8 Engagement Triggers to Leverage in PPC Campaigns

We all love a good website page visitor.

They’re the standard marker for someone who is interested in your company and are usually the main source of remarketing campaigns across all platforms.

But this standard was set a number of years ago.

Simpler times, if you will.

Back then, tracking and audience building were new, social platforms were only new on the scene, and privacy laws weren’t even a glimmer in anyone’s eye.

Now, websites are more complex and tracking has advanced to give us more control.

The social platforms are finding more ways for users to engage with your company without ever visiting your website.

Privacy laws like CCPA and GDPR are impacting audience building.

It’s nearly impossible to make the case that those basic page view visitor audiences should be your main focus with remarketing.

Not to mention, companies and marketers are getting savvier and want to see higher quality remarketing audiences as they have better results.

Luckily, there are lots of engagement triggers we can use to take remarketing (and prospecting) to the next level, but when I mention them, it seems like they’re news to most folks.

So with that, here is a list of engagement triggers/actions we can create engagement audiences from.

Some will be for finding more engaged users on your website and others will focus on the social platforms.

Overall, most are fairly straightforward and their benefits are clear, but others will have a little explanation/examples to give an idea of how they may be useful.

Onsite Engagement Triggers

The way someone uses your website can tell you how interested they are in what you’re offering.

All of the triggers below can be set up through Google Tag Manager, but you can likely also find other tools or use custom coding to execute if that’s your preference.

Time on Site

It’s common sense that someone who spends more time on your website is more qualified than someone who spends less.

You can use a time on site trigger to create audiences for users who spend 30 seconds, 60 seconds, or any length of time on your website.

Scroll Depth

Some pages are longer than others and some might have their important information buried at the bottom (a problem in itself).

If someone doesn’t scroll at all on your page, that could be a sign of a lower quality user.

This can also be a good indicator of how people engage with your site.

Do they scroll further if you change the layout or provide different text at the top?

How can you adjust the page to entice them to learn more, even if that “more” is just a bit further down the page?

Multiple Page Views

When was the last time you visited a website you had no interest in and browsed 5 or more pages?

Let me answer, literally never – because nobody has time for that.

Similar to time, the more pages someone views on your site the more qualified they could be.

Onsite Clicks

Lastly, think about all the different actions you have on your website.

Someone who clicks a phone number on mobile has a very different intent than someone who doesn’t.

Someone who clicks to read more on your blog about a certain topic is more interested than someone who doesn’t.

Even further, someone who clicks an external link (maybe to a supplemental resource you linked to or a payment platform) could still be valuable even though they may no longer be on your site.

Social Engagement Triggers

Now that we’ve talked about actions taken on your website, what about actions users take only on the social platforms?

These will all have to be preset within the accounts and are subject to change based on what they want to allow users to be able to do.

Page Likes/Followers

On Facebook, LinkedIn, and other platforms, you can create audiences of users who follow your page.

This is almost like a page visit to your site but a bit further since this person has opted into your “fandom” to some degree.

Why not leverage these users?

Page/Post Engagement

In addition to followers, you can also create audiences of people who interact with certain posts or your page.

These are most robust on Facebook, but there are other options out there too based on the platform you’re leveraging.

Lead Generation Forms

If you’re already running lead generation forms on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can create audiences based on how those users engaged with those forms.

A click is almost like a visit to your website, an incomplete form is like an exit, and a completed form is the same as a conversion.

You can create different audiences for each of these different stages on the platforms then leverage them accordingly in your campaigns.

Video Engagement Triggers

Someone watching a video can be just as impactful (likely more so) than them perusing your website.

Depending on the platform you’re on, there are lots of different ways to segment your video views.

You can create audiences based on the length of time someone has watched on Facebook.

With this strategy, you can choose which specific videos they viewed to segment different types of videos into different user lists.

On YouTube, you have options to create audiences based on if the person subscribes to your channel or not as well as many other parameters.

Lastly, you can use Google Tag Manager triggers to create audiences of users who viewed videos on your website rather than through YouTube or Facebook.

This is a great compliment to the scroll depth or multiple page views as those might be misleadingly low for a user who came to a site with a video embedded at the top, viewed it to completion, then left the site.

Quick Note on Prospecting & Exclusion

All of these audiences don’t have to only be used to reengage with users.

The platforms also allow for Lookalike/Similar Audiences to leverage these engagement audiences we’ve just discussed as well as the ability to exclude these folks from your ad campaigns as well.

Facebook offers Lookalikes that can be used on the platform as well as Instagram.

If you create goals in Google Ads or Google Analytics for the Google Tag Manager triggers, you can then create audiences from them in Google Ads to qualify for Similar Audiences.

If someone likes your page, they can be excluded from campaigns designed to gain likes.

Same thing with video views.

Don’t let your remarketing audience use cases be one dimensional.

Use them alongside the platforms to find new audiences to engage with and expand your reach.

Leverage them to keep users out of ad campaigns they don’t need to engage with and save your spend for higher returns.


No matter how someone interacts with your business, these users are sending you some sort of signal.

Build audiences, test different strategies, and find out what those signals mean and maximize your ad returns.

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Image Credits

All screenshots taken by author, July 2020