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RLSA Adwords

Advertising offers a wide variety of possibilities where a lot of these possibilities are still new for a lot of online marketers like RLSA within Adords. Today we will highlight Remarketing List for Search Ads (RLSA) with the goal to explain you more about it, tell you how it differs and highlight what you can do with it.

RLSA is one possibility within the bigger picture of remarketing. Most marketers only think about the well-known Display remarketing possibility where RLSA is a second well performing option.

Within Display remarketing you advertise towards targeted visitors who have visited your website previously. All this with the ultimate goal, to get these visitors on your website again and thereby increase the number of conversions on your website. This is done through the Google Display Network. This is still different then Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA).

What is RLSA?

RLSA, or remarketing lists for search ads is a feature within Google AdWords that allows you to focus your search ads campaign on people who have already visited your website, including the most valuable prospects.

The difference with the display remarketing is that you cannot reach them now by placing advertisements on other websites, but you show ads when this visitor searches within the Google search engine targeted on specific keywords. This way you can show search ads to these visitors when they enter specific searches on Google. According to various benchmarks, only 2-4% of the website visitors convert according to Google. But the path that leads to a purchase or other form of conversion (completed contact form, etc.) contains multiple commercial searches.

Research by Rakuten Marketing shows that the costs per conversion fall by 56% in a RLSA search. Advertisers who do not use RLSA therefore have 10% fewer conversions than advertisers who use it.

The same remarketing list can be used for both display and search remarketing, however this list requires a minimum of 1,000 for RLSA compared to only 100 for display remarketing.

How to use RLSA?

There are numerous strategies that consist of multiple sub strategies. Therefore it is hard to present one strategy that works best since a different approach is required for each company. Yet the strategies for remarketing lists for search ads can be divided into four main categories:

Higher bidding for dropouts

You can pay bids for your unique contribution to visitors who are in your remarketing list (and have already been on your website). So you can bid higher with 25% for visitors that visited your website in the past 30 days. You can also choose to only target people who have visited a particular page, such as the shopping basket. It is not said that these visitors are not interested in your product but maybe they would like to think it over for a while. Target them with specific discounts or other marketing actions so you trigger them to buy stuff.

Broad preference

You can choose the option to advertise on keywords that you normally wouldn’t use since these are too general.   Someone who has already bought your bicycle in the past and after half a year looking for “bicycle”, could be interested in the product that you are selling.

Prevent ads from appearing to converters

When your consumer already converted on your website you don’t want to directly target them with the same product again. Especially when you sell products or services with longer lifecycles.

Upselling / Cross – Selling

You may have a product category/service that margin-technical is not interesting enough for normal Google AdWords ads, but is interesting for current customers. With RLSA, you can only show these ads to prior website visitors if they search for these products/services. Some products are also very suitable for upselling, think of laptops, tablets, phones, bicycles etc. The chances are pretty big that someone who just bought a bicycle also need some apparel for example.


RLSA is an easy way to reach out to consumers who were already interested in your product/service. If you target these people with the right message and product/service he or she is probably coming back to your website and buy that product. This is probably the most cheapest way to connect with your consumers again, so give it a try.

Mathias Aaftink

Author Mathias Aaftink

Geïntrigeerd door klantgedrag, performance marketing en klantervaring en de manier waarop organisaties daarop inspelen. Met mijn ervaring voel ik me thuis in de wereld van (digitale) marketing en branding. Ik ga nieuwe uitdagingen met veel plezier aan en voel meteen een groot verantwoordelijkheidsgevoel om er een succes van te maken. Projecten waarbij ik mijn ondernemende vaardigheden en mindset kan inzetten geven mij veel energie en dit is waar ik voor u van toegevoegde waarde kan zijn.

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