Beginners Guide to Retargeting

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Imagine this: you’re taking a break from work, browsing the internet for a new pair of shoes. You’re hopping around from site to site, realize the time and get back to work. You’ll order those shoes later.

Midway through the day you take another break and decide to catch up on the news. You find a fascinating New York Times article, scroll mid way through the piece and *BAM*–there’s a banner ad for those shoes you were looking at! Oh yeah, you really liked those shoes! You should probably pop back over to that site and order a pair before you forget again…

And this is the beauty of remarketing.

As business owners, holding the attention of our visitors is becoming increasingly difficult: attention is fragmented and our customers need gentle reminding. Remarketing allows us to do just that: remind our customers that our site (and products and services) are worth revisiting. Remarketing allows businesses to stay top of mind and re-engage those visitors that showed interest but didn’t stick around to convert.

Give your website the attention it deserves

Your website wasn’t cheap. You’ve spent a significant amount of time, effort and resources to create a site that is beautiful, efficient, and helpful to your target market–built to attract leads and to make sales. You’ve also been spending money on ads and SEO in order to funnel people to your site, but when they arrive, they often leave again without making any purchases. Studies show that up to 98% of website visitors will leave without engaging with the site or without making a sale.

That’s a lot of potential customers who are simply walking away from your business. This is where retargeting can swoop in to save the day!

Retargeting allows you to track the visitors that left your website and then target them on other platforms by leveraging banner ads.

What is retargeting?

Also known as remarketing, retargeting is the digital version of stopping someone from leaving your store to give them a personalized sales pitch. With retargeting, you can engage with customers even after they leave your website and make attempts to convert them as they cruise around the web.

Retargeting allows you to track the visitors that left your website and then target them on other platforms by leveraging banner ads. It is an ideal solution to shopping cart abandonment and helps tremendously with boosting brand awareness.


How does retargeting work?

There are several kinds of retargeting methods and can vary depending on how your ad configuration. But the following is an overview of the essentials:

  • Insert a snippet of code (called a “tracking tag”) into your website’s source code.
  • When a visitor lands on your site, the “tracking tag” stores a “cookie” in their browser.
  • This “cookie” allows you to identify the visitor’s browsing behavior. Please note: it will not collect personal information like name, address, etc.
  • Once this visitor leaves your site, your ads will begin to show up on other websites that support banner ads. The frequency is determined by your retargeting presets, of course.

beginner's guide to retargeting

Types of Retargeting

Read on to learn about available retargeting options.

Site Retargeting

This kind of retargeting allows you to display ads based on the actions that visitors take on your website. These may include the pages they visit, products or services they viewed, and even the items they added to their cart. Once you’ve captured these audiences, you can begin retargeting them on social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. But remember: not everyone who visits your site is going to be interested in your products or services. For instance, you wouldn’t want to track your homepage as they are most likely just browsing for information. An abandoned shopping cart or a contact us page would be a great place to initiate tracking.

Dynamic Retargeting

This kind of retargeting allows you to personalize the ads you serve to your customers based on the behavior they displayed on your website. Each ad features products or content that visitors have previously viewed or showed interest in. This approach will also save you time since the data is automatically pulled from your feed. In other words, you won’t have to create different ads for each of your products.

Email Retargeting

This approach targets users that have opened emails received from you or your business. There are tools like Retargeter which allows you to generate a line of code to place in your email, similar to the process of placing code to your website. With this approach, ads will be displayed when an email is opened related to a particular message.

Retargeting is a powerful tool for turning visitors into loyal customers. It allows your business to re-engage with your audience by delivering personalized and engaging content. If used properly, retargeting will most certainly become a crucial component to your overall marketing strategy.

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About the Author

Tara Johnson

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Tara has been a web and print designer for 10 + years and a photographer for over 15. She began AlchemyThree because she saw a need for a more complete, thoughtful and innovative digital marketing experience for businesses of all sizes.

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