What is Retargeting? (& What You Need to Know to Get Started)

what is retargeting? smiling woman looks at phone sun icon

If you have used PPC ads as part of your digital marketing strategy, you probably know what targeting is. By filtering who can see your ads by age, location, time, and other factors, you can increase the effectiveness of your campaigns by ensuring your ads are popping up for people who are most likely to buy from you. But what about retargeting? What is it, and when does it come into play?

What Is Retargeting?

When you run a PPC or display ad campaign, a cookie or pixel is installed on the browser of those who click on it. You can also install said cookie or pixel on the devices of individuals who visit your website. 

This cookie or pixel allows you to show those individuals additional ads. So retargeting is the ability to reconnect with prospective customers or clients who have already taken steps to engage with your business in some way.

When Can You Use Retargeting?

To retarget individuals who have clicked on your ads or visited your website, you must be able to place a cookie or pixel on their browser. Some users may not allow this. They may have particular security settings on their browsers that reject these trackers. Additionally, some platforms no longer allow tracking or make it very difficult. Recently, Apple changed how users are tracked when on their mobile devices, making it harder for marketers to use Google and Facebook ads for potential retargeting of customers. 

As long as you have a cookie or pixel attached to your ad or installed on your website—and as long as visitors allow it to be placed on their devices—you can create retargeting campaigns to reconnect with those visitors.

Why Should I Use Retargeting?

Retargeting is one of the most effective ways to increase conversions. By reaching back out to people who have completed particular actions like visiting your website or adding an item to their cart, you can increase their chances of making a purchase from you or engaging your services.

Retargeting can:

  • Reduce cart abandonment
  • Increase brand awareness
  • Increase conversions/sales

Not only that, but retargeting ads have a higher click-thru rate than regular ads. Why? Because you are simply reminding people that they were already interested in your company or product. According to Wishpond, that CTR is 10 times higher than regular ads. 

Who Should You Retarget?

The value of targeting comes from only showing your ads to those individuals who are most likely to buy from you. This is the same for retargeting. If you want to increase your conversions and sell more, you only want to retarget those who have shown interest in your products and services. 

When narrowing down your retargeting list, consider:

  • Which action or activity you wish to retarget (do you want to focus on individuals who have visited a specific page, submitted their email, clicked a particular button, or added something to their cart?)
  • Whether you want to focus on specific customer segments (maybe you just want to retarget a specific demographic or a certain customer group interested in one specific item).
  • How frequently do you want people to see your ads? And, for how long do you want sem to see the retargeting ads? (For example, you can set a cap of 2 impressions over 5 days).
  • When you want people to see your ads (if you have a restaurant, for example, you don’t necessarily want to have ads running when you’re closed).

These questions about retargeting should allow you to create a manageable retargeting list and set clear goals for your campaigns.

Retargeting Best Practices

As you get ready to launch your first retargeting campaign, make sure to employ these best practices to get good results.

Exclude individuals who have converted/made a purchase.

When creating your campaign, be sure to exclude individuals who have already completed your desired action. Otherwise, you will waste ad spend and possibly annoy your customers or clients.

Create Different Ads for Your Different Customer Segments

Not everyone will respond the same way to your ads. If you want to increase conversions, you need to create ads for the different customer segments you’re targeting. For example, if you have services for Millennials and Boomers, create two ads that speak to the problem you solve for each demographic.

A/B Test

To get the maximum effectiveness from your campaigns, you need to test what works. With A/B testing, you can see which copy, imagery, or calls-to-action impacts your metrics so you can create better ads. Without testing your ads, you won’t know the impact of the different components of your ads. Your ads may perform well, but they could be performing even better if only you switched up the graphics, the CTA placement, or the copy. 

Track, Measure & Optimize

We always recommend that you track the performance of all your campaigns, measure the most important KPIs, and then optimize your campaigns to improve performance. If you don’t, you aren’t making the most of your marketing budget. When combined with A/B testing, tracking and measuring can help you create the most effective ads so you can wisely invest your marketing budget in the channels that work best for you.

Send Them to a High-Converting Landing Page

To make the most of your ads, make sure you send individuals who click on them to a particular landing page to take the next step in the sales funnel. Creating specific landing pages for your various ads can help ensure that you are still focusing on the same goal mentioned in your ad.

Interested in learning more about retargeting? Now that we’ve answered “what is retargeting,” let’s chat about what it can do for you and your business. Contact us today for information more specific to your industry and goals. 

Eric Ritter, CEO

Eric Ritter

Eric is the conductor of an orchestra here at Digital Neighbor. He knows how all the digital instruments should sound together. When he’s not solving marketing challenges for the neighborhood, Eric is also an adjunct professor at the University of South Florida, where he teaches Digital Media in the Zimmerman School of Advertising and Mass Communications.

Sun Icon - Digital Neighbor

Want to learn even more?

Whether you have a simple SEO question or want to have a deep conversation about your digital strategy, we’re all ears. Contact us today for a chat or to learn how we can put our digital marketing expertise to good use for your business.