Retargeting v. Remarketing

Retargeting and remarketing, they’re they same, right? Eh, not exactly. Although the words technically mean the same thing, they are still not completely interchangeable. Back in 2010, Google AdWords launched a form of retargeting for their Display Network, now coined as “remarketing.” So what is the real difference between retargeting and remarketing? Retargeting is the marketing approach behind remarketing, and remarketing is just specific to Google AdWords Display Network.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting only focuses on users that have previously visited your site and has already had an experience with your brand. Once more people are aware of your brand, retargeting can be effective at every stage of the buying funnel as shown in this infographic:


Who to Retarget

First, you need to select your audience. Visitors need to be segmented so that retargeting ads can be customized based on the different interests and intentions of each group.

Target individuals based on how they arrive on your site, where they’re from, or whether they interacted with your emails. You can even tell whether they took certain actions (like viewed specific products), or didn’t take certain actions (like abandon a shopping cart). Keep in mind, the size of your audience will significantly impact the success of your retargeting campaign.

How Retargeting Works  

Pixel-based retargeting is the most common approach to re-displaying your content to anonymous site visitors. When a visitor comes to your site, a piece of code is placed on their browser. When that visitor leaves and goes to other sites, the cookie alerts the retargeting campaign to serve the certain retargeting ad on that website. Pixel-based retargeting is great for its real-time and behavior-based capabilities.

Source: RV Advertiser

For Best Results  

Use A/B Testing to put forth the most effective retargeting campaigns. Running tests for measurable results will determine which ad works best, and which ones blend into the background. This means keeping ads fresh and engaging to encourage clicks is essential. Staying out in front of your audience also lead to the best retargeting results. Ad campaigns that have stayed active for three months are ideal for an audience to see at least a dozen impressions. These impressions increase the odds of turning visitors to converting customers.

Why You Should Retarget

Benefit #1: Make your brand relevant again. Retargeting is an easy way to remind visitors of your brand and why they visited your website in the first place. This advertising approach creates an on-going reminder of your brand that helps re-spark a prospect’s interest.

Benefit #2: Increase conversion rates. Once visitors are reminded of your brand or of the cart they abandoned, they will be more likely to revisit or return to their shopping cart and make that conversion. Displaying retargeting ads can help bring them back into the funnel and improve conversion rates.

Benefit #3: Personalization. By utilizing the behavioral data you gather from visitors, you are able to personalize retargeting ads in hopes of re-engaging potential customers.

Don’t be Wasteful

You never want to waste your retargeting efforts on customers who have already converted. Add a conversion pixel to stop showing certain ads to those who have already purchased a certain product. Not only can this help you avoid annoying a loyal customer, but you can also help them continue to be interested in your company and show them offers for complimentary products to the ones they’ve already purchased.

Save your retargeting efforts from being wasted by having a clear call-to-action in the ad. Visitors and customers need to be prompted to engage, so making it easy for them to take action is a big step in the right direction.  

What is Remarketing?

Remarketing is a term coined by Google for its AdWords Display Network. Remarketing is used to reconnect with potential customers by re-engaging their interests and showing them relevant ads as they surf the web. This approach allows you to combine cookies and search by reaching prospects who visited your site and showed an interest in a specific product. This product, and similar ones alike, should be the focus of your remarketing campaigns on Google’sAdWords Display Network. Here is a step-by-step guide to setting up remarketing efforts through the Google AdWords Display Network.

Source: Forbes

Source: Forbes

How Remarketing Works

Just like retargeting, remarketing in Google AdWords Display Network requires adding a piece of code (known as a tag) to the certain webpages. This tag needs to be a keyword relevant to that page. For example, create a tag for “lamp” on the pages of a site that sells lamps. Advertisers then log into their AdWords accounts and tailor Google ads for the keyword “lamp.” Viewers who browse through your “lamp” tagged page will have a cookie placed on their browser, which will result in more lamp-targeted ads to appear across the next set of websites. Remarketing is great for applying tags across an entire site, allowing you reach specific audiences with related ads.

Both retargeting and remarketing are complimentary services designed to increase conversions. The only main difference is branding, with Google deciding to coin the term “remarketing” for its AdWords Display Network.

Regardless of what you want to call it, re-focusing ads is an effective online method to remind visitors why they were interested in your brand, and could potentially convert prospects into loyal customers.