Google Ads (AdWords) Dynamic Remarketing for WooCommerce – How to setup?

Learn to setup dynamic remarketing for WooCommerce in Google Ads, using Google Tag Manager and GTM4WP.

Dynamic remarketing in general

The term dynamic remarketing in general was being used way before Google implemented it in Google Ads. In general this term stands for a special kind of remarketing that uses several signals on your website to tailor the message shown to your past visitors without the need to create several or maybe hundreds or thousands of unique ad copies.

Dynamic remarketing is utilized many times in e-commerce where there are lots of products or offers in a webshop. With prices and availability varying daily can make managing those campaigns almost impossible manually.

There are several advertising platforms out there where you can access dynamic remarketing features but the way (the algorithm) a platform implements varies a lot. Some of them are collecting several signals like cart additions, checkouts and purchases, others are “simply” keen of the product ID a visitor was seeing. Some platforms can collect user behavior data without further tagging on your website.

Dynamic remarketing in Google Ads (AdWords)

Google Ads first introduced dynamic remarketing for retail businesses who first had to open a Merchant Center account and list their products there using a product feed. For years this was the only dynamic remarketing solution in Google Ads which excluded several other types of e-commerce businesses (like hotels, flight ticket services and so on).

It is also important to know that Google Merchant Center and therefore dynamic remarketing for retails is still not available in many countries.

In the past years, Google introduced a revamped dynamic remarketing solution which now allows other verticals to start using remarketing in a more sophisticated way.

Google Ads uses several signals to make sure your message is being shown to more prospect users:

  • visiting a product detail page
  • adding products into the cart
  • the express of the user for conversion (like entering the checkout funnel)
  • conversions of users

Because of this, Google can have a robust list of product data and signals about which product can be sold quicker. This also includes data about what could be the alternatives for a product or what are the cross-sell opportunities.

Setting up Google Ads dynamic remarketing for WooCommerrce using GTM4WP

Google Tag Manager for WordPress supports setting up dynamic remarketing for Google Ads in your WooCommerce shop.

Step 1: setup business vertical, product ID prefix and ID vs SKU

The required data by the Google Ads remarketing tag type is almost ready to be used in the data layer, you only need to setup some options to match tagging with your Google Ads setup.

Open the WooCommerce integration tab:

WooCommerce integration tab in Google Tag Manager for WordPress

Scroll down on this page to see the following options:

Dynamic remarketing for WooCommerce options in Google Tag Manager for WordPress

If you have used v1.12 or older of GTM4WP and you have already setup dynamic remarketing, you will need to reconfigure your Google Tag Manager container. The first step is to deactivate the deprecated “Google Ads Remarketing” option which belongs to the old fashioned way to send product data to Google Ads.

Next you need to select your business vertical in order for Google Ads to properly select the best algorithm for your dynamic remarketing campaign. This will decide the name of the Item ID parameter in tagging and also add the proper “google_business_vertical” parameter into the data layer. Please note that GTM4WP does not currently handle advanced parameters of special business verticals, like the “origin” for the “Flights” vertical or “location_id” for the “Jobs” vertical.

Product IDs are WordPress post IDs which are unique to each product. Products in WooCommerce are special kind of posts with several additional options that converts those posts to real products with prices and stock info, etc. But product IDs are generated automatically by WordPress and they does not follow the system you use in your own inventory tracking system.

SKU is a special option in WooCommerce where you can enter your own product IDs, your own product identifiers (aka. stock keeping units).

Next to proper tagging, dynamic remarketing also requires you to generate product feeds (for the Retail vertical this has to be uploaded to Google Merchant Center, for other verticals, it can be uploaded directly to Google Ads).

Some feed generator plugins include a prefix text while adding the product ID to the feed (for example ‘woocommerce_gpf’). Since product IDs in the feed must match with IDs in your Google Ads remarketing tags, this plugin allows you to enter the prefix used by the feed generator to match those IDs.

Feed plugins usually use the product ID (=the WordPress post ID) in the feed to identify your products but some of them use the SKU you enter on a WooCommerce product page. It is important to use the same identifiers in both your feed and site tagging so that Google Ads can match products in your feed to the products viewed by your visitors. In this case you can turn on the Use SKU instead of ID option.

Step 2: import GTM4WP Google Analytics 4 container template

If you already setup Google Analytics 4 tracking then you can skip this step.

If you haven’t setup this before, then visit the GA4 setup article and go through Step 1 to import the necessary Google Tag Manager variables for Google Ads dynamic remarketing tracking.

Step 3: setup your Google Ads Remarketing tag

If you have already used dynamic remarketing using the previous versions of GTM4WP (v1.12 or older) then open you Google Ads remarketing tag that fires on “All pages” or “DOM Ready” and remove all outdated options:

Remove old dynamic remarketing parameters from your existing Google Ads remarketing tag.

You should also remove all triggers from this tag and only keep the “All pages” trigger. Please note: it can happen that you GTM setup also includes blocking triggers to comply with GDPR related rules. These changes can very by consent management platforms. When you update triggers, please keep your GDPR related settings. The goal is the fire this tag on all pages where users has granted tracking for remarketing purposes.

With that, this tag will collect all pageview data but no ecommerce data.

Step 4: setup your Google Ads dynamic remarketing tag

Create a new Google Ads remarketing tag next the to the tag shown above. Set a name, for example “Google Ads – Remarketing – Ecommerce Events”.

Create a new Google Ads remarketing tag to capture ecommerce data.
  • Enter your Conversion ID which is usually the same as in your generic Google Ads remarketing tag.
  • Turn on the Send dynamic remarketing event data option
  • Set the {{Event}} variable to the Event Name field
  • Set the {{Ecommerce Value}} variable to the Event Value field
  • Set the {{Ecommerce Items}} variable to the Event Items field
  • Scroll down to the Triggering section and add this trigger: Event – Ecommerce Events GA4
  • Make sure you also add all blocking triggers that will prevent data collection if user hasn’t consented for this

Save the tag.

You are now ready to use dynamic remarketing for WooCommerce in Google Ads

That’s it: you are now sending proper signals and product data to Google Ads about what users are doing on your site while browsing. But as I said, this is only half of the tasks you have to do: you will need to obtain an other plugin that can generate a proper product feed.