Retargeting Allows Your Brand to Re-engage Past Visitors


Retargeting, also commonly referred to as remarketing, allows advertisers to show ads to people who have already engaged with them in some way online.

Through retargeting, ads highlighting your business are placed throughout other websites a viewer browses after leaving your page. This method of positioning ads online has proven to be extremely effective, and it represents a powerful tool for online advertisers and marketers.


In its most basic form, retargeting serves ads to people more frequently after they have left a publisher's website. The users will be shown retargeting ads as frequently as possible unless a frequency cap has been placed by the advertiser. In practice, most publishers sign up for displaying ads from ad networks instead of directly negotiating with the advertiser to display their ads. Some advertisers specialize in retargeting, while other companies have added retargeting to their list of methods of purchasing advertising. Retargeting helps companies advertise to website visitors who leave without a conversion – this accounts for about 98% of all web traffic. Retargeting marks or tags online users who visit a certain brand website with a pixel or a cookie,[3] and then serves banner ads only to the people who have shown at least some amount of engagement with the original brand. Retargeting ad campaigns usually run on lower cost media, such as display ads, which not only increases effectiveness by specifically targeting an interested audience, but also improves the overall ROI of the advertiser.

When a potential lead visits your website and completes a desired action, such as making a purchase or completing a “Contact Us” form, it’s known as a conversion. However, not all online visitors convert. In fact, a conversion rate of just 2 percent of all website traffic is considered to be strong. So what happens to the 98 percent of viewers who do not convert? Retargeting is the best and most effective way of bringing potential customers back to your website for another look.

As an example, retargeting could be used to bring back a viewer who left items in an online shopping cart and did not complete a purchase. After leaving the items in the cart and closing out of your website, it is likely that this potential customer will forget about the merchandise that once interested him or her. Instead of letting go of that potential sale, retargeting places ads for your company on other websites that customer browses to remind him or her of the incomplete action and redirect her back to your website. Retargeting ads can even depict the specific items that the potential customer had in the shopping cart.

Using AdWords to retarget

For businesses interested in retargeting, Google offers an accessible and highly effective option as part of its AdWords platform. Not only does Google have an expansive ad network across more than 2 million websites, but it also accounts for approximately 75 percent of all search engine use in the United States.

AdWords allows you to retarget viewers through display and search ads as they browse the Internet on a tablet, desktop or smart phone. You have complete control over what content is featured in your ads and how often each ad is displayed as it follows viewers around the web.

Most importantly, through retargeting, you can reach potential customers where they are most likely to engage with your website and complete a desired conversion action. When a person returns to Google to continue looking for a product or service, retargeting ads are there to remind them that your business has exactly the items for which they’ve been searching.

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