down menu under ‘How they interacted with your business’ section.
  • Step 7 – You’ll be shown some tick boxes. Tick the ones next to each remarketing list that you want to add. Note: your audiences will appear in the ‘Selected audience’s’ column.
  • Step 8 – click ‘Save’.

Top tips for RLSA audiences

Below, you can find all our top tips for RLSAs, aimed at providing you with advanced tips, tricks, and advice from digital experts.

  1. Exclude users

For example, if your business has one-time buyers, you can exclude them from your search campaigns, so you don’t continue to waste money on them.

Additionally, if visitors have indicated that they are not interested, such as visitors that immediately bounce or click on your ads and never perform a desirable action, you can exclude them also.

You want to create a list of RLSA audiences that add as much as value as possible, such as those that are clearly shopping with intent to purchase.

  1. High bidding for returning customers

To do this, you should make a remarketing list of all your existing customers. This can then become your go-to, high-value remarketing list, where you can confidently bid higher.

For example, say a user has purchased some garden furniture from your ecommerce store, then, in the near future, searched for “buy garden furniture online”. There’s a very high chance that this user will click on your ad and purchase from you again.

Targeting returning customers can be a lucrative tactic for businesses, especially as increasing customer retention boosts profits anywhere from 25% to 95%.

  1. Increase bids at different shopping stages

Generally speaking, the closer a user is to checking out, the higher your bid adjustments should be.

For example, you can gradually increase your bids with the following format:

  • Viewed product: 15% increase
  • Added to cart: 40% increase
  • Started checkout: 70% increase

Remember that your own data will reflect these numbers.

Audience bid adjustments can be utilised here to help you reach customers that are more likely to convert, such as frequent customers, or those who have visited and shopped on your site recently. However, audience bid adjustments are only available with campaigns and only work with CPC and Enhanced CPC bidding strategies.

  1. Bid on broad keywords

Normally, broader keywords result in unqualified traffic. As a result, this can negatively impact conversion rates and be unprofitable, meaning advertisers do not tend to bid on these keywords.

However, amongst this unqualified traffic, there is still some good quality traffic that can convert; by using RLSAs to target broad keyword ad groups, you can bid higher on those lists and increase conversion rates and sales.

  1. Bid on less affordable keywords

As well as bidding on broader keywords, RLSAs also present an opportunity for you to bid on typically expensive keywords. Depending on your industry, you may have keywords that are simply too expensive for you, however, by utilising RLSAs, you can combine these keywords within your remarketing lists.

Not only can this increase conversion rates, but it can also help to cut any unnecessary costs.

By incorporating RLSAs into your online advertising strategies, you have the ability to shorten a user’s purchasing journey, helping to nurture them into completing a transaction far sooner than they would have before.

Furthermore, you can use it as a tactic to boost brand recognition while helping to get your qualified leads to the final steps of conversion.

Do you need help with creating and implementing RLSA audiences?

The team at Diginius are experts in optimising PPC campaigns, including leveraging RLSA audiences. Get in touch with us today to discuss how we can help you to incorporate RLSA audiences into your strategy.

Chester Yang is the Microsoft Program Manager at Diginius with a background in economics and quantitative research.  

At Diginius, Chester focuses on nurturing partnerships with PPC agencies and integrating marketing and sales solutions.