How RLSAs Can Improve your Remarketing ROI


In a recent post, I wrote about remarketing (a.k.a. retargeting) via Google AdWords. Well one tool within AdWords that Google refers to as “Remarketing 3.0” is Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs).

Why does Google refer to RLSAs as Remarketing 3.0? Because it allows you to maximize the rewards you’ve earned from regular remarketing and send tailored ads to an extremely focused, qualified group of people who have already visited your site. Here’s an example.

Say I’m perusing women’s shoes and I land on XYZ Company’s website. I don’t purchase anything, I just do a bit of online window shopping of cute summer sandals then leave the site and continue my search on

If XYZ Company uses AdWords’ RLSA campaign tool, then Google Search will be trigged to bid higher on me when I leave their site and serve me a focused ad about women’s sandals. This ad will take me right back to the page I left, thus enticing me to complete my purchase.

While standard remarketing delivers ads to users when they are browsing on the Google Display Network, RLSAs don’t just automatically show text ads to users just because they are on your remarketing list. The users still need to be actively searching on Google using the keywords you are bidding on within your search campaigns.

How to Use RLSAs

There are actually many ways marketers can use RLSAs. Here are a few that I’ve used for clients:

  • Create remarketing lists for consumers who have been to their site but have not completed a purchase.
  • Create remarketing lists for consumers who have been to the site and have purchased and offer them an additional discount on future products.
  • Increase/optimize bids on consumers who are already familiar with the brand.
  • Cross-sell to consumers who have bought one product but might be searching on Google for a complimentary product (think paper towels and window cleaner).

Benefits of Using RLSAs

With RLSAs you can better tailor your search campaigns to target more qualified and valuable users who are already aware of your website. When used well, RLSAs can result in more efficient use of ad spend, better conversion rates, and ultimately, better ROI.

Despite allowing Google to bid higher on consumers who leave their site, companies typically see a slightly lower CPC than search and a higher conversion rate because the consumer is already familiar with their site.

RLSAs are also a cost-effective way for companies to test their campaigns and get more familiar with the needs and interests of their customers.

With RLSAs, you can choose to have your search ads only shown to users who have already visited your site. This strategy can be great for companies with smaller budgets since users seeing your ads are potentially a more qualified audience.

Interested in implementing RLSAs in your marketing efforts but not sure where to begin? Reach out to our Paid Marketing team for guidance and cost-effective strategies.

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