Remarketing: Add Audiences to Search Campaigns with RLSA

When people talk about Remarketing, they’re usually referring to the Google Display Network or Facebook Website Custom Audiences (WCA) campaigns. However, Google recently released a new product called Remarketing For Search Ads (RLSA) that allows advertisers to apply Remarketing lists (created via the Google AdWords remarketing snippet) to Search campaigns.

Search ads are still triggered via keywords but what’s new is the ability to customize your bids for users who’ve already visited your site. This is useful in two important ways:


1.) Reach old audiences with new bids for old keywords

Bid up for valuable audience segments:

Set a bid modifier for your audience lists so that when your ads are triggered by users who’ve already visited your website, a custom CPC bid will be applied, thus increasing the likelihood of higher CTR for past visitors. The idea here is that users who’ve already visited your site are more likely to convert when they return via a search ad then a user who is visiting for the first time.

RLSA bid adjustments

Presumably, the user is already familiar with your brand and has demonstrated both interest and purchase intent by their willingness to return for another look. Of course, this might not always be the case, but many purchases require multiple site visits and this represents an opportunity to reach users in a potentially lower phase of the conversion funnel.

Bid down for less valuable segments:

These bid modifiers can also be useful for audience lists containing less valuable users, such as purchasers. If you assign a lesser probability to additional purchases being completed by those who’ve purchased in the past, it makes sense to apply a lower bid for those users. Of course, you want to be careful with this. If you run an e-commerce business, it might not be a good idea to limit serving to users who may be looking for a different product than they purchased in the past. However, this can be useful for lead generation sites with a single conversion goal that would make no sense for the user to complete twice.


2.) Reach old audiences with new keywords

You may have keywords in your account that have traditionally underperformed as a result of being too general. This product provides an opportunity for you to test those keywords again with a more qualified audience. For example, if you sell antique lighting, you may find that the keyword “lighting” is too general to be profitable. However, that same keyword, when applied to your past visitors, may prove much more valuable. This is because the user has already demonstrated an interest in antique lighting – the specific kind of lighting you sell – and, therefore, is more likely to be looking for antique lighting when he or she searches the more general term, even without the “antique” modifier.



  • RLSA provides a fantastic opportunity to up-level your Search marketing by applying customized bidding for user segments who’ve already demonstrated an interest in your business.
  • It’s great for giving priority to these more qualified users
  • It’s also great for eliminating or deprioritizing less valuable user segments such as prior converters.
  • RLSA audiences are added at the ad group level
  • Lists must contain 1000 users before being they’re eligible to run for Search campaigns


Additional Resources:

Think with Google RLSA Introduction

Improving Search Campaign Performance with RLSA: