You Should Be Using Google Analytics Smart Lists for Remarketing!

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What about Smart List? What it stands for and what it does?

A Smart List is a remarketing type list that Google search engine created for you basing on your Google Analytics conversion info.
Google uses a machine learning – it ooks through the data searching for indications that a user most likely to convert performing a target action as he visits your site.

Google Analytics

Signals such as device, user location, his browser, a referrer info etc. are analysed daily, and then the lists are updated to include the users who are more likely to convert.

Smart Lists: a criteria for set up

Set your Google Analytics code to enabled state of remarketing and advertising reporting.
You also want to have at least:

    10,000 daily pageviews on your site
    500 monthly transactions

If you haven’t got enough data, then Google will gather information from businesses that are similar to your own and will automatically create your list based on signals from their data.
The Smart List’ll work better if it’s made of your own data, however it’s worth testing the List even if you know it hasn’t been based on your own signals.

The Results

We set up Smart Listsfor a retail client of ours who’s selling high-end items. Image and text ads were split out into separate ad groups, and the other 13 lists that were set up were a mixture of AdWords URL targeted lists and Google Analytics remarketing lists such as “10 minutes on site and no purchase.” A sample of metrics can be seen below from the trial that started mid-March.

– Searchengineland


It’s interesting to note here that the text ads are outperforming the image ads despite the image ads being of a high quality. I would speculate here that the text ads are caching more engaged users who are taking the time to spot and read the ads rather than just seeing something that is eye catching and clicking through.

– Searchengineland

Smart Lists have been proven to generate a higher ROI than the other lists. They also got a higher relative CTR than other ad groups!

We also set these up for a top-end high street fashion client, and the data below is for a 30-day period.

– Searchengineland


Differences in performance can vary due to many factors, but this time image ads worked better than text ads.

How to set Smart Lists up?

Log in Google Analytics, then select the «Admin» tab at the top.
After, you’ll see an option for «Remarketing» under «Property». Choose that, then click on «Audiences».


Select a new audience using the red button, then select the account you want to set the Smart List for.


If you’ve selected Smart List, you’ll be able to see roughly how many users you’ve had pass through that site over the last week (7 days).
This will help you to determine your membership duration.
Make sure you’ve got 10,000+ users in the list in order to use your own data for it.


Add an audience name and hit “Save,” then you’re done! The list will appear in your AdWords shared library, and you can use it in any of your Google display remarketing campaigns.

Why to use Smart Lists?

Smart Lists remove the need to keep re-evaluating your remarketing lists, because they dynamically update based on the latest criteria that has shown to lead to a conversion.
Dear user, if you’re new to Google Analytics remarketing routine, this is probably the best place for you to start!

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