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Retargeting is undeniably a powerful way to reconnect with potential customers and remind them to take action on something they were interested in. Unfortunately, when done poorly, it can also be terribly annoying.

Now, Google is giving users the power to mute ads from brands who abuse retargeting or remarketing ads.

Retargeting ads – or as Google is calling them, “reminder” ads – are designed to gently nudge someone into taking action on a product or service they previously looked at on a website. They work by tracking what pages a user has looked at but not taken action on, then reserving that content in ads afterword.

The problem is that many fail to monitor just how frequently these ads appear to users. This causes a problem where people see an annoying number of repetitive ads that seem to follow them all around the internet.

 

With the new section in Google’s ads settings, called “Your reminder ads,” you can now see who is retargeting ads to you with Google display ads. You can also mute these advertisers individually is they are showing repetitive or excessive retargeting ads.

If a user mutes an advertiser, their ads will entirely disappear across all of Google’s apps and websites – not just a specific offending ad or campaign. Google says it will soon be expanding this to include YouTube, Search, and Gmail.

The advertiser will be muted for 90 days and can be muted again if desired.

Google also says it has updated the mute feature to sync across devices for logged-in users. This means ads muted on laptop will also be muted on a phone or desktop, and vice-versa.

While users will likely be glad to see this feature, advertisers should take the move as an indication to check their retargeting campaigns. Make an effort to find the “sweet spot” between showing your ads enough times to have an impact without being overbearing. Otherwise, you risk being muted.

AdWords recently introduced a new feature capable of showing your ads to more users, while also delivering a highly targeted audience. It sounds too good to be true, but, as Jeremy Decker reports for Search Engine Journal, the ‘similar audience’ feature makes it a reality.

The new feature picks up where remarketing leaves off. Now, not only will prevous visitors of your site be shown your ads, but also other users who have a similar search history as those users. This means that those who may be interested in your product but have not yet found your site will be shown your message and, hopefully, driven to your site.

There are so many options to personalize and remarket ads to your potential customers online, you may actually be annoying those consumers and driving them away. No one wants to see ads tailored to them on every site they visit, all asking them to come back and buy a product they browsed for hours ago.

So, David Rodnitzky put together a list at Search Engine Land, which should help you be a fine-tuned marketer, not an annoying, stalker type. Here’s a look:

1. Attribution

Because you’re using so many vehicles to get your message across, you need to know which ones are working and how well they’re working. Attribution tracking allows you to discover how a consumer got to your site, but it’s a pricey service.

2. Frequency Caps

You can use the attribution data to find out what is superfluous in your advertising strategy. Limit the number of times users see your ads on a given channel based on how well those ads work and how they work in combination with your other campaigns.

3. Change your creative

With the data you’re collecting, you can discover what stage users typically are when they see specific ads. Use that knowledge to tailor your ads content and message. Ads for users who are early in the process can be about awareness, while ads for users later in their shopping process can be focused on conversions.

4. Risk v Reward

Consider how many consumers you will alienate with ads when looking at how many more conversions you could get. If you run some ads more to get a slight increase in conversions, you may also be increasing the number of consumers who swear off your site because of over-bearing ads.

Google Remarketing was recently updated to make it easier to set-up and easier to use. In case you aren’t familiar, Google Remarketing allows you to present users, who were previously on your site, with relevant ads as they continue browsing the web.

Marc Weisinger, of Search Engine Watch, has three key reasons you should be using one of the most powerful tools available to online marketers.

1. It’s Simple and Easy

Previously, implementing the remarketing code was a several step process. Now, you install one simple code in the footer of each page of your site and get on with your day. You can’t get much easier than one step.

2. The Possibilities are Endless

With the universal tag in place, you can use the Adwords interface to target specific groups. How specific? Well, that is up to you.

Want to target only those users who landed on a promotion page? Done.

Want to target only users who added a product to their cart, but didn’t end up buying? Done.

Plus, each new target group you set up gets the benefit of the cookies already stored by your universal tag.

3. Target Positive or Negative Audience

Before starting your next email marketing campaign, use the Adwords interface to target users who click through from your email to your site.

Alternatively, you can instead choose to exclude those users because, afterall, they sound pretty loyal and engaged already. That way, you don’t bombard them with your ads and are sure to instead target those users that may have seen your email but weren’t convinced right away.