The Ultimate Guide for Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)

The Ultimate Guide for Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA)


Google Definition of RLSA

According to Google definition, Remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) is a feature that lets you customize your search ads campaign (Different Ad Copy / Landing Pages) for people who have previously visited your site, and tailor your bids and ads to these visitors when they’re searching on Google and search partner sites.


Why you should implement search remarketing strategy?

RLSAs can be used in various ways to help boost PPC performance. Here are some tips that you can take advantage of to boost conversions. To be honest, if your website is a brand new one, RLSA won’t help much as it takes thousands of site visitors to activate the list. In this case, don’t expect RLSA can make a huge difference here!


1. Increase bids for previous visitors or customers who are familiar with your brand 

Now the standard use of RLSA is to increase bids on users who have already visited your site. It is predictable to have a higher chance of conversion if a user visited your site and browsed through the product/service details, price as well as the keywords related to your business. They are considered to be the potential and more valuable customers. Therefore, you should bid more aggressively to gain such potential customers.


2. Customized Message and Landing Page for Particular Users

Apart from modifying your bid in RLSA, you can also tailor-made your ad text based on the principles that whether a user visited your site before or completed a purchase. This is one of the biggest benefits of RLSA. If you have a remarketing list of the users who haven’t completed the purchase, you can tailor the ad text and target to specific customers in an existing search campaign, such as offering them 10% off to remind them complete the purchase.


3. Upsell the previously converted visitors

When you have excluded the converted users from the campaign, a new campaign is needed to target them. RLSA is a great way to upsell and increase customer lifetime value of converted users. This has a positive impact on customer retention rate. Thus, the campaign should be specifically aimed at the converted customers and target them with an ad copy focused on up-selling further products/services based on their previous interactions. For example, if they subscribed to your basic plan, you can upsell them using ad copy like “Upgrade to Premium Plan with extra 20 dollars/per month, limited time offer” etc.


4. Excluding previous customers

Another way to make use of RLSA effectively is to split campaigns between new users and existing users. By adding users who are already converted as an excluded audience, it provided you a better insight to allocate your campaign budget. Though new users require more resources to acquire, they are important for business growth. Existing users are a lot easier to upsell and provide you cheaper conversions to increase volume.


Case Studies:



This account shows that remarketing campaigns occupy almost 50% of the conversions. Besides, conversion rates of the remarketing campaign are higher than the prospecting campaigns which are 2.47% and 0.37% respectively. In the aspect of cost, the remarketing campaigns took up around 20% of the cost to get 40% of the conversions.




According to this account, the search impression share is high. Remarketing ads target potential leads that are familiar with your brand. This can improve ad relevance leads to improved quality score and search impression share. In addition, remarketing ads costs relatively less than prospecting ads as the people who visited your site would have higher potential for conversion.


Getting Ready for RLSA


From a technical perspective, there are a few requirements you need to fulfil before enabling RLSA.


Here are the basic RLSA requirements:

  • A remarketing list requires at least 1,000 cookies before it becomes active.
  • You can use remarketing lists or customer match email address lists.
  • The membership time limit for these lists is capped at 540 days.
  • You can decrease your bids by as much as 90% or increase them by 900%.


How to set up RLSA ads campaigns

Adding remarketing lists to your search campaigns is simple. Remember to link your Google AdWords with your Google Analytics account first to get those data.

Before you create a RLSA campaign, you need to create the remarketing audience list. You may refer to The Complete Guide to the Google Display Network (GDN) for the set up of the list.

Assuming you have established the Remarketing List, the next step is to search ads or the selected ad group, and then select “Audiences” on the left, where you can add, delete and adjust the bids of all audiences. There is an “Exclusions” next to the “Audiences” at the top, you can exclude the audience who completed the purchase.


After clicking on the edit, you will see the page as below, ‘Browse’ your list and choose remarketing audience.


Then, the page will display the list you created in “Audience Manager”. You only need to select the audience included in the RLSA advertisement, and then click Save. The ad or ad group will be delivered together with the remarketing audience you set.


Sum Up

You can use RLSA in different and creative ways. The following are something you should bear in mind at all times.

1.Increase bids when users have particular value to you.

2.Decrease bids when users aren’t valuable to you or to exclude them.

3.Customize Ad Copy/Landing Page for different kinds of remarketing lists.

Try to figure out your own RLSA strategy by taking reference from the above points!