How do you get past visitors to your site who didn’t convert to come back and submit a form or call your assisted living community?
The answer is Remarketing.
Remarketing is a type of online advertising where you serve ads to website visitors who clicked away without performing any action as they browse other sites on the internet.
Remarketing allows you to show your ads to site visitors who didn’t submit a form or call your assisted living community. For example, Joan spent 20 minutes on your assisted living community website but didn’t book a tour or call your facility.
With remarketing, you can serve ads of your assisted living community to Joan when she’s watching YouTube videos, reading news online or just browsing her favorite sites on the internet.
How Google Remarketing Works?
Google Ads is one of the biggest online advertising platforms. With over 2 million sites in its Display Network alone, Google Ads can target over 90% of all internet users with ads as they browse the internet.
Using Google remarketing, you can tap into Google’s large display network to serve ads to previous visitors to your website.
First, you add a remarketing code, commonly called a tag, to pages on your website. When someone visits your website and leaves, a small packet of data called a cookie is placed on their browser.
This browser cookie contains a unique ID that lets you add that person to your remarketing list. When that person is browsing any website that belongs to the Google Display Network, their browser cookie prompts Google Ads to show them your ads.
When Joan visited and left your site, a cookie was saved on her browser. This browser cookie added her to your remarketing list. Later when she is reading an article online on the LA Times, for example, she will see an ad for your assisted living community.
You can have multiple remarketing lists with different criteria. You may have a remarketing list made of people who took tool a virtual tour of your facility, another of people who visited your contact page but didn’t fill and submit a form or people who visited your testimonial page.
For your remarketing campaign to be active, you need to have 1000 browser cookie IDs in your remarketing list. You can control how long a person’s cookie ID stays in your remarketing list, how many times your ads are shown to people daily and even block your ads from showing on certain websites.
Google Ads Remarketing Options
Google offers you different ways to remarket to your target audience depending on your needs.
- Standard Remarketing targets and shows ads to previous visitors to your website as they browse other sites on the internet.
- Dynamic Remarketing lets you show ads of your products or services to people who viewed your product/service page as they browse other sites.
- You can show ads to past visitors to your site on the Google Search Network when they do follow-up searches on Google and other search network partners using Remarketing List for Search Ads (RLSA).
- Video Remarketing allows you to serve ads to people who have interacted with your videos or YouTube channel. These ads typically show up on YouTube, websites, apps, and videos of the Display Network. This type of remarketing is helpful if you do YouTube marketing for your assisted living community.
- By uploading a list of your customers’ contact details, you can target them with ads across the entire Google network. This is called Email Remarketing or Customer list remarketing.
Why Should You Remarket?
Remarketing is a great way to stay connected with visitors to your site even after they leave. First-time visitors to your assisted living community website may not convert for several reasons:
- People are researching and still shopping around.
- They can be stuck in a lease and are considering other options.
- Others are not ready to decide yet.
- They got distracted by other things while browsing your website.
Whatever their reason for not filling a form or calling your facility, targeting them with ads as they browse other sites is a great idea. In a 2008 study done at Duke University, participants could identify images they had seen for a few seconds many weeks later.
Remarketing to past website visitors via the display network is an excellent way to boost awareness of your assisted living communities. This keeps your facility front and center in the minds of visitors when it’s time to make a sales decision.
Difference between standard display Ads and remarketing
It is easy to confuse standard display ads and remarketing as they are similar. This confusion stems from the fact that remarketing also use displays ads although they differ from the standard display ads on the web.
One of the biggest differences between remarketing and standard display ads is who they target. Remarketing targets visitors who have had some contact with your website, YouTube channel or your brand. Standard display ads target people who may not know nor have interacted with your business.
In remarketing, everyone who sees your display ads has interacted with your business. They may have visited your website, app, YouTube channel or shared their contact information with your facility.
Standard display ads target people who are interested in a broad category (example: assisted care), share similar interests or likely to be interested in specific keywords of yours. You can also target people that visit similar websites.
These people may not have come across your assisted living community or interacted with it before. For example, you can target people who are interested in assisted care that visits certain websites with your display ads.
Tagging your site for remarketing
To remarket to website visitors, set up an audience source. The only way to do this is to tag the pages on your website with a code snippet (called a tag).
This code sends information about people who visit your website to Google Ads. Without a tag, your remarketing list will be empty as there is no audience source.
You can set up remarketing on your website using either Google Ads or Google Analytics tags. You can use both Analytics and Google Ads an audience source.
Google Ads tag
To set up remarketing in Google Ads, log into your account. Select the Tool icon on the upper right-hand corner, look for “Shared Library” and click on “Audience Sources” on the left-hand side. This will show you a list of audience sources from which your remarketing list will be created.
Select the “Google Ads tag” card and click on “Set up the tag”. Choose the data you want the tag to collect. You can collect standard data or choose specific attributes you want the tag to gather data on.
An example is including the User ID parameter in your data collection. This option will let your tag assign an anonymous ID to visitors which enables you to serve them ads across different devices they use.
One thing to note about using specific attributes and parameters in your data collection is that Google will ask you to choose a business type that best describes your assisted living community.
You can now click “Create and Continue”. A screen will appear bearing your global site tag and event snippet. If you are tech-savvy, you can add this code directly to the header of the pages on your website by yourself.
Alternatively, you can download and send the code to your website support manager to implement. Google Tag Manager is another excellent alternative you can use to handle adding tags on your website. Click “Done” after you have copied or downloaded the code.
It is the same procedure if you already have the Google Ads tag installed on your website. When you get select “Google Ads tag”, instead of clicking on “set up the tag”, you click on the 3 dots in the upper right side of the “Google Ads Tag” card.
This will enable you to edit the Google Ads source. You can now select the data you want to collect. And hit the “Save and Continue”.
Google Analytics tag
To use this tag, you must already have a Google analytics tag running on your website. You will need to link your Google Analytics and Google Ads account through the steps outlined in our Ultimate Google Ads Guide.
Once you have linked your Analytics and Google Ads account, you need to enable Remarketing and Advertising Reporting Features in Analytics. To do this, sign into your Google Analytics account, select “Admin”. Choose “Tracking Info” and click on “Data Collection”.
Under “Data Collection for Advertising Features”, turn ON Remarketing and Advertising Reporting Features. Remember to hit “Save”.
You also need to set permissions to create and edit audiences in Google Analytics. In your account, click on “Admin” and select “Audience Definitions”, then “Audience” and choose “New audiences” to create a new audience.
You can now edit the audience source and choose an audience definition. Analytics comes with pre-defined audience definitions like All Users, Smart List (you let Google manage your list), New users, etc.
You can also create a new audience definition by clicking on “Create New” or import one. Choose a name for your audience list and head over to “Audience Destination”. Use the “Add destinations” menu to choose where you want to use the audience.
Since you’re doing remarketing, choose Google Ads Display as your destination. Press “OK” and then “Publish”.
Analytics populates your new audience list with data from the past 30 days so you can use your new list within 48 hours. If you don’t have up to 30 days of data, Analytics will use the data you have available to create your list.
Remarketing Campaign Setup
Getting past visitors to come back to your website to submit that form or call your assisted living community is the goal of your remarketing campaign. But first, set up a campaign to achieve your goal.
First, sign in to your Google Ads account and choose “Campaigns” on the page menu. Click on the “+” to create a new campaign. Choose the goal you wish to achieve with your campaign in the “Goals” section. Choose “leads” as your goal. Head over to “Campaign Type” and choose Display Network.
Pick a name for your campaign. Pick the language and locations you want to target. When picking locations, use the data you have gathered from your website to make an informed decision.
Say you have a sizeable number of past website visitors from Chicago, it makes better sense to target Chicago with its own remarketing campaign than to use one remarketing campaign to target the entire USA.
Select a budget and a bidding strategy. In the “Peoples” section, click on “Audiences” and choose “Remarketing”. Check the boxes next to the audiences you want to add to your remarketing campaign. Hit save.
Like other forms of paid online marketing, remarketing costs money. Setting a budget is an essential part of your campaign. Google Ads requires you to set a daily budget for your campaign.
Your budget shouldn’t be too low or high as you dive into remarketing. If your budget is too low, your ads may not be shown to many people and your impressions will be low.
The great thing about setting a budget is that you can lower or increase them as you get more data from the performance of your campaign. When you combine different bidding strategies with your budget, you will get more bang for your buck.
Bidding in remarketing differs from how you learned to bid in our Ultimate Google Ads Guide. There are different bidding strategies designed to help you achieve your goals of getting back past visitors and turning them into leads.
You can set your cost-per-click (CPC) bids manually which gives you more control. Or you can let Google do the heavy lifting by using one of its automated bidding strategies available.
In manual CPC bidding, you set the maximum CPC bid you want for your ads. You can tweak your bids yourself at any time. Enhanced CPC is a smart bidding strategy you can use to change manual CPC and get better conversions. It works by adjusting your bid to increase your chances of getting a conversion on your website.
Target cost-per-acquisition (target CPA) is another automated bidding strategy where Google maximizes your bids to get you many conversions at the CPA you have set. Using information about your campaign and the auction, Google finds the best bid each time your ads qualify to be shown.
In target return-on-ad-spend (target ROAS), your bids are based on a target ROAS you set. Google automatically tailors your bid for each new auction to get you the best conversion value.
With viewable cost-per-thousand impressions (VCPM), you bid on a thousand viewable impressions. You only pay for ads that are calculated as viewable. Google terms an ad viewable when 50% of it shows on a screen for 1 second or more.
This strategy lets you bid for the real cost of your ad appearing in a viewable position on any website. Maximize clicks is another bidding strategy designed to set your bids to help you get as many clicks as possible all within your budget.
Another strategy is cost-per-engagement where your bid is set when users interact with your ads by hovering, clicking or tapping on it.
Pro tip: Create a portfolio bid strategy to automatically optimize all your bids across multiple campaigns.
These allow you to display your ads more often or less depending on how, where and when people browse the internet. Bid adjustments are set in percentages. They work by either raising or lowering your bid according to specified parameters.
In remarketing your assisted living communities, you can adjust bids for device, location, ad schedule, top content, targeting method, and demographics.
The percentage for bid adjustments range from -90 to +900 for location, demographics, ad scheduling and targeting methods. While the device and top content bid adjustments have percentage ranges of -100 to +900 and 0 to +500, respectively.
For example, if your website has many previous visits from Los Angeles residents with bounce rates decreasing on the weekends. You can take these conditions into your bidding strategy by using adjustments.
Say your max CPC is $1, you can adjust your bid to remarket more to people from Los Angeles using the location adjustment. If you set it to 30%, your max CPC for Los Angeles will be $1.30 and your remarketing ads will be shown more to people in Los Angeles.
Since your website doesn’t get many people in Los Angeles clicking away on the weekends, you can reduce how often your ads are shown to them on the weekends using the ad schedule adjustment. If you use a -40% ad schedule adjustment on weekends, your max CPC will be 78 cents.
Pro tip: You can only use a mobile bid adjustment of -100% if you’re using target ROAS as a bidding strategy. Only Maximize clicks bidding strategy can use ad scheduling bid adjustment.
Creating your ad group is the next step after choosing a budget and a bidding strategy. You can have multiple remarketing campaigns with each having multiple ad groups. Each campaign must have at least one ad group.
Organize your ad groups by themes or keywords. After picking your budget for your campaign, you will need to create an ad group. First, choose a name for your ad group. Then click on “Audience” and choose “Remarketing and similar audiences” in the “How they interacted with your business section”.
Select website visitors and choose the category of website visitors you want to remarket to (example: All Users) and hit “Done”. Choose a bid for your ad group and head over to “Create ads” to get started on crafting your first image Ad for your remarketing campaign.
Creating Remarketing Lists
A remarketing list is a compilation of website visitors you have gathered using tags on your website. This list has a set of rules that a visitor must fulfill before they are added to it.
For example, abandoning a half-filled form or not clicking on your assisted living community phone number while on the contact page.
For Google to display your remarketing ads, your list must have 100 active visitors within the last 30 days.
If you’re doing RLSA, that number goes up to 1000 visitors within the same time frame.
Visitors will not remain on your remarketing list forever. The maximum allowed time for visitors to remain in your remarketing list is 540 days. The default membership duration for a remarketing list is 30 days.
The good thing is you can specify how long the membership duration of your list is. Depending on your sales cycle, you can choose how long visitors should remain on the list.
You can also control the growth of your remarketing by changing its status to either open or close. An open status means your remarketing list will keep growing as Google will continue adding visitors to the list.
A closed status means your list will stop growing as new users won’t be added. When designating a list as closed, remember that if the membership duration is too short, your targeting may be affected.
Creating website remarketing list in Google Ads
To create a website remarketing list in Google Ads, you first have to sign into your account. Open “Shared Library” and click on the tools menu. Find “Audience Manager”, press “Audience Lists”.
To create a new website visitors list, click on the big “+” and choose “Website Visitors”. Follow the prompts on the new page that appears by adding a name for your list, choosing a template from “list members” menu, adding rules, and setting a membership duration. Press “Create Audience” to finish.
How to use rules on a website remarketing list
While Google Ads can create simple remarketing lists, you may need a more complex list. This where rules come in. When creating a remarketing list, Google will prompt you to add some rules to customize your audience list even further.
These rules add conditions for each URL on your website. Visitors have to fulfill these conditions to be added to your list. You use “contains”, “equals” and “start with” and values which may be numbers, dates, words, etc. for your rule. You can create rules for specific pages like your contact, home, and testimonial pages.
You create this rule to add people who visit those specific pages to a remarketing list. Select “URL” and “equals” from the drop-down menu. Input the full URL of the specific page. For example, your rule to add everyone who viewed your testimonial page to a remarketing list will look like: “URL = https://holyoakshome.com/testimonials”
If your site uses both the HTTP and HTTPS site protocols, you can use “contains” instead of the “=”. You can also create rules that have multiple conditions using “AND” and “OR”.
When you use “And”, your list will be smaller as only visitors who meet all the conditions are added to your audience list. “Or” is the opposite as your list contains anyone who matches any of the conditions you specify. When using rules that have multiple conditions, all your conditions must be about the same page.
Creating a Display Ads
Ads are an important part of every online marketing campaign. They are what people see and click on to get to your website. Creating great ads is one of the key elements of a successful campaign.
The display network has varied ad formats you can create depending on your remarketing needs. You can create video, text, rich media and image ads. For example, if you were remarketing on YouTube, a video ad is what you should create in keeping with the remarketing platform.
Since you are remarketing to past visitors to your assisted living community website, creating an image ad is the best option. Here are the image Ads you can create:
Responsive display ads
This ad type automatically adjusts its appearance and dimensions to fit ad spaces available in the Google Display Network. Google partners with you in creating a responsive display ad by generating ads that your past visitors will see when you upload images, headlines, logo, and descriptions.
In your Google Ads account, click on “Display Campaigns” in the left-hand navigation menu. Go to “Ads & Extension”, click the “+” and select responsive display ads. Choose the ad group you want to add this ad to. Add images including your logo and hit save.
Next add your headlines, descriptions, business name, final URL and Call-to-Action (CTA) text. Preview your ads to see the different combinations they can take and click “Save”. Once Google approves your ads, members of your remarketing list will see them.
Google allows you to add up to 15 images and 5 different logos in responsive ads. You can choose to either upload your image or choose from the many stock images Google has available.
When uploading your logo, make sure it has an aspect ratio of 1:1 or 4:1. Headlines can either be short or long. You can upload 5 short headlines that are 30 characters or fewer. Long headlines are 90 characters or fewer. You also get to craft up to 5 different descriptions of 90 characters.
Uploaded image Ads
Uploaded image ads are responsive display ads with a major difference: you create your own ads using tools like Google Web Designer and upload it into Google Ads as a .zip file, GIF, JPG, and PNG.
The major advantage of uploading your own ads is that you have complete creative control over every aspect of your ad. One thing to note about uploading your own ad is that Google may require you to fill in other details like headlines, descriptions, etc. to create responsive ads in ad spaces where your customized uploaded ad won’t fit.
Just like in creating responsive ads, follow the procedures above until you get to “Ads & Extension” where you get to choose your ad type. Instead of choosing responsive ad, select “Upload display ads” and choose an ad group for your ad. Upload your file, add a final URL (landing page) and hit save.
Google recommends that you upload images in both the landscape and square options. When uploading images in landscape mode, your images should have an aspect ratio of 1.91: 1 and must be larger than 600 x 314. For square images, the aspect ratio should be 1:1 and the dimensions must be greater than 300 x 300.
Upload logos in both square and landscape modes. Square shaped logos should have an aspect ratio of 1:1 and over 128 x 128. The aspect ratio for landscape logos is 4:1 and they must exceed 512 x 128 in size. All images you upload must not exceed 5120KB in size.
How to Create an Effective Display Ad
For your ad to be term effective, it must make people want to click on it and head back to your assisted living community website. So, how do you create effective display ads?
- Experiment with color schemes, text, and images to find what your visitors respond best to. You can even go on competing websites and browse the web to see the kinds of display ads Google serves you. This will give you a good idea of what works in the assisted living industry.
- Always use a logo in your ads. Google will assign you a generic icon or use the first letter of your business name if you don’t upload a logo. A logo works as a brand identifier which makes it easy for previous visitors to recognize your assisted living community.
- Avoid using images that have overlaid texts, blank spaces, and collages. Use high-quality images in the dimensions Google recommends.
- Write clear and concise headlines and descriptions. Your headlines should be easy to read. Do not use “click-bait” headlines and descriptions. Avoid using “all caps” in your texts as it will make your text seem shouty and spammy.
- Craft an excellent landing page. A landing page is where people who click on your ads will go. Make sure the messaging across your ad and landing page are consistent. Say your ad text urges people to book a tour of your assisted living communities, your landing page should have a form that people can use to book that tour.
- Create at least 4 ads per ad group. This gives Google the freedom to choose the best performing ad out of all to show customers.
Say you have been remarketing to your past website visitors for months, how do you measure the fruits your remarketing efforts are bearing? This is where conversion tracking comes.
Tracking your conversions enable you to gauge the success of your remarketing campaign. If your campaign is doing badly, you can go back to the drawing board and make sweeping changes.
Tracking conversions on your phone and website is the best way to go. But first, define what a conversion means to you. It can be a contact form submission, calling your assisted living communities, booking a tour or all three. Here is how you track conversions:
Remember the event code snippet you got when tagging your website for remarketing? This is the time to deploy the code. Place this code on the page customers see after they convert. For example, the “thank you page“ that pops up when customers fill in the contact form on your assisted living website.
You can install this code yourself or send it to your website support team to implement. Alternatively, you can use Google Tag Manager to install this code.
You can track calls that come from ads and the number listed on your website. Set a minimum call length and when a call comes from the two sources, Google Ads counts it as a conversion.
The call tracking feature on Google Ads isn’t the best on its own. Add third-party call tracking tools like CallRail to better monitor your conversions. This is because Google Ads counts every call over your minimum length as a conversion whether the caller converted.
CallRail will help you streamline tracking your call conversions by telling you where your customer is calling from,, record the conversations you have so you can listen to them later for training, etc.
Pro tip: You can read our Ultimate Leads from Google Ads Guide to read all there is to know about conversion tracking. If you already use the Google search network to advertise, you will have already set up conversion tracking you can use for your remarketing campaigns.
Fixing Common Issues with Your Remarketing Campaign
There are common issues you can run into while running your remarketing campaigns. Keep an eye on the overview page to find out about any issues with your campaigns.
Once issues arise, be sure to troubleshoot and fix them immediately so your ads can stay visible and can reach their maximum potential.
No visitors on your remarketing list
This issue often arises from improperly installing the remarketing tag on your website. You may have edited the code when you copied it or the code wasn’t installed above the header on each page on your website.
Another reason your remarketing list may lack visitors is how you implement list rules. You may have created an incorrect rule, or the rule doesn’t match your website URL.
For example, you made a remarketing list with the rule “URL contains assisted living homes” but your website page has “assisted living home”. This incorrect match could cause problems.
To fix remarketing tag issues, use Tag Assistant to check and verify all the tags on your website. Copy your tags from your Google Ads account and replace incorrect tags. For remarketing list rules, double check your site’s URL and the rules you have created to ensure they all match.
Your remarketing list isn’t growing in size
Your remarketing list may not be growing in size because your tag was edited. If you copy and pasted your code snippet into an email to send, it could have been formatted in the email. Use a notepad software to create a file you can copy and paste your tag in before sending off as an attachment.
Another reason may be that your tag isn’t properly added on your website. Use Tag Assistant to ferret out if this is the issue.
Your tag may be fine but your list has only a few members and isn’t growing. This may be because your membership duration is too short and your list isn’t getting enough members.
Change your membership duration to a longer one if this is the case. Your tag may be on a low traffic page may also cause your list to stop growing. Edit targeting restrictions to boost traffic and make your list not as specific.
Your Ad isn’t showing
You created a great ad and have done everything right but your ad isn’t showing. One reason your ads are not showing is that your remarketing list has less than 100 members.
Remember Google won’t show ads for lists that have less than 100 members. You can check how many visitors are on your list by going to “Audience Manager” in tools and then “Audience List”.
It may take up to 24 hours for new lists and custom combination to show any impressions in the campaign report. If it has been over 24 hours, check your budget to make sure it is still active. Also, check your ad status to make sure you did not classify it as “Adult” or “Non-family”.
Metrics to Track for Success
Metrics are how you can measure the success of your remarketing campaigns. They give you a picture of the performance of your campaign. You should track the following metrics to gauge the success of your campaigns:
This is the percentage of people across all your remarketing lists that were shown your ad out of the total eligible list members. This metric shows how often your ads reach people. You can view the remarketing list in the “Overview” card.
Targeting option, bid, budget, and ad format affect your remarketing reach. You can attempt to increase your remarketing list by increasing your budget and bid so your ads can be shown more.
Cost per acquisition (CPA)
This is the cost of getting one person to come back to fill a form or call your assisted living communities through your remarketing efforts. This metric tracks how profitable your remarketing campaign is.
Say you spent $15 to get five past visitors to come back to your assisted care website and fill the contact form, it means you have a CPA of $3. This tells you that your campaign is doing well.
But what if you spent that $15 and nobody clicked on your ads? This means you need to rethink and rework your ads so they have a greater impact.
Other metrics to track
You can track clicks and impression by going to Display Campaigns and clicking on “Ads & Extensions”. This will show you how many clicks and impressions your ads are getting. You can use this data to whittle down campaigns that are not performing well.
You can also keep an eye on where your ads appear by going to “Placements” in your account and clicking “Where ads showed”. Look out for places where your ads aren’t performing well (low clicks) so you can exclude those with your targeting.
Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)
This is a Google Ads feature that lets you target past visitors to your site with search ads as they use the Google search engine and other Search Network Partners.
When a person leaves your assisted care website without calling or completing a form, RLSA allows you to target them with search ads when they are searching for other things (or even related ones) on Google. There are two main ways of using RLSA:
- You can improve bids for your existing keywords for people on your remarketing list. For example, you can increase your bids by 20% for people who have visited your website in the last 30-60 days.
- You can bid on new keywords you ordinarily wouldn’t use just for past visitors to your site.
To set up RLSA, go to your Google Ads account and create a new search campaign. Choose Search Network only and deselect “Search Network Partners”. On the left-hand-side menu, click on “Audiences” and choose the audience list you want.
Select either Campaign or Ad group as targeting in the “Add to” section. Click on “Select a Campaign” or “Select an Ad group” (depends on you) and pick out the exact campaign or ad group you want to target.
In the “How they interacted with your business” segment, hit the “Website visitors” drop-down menu to see all the eligible remarketing lists. Tick the checkboxes for the remarketing lists you want to add. Hit save.
In targeting settings, pick “Observation”. This will allow you to monitor the performance of your audience list and use bid adjustments for your remarketing list.
Remarketing is a sure-fire way of boosting your conversion rates. Adding remarketing to your overall marketing strategy will make your assisted living communities an online marketing force to be reckoned with! Contact us to get started with your remarketing campaign.