9+ Advanced RLSA Strategy Examples with Best Practices (Google Ads)

Search audiences are already known to be one of the highest converting audience compared to display or shopping audience. RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Ads) further filters out those search audiences who have visited your website before. Thus, it is important to have RLSA created and target them at a different level of campaigns.

RLSA strategy example for Branded campaigns

Branded audiences are one of the highest converting audiences, be it any platform. Another best way to utilize them is to have an RLSA audience in the branded campaigns. Why?

  • RLSA gives a better conversion at a cheaper rate.
  • If you are running some brand awareness campaigns and you can see that there is a brand lift about your brand, then you should include RLSA audience because people might have already started searching for your brand and you want to retarget them later.
  • RLSA lets you focus on the users behind the searches, not the search terms
  • If you have a large volume of people searching about your brand then you should keep the settings as “Targeting” otherwise, Observation.

RLSA audience in the branded campaign

RLSA strategy example for Branded campaigns: Search & Shopping

For Non-branded campaigns in where you drive traffic based on just the keywords, you can also target the RLSA audience. Remember to keep the settings as “Observation, not Targeting”. Google also recommends observation. The “Observation” feature allows you to monitor and set custom bids for criteria without restricting your reach. For the same, you can bid higher on the RLSA audience.

If your Google ads account is pretty new with not many searches, you might not see this tactic performing. For this tactic to perform, you need to have a large search volume in the category that you are targeting.

 Use RLSA for Similar Audience & In-Market Audience

Similar audiences and In-Market audiences provide a great way to target the top of Funnel users. You can create multiple audiences based on which Google ads will create similar audiences. Later, you can use RLSA audience along with the Similar audiences for targeting.

Using RLSA for the top of funnel users targeting similar audience

Using RLSA along with a similar audience and non-branded audiences provides a great way to target the top of funnel users. But again, for this tactic to perform, you need to have a large search volume in the category that you are targeting.

Use RLSA to target Middle of Funnel Users

After using the RLSA for the top of Funnel users, you can also RLSA to target the middle of funnel users. These middle of funnel users could be defined in many ways. Such as:

Targeting users with micro conversions

Target users who performed a micro-conversion on your website such as email signup, newsletter signup, visiting the offer page, watching a video on the landing page etc.

Targeting Behavioral-based users

Target users based on their web behaviors such as based on

  • session duration
  • pages per session
  • session depth etc.
  • Cart abandoners

Just be aware that at this stage, either you can use Targeting or even Observation settings. I would suggest using the “Observation Settings with higher bidding compared to ToFu users.”

RLSA Best practices to target Bottom of Funnel Users

After using the RLSA for the Middle of Funnel users, you can also use RLSA to target the Bottom of funnel users. These Bottom of funnel users could be defined in many ways. Such as:

  • Add to cart audience
  • checkout audience
  • product page returning visitors
  • viewed single product more than a specific number of times etc.

RLSA targeting bottom of funnel users

Use RLSA based on audience value

RLSA can also be used for targeting the audience with high values. Some of the audiences are:

  • Past buyers in 30, 60, 90, and 180 days
  • Audience with different level of conversion value per cost
  • Customer Match audience from the CRM

Target Cross-platform converters using RLSA

Use UTM tags for cross-platform targeting and identifying the converted audience from other platforms such as Facebook, Instagram etc. Forget not to append UTM tags so that you can identify the converters from other platforms and target them through RLSA.

Though these converters would get covered anyway under the above targeting tactics based on the audience value, they can be further targeted using the exclusion list in the audience list at the campaign setting.

Use Ad Customizers to target RLSA audience

If you are offering some discounts for the returning customers based on the locations or device using ad customizers, you should surely RLSA audience in that for a much higher conversion rate. Ad customizers also allow you to target a certain audience for a particular piece of ad. The syntax for audience-specific ads looks as follows:

{=IF(audience IN(returning visitors,cart abandoners),30%):25%}

“returning visitors, cart abandoners” is a comma-separated list of audience names. To use RLSA along with ad customizers, you need to know about the ad customizers in detail.

RLSA with DSA (Dynamic Search Ads)

The best thing about the DSAs (Dynamic Search Ads) is that they extend the reach of search campaigns beyond the current keyword set. They utilize the content on a website to find additional queries not currently being bid on in the account.

When combined with RLSA, DSA campaigns can help you stay in touch with users who are both in your lists and are searching for terms relevant to your site but not in your current keyword lists.

 Competitor Targeting with RLSA

Competitor customer targeting through google search ads is an awesome way to draw interested customers to your business. Using RLSA it becomes fairly easy to target the users who are also interested in your competitors along with your brand. The only thing that you should focus mostly on making a creative search ad text copy better than the one of your competitors.

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