What Is Remarketing in Digital Marketing? [Guide]

Remarketing in digital marketing allows businesses to target specific audiences and generate more sales by advertising personalized ads to users who have previously interacted with their website.
  • Portrait of a smiling man in burgundy shirt, transparent background.
    Dan Shaffer Director of SEO.com
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  • October 26, 2023
  • 4 min. read

Getting remarketed is a universal experience for Internet users. What is remarketing in digital marketing, though? Remarketing is advertising to users who previously interacted with your website through personalized ads. Learn more about remarketing’s definition in this quick-start guide!

What is remarketing?

Remarketing or retargeting is a digital marketing strategy that advertises a business to people who previously interacted with the company’s website but didn’t take a desired action, like purchasing a product. Remarketing ads are available through Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Facebook.

What are some remarketing examples?

Let’s make remarketing’s definition more tangible with these examples:

  • Alice visits a site’s homepage and then sees ads for the brand on a news site later.
  • Brian adds a product to his cart but then leaves. He sees an ad for the product on a blog later.
  • Ceci browses a travel site for flights and then sees ads for hotels in the area on another site.

Essentially, remarketing works to re-engage users that paused their user journey.

Why is remarketing in digital marketing important?

In digital marketing, remarketing is important for a few reasons, including the following:

  • Targeting: With remarketing, you can get niche with your targeting. For example, you can target users that visited a specific URL and require that the users visit the URL for a specific amount of time or from a particular location.
  • Intent: Since remarketing audiences stem from your data, like pages visited, time on page, and other events, you can understand the user intent and build ads that speak to that intent, whether it’s awareness or consideration.
  • Effectiveness: Remarketing is also effective, helping businesses generate more leads and close more sales from the web. Without remarketing, companies would have limited methods of reaching these qualified users.

No matter your business, remarketing can offer your organization bottom-line value.

How does remarketing work?

At a broad level, remarketing works as follows:

  1. A user visits a website
  2. A user receives an ad while browsing the web

Let’s dig deeper, though, and look at what’s happening behind the scenes:

  1. A business adds a pixel to its site, which tracks a user’s behavior via a cookie.
  2. A business creates a remarketing audience that references the cookie data, like page viewed, location, time on page, and more, in an ad platform like Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, and Facebook Advertising.
  3. A business builds a remarketing ad campaign for its designated audience, which launches once the company is ready and the remarketing audience has enough users. User requirements vary by ad platform.

Since remarketing operates on cookies, it’s become imperative for businesses to establish a first-party data strategy for collecting, storing, and transferring remarketing data. For perspective, Google (one of the most well-known remarketing providers) is moving away from cookies.

When should I use remarketing?

Companies should consider using remarketing in the following scenarios:

  • You’re looking to build brand awareness: Most buying journeys take several touchpoints before conversion, so remarketing is helpful during the early stages. While you’ll have limited intent information, you can experiment to engage top-of-the-funnel visitors.
  • You’re looking to combat abandoned shopping carts: One of the best reasons to use remarketing is to re-capture revenue from abandoned shopping carts. These ads can push users to come back and complete their purchase. For example, an education company could remarket to users that abandoned their shopping cart for a study guide.
  • You’re looking to remain top-of-mind in long buying cycles: For lead generation companies, remarketing can also keep your brand top-of-mind during negotiations, which can significantly impact buyer choices.
  • You’re looking to nurture users in the consideration stage: You can also use remarketing ads to nurture people who are still learning about your business, its offers, and its competitors. Again, you’re keeping your brand (and the problem you solve) top of mind.
  • You’re looking to generate repeat purchases: Companies also use remarketing ads to earn repeat or new purchases from existing clients. The value of remarketing ads is your business remains present for users.

The above are just some of the use cases for remarketing. Remember, remarketing audiences require a user minimum, so you’ll need to focus on applications that will generate enough users to run your ad campaigns.

Where can I run remarketing campaigns?

Remarketing ads are available on several ad platforms, including:

  • Google Ads
  • Microsoft Advertising
  • Facebook Ads
  • LinkedIn Ads
  • Taboola
  • AdRoll

If you’re just getting started with remarketing, consider Google Ads, Microsoft Advertising, or Facebook Ads. Google Ads is excellent for beginners because it integrates with Google Analytics 4 and offers a familiar dashboard if you already advertise through the network.

Bring your remarketing campaign to life with SEO.com

Besides maintaining an award-winning SEO team, SEO.com also features seasoned advertising specialists. Bring their expertise to your remarketing campaigns by contacting us today to learn how they can help you close more sales with remarketing ads.

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Dan has 10+ years experience as an SEO for one of the largest SEO agencies in the USA. He’s seen it all! You can breathe easy knowing his many battles in the SERPs have informed the insights he shares here.

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