The dangers of remarketing campaigns in Adwords! A case study…

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Unless great care is taken, your PPC budget can disappear in the blink of an eye! Here at Onvigil we’ve inherited lots of accounts that have fallen foul of various money-wasting traps.

With paid search, the tiniest mistakes can result in chaos! RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ad) campaigns can often be the root cause of these problems.

Consequently, we thought we would write a quick blog post on a recent example of poor practice on an account which we inherited.

Firstly, what is remarketing?

Have you ever seen adverts following you around the web after you have looked at a product on another website?  Remarketing serves as another opportunity to optimize your search campaigns by letting you tailor your ads to your highest value prospects – people who have visited your website in the past and when they’re searching for what you sell.

RLSA Pitfalls

Photo of archery targetOne of our new London based clients had two very similar campaigns when they made the switch to Onvigil. One was called “Watches” and the other, almost identical campaign was labelled “RLSA—Watches.” The remarketing campaign was spending nearly as much as the standard campaign but wasn’t performing better.  This raised our suspicion immediately!

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that the account manager who originally set up the RLSA campaign (from the old PPC agency) had just cloned the original campaign and added the audience as a “bid only” audience, rather than a “target and bid” audience!

Consequently, the RLSA campaign was still serving ads to anyone who matched to the keywords, regardless of whether they’d been to the site before! This wasn’t an RLSA campaign at all. It was just a duplicate campaign that was effectively bidding against the first. Less than 5% of the campaign budget had been used to correctly re-engage past visitors!

The Solution

Adjustments were made to the settings so the campaign’s ads were only served to those on the remarketing list.  This is an easy mistake to make, but one which can wreak havoc on your account! By selecting target and bid, you’ll only show ads to people on your remarketing lists. With bid only, you’re essentially adding the remarketing list in along with your standard search targeting – the only difference being that you have the opportunity to set specific bids for the remarketing audience.

Trust the professionals!

Unless you have a dedicated PPC manager within your team who has passed all the accreditation exams, it is advisable to employ the services of a professional PPC agency like Onvigil.  The fees will be much less than an expensive mistake like the one described above where several months of click budget were largely wasted due to poor management. So why not get in touch to see how we can help!

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