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Past behaviours are useful predictors of future activities. Who someone is influences his or her buying preferences. For example, some ages or genders have stronger affinities to certain product categories. Likewise, where, when and how they search can provide useful context.

Microsoft Advertising Audience Targeting options can help maximise your ad's exposure to customers who are most likely to be interested in your products or services. Each audience segment is at different places along the buying-decision journey resulting in different purchase intent and conversion value.

Increase conversions, reach curated audiences that are more likely to convert in your industry category.  Improve bids and targeting, set up your ad group to either be exclusive to an audience on a curated list or available to everyone but with a bid adjustment for your targeted audience, similar to Remarketing lists.

After reading this information on behavioural and demographic Audience Targeting, you will understand how to:

  • Boost opportunities using demographic data like age and gender.
  • Use Remarketing to reconnect to past visitors of your website.


When people look for products and services online, they rarely convert on their first visit. Instead, people visit a site, then they check out competitors, they price compare and sometimes they just get distracted (in no particular order). About 96% of visitors leave websites without converting.

For a first-time visitor, an average website has a bounce rate of over 60% and a shopping basket abandonment rate of over 70%. That`s where remarketing comes in. With remarketing, advertisers are able to:

  • Appeal to all or a subset of visitors who did not convert and stay top of mind
  • Exclude, upsell or cross-sell to existing customers
  • Drive higher ROI (return on investment)
Remarketing lets you improve your return on investment by optimising your campaigns for specific audiences, which are the people who have visited your website before. First, you create a remarketing list to define the audience based on actions people take on your website, and then you create an association between the remarketing list and an ad group. There are two types of associations:
  • If you want to show your ads to people in the audience, you create a targeting association, and then optimise the ad group by adjusting bids, targeting ads or broadening keywords.
  • If you are trying to prevent ads from displaying to certain audiences, you create an exclude association.

People will be added to the remarketing list as long as they meet your remarketing list definition. This is true regardless of whether or not they clicked on the ad or how they landed on your website (for example, from a search engine or a bookmarked site).

Before you can target audiences using remarketing lists, you also need to set up Universal Event Tracking (UET) so that Microsoft Advertising can collect the data from your website.


Once you have tagged your website, you can begin defining and creating remarketing lists based on a user’s activity.

Note: Tagging your entire site (web and mobile) gives you more ways to define and create audiences.

Creating a remarketing list

With Microsoft Advertising, you can target someone if they visited your homepage, a category page, or even people who partially filled out a lead form or abandoned a shopping basket.

General visitors are visitors who visited any page on your site. This is typically the largest list you will be able to create because it includes any person who has expressed interest in your business by visiting your site.

  • Create a remarketing list for anyone that has visited any page, even one page, by defining that the URL contains your domain. For example:  People who have visited a page with any of the following: URL contains: “”
Product visitors are potential customers who visited specific pages on your site or browsed specific products.
  • Create a remarketing list for anyone that has visited a specific category page by defining that the URL contains the product. For example:  People who have visited a page with any of the following: URL contains: “”
Shopping basket abandoners or lead form abandoners are visitors who placed products in their shopping basket or filled out a lead form but did not complete the purchase or did not submit the lead form. These visitors are one of the most valuable prospects for your business.
  • Create a remarketing list for anyone that has placed items in your shopping basket or started your lead form, and exclude anyone who has completed a purchase or submitted a lead form. For example: People who have visited a page with any of the following: URL contains: “” but didn’t visit another page with the following: URL contains: “”
Recent converters are visitors who have either completed a purchase or submitted a lead form. These visitors provide an opportunity to cross-sell or upsell additional products.
  • Create a remarketing list for anyone that has completed a purchase or submitted a lead form. For example:  People who have visited a page with any of the following: URL contains: “”
Loyalty members are visitors who are your current and potentially best customers.
  • Create a remarketing list for anyone that has visited your loyalty website, if you have one. For example:  People who have visited a page with any of the following: URL contains: “”

To create a remarketing list, click the Campaigns page, and then on the left pane, click Shared Library.

Left pane Shared Library highlighted

Under Shared Library, click Audiences.

Left pane Audiences highlighted

Click Create remarketing list.

Audience page create button highlighted

Associate remarketing lists with ad groups

Remarketing campaigns can help you achieve a number of goals, such as:

  • Driving desired actions that are valuable to your business (e.g. conversions, sign ups).
  • Improving your ROI.
  • Upselling or cross-selling to customers.

Once you have created your remarketing lists and they begin to populate with qualified users, it is important to associate these lists to ad groups so that they can be actioned.

You can achieve each of the above goals by engaging with your audiences with one or a combination of strategies as outlined below.

Increasing bids

You can increase your bids up to +900% for someone who has abandoned a shopping basket or started but did not complete a lead form – since these are high-value customers.

You can increase your bids by 200% in your Thank you page. Or by 100% on a Category page, or 50% on your Homepage.

You can also tailor your ads and landing pages.  For example, serving an ad with an offer or discount can help drive conversions to those who may have visited a category page on your site.

Customising ads

When you create your remarketing lists, you may serve customised ads to each audience that you have defined. Serving different ad copy, extensions and/or landing pages can be good for cross-selling or upselling additional products to a specific audience. For example, a retailer created a remarketing list for users who have recently purchased running shoes. The retailer can then serve an ad that cross-sells running clothing or offers customers a discount for their next purchase.

Start by:

  • Creating a new campaign and/or ad group that targets only your remarketing list.
  • Creating ads and/or landing pages that are unique to that remarketing list.
  • Increasing your bid setting to ensure your customised ads will serve to the audience.
  • Monitoring your campaign performance and making any changes necessary.

Demographic: age and gender

Some ages or genders have stronger affinities to certain product categories. With Microsoft Advertising, you can engage audiences across specific age brackets and one gender or another. You can tailor your ad copy for each audience and connect with each audience exclusively or incrementally. Bidding up or down allows you to connect with audiences more or less often. You can use demographics at the ad group or campaign level.

To target by age or gender, click Advanced campaign settings, and then click Demographic. You can increase bid adjustments up to 900% and decrease them by as much as 90%. Keep in mind that when you apply bid adjustments to age group and gender, your ads will appear more frequently for the targeted demographic but will still also appear for non-targeted demographic.

Age brackets include 18-24, 25-34, 35-49, 50-64 and 65+.

Advanced campaign settings

When you select any of these targets, you can place an optional extra bid, known as a bid adjustment. Placing a bid adjustment increases the likelihood that your ad is displayed in a better position for customers who meet your targeting criteria. For more information about incremental bids, including a couple of examples, take a look at How to target my customers by adjusting my bids.

If you use targeting, you should set your basic targets at the campaign level and then refine your targets at the ad group level. If there is no conflict between the targeting settings at both the campaign and ad group levels, Microsoft Advertising uses both. If there is a conflict, ad group targets take precedence. Campaign targets apply to all ad groups in that campaign. Ad group targets override campaign targets within that ad group.

Learn more about how to increase or decrease your bid for specifically targeted customers.

LinkedIn Profile Targeting

LinkedIn Profile Targeting is unique to Microsoft Advertising. LinkedIn profile dimensions can help you target the right audience on Bing for search campaigns. This allows you to bid boost more precisely, helping you achieve your return on ad spend goals. There are 145 industries and 80,000 companies available to target. You can target job functions as well.

LinkedIn Profile Targeting will not narrow your ads' audience. For example, by targeting a specific company, you are not excluding everyone who does not work for that company. Think of LinkedIn Profile Targeting as ‘bid only’, as opposed to ‘target and bid’.

Getting started is easy, and management is the same as in any other campaign. In the campaign or ad group's Demographics tab, click Company, Industry or Job function. Click Add company, Add industry or Add job function.

Search or browse for a company, industry or job function, and then set a bid adjustment for it. Click Save.

Note: You cannot target more than 1,000 companies in a single ad group or campaign.

Learn more about LinkedIn Profile Targeting.


Audience Targeting: Behaviour and demographic helps you focus a campaign or ad group on potential customers who meet specific criteria, so you can increase the chance that they see your ads. You can increase conversions, improve bids and reach curated audiences that are more likely to convert in your industry category.

Remember, each audience segment will convert at different rates and values to your business. Future activities and purchases on your website will be different for each audience segment.

Key takeaways:

  • Upsell, exclude or cross-sell to existing customers with Remarketing.
  • Associate Remarketing audiences to ad groups.
  • Use demographic data to reach specific people.
  • Use LinkedIn Profile Targeting to bid boost more precisely.

Thanks for reading this Study Guide on how Remarketing works. Continue studying or take the Microsoft Advertising Certified Professional exam to become certified.

Please note all features in this Study Guide may not be available in your market.