Without proper targeting, display advertising is a money pit for online retailers. The good news is that display networks continue to refine their targeting and audience segmentation optoins. It’s not so much a matter of what website is displaying your ad anymore. Instead it is all about who is viewing your ad.
An increasing amount of ad inventory can be purchased based on audience-specific demographics such as gender, geography, age range, and interest categories.
Yet there is one targeting option that will perform better and cost less than any other audience segment: those who have already expressed interest in your brand by coming to your website. And the more recently, the better.
If you’re going to use remarketing effectively, here are some things you need to know:
Choose a Platform Based on Functionality & Transparency
While there are multiple retargeting platforms available, if you’re already using AdWords for your search marketing, you will be well served with the advanced remarketing platform built into AdWords. You’ll get the same functionality and transparency as all your other display network campaign.
In addition to basic retargeting functionality, AdWords gives you high-value control such as geo-targeting, day parting, ad split testing, automated bidding, and device targeting.
Concerning transparency, you will see the exact websites where your ads are being displayed. You can use Google’s advanced targeting options to further refine your reach to show your ads only when users are visiting certain websites. This typically makes your remarketing perform even better. For example, if you sell sporting equipment, you may want to show remarketing ads only when the user is visiting sports-related websites.
Segment Your Internal Audience
Be proud of yourself for getting started with remarketing, but don’t be content with an oversimplified implementation. Sure, those who have already visited your website will convert better than any generic audience you’ll find on the Google Display Network, but within this high performing audience you’ll find some ultra-performing segments.
Here are a few:
You’ll obviously want to track conversions resulting from ad clicks. But you should also track view-through conversions (VTC). A VTC occurs when a visitor sees your ad, doesn’t click, but visits your site again anyway. There’s always a percentage of visitors who would have come back to your website anyway, but only the most cynical would believe that the display ad had zero effect.
You can mitigate double-counting VTCs by enabling the AdWords setting to de-duplicate conversions. With this setting enabled, if a conversion happens after a click from a search campaign, the conversion will be counted there and the VTC will be ignored.
Remarketing pays dividends the earlier it is implemented. It takes time to grow your lists, so get started soon. If you’re serious about making remarketing work for your online retail business, here’s a helpful report that will provide some additional strategies.