Remarketing (or retargeting) is the process of retargeting visitors via user-specific advertising, i.e. advertising, that targets users who have already visited your website.
Sure we’ve all came across this type of advertising whilst, for example, looking for a hotel or an air ticket.
After having visited a specific hotels website, for example, we were being continuously presented afterwards (for a fixed period of time), with a banner-type advertisement of that hotel.

Lately, more and more companies –either featuring an e-commerce website or not – use remarketing to promote their products and services.

In this post we will have a look at two of the most widespread advertising services providing remarketing, Google AdWords and Facebook Ads, analysing their main features.


  • A user seeking a particular product or service – e.g. sneakers – visits an eshop but does not buy anything. Google remarketing ads will keep “following” that particular visitors browsing history into other websites, reminding the visitor of that product or service he was interested in. It subsequently continues to “follow” the visitor until the visitor buys the product or for a set number of days.
  • A user who has already purchased products from an e-shop, will keep receiving remarketing ads in regards to products related to his previous purchase.
  • A company runs an advertising campaign in order to receive new likes in its Facebook page, targeting people who have already visited its website and that reside within a specific, pre-set geographic location.
  • An e-shop offers a discount through a Claim Offer Ad on Facebook to users who have placed items in their carts but have never completed check-out.

Enable retargeting

In regards to Google Ads, activation may be completed either through Google Analytics or via adding a Google AdWords remarketing tag within your websites coding.
Facebook retargeting activation, is achieved via Facebook Pixel. In order to fully exploit both services, good knowledge of Google Analytics, the Google Manager Tag and Programming is required.
This will boost precise monitoring through e-commerce tracking and events via recording complex user activity patterns as well as how these users interact and move within your website or e-shop.

Google Remarketing vs. Facebook Retargeting

Both services monitor and target visitors based on URL parameters and events such as:

  • Users who have visited your websites home page (e.g.
  • Users who have visited a specific page within your website (e.g., ie the contact page)
  • Users who have visited a product category within your e-shop (e.g. the URL contains the word/ shoes/)
  • Users who have visited a specific page within your e-shop as well as other e-shops (e.g. have visited pages featuring specific products like shoes and trousers)
  • Users who have added products to their carts but did not complete check-out
  • People who have viewed 10 or more product pages without adding anything to their cart
  • Users who have made purchases of 50 or more within the last 5 days

These two services feature significant differences on how they target users in conjunction to their URL- based targeting parameters, thus, each service aims a unique / different audience.

Examples of targeting made by Google, but not Facebook:

  • Users who have visited your website for more than 2 minutes
  • Users who have visited your e-shop for the first time, redirected there via a paid Facebook campaign aimed at its Facebook-page friends
  • Users who have visited your e-shop landing there via a particular keyword featured within a specific AdWords campaign, added items in their carts, but did not complete check-out
  • Users who have visited your website two days ago and are currently visiting sports content pages

Of course, this list is not complete but it’s easy to understand how Google easily targets users based on their activity within your website, and this is because this data is collected by Google Analytics

Examples of targeting made by Facebook, but not Google:

  • Users who have visited your website and are friends with your Facebook page
  • Users who have visited your website but are not friends with your Facebook page
  • Users who have visited your website and like Adidas (using footwear as an example here, or in any other case, another, field-related brand)
  • Users who have visited your website, reside in Cyprus, are over 35 years old and are parents (specific customer-group targeting)

As mentioned before, the list above is not complete but it is easily understood that through Facebook Retargeting you may easily target users with pin point accuracy based on their demographics, preferences and user interests, because all of this data has already been collected by Facebook from their Facebook profiles.


Both Google AdWords & Facebook Ads, have a rightful place within a digital marketers arsenal and evolve constantly, offering more and more features. The choice of each service should be based on the marketing plan chosen by each company.

Published on January 09, 2017