Google Remarketing Cheatsheet: 12 Steps to Set Up a Remarketing List (+ Free Download)


We created a Google remarketing cheatsheet as a take-home for a recent webinar. It’s a handy reference for anyone who is interested in setting up a remarketing campaign in AdWords. Below is the 12-step process to setting up a new remarketing list, and you can click here to download the cheatsheet as a PDF. Thanks to our SEM Manager Rich Griffin for creating this resource!

  1. Define your remarketing strategy.
    • Will you target all visitors to your site?
    • Are you only interested in targeting visitors to a specific page?
  2. Create the remarketing code.
    • AdWords > Shared Library > Audiences > + New Audience > Remarketing List

AdWords Remarketing Tips

  1. Fill in all of the required parameters including membership duration, list name, and a brief description of the tag. Then click “save.”
  2. Navigate to the new remarketing code and click the “tag” link.
  3. Copy this new remarketing code to the appropriate pages.
  4. Next, navigate back to “all online campaigns.”
  5. Create a new campaign and include “Remarketing” in the campaign name.
  6. Create a new ad group within the “Remarketing” campaign and define the ad group default Max CPC.
  7. Add both text and image ads to this new ad group. Here are the image ad size requirements:

Remarketing Images

  1. Next, stay within the newly created ad group and click on the “Display Network” tab then the “Interests & Remarketing” button.

Google Display Network Remarketing

  1. Click “+ Change display targeting” > “Remarketing Lists” > and select the remarketing list you created in step 2 > then click save.

Change Display Targeting

  1. You are now all set. Your remarketing ads will not begin to show until this new remarketing code tags at least 100 unique visitors within 30 days.
    • You can see the size of your lists in the audiences section of Google AdWords.


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Mar 14, 2013

Hey Elisa, on step 11 I can see display keywords, placements and topics, underneath interests and remakerting there is gender and age.If for instance I want to remarket to Women aged 18 - 45 on certain placements how do I go about doing that?I'm worried that if I set it to a certain placement it will not remarket to people on that website but instead it will start targeting everyone on that website?Thanks,Hamza.

Farhan Fawzer
Dec 19, 2014

Thank you so much Elisa, I finally was able configure why my remarketing Ads werern't showing up by using your 12 step guide.

Anil Verma
Dec 09, 2014

Nice Article,meaningful contents....thanks for sharing  such post. 

Oct 09, 2014

I cannot find the display network tab. The last tab that I see is Dimensons. What am I doing wrong?

Mar 26, 2014

Question:Once this is set as per steps above...I believe these steps are the way in which a remarketing ad will be displayed tothose in remarketing list.1)How is the list generated initially ?Is the list composed of those who organically visit website  and once this list is generated google starts shows the remarketing ads ?Or is the list remarketing created as a result of google displaying ads ???thanksSunny

Martin Rogers
Oct 15, 2013

I recently set-up my first remarketing campaign on Google AdWords and thought it was incredibly easy. I'm also using AdRoll to retarget on Facebook as well as the rest of the web. Remarketing is ingenius.

Jul 12, 2013

Thats great information on retargeting.Is there any way to see where the Ads are being displayed inside Adwords ?

Dinkar Sinha
Jul 02, 2013

thank you for good information 

Mar 29, 2013

This sounds a very nice way to regain visitors and turn them into this moment we are setting up a new webshop, and we will integrate this featurs. Thanks for the nice trick !

Ben Oren
Dec 19, 2012

Thanks for posting this very useful  guide! AdWords can seem very complicated and confusing, so it is important to have a company who you can trust to provide guidance. 

Dec 20, 2012

Good tips here Elisa.  I see WordStream drinks its own Kool-Aid and does retargeting ads :)  Does retargeting make sense for a small business spending less than $400/month on AdWords or do you need an AdWords spend of 1K+ a month to make the creation of retargeting ads worthwhile?

Elisa Gabbert
Dec 20, 2012

I think remarketing makes sense at any budget, if you can get the creative in a cost-effective way, either internally or maybe crowdsourced. Here are some tips on creating banner/image ads you can use in remarketing campaigns:

martin lindstrom
Dec 20, 2012

Thanks for this guide! I'm planning to reorganize my adwords campaign. I hope to boost my business's sales and traffic through this. 

Elisa Gabbert
Dec 20, 2012

Best of luck!

kevin Gallagher
Dec 20, 2012

Hi Guys,Great post. Does remarketing allow you to not remarket to people who visit a particular page? Because this would be good for not marketing to peopel who visited your thank you page or order confirmation. As I think this can be a problem with re-marketing.

Elisa Gabbert
Dec 20, 2012

Yep, you can, you just create an audience of those who hit the thank you page and add them as an exclusion. Here are some tips on excluding those already converted customers.

Dec 20, 2012

Thank you for the cheat sheet. I am in the middle of splitting ad groups and see here that you suggest creating an ad group for remarketing. Is that necessary, or do I just apply the remarketing list to my existing ad groups?

Elisa Gabbert
Dec 20, 2012

Hi Nathan,Rich (our SEM manager) recommends always creating a separate remarketing campaign with audience-specific ad groups -- that way you can bid more for higher-intent audiences. For example, someone who hit the trial page has a higher intent than someone who just hit the home page.Hope that helps!

Dec 24, 2013

This is exactly what I was looking for ... so what you're saying is that if I have a campaign created with several ad groups, I shouldn't create a "remarketing" ad group within that same campaign ... rather, I should create a dedicated remarketing campaign with the specific ad groups within it?

Matt Graves
Dec 20, 2012

Adwords can actually help you, If you need fast banners. They have the Display Ad Builder1) In the ad group level "+New Ad"2) Choose Display Ad Builder3) In Display Ad Builder window click "Suggested" it will generate all the banner sizes from your landing page images and ad text4) Edit the banners to your liking, of note all banners share the same text and images so I found it useful to work on banners of the same size, squares and only export (save) those, then go back and run the Display Ad Builder again to create skyscrapers or horizontal banners. Also in the Builder you load new images

Elisa Gabbert
Dec 20, 2012

Thanks, Matt!

Dec 20, 2012

Is it possible to exclude users from Remarketing for those have visited a certain page? I know you can exclude people that have converted, but this is a bit different; I'd like to be able to exclude our alumni, who visit an alumni page on the this possible?

Elisa Gabbert
Dec 20, 2012

Yes, you can exclude people who have visited any page. Just create an audience for that page, as above.

Sep 09, 2015

The brand-new buyer will have to think of the difference in between the current
mortgage equilibrium and the agreed-upon price.

David ODonnell
Dec 20, 2012

Any chance of the recorded webinar being available to view?

Victor Pan
Dec 23, 2012

Hi David,We'll certainly have more webinar sessions on remarketing. Unfortunately, our most recent webinar recording cannot be shared due to a codec bug from our webinar provider. While frustrating, slides are the best we can offer for now.Help from any experts on video transcoding GoToWebinar's G2M codec greatly appreciated.-Victor

Alex Dumpfree
Dec 20, 2012

Superb guide! I'll try it now. Thanks Elisa.

Felix Lee
Dec 23, 2012

This is a great guide and will be very helpful for our campaign. Thank you for sharing this!

Dec 24, 2012

Hi, thank you and your post is really helpful.I followed your steps and also tried to excluse the convereted customers.If I want to excluse the convereted customers, I should excluse them below the "intests & remarketing" tab right?

Shawn McCarthy
Dec 26, 2012

Just wanted to share a tip to expedite adding new remarketing lists. Let's face it, constantly having to change your code snippets is a pain in the butt for both marketing and development! 1) Setup your remarketing lists with Google Analytics: this requires making a one-time alteration to your Google Analytics snippet then *TADA* you can now make a remarketing list for ANY metric or filter you can create in GA. Want to make a remarketing list for visitors that visited 3 or more pages? Done! Want to create a list for someone that was on your site longer than 5 minutes? Done! There are endless possibilities with setting up remarketing lists in Google Analytics. 2) A close second in usefulness is using Google Tag Manager ( Again, just a one-time snippet paste and *TADA* you can manage ANY snippets that need to be added or removed from your site in the Google Tag Manager admin screen. With this method you can also add/remove snippets that aren't Analytics or AdWords. Hope this helps,Shawn

Shreyansh Modi
Jan 28, 2013

What if a visitor is in two Re-Marketing lists & we have Ad campaigns up for both of them?Which ads will he see & will both the campaigns compete?@ShawnTag Manager sounds really interesting will try it soon. I had never heard about this before.Thanks for Sharing :)  

Talha Awan
Feb 18, 2013

Hi Elisa,This might sound stupid but, Does adword remarketing works same for organic visitors?What i mean to say is we are interested in adword remarketing for our client but we are not using google adword for promoting the website.

Elisa Gabbert
Feb 19, 2013

No, Google doesn't offer remarketing for organic search -- you have to pay to place display ads, I'm sorry to say.

Talha Awan
Feb 21, 2013

Does that apply to serach network marketing too?Can't we create a list using search network only and remarket them using display network remarketing feature?Thanks for the reply.

Elisa Gabbert
Feb 21, 2013

You can remarket on the search network but you still have to do it through AdWords. We're running a webinar on using the Google Display Network and remarketing next Tuesday -- you should sign up!

Feb 24, 2015

*this is important ---> "You are now all set. Your remarketing ads will not begin to show until this new remarketing code tags at least 100 unique visitors within 30 days.
You can see the size of your lists in the audiences section of Google AdWords."

Jun 25, 2015

Hi, thanks for your post. Is it possible to remarketing to people who visit different pages? So a user goes to the homepage, they get brand awareness ads from a brand awareness campaign. Then they go to page A, they get page A campaign ads and not the brand ads?

But then if they go back to the homepage they get taken off the page A list and get put back on the branding list? So by using a combination list we can 'fake' dynamic remarketing? Meaning whatever page try were on last is the list they are left on?

Hope you can answer this. Thanks!

Margot da Cunha
Jun 25, 2015

Hi Gerry,

Great question.

Yes, you can remarket to people who visited certain pages of your site. For example, you could have a list of people who visited page A and remarket to them differently than people who visited the homepage.

To my knowledge, you cannot remarket to people based off the last page they visited. Once you're on a list for visiting page A, you won't be taken off that list for visiting the homepage, or any other page. I hope that makes sense! Let me know if you have any follow-up questions.



Jun 25, 2015

Thanks Margot, Sorry i shouldve explained i have combination lists. I have a combo list for branding with the set up of "All site visitors, but none of Page A and None of Page B.

Then another campaign for Page A, its combo list is: All of Page A, but none of All visitors, None of Page B.

Then another campaign for Page B, with a combo list of: All of Page B, none of Page A and none of All Visitors.

Now what happens? if the user goes to Page A, Page B, Homepage, PageB and then back to page A? Which campaign will serve ads to him?


Feb 16, 2016

Thanks for the post, I have a question around adjusting the standard Google display ads. The Flash ads that Google provides different products from our product range each time the ad is shown. Is there a straight forward way that we can tell Google only to display our main line of products (Not all of them) or do I need to generate my own customised images for that.

Virginie Bordenave
Mar 23, 2016


I would like to know if you can preview your Google Remarketing campaigns/ads before that are going live on the Internet??


Virginie Bordenave
Mar 23, 2016

Hello again,

"You are now all set. Your remarketing ads will not begin to show until this new remarketing code tags at least 100 unique visitors within 30 days. "

Is it 100 visitors for a specific page of the website or for all the website pages overall??


Jun 21, 2016

This post is old, the configuration is now different in Google. No list but audiences, one single tracking cookie for all audiences, etc

Towab Muhammad Yusuf
Mar 24, 2017

This is a great guide and will be very helpful for our campaign. Thank you for sharing this !

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