What Is Retargeting And How Does It Work?
Let’s say you visit a website and check out the myriad of sweaters in the online catalog. You decide not to buy that day and begin shopping elsewhere, clicking through to another website. You might notice advertisements for those original sweaters populating the sides of your browser and popping up in the corner of your eye.
That is retargeting.
Retargeting is a way of a holding potential customer’s attention for longer while they click through the website. That potential customer has shown an interest in your products or services and may be willing to buy with some added exposure or well-placed persuasion techniques.
Companies that want to retarget visitors need to follow these three basic steps:
3 Steps to Retarget Website Visitors
- Set up tracking on the website.
- Create content for retargeting campaigns.
- Learn and repeat using data and analytics.
Retargeting is a crucial tool in a competitive online marketplace where unique selling points are everything.
Why Retargeting Is Important
The statistics are on the side of retargeting: website visitors who receive retargeting are 70 percent more likely to convert into sales than regular visitors. That figure is significant when talking about a 70 percent growth in revenue, newsletter subscribers, or completed surveys.
Developing familiarity with website visitors is often the nudge they need to buy a product or service or follow through on a call to action.
Retargeted ads also have a ten times higher click-through rate (CTR) than typical display ads — a significant improvement on the results of a traditional approach. Familiarity with a company makes people more likely to click on an ad. The crucial factor is the size of the spike in online traffic.
The average click-through rate for an AdWords paid search ad is around two percent, for example. That translates to approximately one in every 50 website visitors clicking on a given ad. The percentage will fluctuate based on industry.
Dating and personal sites have CTRs of 3.40 percent, for example, while legal and industrial services are at 1.35 and 1.40 percent, respectively.
These statistics show how timely and cost-effective website retargeting can be for a business that exploits the benefits. Companies should take advantage of these “warm” audiences who are familiar with the brand and already interested in the products or services. It is why retargeting can lift business name searches by more than 1,000 percent in some cases.
Website retargeting has almost no downside to it, either.
Roughly fifty percent of consumers say that they are willing to sacrifice privacy for a better deal, according to the Pew Research Center. Thirty percent have a positive reaction to AdWords retargeting as opposed to the 11 percent of customers who feel negatively about the invasion of their screen time.
One way to think of retargeting is as a service to potential consumers. Companies build bridges with customers to facilitate shopping experiences and connect them with the products and promotions they already want. People want to feel confident about a good deal, and these ads provide it.
Follow These 5 Steps to Retarget Website Visitors with Google Ads
We have already touched on what it takes for generalized campaigns, whether a company is using Instagram or Facebook retargeting. Let’s dig into the details of how to make retargeting a reality on Google Adwords with five steps to begin retargeting:
1. Set Up Tracking
The first step of website retargeting is to collect data on visitors. It will inform the marketing team of the age, location, sex, preferences, and habits of the audience, and serve as a blueprint for attracting future visitors.
Companies that use Google Adwords need to log in to their ads.google.com account first. Next, click on the “Tools” section, followed by “Shared Library,” and “Audience Manager.” Click on the blue Plus sign to create a new remarketing list.
One crucial decision is choosing between “collect standard data available from this data source” or “collect specific attributes or parameters to personalizes ads.” It is Google’s way of asking whether a company wants information that can customize ads or not.
While setting up tracking can take a matter of minutes, it will take longer for the website to collect a meaningful amount of data. The process is especially true for small businesses or startups. Websites need at least 1,000 active visitors per month for retargeting to generate any data on the Google Search Network.
There are two typs of retargeting — pixel-based retargeting and list-based retargeting.
The second form is list-based retargeting. The approach is useful for companies that have contact information for ad retargets. While list-based retargeting is not as common as its pixel-based counterpart, it offers more customization when displaying advertisements.
- An overview of a company’s retargeting practices
- Information about opting out of cookies
- How retargeting will display ads to users across the internet
- How retargeting uses past activity to inform future ads
Businesses using Google AdWords need to follow these conditions to comply with Google Marketing Platform. Companies that violate the policies may have Google suspend their accounts indefinitely. Google may also perform a compliance review, ban ads or extensions, and disable retargeting lists.
3. Determine Demographics
Target demographics are a crucial for any business, regardless of size or industry. It requires companies to understand the needs and preferences of their clients and why they purchase specific products or services. Businesses must also determine how customers view the brand.
One way to gather this information is through segmented lists, which divide customers based on specific characteristics, such as age, bounce rate, pages per session, and more. Parsing through this data can help companies determine which visitors are viable future customers and deserve Google AdWords retargeting.
Companies can generate segmented lists after setting up tracking. After signing into your Google Analytics account, open a view of a segment and report. There will be lists of different demographic fragments, which users can leverage to build an audience.
After finding segments that highlight or represent specific marketing demographics, users can click “Actions” and then “Build Audience.” It defines the audience using data from the last seven, fourteen, or thirty days. There is also a membership duration feature to select how many people to retarget (the maximum is 540).
Users can tweak these marketing segments with the edit icon in the top left of the segment builder. Editing can change the definition, limits, or conditions of specific segments. Make sure to click “Save.”
4. Launch Google Ads Campaign
Now it is time to launch a Google Ads campaign. Using the data and segments from the previous sections, focus on vital demographics and the types of campaigns required. It is also an opportunity to evaluate the company’s overall marketing goals.
The difference between a traditional campaign and a retargeting one is the interaction information. When picking audience demographics, companies want to select “how they have interacted with your business.”
Here are eight other steps when initiating a retargeting campaign:
- Sign in to Google AdWords account
- Click on “Campaigns” from the page menu
- Select “New Campaign” with the plus button
- Select the goals for the campaign. If the campaign does not have specific goals, select “Create a campaign without a goal’s guidance.”
- Select a campaign type
- Click “Continue”
- Select the settings for the campaign
- Click “Save and Continue”
A retargeting campaign also requires companies to produce advertisements. These can come in the form of photos, GIFs, text, or video. Companies should make sure the ads yield a high-click-through rate and increase conversions.
The most critical part of an ad is the call to action. These are what inspire people to buy a beer or fall in love (or both). Some common pitfalls of poor calls to action include weak language, unclear messaging, or too many demands.
5. Learn and Repeat Through Analytics
One way to figure out what works is with A/B testing. This involves two variants of the same ad to see which version is more effective. For instance, two ads may be identical except for the call to action. The call to action with a higher CTR is one the company should continue to use.
Another critical step is to create multiple versions of each ad. The variation references the formatting for different platforms. Companies should have as many different ad sizes and formats as possible to ensure the message displays properly, whether potential customers see it on a desktop, tablet, or mobile device.
A business can have the most robust analytics, but these are worthless if it does not leverage them into actionable campaigns. It needs to find evidence of what works and what does not as a way of informing future marketing actions. Some useful measurements for successful content analysis include click-through rate, conversion rate, and costs per conversion.
Google Ads retargeting is an effective and underused strategy for many businesses. Maximize your online potential by starting your retargeting campaign today. It may just transform your business.