Ready, Re-Aim, Retarget for a PPC Advertising Boost

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ppc_targettingOne of the biggest challenges for online marketers today is converting those search clicks into real leads and conversions. In recent years, search advertisers have attempted to tackle this challenge by working further into the consumer buying experience. Traditional search advertising typically reaches customers in the “awareness stage.” However, retargeting allows marketers to reach consumers also at the acquisition and consideration stages.

Retargeting is becoming an increasingly popular way to supplement search advertising campaigns because it targets audiences based on searches they conduct on one website, and brings that data into account when they visit other websites, displaying your company’s ad (usually in the form of a banner ad placement), even after the consumer has left the search results page.

For pay per click advertisers, there are several ways to utilize retargeting to maximize the quality of the keyword hits that occur during searches:

Don’t Over-Target
It can be tempting to start your first retargeting campaign with a list of just a few specific keywords tailored to your niche audience. However, it can be difficult to expand your target area if the campaign doesn’t initially perform as planned, because a small, specific keyword set offers little feedback for the marketing analyst. On the other hand, a large set of broad keywords can provide higher quality data that can be broken down into more specific keywords, offering more points for analysis.

It is typically best to start with a broad keyword set that utilizes a combination of strategies, like branded phrases, early process signifiers, and competitors’ key phrases are all good, broad options that will enable you to whittle down your retargeting campaign to use only the keywords that perform best for your brand.

Context is Key
Sometimes retargeting functions best when combined with other tried-and-true pay per click advertising methods. One such strategy is using contextual keyword capabilities to target very specific types of content, rather than “words.” This method is effective because when a consumer is looking to buy “mystery books,” they might not necessarily search those terms. They might visit a book review blog or browse a bestseller list of a popular newspaper. If this occurs, they haven’t qualified for a “keyword searched.” However, with a retargeting platform that utilizes contextual keywords, marketers can target buyers searching for specific phrases, such as “mystery novel review blog” to target anyone reading a relevant article.

Analytics managers have always faced the challenge of converting lost prospects to legitimate business leads, and the tracking capabilities of retargeting are a great way to bring those potential customers back to your site.

Retargeting has a unique place within the display advertising world because it can track prospects who have searched keywords that match those of your brand, product, or service. These prospects might click on your search ad, or they might not–this is where retargeting comes into play, identifying these prospects and re-displaying your company’s ad on another website, reminding them of your product or service so they’re more likely to visit your homepage and initiate contact. Similar to search retargeting, site retargeting tracks the potential leads who have already visited your homepage and displaying your ad elsewhere to help drive them back.

Merge, Transform, Grow
Combining traditional pay per click search advertising with search retargeting is an efficient two-pronged approach to online lead generation. Research shows that 31% of users click on display ads and 27% of users conduct a search after seeing a display ad. Marketers who integrate search advertising and retargeting into their campaign can potentially reach both these segments.
When retargeting first came onto the scene a few years ago, marketers were intrigued by its potential. Now widely used within the online advertising world, it is not always implemented profitably. However, these proven strategies, coupled with the inherent speed, economy, and flexibility of search retargeting platforms, search campaigns for businesses large and small can achieve a boost in the quantity of clicks and quality.