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Google Analytics Tips

Monday
Jan192015

Remarketing vs. Dynamic Remarketing

For years, online retailers have acknowledged the value of Google Remarketing to return shoppers for a second look, and to convert them into buyers.  Now, with the availability of Google's Dynamic Remarketing (DR), we have the ability to retarget with even more specificity, based on the actual products viewed. Pair the specificity of DR and the precision of Google Shopping and you have a powerful combination on the path to conversion!

While Remarketing can target any type of visitor to your site (paid, organic, direct, social, referral), we find the role between Remarketing and Google Shopping to be particularly valuable.  Our large ecommerce clients' budgets are heavily weighted toward Shopping and Remarketing.  This demands that we fully understand the value of this traffic in the path to conversion.

For the past year, PPC-Strategies has managed both forms of Remarketing campaigns simultaneously for our clients.  We routinely monitor each Campaign's role in the conversion channel as well as its bottom line "per visit value" and "conversion value / cost" KPIs.

We have sought to answer these questions: 

  1. How does the newer Dynamic Remarketing compare to traditional Remarketing?
  2. Do we need to run both types of Remarketing campaigns?
  3. How does Remarketing engage previous visitors from our Google Shopping campaigns?

Answers to these questions are easily found in a combination of Google AdWords and Google Analytics reports!

Our findings:

  1. Dynamic Remarketing (for our clients) converts with greater efficiency and lower cost than traditional Remarketing!
  2. Yes, we need to keep both types of Remarketing campaigns running concurrently!
  3. Remarketing is the perfect companion to Google Shopping.  With Shopping traffic and CPCs on the rise, it's critically important to maintain maximum Brand visibility on the Google Display Network to bring shoppers back to become paying customers!

Comparative results:

First, we simply filter our AdWords Campaigns to isolate our two types of Remarketing campaigns and compare KPIs, focusing on what really matters, actual revenue from ad spend, like this:

  • Dynamic Remarketing (DR) is clearly the winner with $2.20 in product revenue for every $1.00 in DR ad spend
  • Traditional Remarketing continues to drive 75% of all Remarketing clicks, so it would be foolish to discontinue this campaign, even though its conversion metrics are not as efficient as DR.

Further analysis of KPI's tells the complete story:

  • DR's lower CPC and higher conversion rate result in a lower CPA (Cost / est. total conv.).
  • DR's higher average order value (value / est. total conv), drives the superior $2.20 est. total conv value / cost, which is our primary measurement of success.
  • Note:  you will need to be passing product revenue in the Google Adwords pixel to populate these metrics.  Read how to do that in our previous post here.

To find the answer to question #3:  How does Remarketing engage previous visitors from our Google Shopping campaigns?, we rely on Google Analytics Multi-Channel Funnel reports and custom channel groupings.

Creating a custom channel grouping is easy and fun.  For this analysis, we created a simple channel involving our Shopping (and previous PLA) campaigns, our DR campaign and our traditional Remarketing campaign:

Pro Tip:  Here's how to create one channel for both your old PLA and new Shopping campaigns (these are based on our naming conventions, of course):

 Here are the results of the channel path report (click image to view larger version):

Click to enlarge

This channel report illustrates the importance of Google Shopping, especially in the beginning of the conversion path, as well as both types of Remarketing campaigns at various steps along the path.

Conclusion:

We will continue to manage both traditional Remarketing and Dynamic Remarketing campaigns, optimizing bids, target audience lists and ads.

Takeaways:

It's important to remember that not every AdSense website that hosts GDN ads accepts all ad formats.  With this in mind, it's important to ensure good coverage in our campaigns, including: 

  • text ads
  • static banner ads (traditional Remarketing only) in as many dimensions as possible (click here for all acceptable ad dimensions)
  • HTML5 ads (these can be easily created with the Adwords Display Ad Builder Tool)
  • FLASH ads (again, use the Display Ad Builder Tool)

Of course, there are many more opportunities to optimize your Remarketing campaigns, not the least of which is analyzing the GDN placements that perform the best at returning visitors who convert, and potentially excluding or bidding down placements of lesser value.

Happy Remarketing! 

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- Pattie Simone, Founder, WomenCentric.net