17 Pros and Cons of Google Ads Remarketing [In-Depth]

15 Pros and Cons of Google Ads Remarketing [In-Depth]

One of the best advertising methods for online advertisers at present is using the remarketing approach.

For me, every advertiser should retarget the previous visitors to their website.

After all, it is much cheaper and cost-effective. But, most importantly it can bring better results than any other standard approach.

Also, in some situations, it can have some drawbacks and things to keep in mind to avoid its negative effects.     

Here, we are going to see all of the pros and cons of Google ads remarketing in a little more detail.

So, let’s get started.  

Brief Overview

Google source

According to statistics, around 3 percent of all the users visiting your website actually converts.That means, 97 percent of them will never come back again.

That’s a huge loss. But, at the same time a big opportunity.

If you can convince some of them to come back to your site, you can increase your conversions by several times.    

One of the ways to bring back those customers is using remarketing.

With the remarketing approach, if anyone comes to your website, tries to buy something and for some reason doesn’t convert, you can track them and advertise your products constantly even if they are browsing websites other than yours. 

In a nutshell, it means, tracking your lost visitors all over the internet.   

How to start remarketing?

To start remarketing you need to add the remarketing tags on every page of your website manually or by using Google tag manager.

If you have already Google analytics set up and linked with your Google ads account, you don’t need to add any code to your website, just go to Admin>Tracking info>Data collection>Enable remarketing.

Once you have enabled remarketing using any one of those methods, the pixel (tag) can store cookies in your remarketing list and starts to follow them across Google display and search partner sites.

Pros of remarketing in Google ads

1. Immediate targeting

One of the first benefits of using retargeting is immediate targeting your potential customers who left your website without converting.

If they leave your website and try to learn from your competitors as well, your ads can follow them everywhere such as when they are browsing news sites, watching videos, playing games, or even when they are on your competitors’ websites.

As you can see, unless a visitor leaves your website on purpose by disliking your products or services, you can remind them about your brand and bring them back to complete the transaction.   

2. Ways of Remarketing with Google ads

You can remarket to your past visitors in almost every available way.

  • Remarketing list for search ads (RLSA) – Showing ads to website visitors on search networks when they make a search query.
  • Standard remarketing – Showing ads to website visitors as they browse sites and apps on the display network.
  • Video remarketing – Showing ads to people who have made interactions with your videos (e.g. YouTube videos) when using the display network
  • Dynamic remarketing – Showing ads that include your products or services that people viewed on your website or app
  • Email remarketing – Also known as Customer Match, you can upload the contact information of your customers to Google ads and then serve them your ads across different Google products like YouTube, Gmail, etc. 

3. Reaching to broader audiences

Google’s display network reaches 90 % of internet users worldwide across millions of websites, blogs, news portals and not to mention other popular Google products like YouTube, Gmail.

Since most of remarketing and brand awareness in Google ads is done through display network you have a pretty good chance of reaching more people than any other platform.

If we take the second biggest competitor to Google ads, Facebook, it is used by almost 27 percent of internet users worldwide.

From those numbers, we can guess that, when you use Google ads remarketing, you can reach almost any visitor that left your website (because there is a very high chance of those people using Google partner websites/apps).

4. Easy ad creation process

You can easily create any kind of ad in a text, image, and video format using Google ads gallery. 

To create an image ad, you can find thousands of stock images from the Shutterstock gallery.


The ratio of the pictures is automatically fixed and you can choose from one of two options (1.91:1 or 1:1). Also, don’t worry about the watermarks. Once, your ad is live it will be removed.     

But, to use videos in your ads, you need to choose your own YouTube videos or should own legal rights to use videos for commercial purposes.

5. Targeting specific visitors

To start remarketing effectively, you need to divide visitors into several groups so that you can take a customized approach for each group of people.

With Google ads, it is easy to create those kinds of segments.

You can segment audiences by their:

  • Language
  • Location
  • Demographics
  • Visiting a certain page (e.g. Thank you, Order confirmation)
  • Visitors of a page who also visited another page (e.g. Checkout page and Confirmation page)
  • Visitors of a page during specific dates (e.g. Before/after 21-December)
  • Visitors of a page with specific tags (e.g. Add to cart, Sign-up)

These are some of the most common interactions a visitor can do on your website and they all can be done with the help of Google ads.

If you want to target more advanced audience interactions, you need to use Google analytics. With Google Analytics, you can segment audiences by their Behavior (e.g. Time on site), Technology (e.g. Device category), or tracking more Advanced sequences.  

6. It is affordable and cost-effective

Standard search ads most of the time can cost several dollars per click. Especially, in competitive industries, prices can exceed more than 50 dollars.

But, with display remarketing ads, the prices are way chipper, around 25 to 60 cents per-ad-click.  If you want to advertise your products, with remarketing you can achieve greater results in a more affordable way. 

These are some of the ways you can reduce the costs of remarketing even more.  

Reducing costs by removing some visitors from your remarketing list

By targeting specific users only and reducing unnecessary costs by removing some users from your list of remarketing if they disabled personalized ads, you can make your campaigns even more cost-effective.

Reducing costs by using a Custom combination

With the custom combination, you can create custom rules for existing audiences.


You can combine multiple audiences or exclude one audience from the other.  

This approach can help you choose more targeted audiences and as a result, reduce your costs.

For example: Choose All visitors of a given page and click Each of these audiences (and) then click Done. Then click And, choose All converters of a given page and click None of these audiences then click Done.

Thus, you create custom combination that consists of all the visitors to a given page that haven’t converted.   

Reducing costs by changing membership duration

Membership duration is the amount of time you store a cookie in someone’s browser or the amount of time someone will stay in your remarketing list. This is set when you are creating an audience in your Google ads account.

The longer the duration the higher the remarketing costs can be. So, keeping it in a reasonable timeframe would keep costs lower. 

Reducing costs by changing frequency management (capping)

Frequency capping can control how many times a user can see your ad in the display network. There are two options available to control it.

  • Google ads controls it
  • You’ll set a preference manually

If you are controlling it yourself, showing your ads less often would mean less remarketing costs and people won’t be annoyed by repetitive ads.

7. Higher Click-Through-Rate (CTR)

According to one study, the average click-through rate (CTR) of display campaigns is 0.07 percent, whereas the average CTR of retargeted ads is 0.7 percent.

This statistic shows a 10 times difference between standard and remarketing ads.

This is probably because after someone sees your ads several times, you are going to earn their trust over time. Remember the old rule of marketing?

If someone sees your brand or hears about your brand 7 times, they can take action after that.

8. Higher Conversion rate (CVR)

From the above section alone, you can guess that higher CTR leads to a higher conversion rate (CVR). This is the most important reason why you get higher CVR with remarketing.

Additionally, remarketing increases conversion rates overtime with more ad impressions. The more frequently you show your ads to people, the higher the chance of converting them will be. This strategy is against putting the frequency caps on ad impressions someone can see (We are going to discuss this this, in the coming sections).

Also, remarketing fatigue is at half the rate of non-remarketing display ads. That means a given remarketing campaign can get more conversions, more clicks for a sustainable period than other non-remarketing display ads.

9. Higher ROI

This is basically the result of higher CTR (click-through-rate), higher CVR (conversion rate), and lower costs.


Therefore, it can bring higher ROI than all the other standard approaches. 

10. Free or lower cost for brand awareness

As you know already, remarketing is good for increasing your brand awareness.

And you can achieve that in one of three ways:

  • Cost-per-click (CPC) – Only if someone clicks your ad, you are going to be charged. If they don’t click, you can continue showing your ads for free.  
  • Cost-per-impression (CPM) – A certain amount is charged per 1000 impressions of your retargeting ad. Again, this method is cheaper than other standard methods.
  • Cost-per-action (CPA) – The cost it takes for every customer to convert. This might be more expensive than other methods.

Cons of remarketing in Google ads

 After reading the benefits of remarketing, you might already get convinced about the importance of it for your ad campaigns.

But, it can also have some drawbacks and things to be aware of before starting.

So, let’s see them.

1. Annoying users

The first thing that comes to mind when talking about remarketing is that it can annoy users if they see your ads multiple times in a given day. Sometimes, a person who likes your product may not buy from you at all for this reason.

Therefore, you need to set frequency caps to your ads depending on your business type.

If your business has a longer conversion cycle, you can show your ads to the people in your remarketing list a few times a day.

However, if you have products that convert fast, you need to show your ads more frequently. For these types of businesses, sometimes showing your ads as many times as possible might even increase your conversions.

But, you should find the right balance in the frequency of impressions.

Don’t show your ads too little, otherwise, you may lose your potential customers when they forget your brand.

And don’t show your ads too often, otherwise, you may cross the line and annoy them.

2. Remarketing ads may be ignored overtime

When advertising the same ad over and over, your audience may get used to it.

Eventually, they may consider your ad as just noise. This process is called banner blindness.

In order to avoid that kind of situation, there are some tips to follow.

  • Rotate ads – Most common approach against banner blindness is rotating and changing your ads regularly. Because it makes your ads look less boring.
  • Make your ads interesting – Try to find unique ways of advertising rather than using traditional methods.
  • Add a sense of urgency – Add a sense of urgency in your ads to make your audiences take action.  

3. Limited traffic amount

The downside of Google ads remarketing is you can’t rely on this method alone, as your audience size never grows with it.

Therefore, you have to find an additional source that brings you new visitors to keep your audience size grow steadily.

With Google ads remarketing you can use standard advertising methods (e.g. standard search and display ads) or social media ads.

4. Requirements to use remarketing

Not, everyone can use Google ads remarketing whenever they want as there are some requirements to be eligible for it.

  • For Google Display network, you need to have at least 100 active visitors within the last 30 days
  • For Google Search network, you need to have at least 1000 active visitors within the last 30 days
  • For YouTube, Gmail and Discovery, you need to have at least 1000 active visitors within the last 30 days

5. Wasting your ad budget

Nothing is worse than remarketing to someone who has already bought the product from your competitors. In this situation, it would be a waste of money to pay for your ads on a per-impression (CPM) basis.

For example: Imagine you sell sports shoes. Someone visited your website and after browsing it some time, she left and bought those exact shoes from another website. You, with the help of Google ads remarketing, try to catch her attention, but, even if you offer her a 30% discount this time, it may not interest her anymore.

These kinds of unnecessary costs are incurred more with products, which have a shorter sales cycle than longer ones. Sometimes when remarketing, these kinds of expenses can be inevitable.

6. You need to follow the policies

Your use of remarketing list must meet the requirements of personalized advertisement policy and Google EU user consent policy.

To learn about personalized ad policies that cover sensitive categories check out this article.

Policy requirements for Google Analytics advertising features, including remarketing are covered here.

7. It can be a little hard for beginner advertisers

If you have just started Google ads, then using remarketing by segmenting your audiences can be a little hard initially. You may take a too targeted approach. As a result, you may receive very low volume.   

Or if you don’t exclude your all conversions from all users list, you may retarget the converted visitors again.

Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend using this method right from the beginning.

But, over time as you get enough experience, you should start to incorporate it in your campaigns.    


I think using remarketing with your Google ad campaigns is one of the best practices you can do.

As we have seen, if implemented correctly it can boost your ROI both by reducing your expenses and increasing returns.

So, why should you miss this kind of opportunity?

Every business has a group of visitors, which can be turned into customers by one more attempt.

In this article, I tried to bring the most important points.

But, I am sure, there are a lot that I have missed.

What other pros and cons of remarketing you know?

Let me know in the comments section below…

For any help in your Google ads management, you can contact me through the Contact page.

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