How Retargeting Can Help You Achieve a Better ROI


Why Retargeting Education?

Retargeting allows you to reach out to visitors who have left your site without converting. This guide will explain how specialized campaigns can increase conversions for your company. We’ll show you how optimizing your retargeting display ads and landing pages will also lead to a higher conversion rate. You’ll learn a few of the processes with Google and discover which metrics you should be analyzing when measuring the success of your remarketing campaigns.


What is Retargeting?

Do you ever feel like someone’s watching you, or better yet, like someone’s following you online, that is? Retargeting, also referred to as remarketing, is one form of online advertising that focuses on the audience who has previously visited one of your pages. For the typical website, only 4% of all traffic coming in will convert (complete a targeted action) on the first visit.

Retargeting is a marketing method that is designed to help businesses continue to reach out to the other 96% of potential customers who are not first-time converters.

In short, retargeting allows you to keep your brand in front of those who have the potential to become customers down the line after they have left your website.

A retargeting campaign allows you to specifically target visitors who have completed some specific action, even if it’s something as basic as visiting your homepage. These campaigns work simply because the target has already expressed interest in your company.

They obviously had a problem they were seeking out help to solve, and retargeting ads are a reminder that says, “Hey, remember that problem you still haven’t fixed? Well, we’re still here, ready to help.”

As the number of times a person views a retarget ad increases, the conversion rate also increases.
When executed correctly, remarketing campaigns have the potential to be the most powerful converters by a long shot.

Not only can retargeting persuade those on the fence, but it can also give existing customers a chance to see new offerings.

Learn more about Digital Logic’s top PPC management services


What’s the Difference Between Retargeting and Remarketing?

Typically, most people use these two terms interchangeably, and most assume they represent the same concept. As a whole, they do. There are a few minuscule differences, though, if we’re going to get technical.

Retargeting, more often than not, refers to the process of running display ads to those who have visited the site and “bounced.”

This style of marketing by the employment of tracking pixels added to the metadata on your website. These trackers then follow the prospect around online, after they’ve left your site.

The marketer must not only set up these trackers to fire and engage properly but also have to pair these with a third-party network, such as Google Display, Youtube, Facebook, etc. This then gives the opportunity for the ads to “show” to potential customers on various platforms.

To put it simply, we’ll tell a brief story, which we are sure everyone has encountered at least once:
Your friend tells you about this awesome new product from this brand-new company that you’ve never heard of. You literally have no idea they even existed, right? So you visit the website and think to yourself, “I’ll look at that, later, when I have more time.” Only you get busy and forget to go back to the site. Later in the day, you do your typical Facebook browsing only to see an ad with the same website you visited earlier. How strange?! You literally had never seen them before today, in your life, and now you’re seeing them again. It must be a sign that you need to purchase that product.

Is this a sign from above? No, it’s a retargeting ad.

Remarketing, on the other hand, usually refers to reaching out to those who already have their email address through email. These can both be used interchangeably; however, if, by some chance, someone asks the difference, you’ll know!

Types of Retargeting Campaigns

Digital Logic Remarketing Challenges

Remarketing campaigns can be grouped into five main categories:

  • Standard Retargeting
  • Dynamic Retargeting
  • Remarketing Lists
  • Video Retargeting
  • Email Retargeting

Standard Retargeting is the process of showing display ads to visitors who have previously visited your website and then exited.

We call these “bouncers”. Display ads will show basically everywhere this person visits online, whether it be through Google or through social media platforms like Facebook.

Another tactic standard retargeting uses is targeting visitors who search for certain keywords that are related to products or services your business offers.

Dynamic retargeting is essentially what standard retargeting is, only more tailored. It involves the process of showing display ads to visitors, again, who have left your site, but ads that are specifically tailored to them. What do we mean by this, “specifically tailored to them?”

Let’s say, for example, you visit your favorite shoe store online. You’ve been wanting this pair of orange sneakers, so badly. You add the orange sneakers to your cart. Right before checking out, you think to yourself, “Do I really need orange sneakers? They’re so pretty, but I already have several pairs of sneakers, and I really don’t wear orange that much.” So you leave the website. In the marketing world, we call you a “cart abandoner.” For days afterward, you keep seeing ads for those orange shoes, just like the ones you wanted. If they were blue or purple or any other color or style, you could easily scroll right past the ads. But they’re not; they’re orange. They’re what you’ve been wanting, and eventually, you cave. You go back to your cart and purchase your orange sneakers.

Here’s another example of how dynamic retargeting works: Let’s go back to the orange shoes. Except for this time, you need the shoes for an orange event you have coming up.

Upon visiting the site, you put in your credentials, because, after all, you’ve got to purchase at some point. You want these shoes, and you need these shoes. You click to see how much the shoes cost and realize, you can’t afford the shoes or aren’t willing to pay that price for the shoes. You leave the website. You then start seeing ads or get an email giving you a special promotional code for your orange shoes. Even though the percentage isn’t enough to really justify buying them, still, you crumble, and again buy the orange sneakers.

Google Adwords now offers RSLAs (remarketing lists for search ads). This allows you to customize your search ad campaigns and tailor your bids, words, and graphics to a specific audience who completes a specific set of actions.

This gives you the ability to set specific bids for pre-existing keywords for the visitors on your remarketing lists. You can increase or decrease bids depending on things such as time spent on your page, what pages they went to, and how long ago they visited your page.

This allows you to cast your brand name a little further to those who have already shown interest and allows you to spend your ad budget a little more wisely.

Consider this: Which customer would you rather come back to your site? The one who looked at the $15 pair of orange sneakers a month ago or the one who added the $500 pair of orange sneakers to their cart fifteen minutes ago?

RSLAs give marketers the option to spend more money where they feel they will get the greatest return.

Learn more about Google AdWords management services.

Video retargeting shows visitors retargeted ads to those who have previously seen your videos or those who have “bounced” off your website.

You can show your ads in the beginning or in between YouTube videos your prospect is watching. We have more information on Pre Roll Ads.

Learn more about video advertising services.

Email Retargeting uses two basic techniques. One of these is to show retargeted ads to those who have opened an email from your business. The other is to reach out to those who have given you their email address but visited your website and left.

Ever gotten an email that says something along the lines of, “Hey! You left something.” That is email retargeting. Personalized retargeting emails generate ten times more conversions than regular email marketing.

Data for Retargeting Ads

With search ads, your ads are prompted by something the user searches for. Retargeting ads are not like this. You must input the data for retargeting ads to see the right people.

But how do you go about gathering data for your remarketing campaign?

There are two ways in which a business can go about collecting data for retargeting campaigns: Pixel-Based Retargeting and List-Based Retargeting


This is probably the most common form of data collection with respect to audiences. It employs the use of Javascript code (otherwise known as pixels) that is placed in the meta-data portion of your website.

After you attach the pixel, every time a visitor lands on your page, the pixel fires a browser cookie into the visitor’s browser. Once the visitor exits your page and visits other sites, the pixel provides your platform with the relevant information from this visitor.

Pixel-based remarketing is the best way to guarantee that the right people see your ads at the right time. One key benefit of pixel-based retargeting is that it is instantaneous.

In order to use list-based retargeting, you must first have your audiences’ email addresses. This is used less in product-based businesses and more in service or information-based businesses. One example of this is trying to upgrade the current subscribers of your business.

Getting a list-based retargeting campaign up and going is fairly simple. You basically upload your list of email contacts into your retargeting platform, and your selected audience will start seeing your ads as they begin to browse. You can even take it one step past them and send them a personalized email with your data.

Retargeting Goals

What you want to accomplish with your retargeting campaign will affect how you choose to go about the process of executing the steps.

Although retargeting can benefit your company in a variety of ways, the goals should boil down to two basic categories:

You can use your awareness campaign to retarget those same visitors with information about your product, certain features, specials, or other general announcements.

This goal doesn’t require a ton of targeting because it’s more focused on gaining those who haven’t interacted with your brand much yet.

This is simply a campaign to get your name out there. This type of campaign can be a precursor to more targeted campaigns in the future, as well.

With conversion campaigns, you want visitors to know who you are and what you offer.

You’ll want to set up ads that are enticing enough to get your audience to click, be directed to a landing page, and convert.

Regardless of which is your goal, you must optimize your ads to be responsive and flow well with your landing pages.

You’ll want a different landing page for those who you are trying to increase awareness with than those who you are trying to convert.

They came to your page and left before. You need to make sure, with your retargeting efforts, that they don’t do it again. Or, this is the goal, anyway.

One of the best ways to do this is by audience segmentation. For more information on this, check out our blog: Web Design Best Practices for Conversions.

Retargeting Segmentation

Audience segmentation is simply dividing your potential customers into groups or segments based on certain traits, characteristics, or actions.

Segmentation helps marketers run campaigns more smoothly by creating smaller sections to target. By doing this, you can run ads that you know will catch the “group” attention because it is tailored to them specifically.

We have found that, in general, these are the best ways to segment your audiences when it comes to retargeting campaigns:

re targeting for ROI

When it comes to audience behaviors, there are only two you should be concerned with. Either they’re interested, or they’re not. Simple as that. The not-interested group spends less than a few seconds on your page and leaves. They don’t complete any actions. They don’t stay to look around. They don’t go to any other pages on your site.

The next category, the interested, browse through your site, look at the pricing pages, put in an email, or basically do anything that would lead you to believe that they actually wanted to be on your website.

The uninterested group has little to no intent. They may have clicked the wrong website when searching. You really don’t want to waste much ad budget on these people, since they probably aren’t going to convert, anyways.

For the interested group, you could even get more specific and targeted by “how interested” you feel they are, judging by certain actions completed on your site. If they go to page one, you can choose to show them ads featuring products for page one. If they go to several of your pages but leave when they go to the pricing options, you can choose a “soft-sell” approach instead by offering them something free in exchange for opting into your email list.

When we refer to time, we are basically referring to three things:

  • The time between the prospect’s visit and when they were first introduced to your ad
  • How frequently is the prospect shown the ads
  • The time between the prospect’s visit to your website and the last ad they’ll see

If you’re using Google AdWords or a social media platform like Facebook, the default “time” is thirty days.

This means once they visit your site, they can continue to see your ads for up to thirty days. Then they’ll be dropped off the list.

However, if they revisit your site again, the clock starts all over again.

You, of course, have the option to change your settings and may wish to do so, especially if you have a seasonally based business or a very tight budget.

You will want to adjust the number of times one browser will be shown the same ad. After seeing your brand or ad once or twice, you will then appear spammy and annoying, and instead of converting the person, actually push them further away.

You’ll want to import as many ads as possible so that you are able to rotate to avoid this. This will give your audience the ability to explore more opportunities that your brand has to offer.

This is the most important segment. These are the people you want to spend more money trying to acquire. This group has the highest chance of clicking and, therefore, the highest chance of converting.

They already know who you are. They’re already interested in your product or service. They just need a little nudge to get them to convert when you come out with something new.

You should employ new remarketing campaigns for your existing customers every time you release a new product or add value to existing products. This works especially well for those who haven’t been active in a while.

It’s easier to convert existing customers than it is to gain new ones.

Segmenting your retargeting campaign can mean the difference in a pass or fail here. The more segmented your campaign is, the smarter you’ll be able to spend your ad budget.

How to Create Retargeting Ads

These campaigns normally consist of display ads with images or video and rich media. In order to create a compelling ad, you’ll want to make sure that your message, your product, and the ad are all relevant to one another.

You’ll want to make the message appealing enough to make the audience member click. Again, the more segmented your campaign is, the more targeted your message can be.

Your audience will click on your ad because you offer a solution to a problem he or she is facing. Your ad is responsible for making them feel as if your company is a viable solution. With all the spammy sites out there, you want your ad to also represent your company in terms of branding.

Simply put, you don’t want them to click your ad and be surprised when they end up on your webpage.

Make sense?

Optimizing Your Retargeted Ad

The basic structure of an optimized retargeting ad is as follows:

  • A headline that engages
  • Enticing media that is also relevant to the offering
  • A strong call to action
  • Ad copy that gets to the point

Connecting Remarketing Ads to Landing Pages

google quality score

What is a landing page?

A landing page is a standalone page dedicated to one purpose and one purpose only. They promote one single offer for one single product, no frills here.

Every single one, yes, every single one of your retargeting ads should have a dedicated landing page to go to. Ads that are connected to a dedicated landing page will always have a better conversion rate than those that are sent to the home page.

Keep in mind, with retargeting, this audience has already been to your homepage, and they didn’t convert, remember? You need to give them the information and lead them directly to where they are to convert.

You can lead a horse to water a lot easier if it has blinders on. Retargeted ads are created for your segmented audience groups.

Not every person is interested in every product. If they’ve shown interest in one specific section, then it makes no sense to take them to another section, does it?

Learn more about our search engine optimization services.

Is Your Retargeting Campaign Successful?

In order to gauge whether or not your campaign is successful, you can look at the following digital marketing metrics:

  • Lead Conversions
  • Nurture Touches
  • View Through Rate
  • Page Visits
  • Email Opens

Lead conversions are the number of leads that you can directly contribute to your retargeting campaign.

Remember how we talked about dedicated landing pages earlier? These will be how you know.

A high lead conversion means that your ads successfully lead your audience to the landing pages you set up, and the audience you targeted, converted.

This refers to the level of engagement from your segments with respect to mid or late-stage offers.

This metric points out which of your prospects are ready to move down the buyer’s journey and click to purchase.

This is a conversion that happens when a potential client sees your ad but doesn’t click on the ad but instead revisits your website on his or her own.

This is tracked by the pixel on your landing pages. This metric is extremely important, and this group can be extra helpful in putting together the missing pieces of different buyer’s journey paths taken.

This one should be a no-brainer, but we’ll say it anyway, just so we’ve covered all the bases.

Page visits are the number of visitors who visit your page because they clicked on your ad.

Email marketing is still a very effective form of marketing. We don’t see anyone contesting that anytime soon.

Reaching out to your existing customers or potential customers through email not only gives you more opportunities for conversion but also allows you to collect data. Email opens simply measure the level of engagement between you and your audience and, quite simply, what they want to see more of and what they think is crap.

If you send out an email blast about ‘product a’, and only a handful of your audience opens it, you know two things: one, you may need to work on your ‘product a’ a little more, and two, add those few that opened to a ‘product a’ segmented list for the future.

Boost Your Business With Retargeting Campaigns

Retargeting ads can, no doubt, be extremely beneficial for your business. This is especially true when you have the correct data and experts to manage it!

Retargeting should be part of a larger, inclusive marketing strategy that works together with other marketing tactics, such as SEO.

Are you tired of wasting money on advertising for prospects who aren’t converting or don’t even know who your audience should be?

It’s time to give Digital Logic a shot. We offer a variety of services and a totally free, no-obligation informative consultation!

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