Digital Marketing Strategy, SEO Strategy,

RLSAs: How to Quickly Build Remarketing Lists for Search Ads


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Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) is a feature available on Google Ads that allows you to customize your campaigns based on people who have previously visited your website or viewed your content.

Google’s RLSA lets you tailor your ads and bids to these users when they are searching on the platform (and its search partner sites). Done right, RLSAs can boost conversion rates, optimize your campaign budgets, and increase ROI.

RLSA often gets confused with display remarketing, however, these two concepts are quite different.

Although both display and search ads remarketing utilize cookies to track users and add them to lists, RLSA does not automatically show text ads to users just because they are on the advertiser’s remarketing list. Rather, they require the user to be actively searching on the platform using the keywords you are bidding on.

How to Use Remarketing Lists for Search Ads?

Traditionally, there are two main RLSA strategies:

  • Increasing ad bids for users who have visited your site in the last 30 days or showing a different ad to visitors who have placed items in a shopping cart but have not completed the purchase.
  • Bidding on new keywords (that you’d normally not bid on) specifically targeting users who have recently interacted with your brand or have converted in the past.

When creating a remarketing list for search ads, keep in mind the following caveats:

  • The membership limit for RLSAs is currently capped at 540 days.
  • The remarketing list must have a minimum of 1,000 cookies before it can be used to tailor your search ads in Google. This ensures that the privacy of the list members is protected.

Using YouTube Ads to Build RLSA

RLSA can empower SaaS markers to bid confidently on more expensive keywords, but you have to lead by building an audience first.

One of the most effective ways to build large, high-quality remarketing lists for search ads is with video in YouTube Ads.

Using a format and a channel like a video on YouTube can be a fantastic way to generate a good number of relatively cheap views on a video that builds brand awareness. Then, instead of remarketing with other visual content, remarket with Search Ads using keywords that would otherwise be too expensive on the first click.

Simply put: paying a higher CPC for a hyper-competitive keyword can be a worthwhile investment if it’s a remarketing click that comes with some brand awareness or brand bias that was formed in a prior video view.

Remember to also consider your offers in the context of the buyer’s journey. This way, you can ensure your remarketing campaigns are nurturing leads and presenting them with the right offer in the correct stage of their journey.

Getting the Most Out of Your Remarketing Strategy

Paired with a strong value-based bidding strategy, RLSA is a wonderful way to get a better return on ad spend, as well as target highly qualified leads and deliver more personalized content that may get users closer to the conversion point.

As always, don’t forget to connect your remarketing efforts with strong, dedicated post-click landing pages.

Check out our blog to learn more about SaaS remarketing mistakes to avoid and find valuable tips for bringing back lost visitors.

Paris Childress
Paris Childress

CEO & Founder

My job is to match talented, motivated marketers with high growth companies, arm teams for success, then to get out of the way.

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