by Arun Sinha

Setting up a Google Ads display remarketing campaign is a three-step process. To create the remarketing campaign, you need to:

  1. Create your remarketing audience list
  2. Set up the remarketing campaign
  3. Add the remarketing tag to your website.

Here's how you create your Google Ads remarketing campaign.

Create Your Remarketing Audience List

  1. Click the Tools & Settings icon at top right and under SHARED LIBRARY, select Audience manager. You will land on the Audience lists page, in the REMARKETING tab, which will display the default audiences Google has created for you.

    google ads audience list remarketing
  2. Click the blue "+" button to add an audience.
  3. Select Website visitors.
  4. Enter the audience name, list members (i.e., the type of visitors you want to show your remarketing ads to) and information about the visited page (i.e., the rules under which your ad will be shown to the visitors).

    remarketing audience manager
  5. Finish the remaining fields, and click CREATE AUDIENCE.

Set Up the Remarketing Campaign

  1. Click the left arrow at top left to leave Audience manager and return to your main account page.


  2. Click Campaigns in the left menu to go to the Campaigns page.
  3. Click the blue "+" button to add a new campaign.
  4. Select Display as your campaign type. Click CONTINUE.

    Google Ads Display campaign type
  5. Enter your campaign's name, locations, languages, bidding, budget and so on.
  6. In the People section, click BROWSE.

    browse for remarketing lists
  7. Select How they have interacted with your business.

    interacted with business remarketing
  8. Click the dropdown arrows to expand the lists. You'll see the audience(s) you created in step 5.

    select remarketing audiences
  9. Select the audience(s) to whom you want your ad shown.
  10. Scroll down, finish the rest of the campaign setup, and click CREATE CAMPAIGN.

Add the Remarketing Tag to Your Website

  1. Go back to Audience manager (see step 1) and click Audience sources in the left menu.
  2. In the "Google Ads tag" box, click SET UP TAG or click the 3-dot icon and click Edit source. Select Only collect general website visit data to show ads to your website visitors. Click the other button if you like, but for now, to keep it simple, leave the top button selected.

    remarketing tag source
  3. Click CREATE AND CONTINUE (or SAVE AND CONTIUE if you are editing an existing tag).
  4. On the next screen, choose how you want to install the Google Ads tag – by yourself, by having your webmaster do it, or by using Google Tag Manager. We'll assume you want to install the tag yourself. Using Google Tag Manager is beyond the scope of this article.
  5. Click Install the tag yourself.
  6. Copy the entire tag.

    remarketing script google ads
  7. Click CONTINUE, then DONE.

  8. Paste the tag anywhere between the <head> and </head> tags of every page of your website.

    If you're using WordPress, you'll find the <head> tag in the header.php file in your theme's folder. There's probably a plugin available that facilitates pasting the tag, but we're not recommending it because at Access Communications we avoid using plugins unless necessary.

    If you're using a different content management system, check its instructions for adding code to the <head> section.

    If you previously installed a Google global site tag (gtag.js) on your site, then copy only the following line from the remarketing tag:

    gtag('config', 'AW-123456789');
    (your tag will show a different number instead of 123456789)

    …and paste it just before the second </script> tag in the global site tag.

    (I know, we're using the word "tag" for different things and it can be confusing, but we're trying to stick with Google's terminology. What Google calls a site tag is actually a script.)

  9. Your Google Ads display remarketing setup is complete.

Reminder: your Google Display Network remarketing ads will show only if your audience list has at least 100 active visitors or users in the last 30 days.

Arun Sinha is president of Access Communications, a digital marketing, content creation and web development company in Stamford, Connecticut, USA. Visit http://www.accessc.com for more information on copy writing, websites, and Internet marketing.

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