Even if you haven’t heard of retargeting (called “remarketing” by Google), you’ve been a part of it. If you want to see it action, just visiting AdRoll, wait a few minutes, and then visit Facebook. On the right hand side of Facebook, where the ads are, you’ll probably see an ad like this from AdRoll. Retargeting is when you visit a site, and then you start to see ads on other websites for the business, or even product, that you visited. It’s an increasingly popular online marketing technique that you’ll probably want to use if you are selling via your own website. If a prospective customer leaves your site without buying (which is often the case), retargeting allows you to recoup that potentially lost sale.
Here’s a quick video on retargeting:
Retargeting can be more effective than normal pay per click (PPC) advertising (that doesn’t target on previous web surfing) because the visitor has already been to your site and are familiar with you. The odds of someone buying from you if you can get them to visit more than once are better than a first time visitor. Also, since the person already has some familiarity with you, they are less likely to click on your ad out of sheer curiosity – they’re probably genuinely interested in your product. That can make a difference if you only pay when someone clicks on your retargeting ad.
Here’s how retargeting works:
- Sign-up with someone to place your retargeting ads
- Write text ad or upload you banner ads
- You place some code on your site (provided by whoever is placing or showing your retargeting ads) to track the visitor. Although the code tracks the person, the person is non-identifiable, they would be known as something like a number, not their name, to the ad networks.
- When the visitor goes to another website that is on the ad network, your retargeting ad is shown
- You pay for the ad only if someone clicks on it to visit your site again
You can have a company who works with ad networks do retargeting for you, or you can set-up retargeting campaigns directly with ad networks, like Google. The advantage of having a company that places the ads with different networks is that you have a greater chance of being seen; the more networks you work with, the more space there is to place your ads. The disadvantage of going with these companies is that you may have to pay a little extra per click because they need to take their cut.
Here are some businesses that can help you with retargeting:
Here’s a video on how to set-up a Google “remarketing” (Google is the only one to refer to “retargeting” as “remarketing”):
You can retarget at different levels. You can do it just to get people back to your website, a certain page (i.e. category page, sale page, etc.), or even a particular product that someone looked at. While it can incredibly effective to retarget at a product level, there are also risks. It takes more time because you have to place the code on each product’s page, and there’s a chance you could face a backlash. Slowly, I think many people have realized that it’s no coincidence that they are seeing ads for places they recently visited, but sometimes people freak out when it gets as specific as showing a particular product they looked at over and over. So proceed with caution if you go to the product level, or try it, and if you get a negative response, pull back.
Retargeting, like all other online advertising, takes time to test and experiment with. You want to try different things to see what gets you the highest return on investment (ROI) – the most in sales per dollar spent on advertising – and increase those ads while tapering or stopping the lower performing marketing campaigns. Retargeting should only be a part of your marketing strategy; if you don’t have many visitors in the first place, there will be no people to retarget. However, used in conjunction with other ways of driving traffic, retargeting can be a high ROI tool.