What Is Remarketing: A Look At Why It’s Important To Your Company’s SEO Strategies

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Sean Dilger
By Sean Dilger

One of the most ingenious ways to connect with repeat visitors, the technology known as remarketing, is a part of Google AdWords and an invaluable ingredient for any successful businesses marketing strategy. Whether you run a small business or a large corporation, remarketing is a powerful and cost-effective tool to consider for your business. Nearly everyone has been exposed to remarketing tactics, but may not be familiar with the terminology itself – essentially, it harvests data through a user’s browser history via cookies.

However, some experts will dispute that there is a difference between the two main terms when discussing this approach – remarketing and retargeting isn’t quite the same, although the end result (driving up your bottom line) is. For example, when a potential customer is browsing the internet and lands on different websites, they may or may not have purchased anything, but they’ll start to see ads show up in relevant places across their PC or mobile device based on recent searches – this is known as retargeting. While these type of ads are similar to PPC marketing, you don’t pay for anything until someone clicks on it depending on how your ads are set up.

On the other hand, remarketing efforts traditionally employ email tactics to engage customers who have abandoned their shopping cart, enticing them to ‘come back’ and revisit their site to close a sale. Although you may hear retargeting tools referred to as ‘remarketing’ tools, remarketing is the term usually used to describe re-engaging a customer via email. And while the terms ‘remarketing’ and ‘retargeting’ are increasingly interchanged in marketing jargon, it’s helpful to know the difference, especially if you’re interested in employing these tactics within your SEO strategy.

Today we’ll examine the subtle differences between these marketing technologies and how they can benefit your business.

Related: What is Remarketing?

Knowing The Difference: The ABC’s Of Remarketing

Email remarketing describes the act of reconnecting with a customer via email after they’ve left your website. One of the most frequently-used ways of remarketing is known as ‘cart abandonment emails,’ which basically provides consumers with a convenient way to return to your site and complete their purchase. A successful cart abandonment email will include a carefully-curated host of information based on the data gathered during their visit to your site.

This email should contain the product/service they were thinking about buying, as well as the size/color/price and so on. Also, the email should contain images and of course a clickable link back to your site. Providing a clear summary to remind them of their browsing experience is also important, since they may have abandoned several baskets on other competitors websites.

It should be noted that this concept works equally well for non-traditional shopping carts as well; for example, the same principles can be used for abandoned booking or credit-card forms. An hour or so after they’ve left a booking, a customer will receive an email, typically with a reminder stating they’re ‘so close’ to completing their booking, reservation, membership, etc., enabling an easy way to close a sale.

Related4 Key Email Sequences Your E-Commerce Company Needs

On-Site Retargeting, also known as On-Site Remarketing, is the method of identifying the exact moment a consumer is about to leave your site. This marketing tactic displays a message either tempting them to remain on your site (e.g., ‘Wait – don’t go!) or encourage them to return in the near future (e.g., ‘Don’t miss out – Mother’s Day is right around the corner!’, including a countdown to the date in hours/days/minutes).

Such tactics are becoming more and more a part of today’s online shopping experience, as online retailers are savvy to the fact that they’ve beaten the competition to attract visitors to their site – on-site messaging is one more step closer to ensuring a sale is actually made. By increasing online conversions, on-site displays offer a host of other benefits besides making an announcement – it not only enhances the customer experience but establishes brand trust and awareness while collecting valuable data such as email addresses for future marketing campaigns.

A third marketing strategy that falls under the remarketing category, SMS Retargeting (also known as SMS Remarketing) is similar to email targeting in the sense that it targets shoppers who have abandoned a booking or online purchase. However, these messages are delivered by SMS or text message. With our culture’s ever-increasing usage of their mobile devices, SMS has become a desirable channel that can out-perform email in terms of CTR. In fact, statistics have shown that SMS remarketing messages are opened within 90 seconds on average (in comparison to 90 minutes for a traditional email alert). Furthermore, research has shown that SMS messages have an open rate of 98%, and 90% of these messages are opened within three minutes or less.

 How Does Retargeting Work?

As mentioned earlier, retargeting is frequently used to describe online ad placements and display ads; their results are based on a user’s activity on your website. Retargeting is used to entice a purchase, but more specifically, encourage repeat visitors to return to your site to do so. Utilizing a system of tagging specific site pages that lead a consumer to a product or service, you may choose to direct them to a big-ticket item that they wish to research before they buy, or a very competitive product that may be offered on other sites.

After a customer’s initial visit to your site page, a cookie is left on their browser. If they leave your website without converting, your targeted ads will be triggered through the Google Display Network when they browse similar websites. Because you can customize how these ads are triggered (and where the remarketing tags are embedded in your site), it provides a much more focused opportunity for reaching your desired demographic and concentrating your marketing efforts.

Although retargeting is hinged on a relatively simple concept, it is best left to the expertise of a professional digital marketing agency to set up on your website. Since PPC and retargeting are two SEO tactics that are usually implemented simultaneously, your agency can advise the best techniques required to identify brand-appropriate keywords and other tactics to ensure a successful remarketing campaign.

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How Can Retargeting Improve Your SEO?

While existing and potential customers browse various areas of the internet, they may have initially been curious about your product or services, but not made a purchase. However, with the strategically-placed ads that occur as the result of your retargeting efforts, a consumer is more likely to return to your site and buy something after repeated exposure to your brand.

So, you may be asking – how can retargeting help your company’s SEO efforts? Below, some of the core benefits:

  • Allows you to reconnect with potential and existing consumers
  • Promotes the possibility of converting a casual visitor into a paying customer
  • Enables targeted ad delivery to your intended demographic
  • Provides repeat ad exposure for digital branding opportunities
  • Leads to higher conversion rates over time
  • Offers a cost-effective, reliable marketing strategy that is even scalable for smaller businesses
  • Continuously tracks your website’s ad performance
  • Facilitates the continuous evolution of your marketing and advertising efforts
  • Builds brand loyalty and awareness

Also, since you won’t be in competition for keyword placement in a Google search, you may see a reduced cost per impression. Retargeting allows you to hone in your marketing efforts and target repeat customers, ultimately saving you money.

Another added bonus is how specifically you can target your ads: for example, retargeting allows you to send one type of ad to a potential customer who abandoned their shopping carts, while another one can be sent out to a browser who spent time on a particular page. In the case of remarketing, sending a targeted email may be considered another effective marketing strategy.

Finally, you can gather quantifiable data analyses on how each ad performs across various digital platforms, including home computers and mobile devices. Similar to PPC advertising, this sort of information allows your company to promote your ad campaign while simultaneously improving your marketing efforts.

Related: How to Deliver Value at Every Stage of the Customer Journey

Summary

To recap, remarketing tactics are an effective tactic, primarily in today’s competitive online marketplace. In fact, any business with a website can benefit using some form of remarketing. By allowing you to connect directly with visitors who may not have made an immediate purchase on your website, you can create targeted ads that will reach them as they browse elsewhere online.

When implemented properly, remarketing and retargeting strategies are not only a powerful marketing tool that can raise your sales conversions and brand awareness but provide your company with a cost-effective and efficient method of advertising. Whether you choose to deliver your remarketing ads via text and/or image display formats, your ads will be managed by Google AdWords and displayed on web pages visited by your target audience, allowing you to track your progress. With so many different options and modes of targeting your marketing efforts, your remarketing campaign can be tailored to your business’s SEO specifications.

 

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Sean Dilger is an SEO Project Manager at Power Digital with a passion for all things digital. He was born in Ireland and moved to San Diego in 2015. Sean has many years experience in the digital space and has worked in email marketing, PPC, social media and of course SEO. Sean graduated college in Ireland with a Master's Degree in Marketing and Management Strategy.