Are Your RLSA Campaigns Stuck in a Rut?

RLSA audiences are a staple of nearly every account we work on, but in many accounts we take over, it’s clear RLSA is under appreciated. We take quite a bit of time and attention on these campaigns and think everyone else should too. So today, we want to run through some strategies to help spice up your RLSA strategies and get better performance out of those high value audiences.

RLSA Campaign Break-down

Let’s start by looking at how your RLSA campaigns are set-up. For maximum coverage, you could have a duplicate of every single one of your regular search campaigns, just set-up with RLSA audiences (set to Targeting instead of Observation). However, depending on the size of your account, you could break your RLSA campaigns down further, especially to get into niche ad copy and audience bid modifiers.  Here are some examples of how you could further segment your RLSA campaigns:

Device: Breakout desktop and mobile as this could be especially helpful if you have an app to push via mobile ad copy.

Geography: Segment certain geographical areas where your message might differ by location.

Competitors: Bidding on competitors can get complicated and expensive. Maybe you can’t do this for your regular search campaigns, but could consider doing it for Remarketing to snag search traffic that you’ve already had one touch point with that might’ve forgotten about you.

Brand: Similarly, you may or may not have campaigns set-up for your brand, depending on your organic traffic and budgets. Either way, RLSA brand campaigns might be a very cost-effective approach to capturing your target audience.

RLSA Audiences

Do you have one simple remarketing audience of “All Website Users”? If so, you can get really creative with your audiences to add bid modifiers to the ones that are most cost-effective.

Audience Origination: Target those came from Display, Shopping, Facebook or another channel. For example, if you use URL parameters, you can create audiences based on having the channel as the UTM source. You can also create audiences in Analytics to be used for Google Ads.

Device: Segment your audiences by the device they found you on. If you’re B2B, you can then up bid on your desktop audiences. Similarly, if you’re e-commerce, you might prefer your mobile ones.

DSA: Create RLSA DSA campaigns to make sure you’re capturing all possible traffic. In general, we’ve found that these generate better profitability than our more traditional RLSA campaigns.

Dates: Do you need to follow-up with your Black Friday or holiday shoppers? Create audiences based on dates visitors came to your website.

Time Lag: Similar, but different than specific dates, think about the time it’s been since someone visited your site. Does a person who visited 7 days ago perform similarly to someone who visited 90 days ago? Maybe think about setting up a time funnel for better insights.

Ad Copy

I referenced ad copy above, but want to call it out specifically. If you’re using the ad copy that is in your search campaigns, try mixing it up to feature ad copy which highlights something completely different. Since searches are already familiar with you, having less “generic” and more specific ads might help your target complete your desired action. If you’re unsure what to test, try creating ads that are centered around one of the following:

  • pricing
  • 1-2 key features
  • 1-2 specific benefits
  • competitive advantages
  • testimonials
  • Positive spin to your offer
  • Negative spin to not having your offer

To get a little more advanced, you can also set up IF Functions that leverage audiences and serve different messaging based on the actions users have taken on your site.


Match Type: Consider loosening your match types for RLSA by testing pure broad keywords. You know you already have the right target audience, so you shouldn’t have to worry as much about what your ads show for. Additionally, you can do some quality keyword expansion mining with this!

Negatives: Review your negatives to decide if any might be restricting your keywords too much. With RLSA, you have a little more leeway to open up potential searches a little more than with traditional search.


If you haven’t tried Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSAs), you really should. Check out this article if you need help with some RLSA basics and set-up. Otherwise, if you’d like some additional food for thought on Remarketing, check out Advanced Remarketing Tips from PPC Pros and The PPC Pro’s Ultimate Guide to Google Retargeting.

What other tactics have you used that have worked well in your RLSA campaigns? Comment below to share!