Retargeting – Why it Works and How to Make the Most of it

On average, online stores manage to convert just 3% percent of their visitors into customers.

That’s just 30 sales out of 1000 visitors.

And only 50% of those who add a product to shopping cart will go ahead and complete the purchase.

This is crazy:

Because you are leaving easy money on the table.

If you can retarget and follow up with the remaining 97% who’re leaving without buying, and convert only 2 – 3% of them, it can instantly double your profits.

Isn’t it Great?

Retargeting – This Simple Method can make your Conversion 10X better:

Remember, when it comes to conversion, returning visitors are more likely to convert as compared to someone who is visiting your website for the first time.

Retargeting gives you another shot at the visitors who leave your website without buying anything.

And it gives you a second chance with the visitors who went as far as adding a product to their shopping carts, but didn’t complete the purchase.

How does it work?

Retargeting platforms use a simple cookie to tag your website visitors, and then you can retarget these visitors with personalized ads.

It’s like a customer visiting your store, checking out some products, and leaving without buying anything. And then, he starts to see the store banners and advertisements everywhere he goes.

And it works … because you’ve managed to stay on top of his mind. Chances are that he’ll be coming back and buying from your store in near future.

Here’s how an online fashion store in Australia has doubled their ROI during holiday season while using Site retargeting.

Another fashion store saw a whopping 400% increase in ROI while using Facebook Retargeting.

How to use it?

Remarketing comes in many different flavors. Let’s have a look at some of the most commonly used methods.

Site Retargeting – Follow them with your Ads everywhere they go:

Site retargeting is one of the most commonly used forms of retargeting. A visitor lands at your website and a cookie is placed in their browsers, allowing you to follow these visitors with banner ads wherever they go. You can also retarget these users when they search for a relevant product at Google, using Adwords Remarketing.

Search Retargeting – Retarget the ones who are searching for a relevant product

Search retargeting is also known as intent retargeting. Search retargeting allows you to target the customers based on their intent, which is shown through a search query, as well the elements like demographics, time of search, etc.

Facebook Retargeting – Get in their News feed:

You can also retarget your website visitors while they are browsing their Facebook account. Your Ads will appear in their news-feed or side column.

Email Retargeting – Taking Advantage of your Subscribers List

Some Retargeting platforms allow you to target users in your subscribers list. This method is also known as CRM retargeting.

How to Setup a Remarketing Campaign:

While search retargeting or email retargeting have their own benefits, we will be focusing mainly on site retargeting, because this article is all about converting your website visitors into customers.

Remarketing is not rocket science. Once you know the basics; it’s not difficult to divide your website visitors in different groups and then target them with customized ads for maximum impact.

Here’s how to setup a remarketing campaign.

Note: I’ve used Adwords in the following examples, but the process is pretty much the same with almost any other platform.

Remarketing Tag: The first thing you need to do is to place a small code or pixel (known as Remarketing Tag) to your ecommerce store. The code or pixel will be provided by the advertising platform that you are using, and it is used to tag your website’s visitor with the help of a cookie. Here’s how to generate the remarketing tag in Google Adwords.

Go to campaigns and choose “+New Campaign” from your dashboard. Choose “Display Network

Only” as the campaign type from the drop down menu.



Choose Remarketing as the subtype ….


Choose your bidding strategy (we will recommend “Bid only” for small businesses), your budget, and frequency capping. Frequency capping is important because you don’t want to go over the top with your remarketing ads, to the extent of irritating your target audience. You can choose a specific number of impressions on daily, weekly or monthly basis.

Click on “Save and Continue” and go to Shared library. Click on “view” under the “Audiences” heading …


Click on “View Tag Details” from next page.


A new window will appear, choose “setup” and then click on “view Remarketing tag and instructions”.


And you will get the tag, which is actually a small snippet of code.

Paste this code to your website or selected pages before the </body> tag and you are all set.

The method is pretty much the same with all platforms i.e. you will be given a tag or pixel that you need to place on your website, and they will start tagging your website visitors.

Creating Remarketing Lists:

The real strength of remarketing lies in targeting your store visitors with tailored ads, according to the pages or sections that they have visited. For example, a Men’s fashion store can retarget the visitors browsing Pants or T-Shirts categories with ads showing similar products or deals, while using different ads for the visitors browsing the shoes category.

Similarly, the customers who have abandoned the shopping cart can be shown a different advertisement with special discount or offers, in an attempt to sweeten the deal and entice them to complete the order.

But to be able to serve customized ads, you will need to create different groups or remarketing lists. Here’s how to create remarketing lists in Google Adwords.

Adwords will create an “All visitors” list as soon as you’ve created a Remarketing campaign. To create more sophisticated lists of your own choice, go to audiences section, and click on “+ Remarketing List”.


Enter a name, and choose the type of visitors you’d like to add in this list. You can choose from five different options from the drop down menu, and choose +Rules to specify the URLs that will be used for tagging purpose.


For advance segmentation, you can use custom combinations and choose any of the three relationships.

Choose membership duration, and click on Save, and your remarketing list is ready to use (please note that a remarketing list must have at least 100 active users before you can start showing your ads).

Once you’ve created the lists of website visitors that you’d like to target in your ads, you can add these lists to your Ad groups by clicking on “Display Network” in “campaign” section, and then going for “+ Targeting” button. Click on “Add targeting” and choose “Interests & Remarketing” and there you will see all of your “remarketing lists” that you can choose and add to your Ad group.


Click on the “double arrow” button in front of the remarketing lists that you’d like to target in your campaign, and click on “close and save”. Once the lists are added to your Ad group, you can start targeting these visitors with customized ads.

Apart from Display networks, you can also use the “Remarketing lists for search ads or you can

go for Dynamic Remarketing (however, you will need to have a fully functional Google Merchant Center account for that).

Using Remarketing to get more sales from your online Store:

Now that we have learnt the nitty-gritty of Remarketing, and how to setup a remarketing campaign, it’s now time to discuss some strategies for converting the visitors who have left your store without buying anything. Following are some tips to get more sales from your online store via remarketing.

Personalize Ads:

Personalization is one of the strongest points of remarketing. It allows you to  customize ads according to the preferences of your website visitors. In Adwords, you can divide your website visitors into different categories by using Rule Builder or Custom Combinations while creating remarketing lists. Similarly, other Site Retargeting platforms will let you create different segments while using Data elements like age, gender, location, and the likes. Once you’ve created a group, it’s important to get into your target audience shoes and come up with an ad that will grab their attention.

Don’t give up on Abandoned Shopping Carts:

In the starting lines of this article, we have shared a statistic showing that 50 out of every

100 visitors who add a product to their shopping cart, go on to complete the purchase. If you could reach out to the remaining 50% with a special offer, there’s every chance that some of those users will make an order. And one of the most effective ways of re-engaging these customers is Remarketing. You can use a discount code or special deal in your ads to persuade these visitors.

Create Brand Awareness:

While advance segmentation and sophisticated lists are good for targeting, you can also create a campaign while targeting all website visitors for brand awareness. This can be a great trust building tactic for new ecommerce stores that have recently started. The more aware they are of your brand, the more likely they are to purchase from you.

Getting More Sales from Existing Customers:

While talking about converting the visitors into customers, let’s not forget about the people who have already purchased from your store. You can create a separate remarketing list for people who have purchased in the recent past, and target them with relevant products or deals for upselling or cross selling purpose.

Target them in Search Ads:

You can take advantage of remarketing lists for search ads (RLSA) to target your website visitors while they search at Google. This feature allows you to increase or decrease bid, or customize Ad text for people in your remarketing lists. Targeting a relatively smaller set of searchers, who have visited your website, will let you bid for highly competitive keywords showing commercial intent.

Site Retargeting Platforms

In order to follow and re-engage your website visitors, you need a platform that allows you to identify and retarget your website visitors, without taking care of the technicalities.

A Site Retargeting company will provide you with a small piece of code that you can place on your website, or certain pages of your website. Once a visitor lands on a tagged page (e.g. the shopping cart or category page), the visitor will be added to your remarketing list, and you can reach out to them with ads customized according to the page or section that they have visited.

Following are some well-known companies providing Site Retargeting services.

Perfect Audience: Offers many different solutions like Site Retargeting, Dynamic Product Retargeting, Facebook Newsfeed Retargeting, and Twitter Retargeting. They don’t have a setup fee or minimum spend, making it easier for relatively small online stores.

Adroll: They have some advance features like geo targeting, customer segmentation based on their intent or actions performed at your website. Adroll is also offering Mobile Retargeting, Facebook Retargeting, or  Twitter Retargeting.

Chango: Chango is known for its search retargeting technology, but it also offers Site retargeting, Facebook Exchange Targeting, Video Retargeting, and Twitter Tailored Audience for its clients. However, they are more suited for big businesses having sizable budgets.

Retargeter: Retargeter offers targeted display advertising, Search Retargeting, and Facebook Retargeting. You can also use Retargeter to target people by their email, or even mailing addresses.


These are not the only options, there are many more like Simplifi, Criteo, or Triggit, but more than the platform, it is the planning and execution that determines the level of success.

Is the education necessary for an SEO professional


Education is often turned down by internet marketing experts when confronted by the question … Is the conventional education necessary for an SEO professional? They’ll emphasize on learning it yourself, by means of internet surfing, going through articles, asking from experts and using your own website as a Guinea Pig for experimenting. Maybe, because that’s how they learned the ABC’s of Search Engine Optimization. Even though, my understanding and astuteness in this field also originates from the same (self-learning) process, my advice to newbies would be a little different. And that’s … if you have got the resources to avail yourself of some authentic internet marketing or SEO degree program, go for it. Just make sure, you are not enrolling into some bogus course, being offered by some phony character.

But all the information is freely available?

Yes, it is. But you need a solid foundation to benefit from this surfeit of information, most of which is either incorrect or outdated. For example, where’d you start from? Most probably, Google? Right … Now, unless you fiddle with search results by using advanced options, you will most probably get some pretty outdated info in the results, as Google has this penchant (or algorithm for that matter) to come up with relatively old stuff (long-standing WebPages are supposed to have more back links, hence more credibility in Google’s eyes). Now, an article that was written back in 2007 or even earlier is sure to have some obsolete information, no matter who’s the author or the person providing that information. For an entirely unacquainted person, it is incredibly hard to figure out the unsuitability of this information.

So, what are the benefits of proper education?

For me the biggest benefit will be … the confidence that comes with the knowledge and subsequently success that comes with the confidence. You cannot turn down the importance of education in any field, even if it is as prone to changes as SEO. Actually, the ever changing nature of SEO has made it obligatory to get your facts straight (for once) and furnish yourself with as much knowledge as you can. So that, when the change arrive (and it arrives quite often in this field), you’ll be better prepared to adopt. As compared to all those poor souls (self-learners) who’ll have to wait for some Gurus to put it on their blogs or discuss it explicitly, at some forum. Your confidence will help you in making independent decisions and getting the most out of that new development, while others have to bank on some undisputed expert to come out and put it down in clear words, all of this shilly-shallying will result in a lost initiative. And to tell the truth, in SEO world losing initiative means losing everything.

Which program to go for?

If possible, go for a recognized university or college with experienced faculty, otherwise some credible institute, which is widely acknowledged in SEO circles. Surprisingly (and sadly too), there’s a significant shortage of such institutes or colleges. Now how strange is this … an industry, which supposedly has the fastest growth rate among all marketing mediums and you can hardly find a university offering a proper, customized course for individuals keen to join this profession? Though there are some, but the number is far from being as much as necessary, especially if you are not residing in developed and technologically advanced regions like United States or UK. In this case, you are left with no other option but to settle on distance learning programs, which is no alternative to regular face-to-face learning. If you are going to choose one of these distant learning courses, you must put out all the stops to determine the authenticity for the course in question.