The Basics of Retargeting

Collin Young

In the third post of our ongoing paid search blog series, Digital Media Manager Collin Young delves into the concept of retargeting, from the basics of how it works to how The frank Agency paid search team utilizes retargeting to increase profit for our clients. Want to learn more about our paid search – and how we use it generate results for our clients? Check out the first and second posts of the series on basic targeting and bid modifiers – and check back next week for the fourth installment!

Let’s talk about retargeting – as well as how I know everything my wife is looking to purchase online. (I promise they relate.)

My wife and I only have one computer at home that we both share. We use this laptop for light web browsing, Facebooking, online shopping, filling out our Bachelorette brackets, etc. Having a shared laptop has really helped me step up my husband game, as I know pretty much everything my wife is shopping for on the internet. How is this possible? Retargeting ads.

Any time my wife starts researching things to buy, I see ads for them when I get on our computer. Does my wife need a new Kate Spade handbag? Let me get on the internet and see if I see display ads retargeting me. How about Kendra Scott earrings? Let me check. Is it creepy that I know all these things about my wife’s shopping habits? Yes, a little bit – however, when looking at this from a business perspective it is genius, because studies have shown that only 2% of shoppers actually convert on their first visit to an online store.

Let’s walk through how retargeting ads work – and how they can help improve your online marketing performance.

How Retargeting Works

First, tracking scripts are placed on all pages of a business’ website. From there, cookies are created on a visitor’s browser any time they visit a webpage that includes these tracking scripts. The cookies stick with you (usually 30 days), and the website you visited can now display ads to you almost anywhere you go on the internet.

How to Use Retargeting

In order to get the most bang for your buck from retargeting, here are a few tricks that The frank Agency paid search team uses.

  • Exclude visitors
    • Excluding people you don’t want is just as important as targeting the people you do want. If you have a website that gets lots of returning traffic from employees, current customers, etc., you will want to exclude them from your marketing. You don’t want to keep targeting people who are already your customers or employees and therefore have no potential to convert in to sales.
  • The more granular, the better
    • Since every single page has tracking on it, create unique ads for every single type of visitor. Only target the visitor with content from the pages they visit instead of a generic branding ad. If your visitor only goes to a page on the website about a purse for sale, show them an ad for that purse instead of an ad for your brand. Retarget the visitor with the specific product they were looking at if it is at all possible.
  • Retarget with discounts or offers
    • Do you have an offer code that you can give to new customers? If you know someone was about to make a purchase and left your site with items in their shopping cart, retarget them with an ad promoting a coupon. This is a great way to quickly get a potential customer back in the door.
  • Change ads based upon how long it has been since their visit
    • Does a visitor become more valuable to you if they have been in your retargeting pool for a certain period of time? Is it more beneficial to show them a product-specific ad for the first 10 days after they visited your site then give them an ad with a discount code from days 11-20, then another ad from days 21-30 with an even better discount?

As you can see, there are lots of opportunities to target your website visitors, depending on what your goals are. If you are thinking about getting in to the display marketing space, retargeting is definitely a great place to get your feet wet.

Start Retargeting Today!

So now you are an expert on the ins and outs of retargeting, right? If that didn’t clear everything up, feel free to give us a call! As an experienced paid search agency, we can help you get your retargeting campaign off the ground.

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