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What is retargeting and is it for your business?

The world of digital marketing can often feel like a swirl of buzz words, platforms and headaches. Innovations come and go, widgets are released to make your life easier, others add yet another layer of confusion. A technology that has stuck around, been adopted by all the big players, and really made a difference to the cost of customer acquisition, is retargeting. This is a quick intro to the technique so you can consider it for your business.

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that is also known as remarketing. This technique keeps your brand in front of traffic that visited your website at one time or other but did not lead to a sale. You know, when an ad for a website you visited last week shows up on a daily site you visit or in your Facebook news feed.  It is an effective tool in increasing conversion rates and brand impressions by allowing website owners the means to reach each and every person who did not make a purchase during their first visit to a website. In percentages, just 2% of web traffic is buyers who purchase on their first visit. Retargeting reaches the remaining 98% of those who visited and browsed away without converting into a sale.

Traffic from retargeted ad’s is 70% more likely to convert over traffic from regular advertisements. (retargeter.com)

How Does Retargeting Work?

A JavaScript tag placed in the footer of a website is essentially all that is required. The code places a cookie in the browser of people who visited your website. This cookie-based technology allows different retargeting vendors (Google, Facebook) to serve display ads to these potential customers whenever they visit a website that features advertising produced by these ad services.

In other words, if you visited a website that sells computer software but decided you’d buy later, the cookie planted by the software website will follow you around the rest of the internet. In doing so, the cookie allows the software website to drop hints and reminders to you by appearing in the ad spaces on web pages you visit away from their site. A Google tracking code will show ad’s in their display network. A Facebook tracking pixel tracks visitors and will show content and advertisements on their network.

The constant flow of subliminal reminders (ads from the computer software website you visited earlier or here’s another great example) work to bring you back and follow through with the purchase you put off. As for target marketing, it is brilliant as the focus is on traffic that has already indicated an intent on making a purchase of some kind at your website. That is also why the conversion rate is so high.

retargeting cycle Image From Shopify.com

Optimal Retargeting Strategy

Retargeting is an extremely effective tool but in order to have it perform in the best possible way is to have it included as part of a larger digital marketing program. In other words, using methods that drive traffic to your website allows the retargeting cookie program access to people to reach. Retargeting alone will not bring traffic to your website for their first visit.

Another way of looking at it is using retargeting as the ‘follow up’ tool that automatically tags along when traffic leaves your website. It saves you time and money in the long run as the cost per click of retargeted ads is much lower than traditional display advertising. For best results, consult with a digital marketing firm and ask about how retargeting can be incorporated into the promotion and sales of your product or service.


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