Remarketing based on Google Analytics data VS AdWords smart pixel – Round 1

There are many advantages in building the audience segments in GA (Google Analytics) and then importing it into AdWords, rather than building it directly in Adwords.

In AdWords, There are basically 8 rules you can use to filter the user behavior:
URL contains / does not contain
URL equals / does not equal
URL starts with / does not start with
URL ends with / does not end with

The more advanced your GA implementation is, the greater you can leverage your data by building the audience segments in GA.

I gathered 10 scenarios that none of them are possible to track directly in AdWords. Each of the scenarios contains sufficient reasons to transmit your methodology from AdWords to the “data driven way” (via Google Analytics).
For those of you that are already doing it the correct way, I’m sure you’ll find here better ways to leverage your data.
For your convenience I skipped over the obvious ones such as bounced sessions, session duration, device, browser, etc.

Here we go:

1. Fake Pages (FP):

Fake Pages are a very popular way to send GA pageview hit, while the URL stays constant.
Use case: Checkout flow is implemented in Ajax, UI wise the page changes, while in fact, the URL stays the same all through the flow.
Because FP’s aren’t real pages that hold AdWords smart pixel, we won’t have any indication about it in AdWords without feeding via GA.

remarketing based on fakePages

2. Events:

As important it is for us to analyze which URL our customer viewed, we would want to know the events he triggered.
I could usually indicate the usage of events through the complex level of GA implementation.
Use case: Play / Pause video, Document download, successful submission, banner impression etc.
Unfortunately, AdWords doesn’t collect events at all.

Remarketing based on events

3. Custom Dimensions (CD):

We choose our CD meticulously, in order to enrich our data in GA. Isn’t this a strong enough indicator for segmenting our customers? For further reference, please read the article Remarketing based on imported offline data.
Use case: Customer engagement level, AB test variation, Product Category etc.

remarketing based on custom dimensions

4. Custom Metrics (CM):

Similar to custom dimension, CM let’s us enrich our data. While building our segment we may filter some of our audience using the operators.
Please take a look at the article Tracking most valuable customers based on behavior, and for further and more technical information, read Using enhanced eCommerce data for Remarketing via Google Tag Manager.
Use case: number of items in cart, highest value of item viewed, level achieved, customer ranking etc.

Remarketing based on recency visit

5. Visited more than once in the last X days:

This is actually a very cool segment, kind of a cohort style.
For example: Segmenting all users that visited more than once in the last 3 days – This indicates a very likely intention of the customer in what we offer.

Remarketing based on low recency visit

On the other hand, we may segment the customers to those whose last visit was more than 90 days ago. This leaves us with a list of returning customers that revisited today after vanishing for a long period of time. They are now giving us a second chance. If they didn’t place an order (or achieved a significant goal?) we may want to introduce a special ad.
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Keep reading the next 5 scenarios in the continuous article – Remarketing based on Google Analytics data VS AdWords smart pixel – Knockout

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