How to Power Google Retargeting Ads with Evergage’s Intent-Based Data

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Ideas and Strategies for Real-Time Personalization
How to Power Google Retargeting Ads with Evergage’s Intent-Based Data

August 18, 2016 by

As a consumer, you’re bombarded by retargeted ads that chase you across the web, trying to lure you back to the very pages that you left. Whether it’s a product you’re just not that into or a demo that you’re not ready for, there are a multitude of reasons to move on. But as marketers, we try to find the one or more reasons to entice you back.

On the Evergage website, we use the Evergage platform to identify visitor preferences and intent based on time spent on various pages and categories. However, while we have primarily focused on personalizing our site based on visitor intent, when it came to retargeting, we were using simple “pages visited” segments to determine which retargeted ads (called “remarketed ads” by Google) to serve. This introduced a potential discontinuity in our data that might result in disjointed messages across channels.

For example, on our website, Evergage tracking would determine that a person who had spent the most time viewing demand generation content was most interested in uses of our solution for demand generation purposes – even if she visited other pages in other categories such as e-commerce. Makes sense, right? We believe active time spent is the best indicator or true interest and intent. Meanwhile, our Google Remarketing segmentation was based on number of page views, so it might classify the same visitor as interested in e-commerce if she happened to click more often on our e-commerce pages. Thus, we would be delivering her not-so-relevant ads out on the web based on this inaccurate assumption. Oops!

But that’s the best Google can do, right? Nope!   

In order to implement the same intent-based messaging in your retargeted ads as you do on your website, you can use Evergage in conjunction with Google Analytics, which we now do. Below, I’ll walk you through the steps our marketing team took to start remarketing to our audiences based on real-time, intent-based data.

1. Connect Evergage to Google Analytics

As part of the Evergage Data Hub, Evergage already has a built-in integration with Google Analytics to automatically push captured visits, actions, campaign impressions, IP data, segment memberships, and more into Google Analytics as Custom Events and Custom Dimensions. To make sure that we were seeing Evergage information passed correctly into our Google Analytics account, we looked at the available “Events” under the “Behavior” actions.

google retargeting ads

2. Create Custom Audiences in Google Analytics

We were then able to segment the Evergage data in Google Analytics by creating Custom Audiences based on the Custom Events that contained our visitor engagement information. We segmented our web traffic into four personas and four industries, affiliations based on the number of actions and amount of time they had spent in the preferred categories. Our website experience is designed with these personas in mind, but if your site is not as clearly defined, it’s worth the effort to spend some time mapping key pages to your personas.

To navigate to your Custom Audiences, go to the “Admin” tab in the upper navigation bar, and then choose “Audiences” under “Audience Definitions.” When creating a new audience, select “Sequences” under your advanced settings and then choose “Event Label” as a condition. Populate the field with your Evergage segment or experiences that correspond to your target audience. You can also add other conditions to get even more granular in your targeting.

google retargeting ads

3. Create Remarketing Campaigns Powered by Custom Audiences

Next, we were able to use Custom Audiences to power our Google Adwords Remarketing campaigns to most effectively serve relevant ads to our remarketing audiences.

In Google Adwords, under display campaign settings, select the “Display Network” tab, and then click “+ Targeting” to add your Custom Audience as a new remarketing list. You should be able to see all of your Custom Audiences as possible remarketing lists.

google retargeting ads

The Impact of Powering Google Remarketing Ads with Evergage

In powering remarketing campaigns with Evergage data, we are able to better segment our audiences by actual intent (instead of using clicks to determine segmentation because clicks can lie), helping increase engagement and conversions per ad dollar spent.

In addition, having a single data source powering our personalization campaigns from web to mobile to email to remarketing ads is a much better experience for our prospects and customers. Visitors are now able to get a more consistent, branded experience across channels that is in always in line with their most current interests, no matter where they engage with us.

Want to learn more about how the Evergage marketing team uses real-time personalization to engage prospects and customers? Browse our site and pay attention to the blue “Personalized for You” tags on Evergage messages, or watch this on-demand webinar where we take a look behind the scenes!

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