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An Overview of Google’s Dynamic Remarketing


Google recently announced the addition of dynamic remarketing (Google’s term for dynamic retargeting) to their product offerings for advertisers.

Similar to dynamic retargeting services offered by independent platforms, Google’s dynamic remarketing generates highly customized display advertisements using cookie-technology. This technology allows online retailers to serve advertisements based on the nature of a viewer’s prior website engagement and activity, thereby delivering ads that have the greatest odds of creating web traffic, conversion, and impact. For the time being, Google has limited its dynamic remarketing service to vendors with Google Merchant accounts, and it is not yet available outside the retail sector.

Read on for details about Google dynamic remarketing, and how it compares with other dynamic retargeting services:

What is Dynamic Retargeting?

Dynamic retargeting is a powerful advertising solution that generates personalized advertisements based on a user’s past engagement. Specifically, varying advertisements can be shown based on products a user has looked at, items left in their shopping cart, geographical location, and even past purchases. For example, an online clothing retailer can serve ads featuring socks to somebody who recently purchased shoes. Or a company may serve ads with a timely deal valid only to people in a particular geographic area who recently visited their site.

ReTargeter’s Dynamic Retargeting:

ReTargeter Dynamic Retargeting

Using dynamic retargeting, digital marketers can execute their marketing objectives with great precision and efficiency. Google boasts that their retail clients have experienced unprecedented success, with clickthrough rates reaching 450% higher than what they would have been without dynamic retargeting. Google is currently testing dynamic remarketing with the education and travel sectors, and plans to continue expanding availability to more verticals.

How Google Dynamic Remarketing Works

Google Merchant Center:

The Google Merchant Center is a service for online retailers to manage product listings and promote them via Google product search, Google SERPs with images, and other Google properties. Dynamic remarketing pulls information from company’s unique merchant accounts, allowing account holders to draw from existing components in their Merchant Center catalog and use existing product data. Thus, a successful Google Dynamic Remarketing campaign requires a thorough understanding of the Google Merchant Center.


The first step in creating any dynamic retargeting campaign is to add a pixel (a snippet of html code) to all the pages on your site.

Setting Campaign Parameters:

Once pixels have been placed, you must set custom parameters to activate your lists in the Google Merchant Center. Google offers flexible parameters so that you may customize campaigns as you see fit.

The parameters assist in defining your campaign goals. You may decide to serve a set of ads to people who visited various pages on your site. For example, you may not want to serve a t-shirt ad to someone viewed shoes. Product ID and recommended product ID parameters enable you to either show a user the exact product viewed or a related product. This level of targeting is useful for drawing people in and driving conversion for specific items or item categories.

Advertisements may also be served based on the product category a user engaged with, or the value you attribute a particular product category. This means, if shoes are your most profitable product category, you may bid higher to serve shoe ads, whereas if t-shirts are of less value, you can serve ads for product categories of similar value.

Beyond serving ads based on products viewed or product and product category value, you can also design a dynamic strategy that focuses on consumer demographics and purchase history. Targeting account-holders, high-spenders, and repeat purchasers differently than someone who has never made it further than the homepage is just one way that defining specific parameters through dynamic retargeting can optimize a digital advertising budget.

Yet another effective method of re-engaging your site traffic is by serving shopping cart abandoners ads featuring the products remaining in their cart. Why waste time serving ads that may or may not capture a viewer’s attention when this behavioral data allows marketers to show users items they have already explicitly demonstrated interest in?

Selecting Creative:

Merchant Center account holders can choose from a set of ad templates, and A/B test based on ad performance. Furthermore, the Google Product Recommendation Engine can choose ads for you based on what shoppers have viewed. The Google templates offer color, font and layout options. Merchants may also provide their own images, including branded graphics and logos. All ads are auto-optimized based on set parameters.

How Google Dynamic Compares

The key differences between Google’s Dynamic Remarketing and other retargeting platforms are described below:

Pricing and Setup:

Most retargeting platforms require a minimum monthly spend. For example, Adroll has a $2000/month minimum, and here at ReTargeter, the minimum monthly spend is $1000, which guarantees 350,000 impressions per month. Because ReTargeter is a full-service platform, the baseline spend provides you with a dedicated account manager, a product suite that goes far beyond dynamic retargeting, and custom campaign setup. In contrast, Google is a self-serve platform that requires no minimum monthly spend. Like Google’s other display networks, merchants can choose between a CPC or CPA model. and Google will optimize your campaign based on your preferences — impressions/clicks or conversions.

Social Presence:

Google does not provide access to Facebook retargeting, FBX. As it is unlikely there will be integration across Google and Facebook, selecting a dynamic retargeting platform that suits your social media objectives is important. Facebook attracts 137.6 million page-views per month in the US alone, boasting one-trillion monthly page-views worldwide.

What’s Next for Google?

Google’s dynamic remarketing is a welcome addition for those already on the Google remarketing platform, and for online retailers looking for an affordable, simple retargeting solution. It will be interesting to see how Google plans to compete with retargeting providers with robust product suites, and who have access to inventory outside of the Google Display Network. Google may find itself having to offer retargeting outside of the Google Merchant Center to attract an even larger user base.

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