Blog Post

What is Retargeting? [VIDEO]


Today's video covers a marketing strategy that targets the percentage of people that have visited your website and haven't converted yet. It's called retargeting, or remarketing, and Google is using it to get the people they know are familiar with your services to come back to your website and finish what they started. Watch the video to learn more about retargeting, how it works, and how you can start your retargeting campaign.

TRANSCRIPTION:

Hello, and welcome to our video. Today we're going to be talking about, what is retargeting? I'm Chad Hill, and I have Adam Stetzer with me.

Good afternoon, Chad. Retargeting is one of those PPC topics that's a little confusing for folks on the technical side. But once they come across retargeting-- or remarketing, as Google is calling it now-- start to understand what it's actually doing, they get pretty excited about it. I know we get a lot of phone calls and a lot of discussion in our reseller forum about, why am I seeing these ads all over the place? How can I follow people around the internet? So let's start with just a brief overview of what this version of pay per click campaigns really look like, and then how they're advantageous. Not only to PPC, but other internet marketing campaigns you might be running.

We'll start with how it works. And if you think about a regular paid search advertising campaign-- in the original way it was set up-- was that you had a list of keywords that you wanted to target. And then you had ads that you wanted to run against those keywords. So someone would go to Google, or another search engine, search on one of those keywords, an auction would happen. And if you have the right bid and other things, your ad would be shown.

The main difference between that and retargeting is that, instead of having a list of keywords, you're basically targeting people based on whether or not they've been to your website. So what you do is you change some script on your website. You go from the old Google Analytics script to what they called the universal tracking script-- Google Analytics universal tracking script. And what that allows you to do is to say, when people come to your website, I want to stick them in a list or in an audience. So then I can run these ads against.

And as that person then moves around the web, they show up when there's Google advertising inventory-- or if you're using their other platforms, but primarily Google advertising inventory. And when they're on that site, you can have a bid to say, I would like to show my ad back to someone who visited my website before. But that probably leads to a good question, Adam. Why would you ever want to do that?

So let's slow down though, because this is already pretty complicated. So from what you just said, my understanding is Google pretty much invented this as a way to go after people who click on ad the first time. And then go show them ads again, of course. So Google is trying to make more money off of it. Fairly successful, but the complexity here is that where the person saw the ad the first time is probably on Google's site. A traditional pay per click (PPC) ad around their search. They landed on the target site. Google dropped this cookie, then after that though, the ads were shown all over the place through the content network.

And that's where it gets pretty tricky. It's only show to people who had that cookie, who had originally gone to target site. Which is very different than just targeting the content network-- originally opened up to the entire audience, which a lot of people know is less effective. Cheaper, but potentially less effective. So I think that's where Google was coming from. What's interesting to me though, is that people have dreamed up applications for using retargeting or remarketing for PPC for when the person came to the site not originally from a pay per click ad at google.com. And this is where it gets really exciting to me, as it opens up opportunities to remarket or retarget people you may have brought to your site through social media, through SEO, or direct traffic. That's totally above board. Google doesn't mind that. Either way, you're spending ad revenue.

Yeah, exactly. And going back to one of the points you made, I do think that retargeting is great because it opens up and makes display advertising more useful for a much larger set of advertisers than-- as you mentioned-- the way it used to be. Where if I'm a very big advertiser, I would have demographic targets. And maybe even some behavioral targets that I was trying to reach. But a lot of times, those didn't work that well.

So again, retargeting really makes this thing work. Now, shifting over to what you're asking about. The benefit is that, yes. You can now retarget a much larger percentage of the people coming to your website. So if you think about, most websites have at very good conversion rate of maybe 5%. So what that means is that 95% of the people that come to your website don't actually convert. And sometimes that's because people didn't see what they wanted. But a lot of times it's because they were distracted by something else. The phone rang, a great tweet popped in, someone walked into their office. Whatever it might have been. But they may have been on the way to converting, but got distracted and didn't come back to it.

So for that group of people, retargeting is an excellent way. Whether they initially came to you website through SEO, organic search, a direct traffic, whatever it might be. But retargeting is a great way to then follow them around to remind them that, hey. You did have something interesting. But right before you were ready to convert, you got distracted and left. Don't worry about that. Come back to the site now, because I'm still here waiting for you to call me or fill out a Web-to-Lead form.

Right, so at its simplest level, I'm trying to answer this question, what is retargeting? What is pay per click remarketing? To me, it if you're running a campaign without retargeting on, it's like playing baseball and you only get one pitch. So you get one shot, you only get one swing. And as you said, most sites convert well under 5 or even 2%. And that's it, you're out. But if you turn on retargeting or remarketing, you get a second, third, fourth, maybe even six pitches. Because, as that cookie is alive for that person, you could follow them around the internet to any property that's in the Google ad network-- which is many, many of them. And then show display ads to try to bring it back and get a second chance at a conversion.

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