We’ve all seen ads follow us from the sites we visit. How did my favorite sports blog know I was in the market to purchase an easel for my daughter? The answer is retargeting.
It’s a new(er) way to retain the customers who check out your site without actually checking out. Retargeting is more cost-effective than Google Adwords. It’s also more focused, as it reaches the individuals who found your site for a specific need.
Keep in mind there are two different types of retargeting: search and site. Search retargeting is when a company collects data surrounding a user search and shows a potential consumer your ad based on the keyword searched. Site retargeting is focused solely on customers who have visited your site.
Here are answers to the most common questions involved with integrating (site) retargeting into your marketing plan.
How Does Retargeting Work?
It’s pretty simple. You place a code (it may also be called a pixel) on your website that “follows” your visitors after they view your site in the form of ads. The code is not noticed by your visitors and doesn’t affect your website’s performance. It’s simply a means to target a specific type of customer—those visitors who went to your site looking to purchase what you offer.
Why Should I Consider It?
The average website conversion rate is a little over two percent. This means 98 percent of customers who visit a website where something can be purchased choose not to pay your company money. In addition, nearly three out of five (60 percent) of U.S. online buyers say they notice ads for items they’ve searched for on another site.
Retargeting is a tool that takes these statistics into account. It’s also easy to set up. Just simply place the pixel or code given to you from the retargeting vendor right before the end body tag </body> in your pages HTML code or on your website’s HTML template.
Your SEO or online marketing manager should be able to assist with this. If you’re still unsure, the vendors typically offer online tutorials or customer service to help out.
How Much Does It Cost?
Pricing is pretty transparent. The vendor calculates campaign costs by purchasing ad impressions (for your company) and adding in their margin. With most services, you can start and stop whenever you’d like. You also set the daily budget.
Although you’re able to set the budget, you want to ensure your ROI is satisfactory. The more people you “target,” the better percentage of a return you’ll collect. As long as you’re reading the weekly reports, you’ll be able to determine the best budget for your company.
How Customizable Are the Ads?
Very. You can control font, color, size and logo. In addition, you can select how specific the ad is. For example, you can have a general ad that has your logo and URL. Or, you can specifically mention the collection or product type the customer was searching for on your site. It’s probably a good idea to not go too specific, as this may scare people off.
What Do the Analytics Look Like?
The analytics for the retargeting company we use are very simple to read and include all the basic metrics of a Google Adwords report, including impressions, clicks, CPC (cost per clicks) and total spend.
Are There Any Down Sides?
Unlike Adwords, the vendor you choose must first collect visitor data from your site (a specific number of targets to follow once the ads go live). Depending on the traffic to your site, this may take a few days or a few weeks.
What Companies Should I Consider?
- “The most widely used retargeting platform in the world.”
- Free two-week trial
- “A programmatic advertising platform that connects marketers with their exact target audience in real time across Display, Social, Mobile, & Video.”
- Offer numerous marketing management solutions
- “Directly access unstructured data to enable marketers to target, bid, optimize and report at the individual data element level.”
- Offer numerous marketing management solutions.
How Should I Use Retargeting?
As we all know, there isn’t one sure-fire marketing method that will take your sales to the next level.
Retargeting is no different. While an interesting and effective tool, it works best when paired with inbound and outbound marketing efforts. Use retargeting as an adjunct to your online marketing plan.
Image credit: CC by William Murphy