Using Analytics Remarketing Lists With RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads)

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (or RLSA as our acronym-friendly industry has dubbed the technology for short), is a great update to the AdWords offering, allowing you to target or bid based on specific interactions people have with your website, but one that a lot of marketers still haven’t gotten to grips with.

A 101 on RLSA is beyond the scope of this post, but if you need one I would recommend an excellent article by Tara West for the Wordstream blog which, as the title says, tells you everything you need to know about RLSA.

One of the reasons the uptake has been less than wildly enthusiastic is that the use cases for RLSA were limited as you could really only use the technology to segment users by browsing history, thanks to the requirement that lists be built using the AdWords Remarketing Code, rather than the Google Analytics Remarketing Code. This meant all the lovely metrics you can segment audiences by within Analytics, such as visit duration, nationality, etc, were denied to the RLSA crowd.

The good news is that Google has now lifted the restriction on using remarketing lists created using the Google Analytics Remarketing Code, which puts RLSA on (almost) the same footing as remarketing on the GDN. There are a couple of steps you need to follow to get Analytics remarketing lists applied to your search campaigns however, so its lucky that the rest of this blog is all about exactly what those steps are!

Step 1: Log into the admin area of your Google Analytics account and select the property and view you want to use to create a remarketing list, then in the property column (as shown below) select the Tracking Info menu and the Data Collection settings.

analytics shot 1 (1)

Step 2: Find the Remarketing section of the page which appears, and make sure to change the button from its default setting of OFF to ON (see screenshot below), make sure to hit save after you have made the changes!

analytics shot 2.jpg

Step 3: Now you should be able to use any list that you create from this point onwards in your RLSA campaigns. For all of the great lists that you had previously worked so hard to create in Google Analytics, you will need to open the edit function of each list and save again (although not necessarily make any changes!) for the list to appear as selectable for RLSA campaigns. Google don’t ever make things too easy for you after all!

That’s it for this blog guys, if you have any good experiences of using Google Analytics remarketing lists with RLSA campaigns or have some questions for me, please shout them out in the comments section below.

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One Response

  1. Hi Robert. RLSA’s are a major feature of AdWords and totally agree that too few people are familiar with, which is a shame. Being able to tailor your search ads based on whether or not a user has visited your site before can drastically change your bid and ad messaging strategy, especially useful when paired with the Search Funnels and Assisted Conversions reports for a bigger picture view.

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