Understanding the Basics of Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

With the increasing personalisation of paid advertising, remarketing methods are becoming more popular and more important for businesses to reach their target audience. Display ads are usually the go-to method for remarketing past website visitors. Remarketing Lists for Search Ads are still overlooked and underused.

In this guide, we will be detailing everything you need to know about Remarketing Lists for Search Ads, including what they are, what they can be used for and why your business should be investing.

What’s a Remarketing List?

It’s a collection of past website visitors or previous app users gathered by snippets of code that are installed on a website or mobile app.

During the creation process, advertisers set a list of specifications for when visitors or users should be added to the list. Membership duration can also be specified so past website visitors or app users can stay on the list for a certain amount of time.

Once the list has been created, people who visit your website or use your mobile app are included in the lists based on the criteria you have outlined.

For example, a gym might want to show ads offering an exclusive package deal for personal training sessions to people who have visited their personal training page in the last 14 days. Then, when people visit their personal training page, they’re added to the ‘package deal for personal training’ list which the gym can target with an ad campaign about package sessions. 

What Are Remarketing Lists for Search Ads?

Commonly referred to as RLSA, it’s a feature that allows advertisers to customise their search ads campaign for past website visitors. To optimise their search campaigns, advertisers can tailor their keyword bids and ad text to these website visitors when they’re using Google Search.

In standard search campaigns, bids, ads and keywords are all the same no matter who the searcher is. But with RLSA, advertisers have the opportunity to bid higher, display their ad on broader keywords and deliver different ads to past website visitors to improve their results.

Want to Know How RLSA Can Work for Your Business?

Different Gravy Digital can work with you to optimise, plan and run your RLSA campaigns to maximise your results.

Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation:

Book a meeting: michaelgoldman.co.uk/

Telephone: 0161 706 0004

Email: contact@differentgravy.digital

How Do Remarketing Lists for Search Ads Work?

When a visitor leaves your website without converting, a RLSA helps you to reach a potential customer when they are conducting a search on Google. Much like display remarketing ads, the Google Ads feature enables advertisers to tailor their campaigns based past website visitors and the pages they have visited.

RSLA can be implanted in two different ways:

  1. 1. Optimise bids for existing keywords for visitors who are included in your remarketing list.  For instance, advertisers could increase their bid amount by 20% for those who have previously viewed their home page in the last 7 days. Alternatively, they could share a modified ad to past website visitors who have browsed their product page but not bought an item.
  2. 2. Advertisers can bid on keywords that they haven’t already, just for the past website visitors or those who have previously completed a conversion. For example, advertisers could bid on broader keyword terms just for people who have previously filled out a contact form.

How Are RLSAs Different from Display Remarketing?

When we think of Google remarketing most people tend to think of the Google Display Network.

When users are on the Google Display Network they may not necessarily be in ‘searching’ mode. Instead, they are casually browsing the internet (reading blog posts, watching a video, checking their Gmail account etc). Unlike advertising on search engines – where users are typically in shopping mode – ads on the Display Network must attract user’s attention and engage them enough to click through to your site, abandoning the content they were originally looking at.

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads don’t automatically display text ads to users just because they are including in the remarketing list. The user has to be actively conducting a Google Search using the keywords the advertiser is bidding on within their search campaigns.

To learn more about remarketing on the Google Display Network – visit our previous blog post – Beginner’s Guide to the Google Display Network.

What Can a RLSA be Used for?

There are a number of users for RLSA, including the below:

  • – Display ads to past website visitors (or a product / service specific page) by building ad groups with broad keywords that users could be searching for on Google
  • – Target tailored ads to past website visitors or mobile app users
  • – Test and review the business brand campaign to measure how engaged the target audience is
  • – Boost website traffic by bidding on competitor keyword terms
  • – Prevent ads from displayed to already converted users
  • – Increase bids for highly valued searchers
  • – Decrease bids for searchers who are less important


Remarketing to those who have previously visited your website or used your mobile app are essentially people who are the mostly likely to convert due to their existing interest in your business and the product(s) or service(s) you offer.

RLSA’s enable businesses to improve their search campaigns by adding more value to their targeting. Ad text can be modified to truly engage their specific audience – Remarketing Lists for Search Ads are the perfect opportunity for making ads more relatable and personal.

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads have the strong benefit of targeting consumers directly when they are on the Google Search Network.

Ready to Get Started?

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads have unmissable potential. But, monitoring placements and ad performance is a vital part of running a successful RLSA campaign.

As always, expertise and time is key! Different Gravy Digital can work with you to optimise, plan and run your RLSA to maximise your results.

Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation:

Book a meeting: michaelgoldman.co.uk/

Telephone: 0161 706 0004

Email: contact@differentgravy.digital