Creating a Successful AdWords Retargeting Campaign

Every 21st century business owner knows that online advertising is a must when it comes to attracting clients and making sales. While the sheer vastness of the internet may make it seem like your advertising campaign will fall on deaf ears, services like Google AdWords allow businesses to target their ads to consumers searching for their product or service on the search engine at that time. This simple tactic, along with a myriad of other available options to narrow down your audience, generally makes for increased traffic to your website, but doesn’t guarantee any action on the part of the consumer once there. Cue: AdWords Retargeting Campaigns.

Related: When is Google Adwords Right For Your Company?

What is a Retargeting Campaign?

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, refers to a type of online advertising which targets the people who have visited your website but haven’t made a purchase, signed up for a free trial or completed any other ‘conversions’. This group is known as ‘bounced traffic’ and consists of approximately 98% of a website’s total traffic. Retargeting campaigns anonymously follow these users to other sites and advertise your brand to them again, ensuring that you maintain their awareness and encouraging them to revisit your website and become a customer. Here we’ll discuss how to set up your retargeting campaign, as well as the pros and cons of doing so.

Setting up an AdWords Retargeting Campaign

Creating a retargeting ad on Google AdWords involves adding a tag to your webpage. This tag will serve as the keyword around which you will base your retargeting ad. A visitor to your tagged page will then receive a cookie which will allow you to follow and target them with your ad on another site. For example, if a user visits the page upon which you specifically sell grills, they will receive a cookie that will allow them to be targeted by the retargeting ad centered around the keyword “grill”. This might compel them to revisit your webpage and purchase the specific product they had their eye on.

Steadily narrowing your targets

Creating a Successful AdWords Retargeting Campaign

Google will initially recommend that you begin by targeting everyone that visits your homepage. This will result in very general retargeting ads being delivered to a large group of people. Although it’s a good starting point, it can increase your Google remarketing costs and produce mediocre results. It is therefore important that you quickly begin creating different remarketing lists governed by specific rules. You can then create more precise ads and display them to a group of people that are more likely to react positively. For example, all visitors who visit the page that sells grills will be presented with a different ad to those who visited your page selling outdoor recliners. These specific ads will be more effective than a general advertisement for outdoor furniture and appliances sent to your entire audience.

Creating retargeting ads with different objectives

A webpage visitor’s journey to becoming a loyal customer is rarely straightforward or immediate and often involves many interactions with your brand before any transactions take place. Different retargeting ads can be created to prompt a person at any point in this journey to take one step further. Ads containing your company logo, name and trade are simple and serve to promote the general awareness of your brand. These ads ensure that the people who visited your site don’t forget about you. A more advanced ad would be centered around the products that a specific user looked at while visiting your page and would make use of different remarketing lists. You also have the option of creating ads tailored to users who filled their shopping carts but didn’t perform any transactions, prompting them to purchase something through offers of discounts and special promotions. Once a customer has purchased something, your retargeting efforts can focus on presenting them with products similar to those they have already bought.

Exploiting the pros of retargeting ads

Retargeting ads are incredibly effective because they target people who are familiar with the brand and have proven that they are remotely interested in it. By following these individuals to other sites, you become more recognizable to them, gain their trust and make them more likely to do business with you. Retargeting ads can also encourage first-time buyers to purchase more, potentially securing them as a loyal customer. With AdWords, you can also reach people across all their devices, on over two million websites and mobile apps.

Meeting the need for increasingly interesting ads

Retargeting ads are presented to people already familiar with what your brand offers and therefore require unique, creative banner ads and customized landing pages that will persuade them to buy from you. Consider addressing a specific concern that might have prevented them from making a purchase on their first visit to your site. For example, they might have thought that it would be too time-consuming to sign up for your trial. A retargeting ad that focuses on how quick and streamlined you sign-up process is can be a good way to rope in more customers. Ensure that you conduct enough research and that you are able to create personalized ads before embarking on a retargeting campaign.

Related: Changes to Adwords & How You Can Take Advantage of Them

Avoiding over-exposure to your brand

It is also crucial to find the balance between targeting users and bombarding them with your ads, as many people can develop negative emotions towards brands that constantly advertise on their favorite sites. Retargeting is most effective after it has been running for a substantial amount of time. Research has shown that three months of retargeting ads are far more effective than one month and such a campaign therefore requires long term commitment and plenty of patience.

Keeping advertising costs reasonable

The cost of your AdWords retargeting campaign will largely depend on your decisions, as a broader campaign results in higher costs. Using AdWords retargeting tags in combination with contextual targeting, conversion filtering and frequency capping will enable you to formulate targeted and highly relevant retargeting ads while keeping costs within your budget. You can also choose between CPC and CPM pricing. CPC pricing refers to Cost Per Click pricing, in which you are charged per click on your ad. CPM pricing refers to Cost Per Thousand pricing, in which a certain cost is charged per 1000 impressions of your ad. Whether your ad has been clicked on or not is not taken into account in CPM pricing, so be sure to figure out which tactic works best for your business.