Have you ever felt like a banner ad was following you around the internet?

If you’ve ever been to iContact’s website, then you know what I’m talking about because you’ll see their ads EVERYWHERE after you visit their website just one time. And it’s not because they have an unlimited ad budget.

In fact, other people who have not visited iContact’s website are not even seeing those same ads. This is because they are using a Google Remarketing (or Retargeting) campaign.

What is Remarketing?

The goal of remarketing is to bring previous website visitors back to your site to eventually purchase your product or service.

The concept and technology is fairly simple if you are familiar with browser cookies.  Basically you cookie your website visitors and then you can serve targeted ads to the visitors as they surf around the internet on other websites.

For example, you can create a remarketing campaign to target every visitor who makes it to the checkout page, but does not purchase your product.  In this case you may want to offer a coupon to come back and complete the order since you know the ad will only be displayed to people who were very interested in your product.  Why else would they almost complete the checkout process?

Why Should You Use Remarketing?

The most obvious reason for using a remarketing campaign is because it’s highly targeted. You have the ability to “tag” (by using a browser cookie) visitors based on different pages they visit on your website.  So if you want to target buyers with special customer promotions, then you would “tag” everyone who visits the product thank you page.  Now when your buyers are surfing around the internet they’ll see ads specifically tailored for your customers.

In addition to the targeting capabilities, you’ll also expand your advertising reach using remarketing.  If you’re only using Google Search ads, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity in the Content Network, which is where your remarketing ads are displayed.

Many advertisers don’t fully understand how to advertise on the Content Network so remarketing can be a great first step to see if it will work for you.  The risk is much lower because you’ll only display your ads to people who have actively displayed interest in your product or service.

My final reason why you should test remarketing is for market research.  A remarketing campaign will allow you to spy on your prospects and customers because Google will show you the exact websites they visit after they go to your website.  So over time you’ll see where your ideal customers hang out online.  Using this data you can find websites to advertise on that you’re 100% confident your target customers visit.

Examples of How to Use Remarketing

OK, now that you know you should be using remarketing let’s discuss some examples to help you get started.

If you have an eCommerce website with different categories of products, then it will probably make sense to create remarketing campaigns for your different categories.

For example, a clothing store may want to remarket to anyone who visits the dresses section of the website, but does not purchase.  In this case the ads would be geared toward women and would highlight popular dresses and/or sales to bring those visitors back to the dresses section of the website.

Another great technique is to segment your prospects and your buyers so you can target them separately.  I already gave the example of offering a special customer discount only to buyers.  This is a sneaky campaign that none of your competitors will ever see unless they purchase one of your products.

The last example I’ll give is to target different “fans,” email lists, or groups.   If you have a decent list of Facebook fans, an email list, a LinkedIn group, or any other list of people who actively like your business, then you can use a remarketing campaign to run a special promotion to the lists.  The key is to make the promotion special so your fans are getting something exclusive.

This type of campaign will further solidify your relationship with your prospects and customers and create a wall to keep your competitors at bay.

I hope you now have a clear idea for how you can start using Google remarketing for your business.  If you’re still not sure how this could work for you, then post your questions below.

If you’re already using remarketing, then I’d love to hear your results!