Are You Using Google Smart Lists in Your Business?

Business owners are always looking for ways to simplify or supplement their advertising campaigns. Scaling an online business requires multiple traffic sources, so every advertising platform offers growth potential. While many traffic streams, including SEO and PPC, are mature and established, there are others that are untapped by the average entrepreneur. Google Smart Lists is not an entirely new method of advertising, but it can be used to automate the increasingly popular process of remarketing.

Understanding Remarketing

Before looking at Smart Lists, it is firstly important to understand remarketing. Many businesses have integrated remarketing into their advertising plans, but there are plenty more that have not fully realized its potential. Remarketing, also known as retargeting on non-Google platforms, is a method of showing ads to people who are already visiting your website. A cookie is placed during a visit, the person continues browsing on other sites, and the ad platform can show your advertisements if the sites are in the network. This continued exposure to your brand and product can increase the likelihood of a purchase being made.

The Basics of Smart Lists

As with most advertising platforms, successful remarketing usually requires a deep understanding of your audience demographic data. Creating a Smart List is a way to automate the process, letting Google use their machine learning process to create your campaign. Access to your analytics account is required, so the system can look at your conversion data to assess which visitors have the highest likelihood of converting to a sale. A wide variety of signals are used, included browser, visit duration, and location, with constant updates to ensure the data is relevant.

In order to use the service to best effect, your site must have 10,000 daily page views and 500 monthly sales, so not every site will be applicable. This level of data is required for the machine learning to successfully analyze user behavior. You can still use the service without this level of data, but your Smart List will be created based on analysis of a similar business.

Benefits of Smart Lists

Automated. The process of setting up a Smart List is very simple. Google Analytics should already have enough data about your site, so your campaign can be created in minutes. You will need to check your results sporadically, but the creation and running of the campaign requires very little work.

Constantly Updating. Running your own remarketing campaign requires monitoring for changes. A different season or industry changes can have a negative impact on your results, so a system that monitors this is incredibly valuable.

Positive Results. While it is impossible to guarantee success, many businesses are achieving excellent results. If remarketing is an area you have been considering, a Smart List can possibly provide better results than running a manual campaign yourself.

Possible Drawbacks

As mentioned, if your site has limited sales and page views, your campaign will be based on a similar business. This data will not be exactly like your own, so the results might not be as effective. However, if you are looking to grow your business, using remarketing in this way might just be worth testing.

Many entrepreneurs like to have complete control over every aspect of their business. Using Smart Lists will take some of this control out of your hands, but the results can make it worth it. Google are used to handling large amounts of data, analyzing the results, and turning it into profit. A Smart List cannot ensure your sales funnel is completely optimized, but it can find an audience of people who are highly likely to be interested in making a purchase.

About Tewfic Kattan
Tewfic is managing partner and head of Paid Channels at Sandstorm. His 15+ years experience spans both traditional and digital marketing with specialism in PPC, Analytics and E-commerce Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) working with some of the region's largest brands including Aramex and DAMAC.

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