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Retargeting Ads FAQ

Retargeting is often referred to as “digital stalking.” It is the practice of following a targeted website user elsewhere on the Internet after they have left your website without taking action. Your ad will appear on different websites the user visits until they either click on the ad or the time frame has expired.

One of the most common uses of retargeting on the internet involves tracking prospective customers on social media that have previously visited your site and clicked out before moving down the marketing funnel towards a sale. This typically works by tagging your website visitors and then seeing how they behave and determining how they should be marketed to via your creative, time stamp, and other social media targeting tools.

Retargeting isn't just a digital exclusive practice, however. Businesses have been doing it for years by tracking their core customer's behavior and retargeting them with a variety of tools like highway billboards or special discounts and offers via physical mailing. If you ever noticed a billboard for a popular restaurant that said "Did you miss us? Take the next exit!" This would be an example of using retargeting in the analog (non-digital) world that has proven quite successful for the past few decades.

Some examples of retargeting online include:

  • Facebook Advertising

Facebook retargeting, using the Facebook Tracking Pixel, is a concept that has evolved since the mid-2010s when mining data from users became an extremely effective practice that helped marketers segment their audience on the platform and hit them with the right advertisement at the right time. When you create a Facebook business page for your company, you will have the option to set up a Facebook tracking code that you can pair to your website. This will allow you to track your audience's behavior on the social media site and target them with advertisements that feature links to where you want to take them on your website.

  • Google Search Retargeting

A very interesting and straightforward way of retargeting, this method includes anonymously "cookie-ing" a user with the search term they used and then serving them a display ad later on another website. By tracking a user's movement across the internet, you can analyze certain patterns of buyer behavior and work towards getting them to your website and further down the marketing funnel. You'll want to use your ad spend intelligently, however, as the worse you perform, the more expensive search engines can make your budget.

  • Email Marketing

Similar to social media marketing, email marketers can get very creative when using this form of retargeting. By using tools like Google Analytics that help them track their user behavior after site visits, marketers can retarget customers that are already on their email subscription lists with special deals, similar to how they would have approached physical mailings back in the day.

Retargeting is an extremely efficient and effective lead generation and digital marketing tool that can lead to some big-time results for just a fraction of the cost. Being smart about how you do it is key while figuring out how your users behave is just the start. This can lead to some pretty creative and interesting methods of using retargeting in your daily business practices.