In an ideal world every qualified prospect who visited your website would contact you right away.  They would read about your products and services and either call or complete your webform before exiting your webpage.

Unfortunately that’s not how it works in the “real world.”

Even your most qualified website visitors — the people who desperately want to buy the product or service you offer — will get distracted, need to take the kids to school, lose internet connectivity, or write down and then lose your phone number. There are an endless number of reasons why your prospect may not contacting you right away when YOU want them to.

And unless you have their email address and/or physical address, then there’s no way to bring them back to your website…

Well, that is the case — unless you know how to use retargeting. And that’s what this article is all about.  I’ll show you how you can use AdWords Remarketing to laser-target prospects who already visited your website, but haven’t yet yet contacted you.


What is Google Remarketing?

Google remarketing is a combination of display advertising and behavioral advertising across the Google Display Network.  So rather than display ads on websites you “think” your prospects visit, you can be 100% sure you only display ads to people who have already visited your website.

And if they’ve visited your website, then it’s very likely they are a good prospect. As a result, this form of advertising can have very high conversion rates and low cost-per-sale.

The technology is fairly simple if you’re familiar with browser cookies.  When prospects visit your website, then a cookie is saved on their browser.  If the prospect then leaves your website and surfs around to other sites like blogs, news sites, YouTube, or any other website that serves Google ads, then your ad will be displayed to bring the prospect back to your website.

You can use text ads, image ads, animated image ads, or even rich media ads like Flash to either drive the prospects back to your website or contact you directly from the ad.


How to Use Google Remarketing

The possibilities are truly endless with remarketing campaigns.  The reason is because you can target any number of pages or combination of pages on your website.

To create a Google Remarketing campaign, you first need to set up audiences.  An audience is simply a group of prospects you want to target with your remarketing campaign and Google gives you special code to set this up.

Now to help get your creative juices flowing, here’s a short list of campaigns and audiences you may want to set up for your business:

  • The most basic campaign is to target all visitors who do not contact you online.  For example, you would set up an audience called, “All Visitors” and add the special remarketing code to every page on your site except of the webform “thank you” page (the page immediately after the contact form is filled out).  Then you would set up another audience called “Contacted Us” and add this new code to the webform “thank you” page.  Finally, you can create a custom audience call “All Prospects” by selecting the “All Visitors” audience and excluding everyone who is in the “Contacted Us” audience.  Now you can set up a remarketing campaign to target ONLY prospects who have not yet contacted you.
  • If you have multiple services, then I recommend you set up audiences for each different service.  Then set up remarketing campaigns with ads specific to the service the prospect visited.  The ads in these campaigns should then send the prospect either back to the service page or to another page specifically about an offer you can give for the service you already know they are interested in.
  • If you’re running offline ad campaigns in magazines, TV, radio, newspaper, etc, then you could create a remarketing campaign specific to the offer in your offline ad.  I’m assuming you have a dedicated landing page for your offline ads — and if you don’t then stop reading this and go set up a dedicated landing page for EVERY campaign!  I promise you’re wasting money if you’re sending your advertising to your homepage.
  • If you’re using PURLs (personalized URLs) in a direct mail campaign then here’s an advanced tactic I already mentioned in my previous post, Use PURLs to Boost & Track Response Rate. Store the personalized data in a cookie (your webmaster will know how to do this…), so when you drive prospects back to your website via the remarketing campaign, you can customize the landing page with the personal information.  For example, “Phil, since you came back I want to offer you XYZ…”


The Small Business Guide to Google AdWords

Now if you think all of this remarketing stuff is a little too technical or advanced, then I recommend you get started by learning the Google AdWords basics.

This week we’re releasing our 2nd ‘Summer Tune-Up’ CD called, “How to Create a Customer Vending Machine: The Small Business Guide to Google AdWords.”

If you’re already receiving our email newsletter, you’ll be hearing about these new resources as soon as they become available.

And if you aren’t receiving our Main Street Marketing Tips email newsletter, and you want to be notified when we give away these CDs, you can sign up here: