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Understanding Retargetting in Order to Boost Your Revenue

January 15th, 2015

Understanding Retargetting in Order to Boost Your Revenue

Retargeting (also called retarget marketing) is a simple but effective way to go after people who have already browsed your site or shown a certain level of interest, but left without buying.  They might have placed items in their shopping cart and gotten distracted, or spent a significant amount of time browsing your site and then left to compare prices.

Regardless of why they left, the key here to remember is that only about 2% to 8% of all customers convert on their first visit to an eCommerce storefront.  Retargeting helps you tap into that other 98% to 92% you would otherwise be missing out on.  This can happen a few types of ways, from email campaigns to simple cookie-based solutions.

Retargeting Your Leads with Cookies

The easiest (but not always the most effective) way to retarget your visitors who have bounced off your site is to embed a JavaScript tag right into the footer on your website.  This is just a little piece of coding (often called a ‘pixel’) on the back end of the site (meaning your visitors don’t see it).  The code programs your site to create lists of all your visitors and places tracking cookies into their browsers.

You’ve likely visited a site that requires you to turn on your cookies if you have them turned off – this is for retargeting purposes most of the time.  The cookies that store in your visitor’s browsers are harmless.  They simply allow your retarget ads to display to people who’ve visited your site as they browse other sections and sites of the internet.

Think of the cookies as an “on” switch.  There are millions of ads out there floating around on the internet thanks to ad vendors, so when a visitor walks into the room (i.e. a website), how can the site know which ads to turn on?  Exactly, the cookies.  Since that person already visited your site, your retarget ad gets the okay from the cookie and displays to the visitor.

This not only help to get your brand recognized, it also provides another in for the customer to get back to your site while simultaneously creating a more personalized internet experience for the user (seeing as your site is obviously pertinent to their interests, or at least was at one point).

Retargeting Your Leads with Email Marketing

You can also retarget people who have visited your site if they have signed up for your emailing list or have made purchases from you before (i.e. they have an account and you have their email address).  Let’s say one of your customers is searching lawnmowers but a week goes by and they don’t buy.  A simple email pointing to a sale you have on lawnmowers this week might be just the motivation to buy that they need.

This also works with items left in a shopping cart or with supplemental items that might be on sale which coincide with a bigger purchase the customer previously made.

Why Should You Use Retargeting?

The main reason – and probably only one you’ll need – to use retargeting is because it increases your sales.  It also raises brand awareness and draws in more targeted traffic to your site.  You get higher click-thru rates, higher conversion rates, higher return rates—all in all it’s a win-win.

Think of retargeting as both a branding tool and a conversion optimization tool.  Of course, on its own, retarget marketing is effective, but it can work even better if it’s integrated into a comprehensive digital marketing and branding strategy.  Use retargeting along with content marketing and regular AdWord campaigns to give your sales a substantial, sustainable boost.

Retargeting FAQs

Q:  How can I make my retargeting more effective? 

A:  Segment your audience by demographics such as age, interests, location, economic status, buying habits, etc. to tailor your retargeting ads to the individual.

Q:  Are there time frames which are most effective for retargeting? 

A:  Depending on what you are selling, retargeting time frames vary.  For example, those with time-sensitive needs (e.g. booking a flight or hotel) should get immediate retargeting but those making large purchases (e.g. cars, diamond rings) should be retargeted down the line (since the initial visit was likely research and price comparison).

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