June 24, 2016

What are RLSAs Anyway?

Remarketing lists for search ads (also known as RLSA) allow advertisers to formulate search campaigns based on whether a user has previously visited their website.

But Wait a Second, Isn’t that Display Remarketing You Just Described?

Don’t get it confused, RLSAs are completely different from traditional display remarketing. While the name ‘Remarketing Lists for Search Ads’ can be a bit confusing, it is NOT a display remarketing campaign on the search network.

The only thing display remarketing has in common with RLSA is that they both use cookies to track users and add them to lists. The way these said lists are used is where the two diverge.

While standard remarketing delivers ads to users when they are browsing on the Google Display Network, RLSAs take it a step further. Rather than automatically showing text ads to users just because they are on your remarketing list, users still need to be actively searching on Google using the keywords you are bidding on within your search campaigns.

So Why Use RLSAs?

With RLSAs you are better equipped to modify your search campaigns to target more qualified users who are already aware of your website. When finely tuned, RLSAs can result in more efficient use of ad spend, better conversion rates, and ultimately, better return on investment.

Gimmie Some of that Secret Sauce

Here are some strategic ideas for using remarketing lists for search ads:

1. Small Ad Spend? No Problem.

Here’s where RLSAs can save the day! By using RLSAs, you can choose to only have your search ads shown to users who have already visited your site. This means your small budget will last a lot longer than on traditional search ads, because the users seeing your ads are potentially more qualified since they are already aware of your brand having visited your site before.

2. Be Basic Without Fear

It’s pretty much common knowledge at this point that you should avoid bidding on basic, generic keywords in search campaigns as they tend to be expensive and generate next to zero conversions. HOWEVER, with RLSAs you can reduce the risk of bidding on broad keywords because your audience is more qualified than your average search campaign.

Let’s use an example: An online store that sells Nike shoes but not Nike clothes. This store would most likely avoid bidding on the term “Nike” because it’s too broad and could trigger an ad to appear for someone looking for anything tangentially related to the brand (from sweatbands to soccer balls). With RLSAs, the online store could put this term in its own ad group and apply a remarketing list containing users who have already visited the Nike shoes page on their site. Thus ads are only triggered when a user who is searching is already on that audience list. This means that this term will only be triggered when the user has some qualified interest in Nike shoes, which is proven because they have previously visited the Nike shoes page on the advertiser’s website.

3. Get the Winning Edge on Your Competition

Bidding on your competitor’s brand name can rake in results. Using RLSAs, you can create a campaign where you bid on your competitors’ brand names, BUT your ads only show when the user who is searching is already on your audience list of users who have previously visited your site. “What does this mean?” you ask? Well, if a user is comparison shopping and has already visited your site, you can ensure you stay top of mind while they shop around other brands. This, of course, is all done while not wasting ad spend on every user who might be searching for your competitors but isn’t considering your brand.

Want more RLSA strategies? Let’s talk! Call or email us today.