Google Analytics: Get Ready for Google’s Cross-Device Remarketing

Google Analytics Launches Cross-Device Remarketing

Cross-device retargeting is a major step forward for Google Analytics and related services such as Google AdWords. Why? Google uses browser cookies and mobile IDs to identify users even if they are signed in to their Google account on different devices. This means that if a customer visits your website from a smartphone but then continues the session from a PC, you can’t identify him/ her as the same user. Consequently, the same visitor is listed twice on your Google Analytics audience list.

From 15 May 2017, we’ll all be able to take advantage of cross-device functionality as audience lists created in Google Analytics begin to detect users by their Google account identifiers. In so doing, Google Analytics overcomes one of the major challenges we talked about in our previous GA post - different devices used by one customer - to provide you with much more accurate statistics. You may be surprised to see a drop in the number of first-time visitors to your website in May. This is because almost all your customers switch between devices, and the statistical data from May will be more precise.

It’s time you prepared for the changes and learnt how they may affect your GA and Google AdWords strategy.

Interesting Stats

Cross-device remarketing is a valuable addition to your marketing toolset because most online conversions now involve more than one device. The smartphone revolution has rocked the world of online advertising. Just look around - you probably have a smartphone at hand, a desktop computer on your office desk, a laptop at home, a tablet lying on the table nearby and a smartwatch on your wrist. It’s only natural that you use all these devices to browse the internet at different times of the day.

  • 60% of online conversions start on one device and end on another;
  • More than 50% of people use more than one device during the day;
  • 20% of people use two devices at a time, for example, a computer and a mobile phone.

Unfortunately, users switching between devices makes it difficult to track the outcomes of marketing campaigns and doesn’t allow marketers to reconnect with past site visitors. Google is going to change this.

What Does It Mean?

With the new cross-device remarketing feature, “you can tell a single story to your audience and decide how frequently they see your ad across devices,” as Google puts it. Of course, it will be limited to users who have a Google account. Luckily for you, more than a billion people regularly use Gmail alone every month, so retargeting them won’t be much of a problem. You will connect with users when they access your website on one device and track their entire journey when they pick up another.

How Does It Work?

Google Analytics uses data from all signed-in users to create audience lists for cross-device remarketing. Once you know the habits of a particular customer, you can set frequency capping in Google AdWords and design the product story that works best for this customer. Here’s an example:

  • Morning: introduce your product or service via smartphone when the customer is commuting to work
  • Afternoon: offer a discount via tablet while the customer browses the web during lunch
  • Night: Showcase the features of your product and an extended description of its benefits, and make a sale via laptop while the user relaxes on the couch after a hard day's work.

Now is the perfect time to change your advertising policy, adding more triggers to your ad campaign and decreasing ad frequency on every device to get the best results with a lower budget.

Are you ready to boost your online performance through cross-device marketing? Get in touch in case you’re not sure; together we’ll craft a winning campaign and see how digital technologies can help you engage your audience even better.


Product Development Manager
Max Summers is a seasoned Product Development Manager known for his strategic vision and hands-on approach to innovation.
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