Everything You Need to Know About Retargeting

Ideally, many of your website's visitors will end up converting. Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case in reality. Sometimes people end up leaving your site because they get distracted, or because they simply aren’t ready to complete a purchase. So what can you do to bring consumers back once they are ready to buy?

Retargeting ads can help make that happen. Retargeting is an effective marketing strategy that lets you boost brand visibility and target shoppers who have already shown an interest in your products or services. It's an excellent way of positioning your ads in front of the right audience, at the right time.

In this post, we’ll discuss what retargeting is and how you can use it to benefit your business. Then we’ll provide four tips for using retargeting effectively. Let’s get started!

An Introduction to Retargeting

Retargeting is a marketing technique that lets you use the information about your site's visitors to strategically position your ads throughout their online journey. It helps you stay visible and keep their attention, even after they've clicked away from your site.

Let’s say you send out an email campaign offering a special promotion. A subscriber reads the email, and visits the link to your site. Unfortunately, they receive a text notification or phone call that pulls them away from that page.

Later, when they’re ready to browse again, they open up Instagram. There, they see an ad for your brand, which reminds them of the promotion:

Targeted ad on Instagram.

This can encourage them to click back to your site to complete their checkout. In this manner, retargeting enables you to ‘follow visitors around' with relevant ads.

There are a few different types of retargeting, including on-site, social media-based, and Google Display. Whatever the source, retargeting typically involves adding a pixel or snippet of code to your website, which collects data about your visitors so the right ads can be displayed.

The Benefits of Retargeting

The main draw of retargeting is that it brings shoppers back to your site after they've already visited it once. This is important, considering that 98 percent of consumers don't complete a purchase on their initial visit to a website.

Repeated exposure to your brand's messaging can help encourage more purchasing decisions. It keeps you at the forefront of your visitors' minds, and makes it easier for them to recall your offerings.

Retargeting also lets you track and target consumers who have already shown an interest in your brand or products. You can even customize ads based on where they are in their customer journeys.

This cross-channel marketing approach is an effective way of boosting conversion rates by preventing consumers from ‘slipping through the cracks.' Plus, you can automate these ads to enhance their efficiency.

4 Tips for Using Retargeting Effectively

Now that we've looked at what retargeting is and the benefits, it's time to learn how to use it. Let's explore four tips you can use for effective retargeting.

1. Get to Know Your Audience and Segment Them into Groups

As with most marketing strategies, if you want retargeting to be successful, you first need to know your audience. The more information you have, the better.

Conducting a target market analysis lets you gather data on your audience's demographics and behavior. You can use it to look for common characteristics, including:

  • Age range
  • Location/time zone
  • Income level/spending power
  • Interests

One method of collecting this information is by using Google Analytics:

Google Analytics website.

This tool offers essential insight into your audience, including their interests, behavior, and demographics. You can also use the Cross Device feature to better understand how visitors interact with your site across different devices.

Of course, this is just one marketing research tool you can use to learn more about your audience. You can also use social analytics solutions, such as Instagram Insights.

2. Create Retargeting Ad Campaigns on Social Media

People spend a lot of time on social media. So it makes sense to market to them on the networks they use the most.

By setting up social media retargeting ad campaigns, you can reintroduce consumers to your products and even offer discounts to further incentivize action.

Facebook and Instagram are two powerful platforms you can use for this. The first step to setting up a retargeting campaign on either platform is to create a Facebook Pixel from your Business Manager account.

Once you create and add the pixel to your website, you can set up a custom audience by going to your Business Manager settings and visiting Audience > Create Audience > Custom Audience:

Facebook Custom Audience settings.

One option is to create a custom audience based on your website's visitors from the last seven days. You could also target visitors who have visited specific pages:

Custom Audience settings on Facebook.

Finally, you can create your ad campaign and start attracting more visitors your way.

3. Optimize Your Ads and Landing Pages to Boost Conversions

To get the most out of your retargeting campaigns, it's important to optimize your ads and landing pages. For example, you'll want to make sure your ad copy and images are relevant and actionable.

Additionally, we recommend rotating between different versions of your ads. Doing so can help prevent ‘ad fatigue', which can happen when an audience sees an ad so often they start tuning it out. Setting a frequency cap can also help.

You might also consider using a post-click landing page for retargeted ads:

A Marketo post-click landing page.

It's always a good idea to create a unique landing page for each promotion. Post-click landing pages help match your content with visitors' expectations.

4. Use Link Retargeting in Your Marketing Content

We've discussed how to target people who have visited your site. However, you can take this one step further through link targeting.

In a nutshell, this is the process of putting your retargeting pixel code from Facebook or Google in a ‘short link‘. As a result, anyone who clicks on the link (not just people who've visited your site) will be added to your retargeting pixel.

This means you can use link retargeting in virtually all of your marketing content and materials. It broadens your reach and scope by incorporating consumers who have interacted with your links but perhaps not your website (yet).

You can do this by using our own Pretty Links plugin. Once you install and activate it, you can add tracking scripts:

Pretty Links tracking script settings.

Under Default Link Options, you can enable both tracking and Google Analytics. Then in the Global Head Scripts text box, you can simply paste in your Google or Facebook pixel code, which is all you'll need to get started.


In today’s crowded online environment, it can be difficult to capture (and keep) consumers’ attention. You’re tasked with not only motivating shoppers to visit your site, but also bringing them back once they leave.

Fortunately, retargeting makes facilitating engagement easier. For more effective retargeting, you can:

  1. Get to know your audience and segment them into groups.
  2. Create ad campaigns on social media channels.
  3. Optimize your ads and landing pages to boost conversions.
  4. Use link retargeting in your marketing content.

Do you have any questions about retargeting? Let us know in the comments section below!

Categories: Marketing
About John Hughes

John is a blogging addict, a WordPress fanatic, and a staff writer for WordCandy.co


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