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Increase your PPC ROI with remarketing

Remarketing, or retargeting, lets you advertise online or via email to people who have already visited your website and keep your products or services front-of-mind. For example, a visitor may look at shirts on your clothing website, but leave without buying anything. Later, when they visit their favourite news site or watch videos on YouTube, your ads can be displayed on those websites, reminding your visitor about your shirts.

Remarketing reduces your pay-per-click advertising costs while increasing your ROI because ads are highly targeted to people with a demonstrated interest in your brand. This results in better click-through rates and higher conversions than standard display ads. For instance, a recent study found that 8% of shopping cart abandoners returned without any form of remarketing. However, when a real-time remarketing campaign was added, the total return rate increased to 26%. You can also use it to build brand awareness by increasing your exposure to interested consumers. (Related article: How to use PPC campaigns to enhance your SEO). 

There are several types of remarketing campaigns you can run:

  • General campaigns target everyone who visits your site and are mainly used for brand awareness and keeping your brand front-of mind.
  • Product or service-specific campaigns promote a particular offering to visitors who already viewed that item on your website, drawing them back to something they are already interested in.
  • Abandoned shopping cart ads target those consumers who added items to their cart but left before completing the purchase. Ideas for these ads include discount codes and other enticements to close the sale.
  • Members-only campaigns target people who’ve demonstrated a significant interest in your brand by signing up to access members-only pages. Reward their loyalty with contests, coupons, or other reasons to buy.
  • Seasonal or event-based campaigns can be run at certain times of year, such as the holidays, or to promote special events like a contest. These can be general or page-specific, but run for a limited time.

No matter what style of remarketing you do, the following best practices will help you to maximize your ROI and your audience’s experience:

  • Target appropriate user groups. Broad, undefined target lists result in your ads being shown to many people who aren’t interested in your products, annoying them and wasting your money. Narrow your display parameters so that your ads are shown to people who are likely to click on them.
  • Use reasonable display frequencies. Don’t annoy your visitors with too many ads. How often you display your ad depends on how long you run it for – longer cycles should display ads less frequently.
  • Align your cookie duration to your sales cycle. You can set your ads to display anywhere from days to months after a visitor has left your site. For short sales cycles, set short durations so you don’t annoy your customers. For longer sales cycles, set longer durations to keep your brand front-of-mind.
  • Make sure your ads are compliant with the new EU cookie laws. Read Avinash Kaushik’s blog post for all the details.
  • Give your visitors the option to opt-out. Some platforms, like Google Adwords, have opt-out options for their display networks, so you don’t waste ads on people who don’t want to see them.
  • Exclude sites that don’t mesh with your brand. If certain sites or categories don’t align with your brand image or values, set your parameters so that your ads don’t display on those sites.
  • Consider your audience. Remarketing ads aren’t the same as general display ads. You’re targeting people who are already aware of your brand, so you can be more specific with your messaging.
  • Use appropriate landing pages. General ads should land on your homepage, but specific ads, like those for a certain product or a contest, should land on the associated page. Don’t make your visitors hunt for the information that brought them back to your site.
  • Use negative lists. Keep track of visitors who have already converted to avoid showing them ads once they have followed through.
  • Track your analytics and adjust your campaigns accordingly. If certain remarketing ads aren’t delivering for you, cancel them. Campaigns that are working may be worth additional spending. The only way to optimize your remarketing efforts is to act on the results.
  • Go beyond website remarketing. You can also add retargeting code to email blasts, social media such as Facebook and YouTube fan pages, as well as on blog posts and forums. Anywhere potential customers interact with your brand, you can use that information to remarket to them.

Take the time to plan your remarketing, making use of these best practices and aligning your ad parameters to your goals. This will ensure your ads are displayed to the most qualified targets, increasing your return and keeping your brand in your customer’s mind long after they’ve left your site.

If you have any questions about digital marketing, please contact us directly. If you want to gain hands-on experience with digtial marketing, attend our 1-day digital marketing training workshop.