Using Google Analytics for Re-Marketing – Gerry Doyle

What is it?

Remarketing is a clever marketing tool that enables the user to display targeted ads to entice users back to the website and boost the chances of a conversion. 

There is a multitude of tools that can be used for remarketing including ad display remarketing, email remarketing, search remarketing and video remarketing.

 One of the top tools to use is Google Analytics.

It gives the user insights on how much time is spent on a website by a potential customer, as well as their location. The data can then be used in creation of a remarketing audience. This helps to direct a remarketing campaign targeting users who have already shown an interest in your product or services.

Example of Remarketing on the RTE News website ( while browsing the news, a previous search of jobs is remarketed).

Why you’d use remarketing with Google Analytics

Using Google Analytics for remarketing helps increase the chances of conversions by studying the previous actions or behaviours of customers on your website. 

Some of the benefits include but are not limited to:

  • Establishment of remarketing lists through the use of Analytics data
  • Creation of audiences from data gathered.
  • It helps to identify the right audience to Target
  • Remarket plans based on specific page visits and time spent on the site
  • Activity on the website can be studied and needs pinpointed e.g. where they are looking at products or looking for information
  • Demographics: Gathering of information such as age, interests, sex can be vital for remarketing efforts.
    Knowledge is power and certain products can be aimed at a certain generation who are more susceptible to the products.
  • Location of the user can be established, to better target specific regions, an example of this would be the mobile phone.
    Apple dominates the market in the United States while Samsun dominates the market in Asia.
  • The site code is constant and there is no need to adapt it. Retargeting can be enabled very easily in the administration settings of Google Analytics.

This image outlines the path taken by a user to a website who subsequently leaves with no conversion and is later retargeted with an advertisement on another website.

This re engages the user and brings him back to the place where the search began.

How it all works

The first thing you must do is to install remarketing in analytics is go to the administration tab and select remarketing in the property Column. You must agree to terms and conditions of advertising with google and you must also modify your tracking code.

Once this has been done the we need to create audiences based on user behaviour on the website e.g. customer put product in the cart but didn’t buy or spent a huge amount of time on the product section but didn’t convert.

Remarketing audiences can also be made using information from other platforms, CRMs that may contain customer data and uploads of data from other databases that are compatible.

A remarketing audience is a list of cookies or mobile-advertising IDs that represents a group of users you want to re-engage because of their likelihood to convert. You create remarketing audiences based on user behaviour on your site or app, and then use those audiences as the basis for remarketing campaigns in your ad accounts like Google Ads and Display & Video 360.” (Google Support)

To make an audience, you must specify the ad account that will have access to it, and then specify the particulars of that audience. This can be done using predefined definitions or the creation of completely new audience criteria.

Now your free to remarket these audiences that you created from the advertising account you had previously identified.


Remarketing via Google Analytics is an excellent tool however it does have some limitations and restrictions, when creating audiences, there must be a minimum of 100 users before it can be utilised. Users cannot be included in an audience for a period lasting more than 540 days. 

If users, who previously visited your website decided to erase their cookies, they are automatically removed from the audience they were once part of. The integration of Google Analytics with Google Ads and Google Tag manager can greater enhance your ability to refine, target and covert the end user.

In a world, where the digital space and e-commerce are growing rapidly, we can only expect to see more innovative methods of conversion to come. However, as recently as May 29th, 2018, GDPR has come into place. This is a massive headache for digital advertisers and websites who retain data. Behavioural targeting and Remarketing have been used extensively for the past two decades. 

As result many US websites are no longer available to European browsers as a result of GDPR. Its estimated this has resulted in a 40 per cent drop in web advertising and a 25% drop in mobile app advertising. With the introduction of GDPR we can expect to see more content-based advertising.

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