Ashley Zeckman

7 Tips For Deploying A Successful Ad Retargeting Strategy

Ashley Zeckman     Digital Marketing, Search Marketing


There is no replacement for a sound organic optimization strategy. However, there are many ways that you can augment your organic strategy, including paid search tactics. Ultimately, your job is to ensure that prospective and current customers have a good user experience and can find the information that they need quickly and efficiently.

One tactic that has gained steam in the past couple of years is ad retargeting. In fact, Criteo found that visitors that are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website than those who are not.

To help you navigate through the sometimes daunting and complex approach that is ad retargeting, here are 7 tips to help ensure that your advertising dollars don’t go to waste.

#1 – Understand How Ad Retargeting Works

Through the use of cookies, retargeting allows you to tag along with your website visitors on their journey around the Internet. This enables you to provide relevant ads to your customers on other websites that they are visiting. From a targeting perspective, your retargeted ads will only appear for users that have visited your site previously which lets you know that they have an interest in your products or services.

#2 – Avoid Ad Exhaustion

Just because you CAN follow your visitors around the Internet, that doesn’t mean you should stalk them everywhere they go. Displaying your ads too often can decrease the performance of your campaign and make your target audience numb to your message. Most retargeting tools will allow you to put a cap on the number of times that your visitors will see an ad within a particular time frame.

#3 – Deploy Audience Segmentation

If you’ve ever deployed a lead nurturing program, you’re likely familiar with the concept of lead scoring. Similarly, with ad retargeting you can segment your audience into different categories based on their actions on your website to determine what stage of the purchasing cycle they are currently in. Remember, your goal is to provide your audience with the best experience possible and your retargeting ads are a prime opportunity to create a positive experience.

#4 – Determine Ad Duration

Now this requires some testing, and may vary from campaign to campaign. Some advice recommends that your retargeting campaign should last as long as your typical sales cycle. However, you should test both long and short campaigns to see what resonates best with your target audience.

#5 – Freshen Up Ad Creative

A contributing factor to ad exhaustion can be utilizing the exact same creative design for each of your ads. Offer your audience variety by offering different versions of your retargeting ads, and overhauling the creative from time to time. There should be a common thread or design element that is present in all ads but you can offer variety in design.

#6 – Know Your Different Ad Sizes

There are so many ad sizes available that it can be hard to keep them all straight. Google has provided some very handy image ad specs to help you determine how to properly size your retargeting ads to better serve your audience.   

#7 – Find the Right Tools for Your Retargeting Needs

Part of a successful retargeting campaign is selecting the right tools to help you execute and track your ad campaigns. Some of the platforms available today include:

These 7 tips may not guarantee the success of your paid search campaigns, but they will set you down the path to success and ensure that your audience has a good user experience when they see your advertisements around the web. If you’ve been considering incorporating retargeting ads into your digital marketing strategy but haven’t yet pulled the trigger, what have been your biggest causes for concern? If you have deployed a retargeting strategy in the past, what were the biggest benefits?

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Ashley Zeckman About Ashley Zeckman

Ashley Zeckman is the Director of Agency Marketing for TopRank Marketing. In addition to finding innovative ways to showcase the exceptional work of her team, she is also responsible for creating digital marketing programs that drive customer acquisition and growth for the agency. Her background includes expertise in everything from content marketing strategy to branding, account management and social media.

Outside of her role at TopRank Online Marketing, Ashley prides herself on being a great home chef, painter, prankster and dog mom.