Mistakes in Ad Retargeting and How to Avoid Them

Cygnis Media Editor
Mistakes in Ad Retargeting and How to Avoid Them

Retargeting is a great way for you to bring back people on your website if they didn’t convert during their initial visit. According to statistics:

  • Users who are retargeted are 70% more likely to convertHubspot
  • The average clickthrough rate for retargeted ads is 0.7% while the average clickthrough rate for display ads is 0.07%Social Media Today
  • 50% of marketers say that they will dedicate half of their digital budgets to retargetingMarketing Land

However, a lot of online marketers see their retargeting campaigns fail. In this article, we will discuss why your retargeting efforts might not be working and what you can do to make sure they do well. But first, let’s set your basics right about retargeting.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a cookie based technology that adds a Javascript code, called pixel, to a visitor’s browser and follows them as they surf the web. Cookies then make sure that visitors are served ads for websites that they recently bounced-off, and try to convince them for conversion. Retargeting ensures that you get more chances to re-engage with visitors who have already visited your site but didn’t take desirable actions.

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A look at some common mistakes and how to avoid them can help you improve your retargeting campaigns:

1. Ad Saturation

Bombarding your visitors with many ads at once won’t help. When people get tired of seeing the same ads, they get a bad case of banner blindness. This is what happens when your visitors get so used to seeing your ads that they blend in with the rest of the content on the internet.

This will obviously have a negative effect on your conversions. To avoid annoying users with your ads:

  • Use Frequency Caps – With frequency capping, you can restrict the maximum number of times an ad is displayed to someone online. This increases the chances of engagement and keeps the user from becoming bored with the ad.
  • Use Burn Pixels – Imagine being served multiple ads of a website from where you already made purchases. It often gets annoying, doesn’t it? To avoid making the same mistake with your own visitors, use burn pixels. This is basically a snippet of code that will untag visitors who have already converted on your website and ensure that you stop serving them ads (e.g about products they have already bought).
2. Absence of Conversion Tracking

Conversions happen when visitors complete the journey through your call to actions. For example, a conversion could be when a visitor signs up for your webinar.

However, just because visitors click on your CTAs (Call to Actions), doesn’t necessarily mean that they will take the next step to complete the conversion. For instance, they might click to sign up for your webinar but exit the landing page before providing their email address. For marketers who do not use conversion tracking in their advertising service, the path from clicks to conversions becomes a blind spot.

With conversion tracking, you can have a better idea about the type of activity that can drive valuable customer actions and use this data for your retargeting campaigns.

There are several conversion tracking tools you can use. The Facebook Pixel is one example. If you find that certain visitors don’t go beyond the purchase page, you can retarget these visitors with ads offering perks like free shipping. Moreover, to get complete clarity on the ROI of your ad campaign, it’s essential to track the conversions as they take place.

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3. Not Customizing Landing Pages and Ads

For a lot of marketers, a successful remarketing strategy is where their ads gain the most exposure and drive visitors through the sales funnel. But a lot of marketers think that putting up an advertisement means that their job is done. In doing so, they neglect the type of experience visitors will have once they click on these ads.

Nothing ruins a user’s experience more than an ad that entices them with offers they want and ends up leading them to a generic homepage.

To make your retargeting efforts more successful:

  • Create a highly targeted and conversion oriented landing page – Ads that convert well understand the importance of customizing their landing page to ensure that their audience receives only the relevant information and hence are more likely to convert. To illustrate, consider how Optimizely increased conversions for a flash sale luxury travel company by 32% by aligning their ads with a personalized landing page. Here is a fantastic article on how you can create high-converting landing pages.
  • Use Dynamic Remarketing – Oftentimes, your visitors linger on certain product pages without making a purchase. By using Google’s Dynamic Remarketing feature, you can create ads that feature the products that these visitors viewed on their last visit. This helps where visitors need some more confidence before converting.
4. Not Bidding Enough on Repeat Visitors

Another retargeting mistake to avoid is not bidding enough on repeat visitors. They are ones that have already shown interest in what you have to offer, but haven’t converted yet. For example, visitors like these may have visited your website, read a blog you published recently, or follow you on Twitter, or have engaged with a social media application of yours.

To improve your bidding strategy:

  • Bid on Valuable Keywords – If your retargeting campaigns aren’t getting as many conversions from warm leads, you might not be bidding correctly on the right keywords. To illustrate, let’s say that your warm leads are small business owners who have sent you an inquiry but have not responded to your reply. You can bid on keywords that they find valuable and use them in your campaigns to refresh their memory and convince them to get back in touch and convert.
  • Offer Incentives to Repeat Visitors – Increase your budget to create ads that focus on offering perks to repeat visitors. To illustrate, consider visitors who click on your About page and then browse the products listed on your website. You can retarget this audience with an ad campaign that gives them a 20% discount on their first purchase.
5. Inaccurate Audience Segmentation

Audience segmentation helps you group visitors of your website based on their interactions. To segment audiences more accurately, categorize them based on their intent and interests.

  • Segment Based on Interests – Creating a category based on specific pages someone has shown interest in can help you create ads that cater to them the best. Let’s say that you own a gift shop that specializes in flower and birthday arrangements. Now you want to promote a new category, called corporate giveaways. Instead of serving ads that promote corporate giveaways to everyone who visits your website, you can segment an audience that you know are most likely interested in this category. You can then create an ad campaign that serves ads to people who have viewed your corporate giveaway web page only in the past 120 days.
  • Segment Based on Intent – You can make good use of your ad spend by serving ads to high intent visitors too. Gauging visitor intent helps you identify visitors who are really looking for something you have to offer and those who are just passing through.For example, someone who looks at more than three pages on your website has a stronger intent to content than someone who only looks at your Home page and exits. Another example of high intent visitors are those who reach the Add to Cart page on an ecommerce website but drop off before making a purchase. To give them such people an extra nudge towards conversions, you can serve them ads that exhibit the benefits of the products they added to their cart.
Wrapping Up

In every retargeting campaign, the details count. To avoid the pitfalls and make the best of your own campaign:

  • Limit ad frequency and use burn pixels to avoid annoying visitors with the same ads during their web journey.
  • Setup conversion tracking from your advertising provider for more insightful ads.
  • Customize the messaging on your landing pages and online ads for more focused retargeting.
  • Make better use of your ad spend by bidding more on warm leads.
  • Avoid sending the wrong ads to the wrong people by segmenting audiences based on their intent and interests.

To boost your online marketing efforts further, check out these strategies for creating a high converting landing page.

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