In the 3rd article of our 4-part Retargeting Advertising series, I’m going to cover one of the lesser known retargeting tactics, Retargeting with Search ads.  Most people are at least familiar with Display Retargeting, but did you know you can also retarget prospects using Search ads in

It’s true, and if you’re already advertising on the Google AdWords Search network, then this is one of the easiest ways to increase profitability and expand your campaigns.



Is This Search Retargeting?

First things first, I’m not referring to Search Retargeting in this article.  I know it’s a bit confusing so let me clarify the distinction.  Search retargeting is yet another form of Retargeting advertising where your ads are displayed on websites after your prospects search a particular keyword.

For example, with search retargeting you’re not targeting prospects who have already visited your website, you’re targeting prospects who searched a particular keyword.  Search retargeting ads are therefore not Search ads, they are Display ads (most commonly banner ads).

In this article, I’m going to focus on retargeting using the Google AdWords Search network, which means your ads will display for prospects searching in  These ads are called RLSA, or Remarketing Lists for Search Ads.  You’ll know why in a minute.


2 Reasons Why Every AdWords Search Advertiser Should Use RLSA

Again, remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) are a way to retarget prospects who have already visited your website using text ads in

Without RLSA set up in your campaign, you have no idea when your ads are showing up for prospects who have already visited your website.  Therefore, you’re by default going to use the exact same bid and ad copy regardless of whether or not the prospect searching has already visited your website.

Can you now guess one of the main benefits of RLSA?

I’ll give you another hint.  Prospects who have already visited your website are more likely to click on your ad in and convert to a lead or sale. With that in mind, doesn’t it make sense to bid a little more aggressively when you know your ads are going to be displayed to a prospect who has been to your website already?

Of course it does, and that’s exactly what you can do with RLSA.  You can have separate bids for prospects depending on whether or not the person searching has already been to your website.  By doing this alone you can typically increase ad performance on all of your keywords.

The second reason to use RLSA is to minimize risk when testing/expanding to new, broader keywords.  For example, let’s say you want to expand your campaign by testing some higher search volume keywords that are not as laser focused as the existing keywords in the account.

In this case you could test the new keywords, but limit the ads to only display for prospects who have already visited your website. That adds another layer of targeting that will increase the likelihood the keywords will generate leads and sales.


How Do You Set Up RLSA?

If you’re already advertising, then adding RLSA is pretty straight forward.  First, you need to set up your remarketing list(s) in Google AdWords if you haven’t already.  Then add the remarketing list(s) as an Audience to your existing Search campaign and select “Bid Only” before you save the list.  Bid only tells Google that you want to add the remarketing list and then adjust the bids differently for people who have already visited your website.

The other option when you add a list to your campaign is to select “Target and Bid”.  With this option, you’ll limit your ads to only display to prospects who have already visited your website.  This is how you would set up a campaign to test broader, higher search volume keywords to minimize risk.


Learn More During Our Live Training

If you need more help getting started, then register for our upcoming live training called, “How to Profit with Retargeting!” on Friday, April 24th at 12pm – 1:30pm Eastern time.

When you attend this 90-minute online training, I’ll show you step-by-step how you can generate more leads and customers using this retargeting advertising.

Click here to learn more and register