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7 Things You Should Know Before Launching A Retargeting Campaign

6 MINUTE READ | April 20, 2012

7 Things You Should Know Before Launching A Retargeting Campaign

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Carlos Navarro

Carlos Navarro has written this article. More details coming soon.

First let’s start by explaining what exactly is retargeting. If you run an ecommerce, lead generation or any other type of website that requires some sort of conversion you most likely track every single visitor and metrics through your Analytics tool. By now you must have notice that the majority of people that visit your site don’t go pass the first page and even fewer people actually convert, in fact, on average less than 10% of visitor actually convert on their first visit to a website, which leaves you with a lot of potential clients that for some reason just decided to leave your website and go about their business. If only you knew exactly who these visitors were and had the ability to create a specific campaign just for them, well you can, with a Retargeting campaign.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting allows you to target and display ads to potential clients who have previously visited your website while they visit other websites. This is done by placing a JavaScipt code on your page so then when visitor comes to your website a cookie is placed in their browser, allowing you to create a list of every single person that has visited your site.

Should I retarget everyone that visits my site?

Well, that depends on what type of website do you run. If you consider every single person that comes to your homepage to be a high quality lead, pretty familiar with your brand and a potential customer, then perhaps you should target every visitor. Now if that’s is not the case, let’s say maybe you drive an extremely large amount of traffic to your home page everyday but perhaps you only want to target customer that have reached a certain point inside your website, either a product page or a form page, then you should probably place your retargeting pixel on those specific pages.

Why should I segment my customers?

Once you have identified who your potential customers are you can get even more granular and create segments. Let’s say you sell clothing apparel on your website. You would probably want to show different ads for people that visited the Women’s Dresses section from people that visited Men’s Suits.You may also not want to show ads or eve show different ads for people that already converted so for that would place a different pixel on your “Thank You” page and create a segment just for these visitors.

Great, now I’m going to blast every visitor with ads every day, forever, right? NO!

When setting up a retargeting campaign, frequency capping is extremely important. As much as you want to serve ads to potential customers that visited your site, you also don’t want to overwhelm them with non-stop ads various times a day, every single day. Frequency capping allows you to limit the amount of times your ads are showed to each customer segment on specific period of time. (Daily, weekly or monthly basis).

Understanding conversions on Retargeting campaigns.

Now that you understand the basics of how to setup and run Retargeting campaigns you must understand how interpret your conversions. When someone clicks on your ad, goes to your website and convert, well that’s a conversion, pretty simple. Now, something else you need to consider is when a conversion happens without a visitor clicking on your ad, that’s called a view-through conversion. There are two ways to setup view-through conversions, on a 24Hrs window basis and a 30 days windows basis, which means, if you setup a 24Hrs window for a view through conversion, every conversion that takes place within 24 after a targeted customer views your ad will be credit to your retargeting campaign.

How do I start creating an audience/segment for my Retargeting Campaign?

The first thing you should do is start gathering your audience. To create an audience you must click on the “Shared Library” link right below your campaigns on the left column. Once you open the Shared Library click on Audiences and then New Audience. From there you can choose Remarketing List. Name and add a description and membership duration to your audience. Membership duration means the number of days a user’s cookie stays on the list if the user doesn’t visit your site again. Once you save this audience, you should be able to see a [tag] link right next to your audience’s name. This is the JavaScript code that you want to paste on whatever page on your website you would like to track. Remember that if you want to create a segment for visitors that looked women’s dresses, you should probably paste this code into the women’s dresses page on your website.

Launching your Retargeting Campaign.

Once you created your audences you are now ready to setup your campaign and start serving ads to your website’s visitors. Ideally you would wait a few days, depending on your website’s daily traffic in order to generate a good number of people before launching your Retargeting campaign. Setting up a Retargeting campaign works the same way as setting up any others text ad campaign. Chose the geographic location you want to target, networks, devices, bidding options, how ads will be displayed, campaign budget etc.

The next step is to create your Ad Groups, one way to do this is to create each ad group based on each audience. It’s very important not to add any keywords to your ad groups as Google will target keywords before audiences.

Once you have your ad groups setup, you will want to add your image ads to them and finally assign an audience to your ad group. To assign an audience to your ad group just select the ad group and click on the Auduences Tab on the top navigation menu. From there click on the Add Audiences button, go to remarketing lists and select the audience you would like to add to that ad group.

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You are now ready to start running your Retargeting campaign. As in any other campaigns, you will be able to track and optimize your Retargeting campaign through the AdWords interface on the Dimensions tab as well as Google Analytics and make the necessary adjustments.

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