They’re Following You! (Or How I Learned to Love Ad Re-targeting)

Patrick Coyne
Patrick Coyne Director of Organic & Local Search

targetingOkay, let’s face it, the idea of ad re-targeting is a little creepy. Think of it like this: Imagine you go into a store at the mall and browse a bit. Then an hour later, the clerk from the first store is bugging you while you get a snack at the food court. When you think of it like that, re-targeting is ridiculous. But the reality is, online shoppers behave very differently than offline shoppers, and ad re-targeting is an effective way to get those digital window shoppers back on your website. Arc Intermedia has been recommending re-targeting for many of our clients for several years now. And the results we’ve seen prove how successful this tactic can be.

So what is re-targeting?

To put it simply, behavioral re-targeting ads serve display advertisements to Web users after they left the advertiser’s website. So for instance, you’re on looking at laptops. You leave that site and visit another website, where you see several display ads for That is re-targeting in a nutshell. The idea is that a user who initially visits your website is a warm lead, and is very likely to make a purchase. So a retargeted ad will hopefully get that user back on the website, and convince him or her to make a purchase.

So why do we love ad re-targeting?

While there are many different reasons why re-targeting ads are so effective, here’s a just a few:

It’s the Perfect Companion for Paid Search Marketing & SEO

Re-targeting is best when used in conjunction with your search engine optimization and paid search marketing. Re-targeting works hard to capture those users who your organic and paid campaigns have initially brought to your website. This will ultimately increase your conversion rate. And in some industries, digital marketing campaigns with a re-targeting component can lead to a 147% increase in conversion rate.

Improved Brand Awareness & Brand Recall

Like we said, we’ve recommended ad re-targeting to clients in several industries. The misconception is that these types of ads really only work for e-commerce websites. But according to, re-targeting can increase the number of branded searches for a business, as well as the amount of direct traffic. Suddenly, users are remembering your business by name and typing it directly in the search bar, rather than taking their chances with the search engine.

Reach the Audience When They’re Ready to Buy

Perhaps when the user first landed on your website, he or she was just browsing. Depending on your product or service, a user could take a few minutes or a few weeks before making a purchasing decision. With re-targeting you can use that kind of information to your advantage, and start your campaign during a time when you believe that user is most likely to buy.

Target the Segment of Your Audience Most Likely to Buy

The advantage of any paid search marketing campaign is the ability to reach a defined audience who you believe is most likely to convert. So for instance, if women living in the Northeast are more likely to make a purchase decision, you would want to reach out directly to that audience. Re-targeting provides you with the ability to reach those leads who are most likely to convert, and avoid wasting money on those who will probably not make a purchase.

When done correctly, re-targeting display ads can be an effective way to improve your conversion rate. Remember, you’ve worked hard to get those users to your website. Don’t just let those opportunities slip through your hands!

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