What is RLSA for Google Shopping?

Remarketing Lists for Search Advertisement (RLSA) is a function that has recently been added to AdWords. Using RLSA you are able to adjust your search advertisements to the people that have already visited your website before. This lets you optimize your offers and advertisements for these visitors when they perform a search on Google.

The images below show how this works. For example, a customer searches for a bouquet of flowers for mother’s day and arrives on your website through Google Shopping. However, the customer does not make a purchase. If the customer later continues his search, this time for example searching for ‘ordering tulips’, RLSA makes it so that the customer is shown an advertisement of the product that he saw on your website.

The working of RLSA for Google Shopping
The working of RLSA for Google Shopping

Why employ RLSA?

Remarketing lists have existed for a while and it is also possible to use them in Google Shopping. So if you use Google Shopping, you are much better equipped to adjust your offers and audience to the products you offer.

Imagine a visitor on your website searched for a certain product but did not purchase it, you can then show this person a specific advertisement of that product after he has left the website. This of course has many advantages. For example, you can convince doubting customers or win back customers.

Instead of only offering on keywords, you offer on the lists that you’ve made. For example, you can offer higher amounts on the list with the visitors that searched for a specific product on your website. Or you can change your offers for visitors that visited a specific page.

The cost per click could even turn out to be lower if you only offer within a certain list of visitors, because there might be less competition for these visitors.

Google Shopping sometimes has lower CPC
Google Shopping sometimes has lower CPC

So it is also possible to narrow down a certain keyword. You can for example only link certain keywords to a specific list of visitors. Say you are selling presents. In that case there won’t be a lot of revenue to be gained by offering on keywords such as present and gift. It will however if you only target, for example, customers that have already purchased a present from you before.

Another way in which you can profit from RLSA is by adjusting the text of the advertisement per line. For example, if your web shop sells pants and t-shirts, you can let the text of the advertisement focus on pants for the list of people that are interested in that, and the reverse for those who search for t-shirts.

What does RLSA yield?

The results can differ per segment and branch. Below are a couple of case studies that compare RLSA campaigns and normal campaigns.

Ulmart is one of the biggest web shops in Russia, comparable to Amazon.com. Despite their size they have to pay a lot of attention to strategy in order to remain ahead of the competition. They have applied RLSA, among others. Because of this their conversion rate rose from 2,51% to 6,57%. RLSA has also made it so that Ulmart can more efficiently bid on returning visitors. This has caused their costs per sale to lower by 73%. [case study]

Case Study: Ulmart
Case Study: Ulmart

Etihad Airways has applied RLSA to reach visitors that were not converting. This resulted in a significant increase of the CTR, cost per acquisition and conversion rate. The cost-per-acquisition lowered by 60%. [case study]

What is needed to start with RLSA?

In order to start with RLSA, a few steps are required. First off it is important that you place a tag in all of your web pages. This piece of code originates from AdWords and makes it so that the visitors of your site are added to a list. After this you can add this list to an advertisement group with which you can display customized messages for your customers.