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PPC: Retargeting

Retargeting is often used in the PPC and digital marketing industry. The technology allows marketers to apply an anonymous code to follow their audience online. This can increase conversion rates, improve ROI, and precisely target an audience at a reduced cost per impression.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting usually refers to online ad placement or display ads that target users who have visited or interacted with your site in a certain way. It uses information from Cookies in a visitor’s browser who may have clicked on a product on your website, or another measured action, and retargets them with specific ads based on interactions made once they have left your site. The targeting can be placed into the two categories of on-site and off-site interactions.

Off-site refers to the group who are yet to interact with your site but share similarities with your previous customers. You are therefore aiming to get these individuals to your site and making conversions. This may involve targeting their searches or you may target based on interactions on Facebook or online apps for example.

On-site is the category most associated with PPC retargeting as the individuals have previously visited your site and interacted with your products and services in some way. Retargeting them can increase interaction and retain the interest of an audience that has already shown some interest in your brand. You could target based on a certain product, on how they discovered your site e.g. social media or those on your email list who have shown interest but are yet to purchase anything or use your service.

Why is Retargeting important in marketing?

Retargeting is often described as an under-used tool within the world of marketing and PPC. However, it is an important component to the content marketing mix and can contribute to achieving brand awareness, increased product knowledge and more closed deals or sales. An effective process would be to steer traffic to your content, cookie and then retarget the visitors with relevant and applicable marketing messages to encourage conversions.

Should I Implement Retargeting?

f you are a digital marketer yet to attempt a retargeting campaign then you should seriously consider it as they demonstrate a higher engagement level than non-retargeting campaigns do. This is due to it being easier to successfully market to those who have previously expressed interest in your brand.

Third-party platforms such as Google AdWords Retargeting and Bing Ads Audience Targeting options can handle all of the technical aspects. In particular, Google AdWords presents numerous ways to target or retarget your specific audience by factors such as location and device, then measure the success of your ads and continue to test and improve based on the data from the results.

A word of advice though when implementing a retargeting campaign is to avoid stalking people! It is a common complaint of individuals who have been targeted that they feel like brands are following them around the web and this over-use of retargeting could give a negative impression. It is recommended that you set a frequency cap on your ads to only allow for a certain amount of impressions per day, week, or month.

Split testing is also recommended in order to see what converts best. You are able to change the rotation of the ads in the Campaign Settings on Google Adwords to ensure the ads are in a more even rotation. You should also create ad banners that vary in terms of colour, messages and sizes and make sure that they are refreshed often. This is even more important if you designate a long cookie life.

Another thing to think about is the landing page. The retargeting campaign may not be as effective as it could potentially be if the targeted traffic is sent to untargeted or irrelevant pages. You should ensure that you are sending the user to a landing page that has an obvious sales funnel in order to increase the likeliness of conversions. 

Is Retargeting Different to Remarketing in PPC?

They may have similar goals but there are some significant differences between remarketing and retargeting. The two campaigns aim to increase conversions and pay attention to individuals who are likely to buy from you but there are some important differences in strategies. Retargeting focuses on paid ads and can take a variety of forms as well as targeting a wide range of individuals whereas remarketing is generally more concerned with email campaigns and specific reach outs regarding specific interactions on your website. We are a Google Premier Partner and will be able to assist you with choosing and implementing the right strategy for you.

Types of Retargeting Strategies:

Before implementing a retargeting campaign, you must first develop a strategy. It is best practice for marketers to create lists according to the behaviour of users on your site. They can be as broad or as narrow as necessary:


Casual Visitors

A general campaign would target visitors who did not add any products to a shopping cart or interact with your offered services. This is also the broadest retargeting method and these visitors have the least potential when it comes to conversions. However, this strategy is an opportunity to convey that you are a reputable brand in your PPC ads.


Trial Download Users

Free trials and downloads made by users are considered to be mini-conversions and should ideally be targeted with messages regarding upgrading to the full version of the product. It is also possible to implement different ads as the trial period counts down. 


Visitors who didn’t check out

Often visitors can put products in their ‘shopping cart’ when visiting a site but do not finalise the purchase. This can happen for numerous reasons including distractions, technical issues or a change of mind. There is little doubt that the user is interested in your product so it is worth investing in this retargeting campaign.


Existing Customers

Marketers should always give their existing customers regular remainders regarding products, offers and services. Targeting can be done to up-sell a product, meaning product upgrades or new versions, as well as cross-sell, this refers to complementary products. This strategy would retarget users who reached the confirmation page of your site. 


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