Retargeting Ads: The Fundamentals

Want to recapture lost website visitors and turn them into customers? Check out these fundamentals for creating successful retargeting ads.
retargeting ads fundamentals

Retargeting is a great digital marketing tactic to attract your site visitors and convert the users who sign up, subscribe, download your eBook, and more. It is useful because returning visitors show a greater interest in your products and services. The chances of them clicking and converting are much higher with retargeting. Therefore, increasing the more your target customers see your ads. Retargeting can seem to be a daunting tactic at first.  However, the value and appeal of retargeting should be apparent. With that, here are the fundamentals of retargeting ads that will help you get started.


The first question that may be on your mind is what exactly is retargeting? Put simply, retargeting is a digital marketing tactic that helps for converting customers.  In addition, keeping your brand on the forefront of bounced traffic after they leave your website. For example, most websites only have 2% of their traffic convert on first visits. Retargeting allows you to reach the other 98% of customers that do not convert right away.  Furthermore, it is a marketing tactic that uses customers’ previous actions. Basically, if a customer visits your website but does not convert, you can set up ad campaigns advertising your business on other websites and search engines that they visit.


Now the way this works is rather simple. You begin by placing a small bit of code on your website (sometimes called a pixel). It isn’t visible to visitors and won’t affect their experience or your website’s performance. The code uses browser cookies to tag visitors.  Therefore, showing your retargeting ads displayed on the visitor’s browser when they search the internet. The best part is that it will only show these ads to people who have previously visited your website.

This is what makes retargeting so effective because it targets people who are already familiar with your business have demonstrated interest. It tends to have a slightly higher ROI than some of the other digital marketing techniques.


One thing to take note of is that retargeting is best used as part of an overall broader digital marketing strategy. Try to use it in conjunction with your PPC ads, content marketing and whatever digital marketing techniques you’re using to drive traffic to your website. Because here’s the thing, retargeting helps with conversion but can’t drive traffic to your website.  However, the mentioned techniques drive traffic but not conversion. The best formula for success is using these techniques together with both covering for the other’s weaknesses. This will ensure that your website gets traffic and brand awareness through the retargeting ads.


Retargeting is a fantastic option if you’re looking to deliver relevant ads to a specific type of audience. It is also great for developing your brand recognition as it allows for consistent reinforcement of your brand in customers eyes. By delivering the messages and ads your target audiences want to see, you have a higher chance of converting them and growing your business. This is just a basic run-down of what retargeting can offer. But hopefully, it gives you a glimpse into how these retargeting basics can be incorporated into your digital marketing strategy.



This goal and campaign type is primarily for informing visitors about the features of your products, and other similar announcements. This is less targeted than other goals because it’s more about targeting visitors that have not spent a lot of time with your business. However, don’t be discouraged that you won’t be targeting a large number of customers with these types of campaigns. Building awareness serves to enhance the second goal you should have when conducting your campaign.


This goal and campaign type is used for visitors who are already familiar with your brand, products, services, etc. However, they may not have converted from any offers you have or things of that nature. The point here for these visitors is to click on your retargeting ad, direct them to a landing page and provide them incentive to finally convert. This is the primary goal that you should have when conducting your retargeting campaign. This is because it is this goal that leads to the sale, gains you new contacts for other campaigns, and much more. Now with these goals in mind it’s time to learn about some of the basic ad types that you can when running your campaign.

types of retargeting Ads


The best part of Facebook marketing and retargeting is that almost everyone is using the platform daily. So, by running your ads on Facebook, your ads are already reaching people who are already interested in your business. You run ads by installing a Facebook retargeting pixel. That way you can track visitors that have already visited your website and create a custom ad campaign using a custom audience using this pixel.


Normally, display ads have something to do with your website and what the user is viewing on it. So, for example, if your website is selling a particular product, they will see ads about that product. Retargeting banner ads do not have to correspond to the website that the user is browsing. They will see your ads on other similar websites that they’re browsing. Your Display Network retargeting ads will begin once you’ve gotten over 100 unique visitors within a 30-day period.


Retargeting with PPC pay-per-click search ads allows you to target people who have not only visited your site but also search for specific keywords. This is ideal because for users who searched for something specific but maybe forgot to follow through with their search or didn’t commit for whatever reason. Your retargeting search campaign will see your ads in their search results. Be aware, though, that you will need 1000 unique site visitors before your retargeting search ads will show up in Google search results. Retargeting is a powerful tool that lets you target the percentage of your website’s visitors that don’t convert right away. Knowing some of the basic retargeting goals and ad types you can run will put you in the right direction to running successful ad campaigns. These, in turn, will help your business expand and grow.

BEST PRACTICES of retargeting ads


One the aspects of retargeting that makes it so appealing is the ability to personalize your ads based on the products and services your business provides that interests your customers. You want to customize your ads based on the pages of your website that they visit and how they interact with the various content on your website. This will make them more likely to stay engaged with your ads and content and therefore, convert.


The last thing you want to do is keep showing someone who’s already converted the same exact retargeting ads over and over again. Now you must be wondering how you can avoid this understandably annoying mistake. The answer is by adding a conversion or “burn” pixel to your post-conversion page. This allows you to either stop or change the ads that they’re being shown. Not only will this stop the ads being shown to converted customers, but you’ll actually end up saving some money too.


The real trick of retargeting ads is to have the highest click-through-rate. Showing your ad the right amount of times without being too overbearing is how you achieve this. Now, the right amount of times is going to vary from business to business. But as a general rule-of-thumb, you’ll want to shoot for showing your ads around 17-20 times per month for optimal performance. Again, this number will vary based on a variety of factors surrounding your business. Play around and measure how well your ads are performing in addition to the amount of times you’re showing them. Eventually, you’ll find the optimal number that works for your business.


Don’t become discouraged when someone hasn’t converted on your retargeting ad. It doesn’t mean that they never will. One of the best ways to engage your customers and people who see your ads is to keep them fresh and exciting. When you change the benefit, offer or combination of the two your ads will be fresh, and they’ll stay top-of-mind in the eyes of your consumers.


A dedicated landing page is one of the best things you can possibly do for your retargeting ads. By crafting a landing page that has the same aesthetic and feel of your ad, that higher the chance of conversion. The uniform appearance makes customers understand that they’ve been sent to the right place. Also, you’ll want to ensure that your landing page has a compelling call-to-action. Your landing page and retargeting ads should work together in tandem with each other for maximum effect.

In Conclusion

Retargeting can be a valuable and simple way for your business to maximize conversions and get optimal ROIs. It is also a fantastic option if you’re looking to deliver relevant ads to a specific type of audience. By delivering the messages and ads your target audiences want to see, you have a higher chance of converting them and growing your business. Hopefully, these fundamentals of retargeting ads have given you the information you need to make a proper start and put you on the path to a successful retargeting campaign.

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