The Power of Frequency Capping in Google Adwords Remarketing

Many people using Google Adwords Remarketing don’t pay Frequency Capping any attention, and many don’t even realise it’s there. But it is a key optimisation tool to both optimise the performance of your Remarketing and also avoid annoying your customers.

What is Frequency Capping?

Frequency Capping is how you limit how many times in a day someone will see your advert. It is this that enables you to avoiding ‘haunting’ someone around the internet by being everywhere they go!

It’s set within Google Adwords at Campaign level. You have options to set it to apply to:

  • the whole campaign (eg anyone targeted by our Remarketing campaign can only see our ads 3 times per day);
  • to each Adgroup (eg show our ads 3 times per day to each person in each Adgroup). If you don’t have well segmented Adgroups then this can mean one human who is applicable for the lists powering each of your 10 adgroups will see your ads up to 30 times per day (10×3).

Generally I recommend you set it to apply to the whole campaign as at Adgroup level it can very quickly run away with you!

Why is Frequency Capping powerful?

Well, it’s very important to make sure you don’t annoy people with your ads!

But it’s also a powerful optimisation lever.

The Power of Frequency Capping in Google Adwords Remarketing

These results are from my research looking at a number of accounts and what impact increasing the Frequency Capping had on them.

Increasing the frequency cap means increasing the number of times someon can see your ad. When you do this these are the likely results:

  • Your click through rate will fall slightly (not especially surprising!)
  • The cost per click may rise or fall – I’ve found no consistent impact
  • The same with conversion rate
  • Where it gets interesting is that the total number of conversions pretty much always increases.
  • BUT the cost per conversion always goes up.

So you have to track the ROI of the campaign and make sure the increased sales are coming in at a cost you’re happy with.

How do I recommend you use Frequency Capping in Google Remarketing?

Structure the campaigns right in the first place – you can’t set a frequency cap for your whole account, so you need to make sure controlling the frequency cap actually gives you control over how many times people see your ads. I recommend you divide your campaigns by audience not by message.

Start your testing:

  • Start at a frequency cap of 3 per day. Leave it alone until you’ve had at least 1,000 clicks.
  • Then look at the results, how many conversions? What was the cost per conversion? How does this compare with your other AdWords activity?
  • If you think it’s doing well – increase the frequency cap to 7 per day – and repeat the process
  • If you don’t think it’s doing well – reduce the frequency cap to 2 per day – and repeat the process

Of course you may find it works for some Adgroups / campaigns and not for others. And you still have to do all the rest of your analysis and optimisation!

Let me know your experiences of optimising using Frequency Capping.