Internet marketing and SEO is a confusing business. It is full of TLA’s (three letter acronyms), buzz words and there are far more cowboys and snake oil salesman out there then there are good, honest consultants.
In the midst of all of this confusion one area that I have found folks struggle with is the concept of remarketing or retargeting so this article is going to give you the basics of what retargeting is and how you can use it.
What are Retargeting and Remarketing?
Well, Remarketing is Google’s own spin on retargeting and retargeting is simply the process of showing adverts to people based on their previous behaviour. From the website owners perspective retargeting is simply showing adverts to people who have previously visited your site on other partner websites.
Retargeting can be a fairly simple process where visitors are shown a generic advert after viewing any page on your site as a branding exercise. Alternatively, retargeting can be a laser targeted process that shows adverts that are very specific to past behaviour and a common example is to show adverts to people who added products to a shopping cart yet failed to check out. With this approach we get a second (third, fourth, fifth) chance to market to these prospects and hopefully bring them back with an offer or incentive to make that sale.
Retargeting is not a traffic generation tool so much as it is a conversion optimisation tool allowing you more chance to convert that site visitor into a paying customer and any experienced internet marketer will tell you it is often the second, third, fourth or several visits to your site that finally results in the sale and retargeting gives you those second chances.
How does retargeting work
Site visitors then have a cookie stored on their PC and when visiting a third party site that shows retargeting adverts then they will see your advert allowing you to
stalk follow your prospects around the web with offers.
Your retargeting strategy should be closely aligned with your business strategy and should act as a complimentary process giving you a second attempt to make that sale. After all, only 2% of website traffic typically converts so retargeting gives you the chance to keep pushing for that sale with the other 98%.
Retargeting works well as a complimentary process for:
- Content Marketing – use content to qualify potential customers and retargeting adverts to sell to them
- Building lists and social followers – a visitor may not be ready to buy but they may come back to enter a competition to win the product they looked at and this gives you the ability to market to them without further advert costs via social
- Retargeting clicks are considerably cheaper than most Pay Per Click traffic so it lets you retarget those people clicking your tightly sculpted Pay Per Click campaigns
- Targeting users that failed to check out with limited time discount offers (that user that hessitated to buy when at work may click the retargeting ad and convert on the evening after a few glasses of vino)
Retargeting is highly flexible and should be used as a way to compliment existing inbound marketing strategies and gain a second attempt to make the sale or convert users to social platforms for future brand exposure and social marketing.
How to Set Up Retargeting
First up you need to consider your strategy and what you want to achieve:
- Do you have low conversion rates?
- What are your goals? Get the sale via a discounted offer. Get a social sign up?
Once you know what you are looking to achieve then you can start to think about your retargeting adverts.
The usual marketing rules apply. Come up with an offer that is too good to be true. Is it enough to get someone on social media? Do you want the sale? What can you do to make the sale more attractive?
Once you have the strategy 100% dialled in you can start to create your adverts. Retargeting can be done with text adverts via the Google Remarketing platform but this is one area where image adverts are far more successful and can provide brand visibility and more visual impact.
The two providers we work with most often are:
Google Remarketing – http://www.google.com/ads/innovations/remarketing.html
Adroll – http://www.adroll.com
Google remarketing gives you access to the Google Adsense display network to show your adverts and Adroll gives you access to a wide set of display networks including Facebook.
Creating your adverts
If you are working with Facebook via Adroll you will want to create a single advert with a supporting image at 100 x 72 pixels.
If you are working with the Google display network then you will want to create adverts in a range of sizes for the best possible exposure
468 x 60 pixels
728 x 90 pixels
970 x 90 pixels
250 x 250 pixels
200 x 200 pixels
336 x 280 pixels
300 x 250 pixels
120 x 600 pixels
160 x 600 pixels
300 x 600 pixels
If that all seems like too much trouble these are the most popular image sizes so start with these:
First you need to set up your remarketing campaign:
Then you need to start building your remarketing lists:
* You will need to install the tracking code on your website to start building your lists!
Adroll truly makes the process pain free and you simply install your site wide tracking code and then can retarget based on specific URLs or sections of your site. You can also choose between Facebook and the broader partner network.
Getting set up is truly pain free
1. For multiple services, such as a roofer who does residential, metal, industrial & commercial roofing, it will actually help increase sales to make separate ads for each service and place specific remarketing tags on each page. The more specific you get, the higher the rate of return.
2. The best advert sizes on Google remarketing are:
3. Remarketing lets you also show adverts to certain demographics so you can target specific sexes, ages and locations with adverts and offers tailored directly to those prospects.
4. Don’t limit yourself to people who failed to buy as remarketing works well for up-sells and cross-selling. Someone pre ordered a PS4 on your site? Well, there is a good chance they will pre order the game as well so start showing them adverts specific to their purchase.
5. Creating specific adverts for single products is more work and has less exposure but the more specific, the more consistent the messaging, the better likelihood of success.
Ready to Retarget?
Retargeting is often a tool only employed by the bigger players but it is now a fairly pain-free and effective way of having a second crack of the sales whip and as a tool to cross-sell and up-sell related products.
I hope that has demystified retargeting and please give me a shout in the comments with any questions.