A Simple Guide to Retargeting and Why It’s Important for Your Business

It goes without saying that things have come a long way in the world of advertising. With better analytics every year from platforms like Facebook and Google, new and improved marketing techniques, and a constantly growing industry, there are more ways than ever for businesses to market themselves.

One major standout that has proven to be extremely effective is retargeting. Maybe you haven’t heard of it by name, but retargeting ads are all over the internet. From websites to social media to apps, they’re just about everywhere and we’re going to let you know why.

What is Retargeting?

I’m sure you’ve had this experience before: You’re browsing an online store and considering doing some shopping, but after looking at a few items you liked you decide don’t want to buy anything and close out. Next thing you know, you’re scrolling through Facebook or some other page when suddenly there’s an ad for the exact thing you were looking to buy from that store.

This is retargeting. A business or store uses a bit of code on their site, usually provided by Facebook or Google (which we’ll cover in just a second), and through the use of cookies it delivers an ad to a customer who was browsing their store to remind them of the item or service they were just considering buying. Seems pretty effective, right? That’s because it is.

In fact, compared to a standard display ad, the average retargeted ad sees a 10x higher click-through-rate (CTR). What makes these numbers stand out even more is that around 97% of first-time browsers leave a site before making a purchase. That means it’s important to get those visitors back so they can go through with a purchase and become a returning customer instead of a one-time visitor.

How to Get Started with Retargeting Ads

Now that you’ve heard about this effective form of advertising, you probably want to know where to begin when it comes to retargeting. The first thing you’ll need to do is choose a platform. From an options standpoint, there are two platforms that stand out above the rest and they are the options provided by the two biggest names in advertising: Google and Facebook.

Each of their platforms offers excellent analytics, customization, and reach, and while they work in similar ways, there are a couple of differences that are worth exploring.

1.    Retargeting with Facebook Pixel

Facebook is an excellent option if you’re looking to run a remarketing campaign to get Facebook users to return to your site for a sale. With over 2.7 billion users, it’s nearly guaranteed that someone who visits your site has an account so it’s a great way to cash in on retargeting ads.

Here’s how it works.

Facebook utilizes the Facebook pixel, a couple of lines of code which you place into the header of your website, which then uses cookies to start tracking Facebook users who visit your website.

What does it do then? Once a Facebook user visits your site, it starts to collect data that you can then use to better optimize your ads and audience by knowing what that user did and then retargeting them based on those actions so that they visit your site again.

As part of this data, the pixel also tracks the actions, or “events” as Facebook refers to it, that occur after someone clicks on your ad to visit your site. In other words, it tracks what they search for, when they add something to a cart or wishlist, or when they register, so you can see what actions your ad prompted them to take. Since all that information then becomes visible to you, you can immediately see the results of your campaign and view what’s working effectively and what isn’t.

One of the best advantages of Facebook and the Facebook pixel is that it allows for really excellent customization and targeting, allowing you to track any kind of actions you want, such as people who might visit a particular page on your website. This let’s you align your campaign and conversions with your specific business goals rather than simply tracking on generic clicks. Another advantage is that it can deliver your ads through its additional platforms, such as Instagram, allowing you to target users on some of the biggest social media platforms in the world.

2.    Retargeting with Google Ads

Like Facebook and the Facebook pixel, Google offers their own service that you can use to deliver retargeted ads to people who visit your site.

Google’s remarketing service works in a way that’s very similar to the Facebook pixel. You insert a few lines of code into the header of your page, and then when someone visits your site a “tagged” cookie gets placed in their browser. Then their actions are tracked, and your ads can be delivered to them on any site, which is one of the ways that Facebook and Google differ.

While Google can deliver your ads to any website using Google Ads, Facebook ads can only be delivered on Facebook to their users. This lets you see how your ad performs on other sites and platforms and will show you which site is effectively delivering your ads and drawing clicks, and which aren’t. With that information you can then adjust and optimize your campaign to your needs.

The biggest upside of using Google is its incredible network reach. With platforms like YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google Maps under its belt, there is a huge pool of options for where your ad can be displayed. This means that you’ll be able to reach anyone who visits your site on an incredible number of other websites or platforms.

One of the very few drawbacks of Google Ads is that there isn’t a ton of customization. An example of this is that the kind of keywords you use for your campaign through Google can’t stray away from your core service or product or they won’t be allowed. While this can potentially limit which websites your ad gets displayed on, it also means that your ads appear in more relevant ways which isn’t a bad thing.

The Bottom Line: Retargeting Is Important for Your Business

Whether you decide to go with Facebook, Google, or both (because the two can absolutely work together) for retargeting ads, the bottom line is you’re going to see great results. This is for a few reasons:

  1. It targets users who have already visited your site. Getting someone to return to a site they already know is a lot easier than getting brand new visitors.
  2. It creates a closed advertisement cycle that can effectively convert visitors to customers when paired with standard ads. Someone sees an ad, clicks it, and becomes a first-time visitor. Then they close out, see a retargeted ad, and are drawn back once again, allowing you to increase your chances to create a sale by up to 50% according to Google.
  3. They’re noticeable. In fact, 60% of online U.S. buyers reported to notice ads for products they looked at on other sites. That’s because people are seeing an ad for a product that they’re already familiar with and are more likely to not only take notice of it, but also to engage with it.

Without question, retargeting ads are a great way to market your business. Returning visitors and customers are extremely important, and by retargeting you can effectively bring people back in and close sales that would’ve otherwise been left open.

Yes, getting started can get a little tricky, but once you’ve set up your campaign, the analytics will help guide you toward a successful and optimized campaign. Plus, if you do decide to run a retargeting campaign of your own and want to tap into the power of remarketing, we’re more than happy to help you get started so feel free to get in touch!

As always, thanks for reading!