• Halda Team

How To Set Up A Retargeting Campaign With The Google Ad Network For Your Enrollment Marketing Funnel

A well calibrated retargeting ad is a benefit to almost every campaign improving your conversions and (believe it or not) the experience that your target prospective student has with your brand. In this article we are going to discuss:

- What is retargeting?

- Why is it useful?

- A step by step guide of how to set up a retargeting campaign using Google’s tools.

Let’s get started!

What is retargeting?

Retargeting is a tactic where you deliver a “follow up” ad to a specific subsection of visitors to your website.

Why is it useful?

A lot of us have anxiety about making decisions, and this is the case for the students you are trying to recruit. There is definitely a segment of your bounced traffic that read the value propositions and concretely decided "This is not for me." However, there is also a large section of bounced traffic who had an "I'm not sure yet" response. The retargeting ad is a perfect reminder to them, and it will boost your conversions by helping those people take the step.

How To Set Up A Campaign: A Step By Step Guide


Log into Google Analytics and go into the Admin tab. Make sure the tracking code is properly embedded on your website.


Once that tracking code is in place, go to the "Audience Definition" tag, click on Audiences, and select "New Audience".


Make sure under Audience Source you see the desired URL.

- Under Audience Definition you can configure specifically who you want to target whether that is New Users, Returning Users, or people who completed a specific action.

- If you’re targeting a specific extension of the Audience Source such as www.dogs.com/dogfood, you would set the conditions to say “Page: /dogfood” seeing as www.dogs.com should be set as your Audience Source.

Google also offers some excellent smart targeting tactics that target users most likely to convert on your page.


Once you’ve set your Audience Definition, you need to make sure the new Audience is shared with your Google Ads account.

- You do this in the next tab "Audience Destinations". Once you click on that you should see your Google Ads account name and number. Once selected, the audience will then show up in your linked Google Ads account.

NOTE: If you need guidance on linking your Ads account to your Analytics, there are instructions at the bottom of this post.


Now you are ready to set up the campaign! Log into your Google Ads account and click on Audience Manager under Tools & Settings.

- You will see a list of audiences. You should see the audience you created in Analytics in this list. After you confirm it is showing up you are ready to start building your campaign.


Go to Campaigns and select New Campaign.

- Now you will select what your ultimate goal is for this campaign. Our partners tend to strive for lead generation and that is what our landing pages are optimized for. You can do general traffic, sales, brand awareness, etc.

- The next step is to decide which campaign style you are using. Keep in mind Remarketing campaigns need a base audience before they start showing ads to users.

- Display <100

- Search <1,000

- YouTube <1,000


What you choose on other settings in the campaign set up process is determined by many factors (languages, bidding strategy, optimizations, etc.) Once you get to the Audience section...

- Click on the “Browse” tab and select the last option titled ‘How users have interacted with your business”. This is set aside specifically for custom-built audiences that we’ve already created in Google Analytics.

- Once there you will select “Website Visitors”. The pull down menu will have all of the audiences you’ve created. Select the audiences you would like to use.

- Continue through the rest of the campaign creation with ads, copy, etc.


Take a break and get ready to reap the benefits of your hard work! Results will start populating in Google Ads the following day (unless your audience still needs to build up in order to reach the minimum amount of users in which case you may have to wait a bit).


Go into your Google Analytics Admin tab, in the middle column labeled “Property”. Click on Google Ads Linking.

Once there, click “New Link Group”. At this point you simply need to input your Google Ads account number. You’ll be emailed a verification link from Google that will finalize this process.


Here at Halda we believe in taking care of each other. As part of that, we are committed to helping everyone in Higher Education Admissions become better digital marketers regardless of whether or not we have an official partnership.

We have been running marketing initiatives for institutions both big and small for the last 15 years, and we have noticed that most institutions are having a very difficult time crossing the chasm that separates how things had been done and the better ways they can be done today. We want to help change that.

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