What are the types of retargeting?

What are the types of retargeting and which one is right for my business?


(Last Updated On: March 20, 2018)

Just about anyone in digital marketing will undoubtedly agree that one of the most frustrating things is seeing your website hits go up, while your conversion rate remains steady. So what are the types of retargeting methods out there, and how can it help my conversion rates?

After all, for most websites the number of first-time conversions is extremely low; it’s usually around 1%. In fact, overall, 97% of online purchases aren’t completed. The vast majority of people seeing your website for the first time aren’t going to immediately become customers.

However, having had exposure to your website once, they’re more likely to eventually convert if you continue to remind them of your products and services.

“So what you need is a way to keep presenting messages to the 97%+ of visitors who don’t convert.”

And that’s what retargeting is all about! Retargeting helps create an efficient integrated marketing plan.

In this blog, we’re going to briefly go over what retargeting is, as well as some of the most popular types of retargeting. Any of these tactics -or all of them- are almost guaranteed to increase your conversion rate, and help you show true ROI on your content marketing.

So… How Does Retargeting Bring Leads Back?

At its heart, retargeting is about lead-tracking. By using standard JavaScript tracking cookies on your website, or embedded tracking pixels in graphical media, you can see where they go after leaving your domain. This gives you the ability to (re)target them specifically with messages inviting them to return.

It’s like homing beacons in spy movies, except rather than tracking their car, you’re able to see which websites and social media outlets they use.

Then, by tying specific advertisements, calls-to-action, or other content specifically to those trackers, you’ll ensure that they receive steady reminders about your webpage, drip-marketing style.

In fact, you’ve probably seen this in action!

If you’ve ever visited a website, and then noticed that you seemed to be getting a lot of sidebar advertisements for that site as you browse around afterward, you’ve been retargeted.

Simple, right?

What are the Most Effective Types of Retargeting Techniques?

The sky is nearly the limit when it comes to retargeting. There are methods for pretty much every form of online interaction your leads may take, from email to social media.

Here are some of the best types of retargeting to focus on:

1 – Site Retargeting

This is the most basic form of retargeting, and it’s what we talked in the example above: A tracking cookie is placed on the visitor’s computer after visiting your site, then sidebar ads appear for people with those cookies.

This can be highly effective simply because it guarantees a lot of exposure for your brand.

However, it’s not terribly targeted because there’s no other context for their visit. Someone who only visited to do research. or because of a misclick, may never return.

2 – Search Retargeting

Search Retargeting

This is sometimes also called SEO retargeting, because it’s based around search engines and their internal pay-per-click advertising. You place bids for keywords relevant to your business, then anyone searching for those keywords receives ads relating to you.

This can cost a bit more than site retargeting, but the upshot is that it’s based directly on a visitor’s interests. If someone is searching for “best organic dog food” there’s a very high likelihood that person is a health-conscious dog owner, and that gives you plenty of insight into their interests.

You could even bid for keywords only slightly related to your business. Someone who’s searching for organic dog food probably also looks for organic people food, right?

Search retargeting is a great way to reach users beyond their initial search. Since it targets recent search interests, it’s also highly effective!

3 – Email Retargeting

Email retargeting is great for visitors who’ve shown interest in your site previously -by signing up for emails- but has never quite gotten that ‘push’ to become a buyer.

So, for example, if someone has added items to their cart but then abandoned it, email retargeting can be used to send them an email reminding them of their impending purchase. Personalization works well here, since the email message can directly mention the items they placed in the cart.

To really seal the deal, throw in a small incentive, like a 5-10% discount. Who would pass up an offer like that?

4 – Engagement Retargeting

This is like search retargeting, but focuses on interactive media such as podcasts, videos, or online games. The theory here is pretty simple: If someone’s watching a lot of videos about smartphones, chances are good they’re also interested in buying smartphones.

Like with search retargeting, it’s also a great way to discover leads who might not be directly searching for your specific products or services. By observing behaviors and appealing to their interests, you make yourself attractive to new buyers.

The Bottom Line:

Retargeting Techniques

So there you have it, a rundown of 4 types of retargeting and how they work.  Consider using this advertising method as it is one of the most effective ways of increasing your website conversion rate. Smart use of tracking technologies combined with content marketing can quickly boost return visits and sales conversions!

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About the Author Kemar Lawrence

Entrepreneur | Business & Marketing Strategist | Co-Founder @goldminddigital. I am a business & marketing strategist. I bring more than 6 years of experience to projects I take on with a track record of success. I help entrepreneurs win at business.

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