a guest post by Derek Singleton
Buyers continue to turn to the Web to research, review and compare products before they make a purchase decision. And as the number of websites that helps buyers with their research multiplies, it can be difficult to keep your brand remaining top of mind.
One effective way to keep your website and brand top of mind for buyers is use site retargeting. If you’re not familiar with site retargeting, it’s a display advertising method that allows you to show your company’s ads to visitors after they leave your site. These tips are geared to intermediate users so if you’re still working on the basics, you should brush up with a few Google searches and then come back. At my website, Software Advice, we help enterprise software buyers find the right software to help run their business. We first started experimenting with site retargeting two years ago and went with the do-it-yourself approach. Needless to say, we learned a lot through trial and error. Here are four tips we discovered over our two year learning process.
1. Adjust the Default Campaign Settings to Fit Your Business
One of the first things we discovered was that many retargeting vendors use default settings that didn’t match our business needs and it caused us unnecessary ad spend. In our experience, there are three settings in particular that caused us to miss opportunities. Audience geography. Most vendors default to display your ads globally. We only operate in North America so we aren’t able to monetize ads clicked overseas. Be sure to adjust your campaign settings with country-specific parameters. Cookie duration. While it’s tough to give very prescriptive advice here, you should know that the standard duration is 30-90 days. If your buying cycle is only 10 days, limit the duration that any particular visitor will see your ad to 10 days at most. Offer rotation. Buyers get tired of seeing the same ad from the same website follow them around the Web all day. If a user hasn’t clicked on your ad after showing it to them five times, switch it up.
2. Segment Your Website to Improve Targeting
There are a number of ways to go about segmenting user pools so you can serve up the most relevant ad. What’s most effective for us is to organize our website with a URL structure that aligns with the buyer’s interest. One way to go about segmenting your site is to organize your site product category. So if you want to retarget visitors that are interested in your financial services offering, you want to develop a URL like this: www.acme.com/industries/
3. Get Disciplined About Testing Your Ads
Anyone familiar with Web marketing knows the importance of A/B testing everything that you do on your website. It’s no different for site retargeting.
To be effective, you want to get disciplined about testing changes to the following attributes of your ads:
- Ad headline
- Ad copy
- Background color
- Ad Size
- Calls to action
Below you can see the impact that making relatively simple changes to a couple of these fields had on our conversion and click through rate (CTR).
*** I recommend, however, that you wait until you get at least 500-1000 clicks before assessing the effectiveness of your ad changes. It can be difficult to draw meaningful connections with fewer clicks.
4. Be Specific About How Your Will Attribute Retargeting Revenue
Attributing revenue to your retargeting campaigns can be difficult because you’ve likely already invested in bringing that visitor to your website before you retargeted them. For example, if a visitor originally finds you via a pay per click campaign (and then bounces) but later converts and qualifies on a retargeting campaign, which campaign do you attribute the revenue to? Unfortunately, there’s not a clean answer and you have to decide what fits your specific needs. What’s works for us is providing 100 percent attribution to our retargeting campaigns if a visitor converts after clicking a retargeting pixel because that’s what results in our ultimate desired outcome. We find this is the simplest way to get around this and stay focused on the return on investment for each type of campaign. There are four of the best tips we’ve learned through experimenting with site retargeting. If you have any additional tips on improving your site retargeting efforts, leave a note below.