Retargeting – The Perfect Way To Maximize Your Website’s Conversion Rate

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SEO ZONE: Website Retargeting

Every online marketer’s wildest dream is that whoever visits their landing pages goes deeper into their sales funnel, and ends up making a purchase. Unfortunately, this is often just that – a dream.

In the real world, things are a little more complex. It is estimated that only 2% of first-time visitors to a website make a purchase on their first visit. The other 98% leave – often without so much as giving you their email address (

Therefore, if you intend to maximize your website’s conversion rate, you need to focus on more than just driving traffic to your landing pages. You need a strategy to continue marketing to the 98% of website visitors who do not convert on their first visit. The best strategy to achieve this is through retargeting.

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a systematic strategy for marketing to people who have visited your website before, but didn’t make a purchase. Its ultimate goal is to convert those visitors into leads, prospects and ultimately customers. Retargeting is sometimes referred to as “remarketing.”

The rationale behind retargeting is this: when people purchase a product or service via a specific website, they are purchasing more than just the product or service. They are actually purchasing the brand or a special feeling of connection with the website. This is why they choose a specific website over other websites which offer similar products or services.

The goal of retargeting is to enhance the website’s brand, and help your visitors to feel connected to it. Once this feeling of connection is developed, making a sale becomes much easier. As such, retargeting focuses on marketing to an individual in a manner which makes them desire to purchase a website’s products or services.

How Retargeting Works

In a nutshell, retargeting is implemented in two simple steps. The first step is tracking website users. The second step is sending them targeted advertising. Let us look at each of these steps in detail.

1. Tracking Website Visitors

The first step towards retargeting is through tracking website visitors. The primary reason for this is to identify those who made purchases and those who didn’t. An even more important reason is to identify specific products or services which those who didn’t make a purchase may have taken an interest in.

There are actually two main types of retargeting: pixel-based retargeting and list-based retargeting. Each of these differs somewhat in how they track a website’s visitors.

Pixel-based retargeting works by embedding a small cookie on the visitor’s browser. The cookie is usually embedded by JavaScript which is found on your landing pages. This cookie enables you to store basic information about the visitor e.g. which pages they visited and products they viewed. The cookie also enables you to “follow” the visitor to other websites and display your targeted ads towards them.

The advantage of pixel-based retargeting is that in enables you to track every visitor who comes to your website. It also enables you to begin sending targeted ads immediately after a visitor leaves your website. This makes you likely to reach as many potential customers as possible. Its downside is that you are often flying blind. You don’t know much about your visitors, except for a few behavioral patterns. As such, designing an effective ad campaign is a little difficult.

List-based retargeting is directed towards people who have given you their contact details. These are people who have signed up for newsletter, or free ebook, for instance. It enables you to track such people onto their social media platforms. For such people, you can send more customized retargeting ads.

The only downside with list-based retargeting is that it requires you to first convince a visitor to give you their contact details. As such, it is often implemented after a pixel-based campaign has convinced someone to supply you with their contact details.

2. Targeted Advertising

Retargeting is mostly implemented through targeted advertising. This advertising is often carried out by third-party services such as AdRoll, Retargeter and Fetchback. Such services can display your retargeting ads to visitors when they go to other websites besides yours. This increases the visibility of your ads and increases the click-through rates.

However, in some instances, you can carry out the targeted advertising yourself. This is especially true for list-based retargeting. You can deliver your targeted ads by email or directly on the target’s social media pages. In fact, such ads can even be more effective since they can be customized to suit a specific recipient’s needs.

Best Practices For Retargeting

For a retargeting campaign to be effective, there are certain critical characteristics which it must have. These constitute the best practices in retargeting. Any campaign which aligns itself with the following practices will have a greater than average chance of achieving its goals.

1. Effective Banner Ads

Retargeting is mostly carried out through banner ads. As such, the success of a retargeting campaign often comes down to the quality of its ads. There are three characteristics which effective retargeting ads have.

First of all, a retargeting ad needs to have a strong call-to-action. This is actually the most important feature of an ad. Without a call-to-action, the ad will be largely ineffective. At a minimum, it should entice the visitor to click on it.

Secondly, all retargeting ads must display your brand and contact details. At first glance, the visitor should be able to instantly recognize that the ad is from you. Your contact details such as phone, email and website should be displayed on it. The reason for this is that some people would prefer to contact you directly, rather than clicking on the retargeting ads.

Finally, the ad must link to a well-designed landing page. Basically, clicking on the ad should take the visitor exactly where you want them to be. And, of course, the ad must be eye-catching and attractive (but that is fairly obvious).

2. Segmentation

For retargeting to be effective, you need to divide your target audience into segments. Your ads should then be tailored for people in specific segments. The simplest form of segmentation is through products or services that the visitors may have taken an interest in. This can depend on the product pages they visited and products whose details they viewed.

For instance, let’s imagine your website sells fashion items like shoes, handbags and earrings. If one visitor checks out men’s shoes and another checks out the handbags, it doesn’t make sense to send them the same retargeting ads. Each one should receive an ad which is relevant to the items they were checking out.

An even more effective form of segmentation is through stages in the marketing funnel. Basically, you divide up your target audience depending upon their stage in the sales funnel. You then send them different ads. For instance, for those who are still at the awareness stage, the kinds of ads are different from those who are at the conversion stage.

Basically, segmentation can enable you to provide people with ads which are relevant to their needs and circumstances. This makes the ads more effective than blanket ads which are sent to everybody.

Moderating Ad Frequency

Retargeting can actually end up becoming nagging or creepy to some visitors. When a person has just left your website, immediately finding your ad on the next website they visit can be felt as weird to some.

People are paranoid about being tracked and spied upon. If your ad appears too soon, it can scare them off. Similarly, sending an endless slew of ads can make people feel bombarded. This ends up nagging them, and pushing them away from your brand.

As such, retargeting has to be carried out skillfully. One of the key skills is knowing when to send your first retargeting ads, and how frequently to send them. Unfortunately, there are no fixed rules for this.

For instance, sending your retargeting ads immediately is advisable for people checking out for tour and travel services. However, it can push away people checking out luxury items.

The bottom line is that you cannot carry out retargeting haphazardly. You need a clear, well-thought out strategy which is specific to your industry. The good news is that there are standardized approaches which work with different types of people. As such, before commencing on a retargeting campaign, you need to understand your industry and target audience.

Social Media

Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter are among the most effective avenues for carrying out retargeting. This is because they enable you to deliver targeted ads to specific people. However, the power of these platforms is that they enable your target audience to share you ads with other people who may be interested in your products or services. This creates opportunities for you to send even more targeted advertising. In the end, it widens the scope of your marketing campaign.


For any marketing campaign, evaluating the effectiveness of different activities is invaluable for guaranteeing success. Retargeting is no exception. The best way of evaluating the effectiveness of your campaign is through analytics. Using analytics, you can gain insights into your audience’s behavioral patterns, judge the effectiveness of your strategies and carry out remedial action. In the end, it makes it easier to sharpen your strategies and be able to achieve success.

Need Help With Retargeting?

Retargeting is essential for maximizing a website’s conversion. However, implementing an effective retargeting strategy can be quite complicated. The best option is to hire experts to do it for you.

If you need help with your retargeting campaign, we are here at your service! Simply contact us at 303-200-1000 and we’ll map out for you a retargeting strategy which will enable you to achieve your goals. You can also reach out by email at [email protected] or fill out the form on this page and request more information.

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