Published: 04 February 2015 Recently we have been trying out a few new techniques for our clients, one of them being RLSA which stands for Remarketing lists for Search Ads. This is something that is incredibly underused by many advertisers even though it is a great way to retarget previous website visitors. So here’s a short guide about what RLSA actually is, why it is beneficial and how to go about setting one up.

What is RLSA?

RLSA is a feature within AdWords that allows you to use remarketing lists within a search network campaign in order to retarget to users that have previously visited your site.  *It uses the same remarketing tag and lists you would set up for normal remarketing campaigns.*

Why is it beneficial?

In an RLSA campaign you can exclude specific audiences from seeing your paid search ads, this means you are less likely to be wasting budget on irrelevant clicks.

Remarketing list users tend to convert at a much higher conversion rate compared to normal traffic, which results in a better CPA (cost per acquisition) and ROI (return on investment).

You can create more targeted ads to your audience as you know what will be relevant to them, henceforth users tend to convert higher. 

How to set up an RLSA campaign…

1. Firstly, create a new “Search Network only” campaign, or you can select an existing campaign and adgroup to set your audience up on.

2. Click the “Audiences” tab – if this isn’t there click the drop-down menu at the end and then select “Audiences”. 

3. Click “+Remarketing” – which is a big red button, not hard to miss!

4. Select the adgroup you want to add the remarketing list to.

5. Then choose your ad targeting – “Interests & remarketing”.

6. You will then see the “All Visitors” list and any other lists that you’ve created. Select which audience you want to use.


Then click ‘Save’

Now this audience is in place on that adgroup and any ads within that adgroup will be targeted to that remarketing list.

Bear in mind that if you want other ad groups to target this audience you will need to go through this process again and add it.

How to make the most of your RLSA campaign…

So far we have tested one of the few strategies you can use to make the most of RLSA campaigns and that is making use of more generic keywords that you wouldn’t use in a standard campaign. The reason we don’t use generic keywords in a standard campaign is because the traffic could come from literally anyone, therefore creating a low click through rate and high cost per click.

But with an RLSA campaign you have collected the audience yourself and know they’re relevant users so using generic terms are much more viable. For example, if you’re a travel company offering ski trips and you’ve collected a list of people who have previously visited your site but haven’t converted, you want to get them back right? Add this audience to an adgroup and use generic keywords such as: skiing, ski.

Your ads will then appear when this audience searches for terms with these keywords in or if they search for these keywords. Even if you have a limited budget you will still be able to reach out to a qualitative audience and a user that hadn’t previously converted may well end up converting!

If you would like to talk to us about your digital advertising requirements, please call us on 01233 467800 or email

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