Understanding Retargeting in Google Ads: A Complete Guide (2023)

What is retargeting?

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is a digital marketing strategy that allows you to show targeted ads to users who have previously visited your website or used your mobile app. This is done through tracking pixels or cookies that follow these users as they browse the internet, enabling you to stay connected with them and bring them back to your website.

3 advantages of Google Ads retargeting

1. Re-engage people who’ve shown interest in your business

One of the biggest advantages of Google Ads retargeting is the ability to re-engage with potential customers who have already shown interest in your products or services. By showing them relevant ads as they browse other websites or social media platforms, you can remind them of what they were interested in and encourage them to come back to your site.

2. Reach remarketing audiences across the internet

With Google Ads retargeting, you can reach your remarketing audiences across a vast network of websites, reaching potential customers wherever they go online. This wide reach increases the chances of bringing back lost visitors and turning them into customers.

3. Spend less on Google Ads

Since retargeting focuses on a specific audience that has already shown interest in your business, it can be a cost-effective way to advertise. By targeting users who are more likely to convert, you can maximize the impact of your advertising budget and get more value from your Google Ads campaigns.

How to set up a Google remarketing campaign

1. Create a Google Ads account

The first step in setting up a Google remarketing campaign is to create a Google Ads account if you don’t already have one. This will give you access to the tools and features needed to create and manage your retargeting campaigns.

2. Add the Google Ads tag to your website

Once your account is set up, you’ll need to add the Google Ads tag to your website. This tag will track your website visitors and collect the data needed to create your remarketing lists.

3. Create a remarketing list

After the tag is added, you can create a remarketing list in your Google Ads account. This list will include the visitors you want to target with your retargeting ads, such as users who visited specific pages or took certain actions on your website.

4. Set up a retargeting campaign

Finally, you can set up a retargeting campaign in Google Ads, creating ads that will be shown to the users on your remarketing list as they browse the internet. You can customize your ads based on the behavior of these users and the goals of your campaign.

How to integrate Shopify and Google tag for Google Ads

If you have a Shopify store, you can easily integrate Google tag for Google Ads by adding the tag to your Shopify website. This will allow you to track your visitors and create remarketing lists based on their behavior on your site.

Retargeting strategies for ecommerce businesses

Targeting past website visitors

One effective retargeting strategy for ecommerce businesses is to target past website visitors, showing them ads that feature products they viewed or added to their shopping cart but didn’t purchase. This can remind them of the items they were interested in and encourage them to complete their purchase.

Targeting a custom audience list

Another strategy is to create a custom audience list based on specific criteria, such as users who have visited a certain product category or spent a certain amount of time on your site. This allows you to tailor your ads to different segments of your audience and increase the relevance of your retargeting campaigns.

How to measure the success of your retargeting campaign

Measuring the success of your retargeting campaign is crucial for understanding its impact and making improvements. You can track key metrics such as click-through rate, conversion rate, and return on ad spend to see how well your ads are performing and make adjustments as needed.

Google Ads retargeting FAQ

How much does retargeting cost?

The cost of retargeting with Google Ads can vary depending on factors such as your target audience, ad creatives, and bidding strategy. However, retargeting often has a lower cost per click compared to other types of advertising, making it a cost-effective option for many businesses.

What is a common challenge businesses face with Google Ads retargeting?

One common challenge is ensuring that your retargeting ads are relevant and not seen as intrusive by your audience. It’s important to carefully tailor your ads to the behaviors and interests of your retargeting audience to maximize their effectiveness.

How can I target specific audiences with Google Ads retargeting?

You can target specific audiences by creating custom remarketing lists based on criteria such as pages visited, actions taken, or demographic information. This allows you to show personalized ads to different segments of your audience and increase the relevance of your retargeting campaigns.

Are there any limitations to Google Ads retargeting?

While Google Ads retargeting can be a powerful tool, there are some limitations to be aware of. For example, you may need a minimum number of visitors to create a remarketing list, and certain types of content or products may be subject to advertising restrictions.


Retargeting in Google Ads can be a highly effective way to re-engage with potential customers and increase the success of your ecommerce business. By understanding the advantages of retargeting, setting up your remarketing campaign, and implementing effective retargeting strategies, you can drive more sales and maximize the impact of your advertising budget.