Hey, Come Back Here: Benefits Of Retargeting For Online Business

By CertifiedHosting 12/17/2013

As many as 9 out of every 10 users who comes to your site may be leaving without a conversion. Wouldn’t it be nice to get some of those potential customers back so you can turn more visits into sales? With retargeting, that’s now possible. Retargeting allows you to directly aim a message at defined groups of site visitors, either with display ads, social media promotions, or modified site content.

Below, let’s specifically review retargeting via display ads (with some reference to social media options), the original form of retargeting and how it’s most popularly conceived.  That type of retargeting serves ads on display networks specifically to individuals in certain categories who visited your site, such as those who abandoned carts.

Why does retargeting work?

The advice and news site Small Business Trends suggests that part of the reason retargeting is helpful is that not everyone who leaves your site does so out of disinterest. Frequently, other aspects of our lives pull us away from completing a purchase. We might be halfway through the buying process, see an email hit our inbox, and turn to another task. By the time we resolve the other concern, we might not remember the site where we were starting to order.

Additionally, retargeting narrows focus. It makes sense for ads to target certain demographics. With retargeting, it simply gets much more specific. You aren’t just serving ads to people in certain industries or with a set of parameters such as age and sex. You are directly conveying your message to users who were midway through the shopping process on your site when they left. The retargeting efforts serve as gentle reminders that your company still wants their business.

Top retargeting organizations:

AdRoll: In business for six years, AdRoll is a brand that has proven its expertise with retargeting campaigns. It’s one of ten companies chosen by Twitter to handle data collection and account management for its own retargeting wing (with beta programs announced earlier this month).

Fetchback: Fetchback has diverse options for retargeting clients rather than using a cookie-cutter approach. Companies can use the Fetchback system to better individualize retargeting plans.

Google Remarketing: This program keeps everything in one place. You can go into Google AdWords and start a retargeting campaign using the Google Display Network, which gives you access to 4 out of every 5 online users (well, the portion who visited your site). You can segment users easily to perform split testing, too, increasing your effectiveness.

ReTargeter: This company is focused specifically on customer support, so if you are just getting started, it could be the best choice. You get assigned a specific account specialist to answer your questions and guide your campaign.
Small Business Trends also points out one element of retargeting that can make or break your campaign: balance. You want to bring back users that have left, not overwhelm them. If your ads seem to be omnipresent to the visitor following their visit to your site, it could make them feel irritated or even uncomfortable about having visited in the first place.

Examples of retargeting successes

Design and marketing agency August Ash uses retargeting with several of its clients. The company has found that retargeting proves successful in most situations.

The basic argument August provides for retargeting is effort and cost. It’s a relatively inexpensive way to access users, and when you only focus on those people who abandoned carts, you know that interest has already been expressed. Compare retargeting to marketing through content, email, or social platforms: all those alternatives involve a significant amount of strategic planning. Creating the content can become complicated and expensive. Even once the campaign is running, it must be monitored rigorously and revised as necessary.

Here are a couple of specific retargeting success stories:

  1. One business had a website it was building, although it was primarily a brick-and-mortar establishment. Based on a small amount of traffic (about 300 users), a retargeting plan was activated. August ran the campaign through Google Remarketing, and opted for cost-per-click (CPC) billing. The campaign generated absolutely no return traffic to the site, so no direct increase in sales. However, because no clicks occurred, potential customers received numerous impressions of the company’s branding at no charge.
  2. The other company was an established online business with over 20,000 unique visits per month. That organization opted for two different retargeting efforts: display ads and the Facebook retargeting system. Any user who visited the business’s site experienced the retargeting message about 5 times over the course of the ensuing three months. The monthly cost of retargeting for this company was less than $200, not even a penny per visitor.


Retargeting offers just one way, of course, to optimize the effectiveness of your online efforts. Another popular way to build your brand is with content marketing, as covered previously in this blog. Need general optimization tips? Certified Hosting offers numerous other solutions to improve your site.

By Kacy Carlsen