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What Bidding Strategy To Use in Remarketing Campaigns?

This question comes from Brad, and he asks:

“When you are setting up a remarketing campaign, (which will be for remarketing to a website), what goal do you select? And what bidding do you use? It is conversions or viewable impressions? I sell very expensive equipment, and so  I need to make as many touches as possible.”

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I will answer these questions based on how I set up remarketing campaigns. I’m not saying that this is the only way you can set them up to be successful, but I will tell you how I do them and why.

For the goal, I’m using the LEADS goal. That allows me to use a cost per click bidding strategy (not conversions or viewable impressions strategy). The exception would be a campaign that is expected to generate a huge volume of conversions. In that case, I would use a target CPA strategy. But that’s usually not the case. Usually, your remarketing list is not going to be big enough to generate that many extra conversions. So, cost per click bidding is what I use.

Now the beauty of this is you are only paying per click. Brad mentioned that he wanted as many touches as possible. If you’re paying per click, in a display campaign, roughly you may be getting one click for every 1,000 impressions (that’s going to vary a lot depending on your particular website remarketing audience). So you are paying for one click, but your ad was actually seen 1,000 times. 

So for very expensive equipment, someone might have been looking to buy for weeks or months. During that time, that person has been seeing your ad over and over, but has never clicked on it – you’ve never had to pay for that particular customer to see your ad. Until they finally click, then you pay Google for the click, and then hopefully that can turn into a sale.

That’s the gist of it. I like cost per click a lot for remarketing campaigns. It gives me a lot of control. If I really want to amp up the traffic, I can increase the cost per click bid. 

I will mention that when you’re adjusting the bid on a display campaign, it works a little different than a search campaign. You’re not simply bidding more and then getting more of the same traffic. You’re actually going to be getting traffic from different places with higher bids. 

If it’s a more popular website, it will be more competitive and it’s going to cost you more per click on that website versus an unknown website that hardly anyone visits.

So if you’re running a remarketing display campaign, and if you have a low cost per click bid, your ads are probably getting shown on lower quality websites. If you increase the bids, now you’re going to open your ads up to those higher quality websites, while also opening up to more users, more impressions, and more clicks.