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What is Retargeting? How to Set Up Retargeting Ads

Woman holding iPhone looking at a retargeting ad

What is Retargeting?

Behavioral retargeting, also referred to as retargeting and remarketing, is a digital marketing strategy in which brands “retarget” customers with ads based on their previous online behavior and actions. Customers commonly fall into retargeting audiences if they are previous website or page visitors, or if they have clicked on a link or liked a page etc. The ultimate goal of retargeting is to get customers to convert by reminding them of the goods and services they’ve previously shown an interest in. As explained by psychology, as well as a recent Forbes article, this is referred to as the Mere Exposure Effect, a psychological phenomenon in which people develop a preference for the familiar via repeated exposure to a stimulus, or in this case, an ad.

How Does Retargeting Work?

Let’s say you’re shopping online at your favorite brand for a new snowboard. After scrolling through all of the options, you finally find one you like, but it’s a little expensive so you decide to wait on purchasing it. The next day, when you visit another website, you notice an ad for snowboards from the same brand you were looking at yesterday. You even notice another ad from the same brand later that night as you’re scrolling through your social media. Sound familiar? Almost everyone who shops online nowadays has been placed into a retargeting audience at one point or another.

Why is Retargeting Important for my eCommerce Website?

When people first visit your website, they are often not ready to convert yet. Therefore, every eCommerce business should be running retargeting campaigns all the time, as they are an easy and effective way to drive traffic back to your website. Retargeting campaigns also offer numerous other benefits to eCommerce businesses, including increasing conversions and cost effectiveness, as well as building trust and maintaining brand awareness with customers.

Increase Conversions

By re-showing customers the products and services they left behind on your website, you are essentially reminding them of how much they liked and perhaps even needed them. This in turn will help customers to finally convert, even if it wasn’t during their first arrival on your website.

Maintain Brand Awareness

Retargeting campaigns also help to build brand awareness for eCommerce businesses. By constantly having your ads pop-up during your customers’ web browsing and social media sessions, you are making them more familiar with your brand and ensuring that it remains within their evoked set.

Build Trust with Customers

Similar to maintaining brand awareness, retargeting campaigns can also build trust with customers via the Mere Exposure Effect. The more often customers see your products and your ads, and the more familiar they become with your brand, the more likely they are to trust you and build a lasting relationship with your business. This in turn can increase customer lifetime value and brand loyalty over time.

Be More Cost Effective

Retargeting audiences are very cost-effective to use, as these customers have already demonstrated an interest in your brand and are therefore more likely to convert on your website if they see your ads. Retargeting campaigns are also more likely to give you higher click-through rates, lower cost-per-clicks, and a better return on ad spend than other campaigns.

How to Retarget on Facebook and Google Ads

  1. Install a Tracking Pixel or Code: In order to implement a retargeting strategy for your ad campaigns, you must first install a pixel tag on your website pages. A pixel tag is a snippet of code given to you by an advertising platform (for example, Facebook Ads) that tracks users’ behavior on your website and online. This pixel will then track all website visitors and add them to a list for you to use in your digital marketing efforts. For other advertising platforms, such as Google Ads, you would use your Analytics code. However, in order for tracking to work, you must ensure that you meet Google’s traffic thresholds for the different types of campaigns.
  2. Create and Define Retargeting Audiences: Once the tracking pixel or code is in place, you can then create your retargeting audiences based on the specific parameters you want to target. These audiences may include all site visitors in a given period of time, visitors of a specific page, etc. This process will differ depending on your advertising platform. Additionally, although users won’t be added to a retargeting audience in Google Ads or Facebook Ads until it has been created, Facebook Ads will retroactively add users to the retargeting audience if the pixel was present on your website before the audience was defined.
  3. Create a Retargeting Campaign: Once your tracking pixel and retargeting audiences are all set up, you can create and launch a new retargeting campaign in the advertising platform of your choice– Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc. Under the campaign settings, simply select your new retargeting audience as the audience you’d like to target.
  4. Contact Bytes.co for Help: Not sure how to set up pixel tracking on your website? Have more questions about retargeting campaigns or how to create one? As always, Bytes.co is here to help! Feel free to reach out to us and schedule a free appointment to talk with a member of our digital marketing team. We’re experts in all things retargeting, pixel tracking, and much more.
Shea Lincourt

Shea Lincourt

Shea has lived in Vermont her entire life. She grew up in southern Vermont and later moved to Burlington to pursue a degree in marketing at the University of Vermont. Upon graduating cum laude, Shea started her marketing career as a digital marketing intern at Bytes.co before becoming our digital marketing analyst.

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