Few things are more frustrating to an Internet marketer than the unconverted click. Each time a user clicks on one of your ads, it increases your company’s advertising costs, so when clicks don’t produce results, it can feel like throwing money away. This is especially true with near-miss customers. When a user clicks through to your site, browses, adds some items to his or her cart, and then abandons you at checkout, the missed opportunity can haunt you.
You’re left to wonder what changed the user’s mind. Is there anything you could have done to make the conversion? Will he or she ever come back to your site?
Retargeting in General
These are the unanswered questions beyond the concept of retargeting, an advertising method aimed at users who make it to your site, but leave before taking action. Perhaps a user clicked through to your online store, but didn’t buy anything, or visited the reservation page of your bed and breakfast, but didn’t book a room.
Retargeting makes it easier to get a second shot at those users who show an interest in your product, but fail to follow through. When a user visits your site, your site will leave a cookie in the user’s browser, which your retargeting software recognizes. Then, users will be presented with ads for your site when they move on.
Retargeting for Sales
When it comes to retargeting, there are many paths you can take as an advertiser. The trick is to figure out which type of user you need to follow.
At your broadest, you may choose to retarget every visitor who clicked through your ad and made it to your homepage, or users who perform searches for the type of products you offer through search engines. At the most narrow, you may choose to retarget only visitors who added items to a shopping cart and made it all the way to checkout before leaving your site. Effective retargeting depends upon determining which users are most likely to convert.
In the case of an online store, it’s a pretty safe bet that a user who added items to a cart is more ready to buy than a user who left the site from the homepage or after browsing a single category. By retargeting those users who show only the most intent to act, you’ll save money and, if all goes well, see a higher return on your advertising investment.
Retargeting for Exposure
Not all retargeting is about selling a product. Sometimes it’s about getting the word out, or finding new readers. If you run a blog about a topic in which a user has shown an interest, either by clicking through to your site or through online searches, you may want to target the user at a later time.
Not every user leaves your site due to a lack of interest. Other factors may be at play, and if you can get to them again while they are just relaxing online, they may be more ready to engage.