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Determine which Remarketing list was clicked when audiences overlap?

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# 1
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I have a complicated situation which I will try and simplify, please bear with me.

 

Say I have 10 websites dominating the Organic Search Engines for a specific topic all selling the same thing but with different looks and feels.

 

Let us name them Website 1, Website 2, Website 3, etc.

Let us assume that Website 1 gets 20,000 visitors per month, Website 2 gets 18,000, Website 3 gets 16,000 etc.

 

Many visitors see more than just one of our websites, sometimes several. For simplicity's sake, lets say only 10% of each website's visitors do not visit any other of the websites but the other 90% of the people see at least one of the other websites and perhaps 3 or 4 of them.

 

I want to know which websites have a hand in helping the customer convert. That way I can know which websites are performing well.

 

I create a list for each website based on its URL, say Website 1 Visitors, Website 2 Visitors etc.

I then create Custom Combinations for each website that excludes visitors that have visited other websites, (eg Website 1 Visitors - Website 2 Visitors).

So I now have 10 Custom Combo Audience Lists and in each list are people who only visited a single one of my websites.

When one of them clicks a Remarketing Ad, I know exactly which website he originally saw.

Using this information I now increase my Marketing Spend on that website.

 

So far so good!

 

The problem is that about 75% of my users are not being reached in the remarketing campaign as they have seen my other websites too and are excluded from the Custom Combo lists. What can I do about this?

 

Let us say I add in the campaign targeting all of the list audiences as well as the Custom Combos I created.

Now, a Website 1 Visitor who visited Website 2 will be retargeted under 2 audiences, the Website 1 Visitor list and the Website 2 Visitor list.

 

This presents 2 problems:

 

1) A visitor who just visited Website 1 might not be served ads from the Custom Combo which ensures he never visited anywhere else, but may be served ads from the Website Visitor 1 list and I wont know if he saw other websites too.

2) Someone who visited three of my websites and clicks an ad will only be recorded in one audience leaving me at a loss to know if he exists in other lists as well. 

 

How can I go about solving this problem?

Any help is extremely appreciated.

1 Expert replyverified_user

Re: Determine which Remarketing list was clicked when audiences overla

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# 2
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Zevi, you might not like what I'm telling you, as it does not solve your problem the way you'd want it solved, but here's an idea.

You create a Mother of All Websites Google Analytics account and you track all those websites with it (apart from their individual accounts).

You don't use cross-domain tracking, because you want to treat every website visit as a new visit.

You also use this MOAW analytics account to track conversions.

You then look at Multi Channel Funnels, specifically at landing pages, to see how they influenced your conversions.

What you'll see there is which website first got you that visitor, which website was the last before the conversion, which ones assisted, etc. Way more than which list got you the click that might have lead to a conversion.

And if you're not into cleaning up URLs (the same website can have many different landing pages), you may create a custom channel grouping which only store the website name, not the whole landing page URL.

And once you've identified the more valuable websites, you can look at the landing pages as well because they are, ultimately, the "net" that caught the fish.

As a closing note, it may matter less which list served your ad, if you choose to target all visitors. What may matter is which websites contributed (and how) to your initial customer acquisition.

For the future, once you identify the more valuable websites, you can create remarketing lists of the "visitor of website A" types (regardless of visits to other websites) and bid for them according to their importance. The most valuable website gets the highest bid and so on. But that's for phase two, when you've already established the hierarchy.

Hope it helps.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Determine which Remarketing list was clicked when audiences overla

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# 3
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Hi AdWiser, what you say makes a lot of sense.

But there are a couple of reasons why I can't implement this solution, namely because the exact details of my case I changed for simplicity.

In the real case, I don't have access to these other websites GA, they just have our AdWords Tag on it. Other webmasters have allowed us access to remarket to their audience. If someone converts from their list, we pay them commision. If a person was on two lists, they split the commission.

This is why I need to know who was on what list to able to give credit to the right webmasters.
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Accepted by topic author Zevi S
September 2015

Re: Determine which Remarketing list was clicked when audiences overla

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# 4
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Oh, I see. Then maybe you can use the "one ad group per list / website" approach, coupled with an even rotation setting at campaign level. If somebody is on several lists at a time, the system will pick one and serve the ad (which is/are the same in all ad groups).

As long as you use the same bids and the same ads everywhere, you should be ok, I guess, and you'd see conversions at ad group level.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
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Re: Determine which Remarketing list was clicked when audiences overla

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# 5
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hey Rotation, why didnt I think of that.

I think thats an excellent way to solve this, thanks a lot!

Problem is that some adgroups will be 100 times smaller then others and yet still be rotated evenly. How do I ensure that more people from a popular adgroup will see the ad rather then a smaller adgroup repeatedly showing the same ad to the same people again and again.

I suppose this can be solved using a Frequency Cap, I wont show an ad to the same user per adgroup more then twice. Then the smaller ones will be used up quickly and it will just rotate with the bigger ones.

Re: Determine which Remarketing list was clicked when audiences overla

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# 6
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Exactly, frequency capping ensures that. And it's good to use frequency capping anyway, whether you rotate your ad groups and ads or not.
Calin Sandici, AdWords Top Contributor | Find me on: Google+ | Twitter | LinkedIn | myBlog
Was my response helpful? If yes, please mark it as the ‘Best Answer.’ Learn how here.

Re: Determine which Remarketing list was clicked when audiences overla

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# 7
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Thanks for your help AdWiser, I have implemented your advice!