My Retargeting Experiment

There has been a lot of buzz around retargeting this year and it is something that I have been planning to experiment with for awhile, but just recently finally got a chance to give it a try. In this article I will go over what exactly retargeting is, how I am using it with this blog, the statistics behind my current retargeting campaign, and how you can use it to drive traffic to your websites.

Retargeting or remarketing is the process of advertising to a visitor after they have visited your site by having a cookie placed on their computer and using banner inventory on other sites to get the user back to your site. There are quite a few different ad networks out there that offer retargeting, but the two main ones I plan to use are AdWords and SiteScout. My current campaign is setup on AdWords. So, if you visit my blog and then go to another site that display AdSense ads there is a good chance you will see my banner telling you to come back to my blog (shown below). Each time someone visits my blog they are added to my retargeting audience list on AdWords and I can advertise to them for the next 30 days using those banner display ads. It has been a great way to get my visitors reengaged.

HEY! I miss you. Come back.

Besides obviously just being interested in retargeting, I thought running a campaign for this blog would be useful because my bounce rate is pretty high. A lot of people come here, look at whatever page they were originally looking for, and then leave. I know that the more pages you visit the more opportunity I have to monetize you, so I really want to get you all looking at as many pages as possible. Retargeting gives me the opportunity to take every single person that visits this blog and throw my ad in their face until they come back. At that point, hopefully they are ready to read through every single post I have published (or at least sign up for my newsletter). So, how successful was my retargeting experiment?

Retargeting banner example

Retargeting Statistics

I just started my retargeting campaign at the beginning of this month and although I do not have a ton of data yet, the data I do have is very encouraging. With retargeting, your audience list will grow throughout the month because each day the people who come to your website get your pixel added to their computer and with that they are added to your list. As your list grows so will the amount of people you have to advertise to, which means the amount of traffic you can get.

I am only using one banner right now in my campaign (shown at the right), which has about a 1.5% CTR. The visitors that have come to my blog through that banner have spent about three times as much time reading my posts and visited about twice as many pages as my normal user! Both of those stats are about twice as good as my normal AdWords Search campaign (which is now paused because of it).

As I said, it’s still pretty early in this experiment, but the results I have seen so far are very encouraging. Maybe at the end of the year when I have a lot more data I will do a follow up.

Drive Traffic with Retargeting

In order for your retargeting campaign to be successful, you will need an audience to advertise to. You can include your retargeting pixel code on your main site (mine is on every page of my blog), but then you can come up with creative ways to retarget specific users. For example, I am thinking about retargeting users from my Facebook fan page and creating an opt-in page for my Affiliate Manager Exclusive newsletter specifically for them that uses AWeber’s Facebook Connect opt-in plugin. Obviously, they have a Facebook account and they may be more inclined to opt-in to my newsletter using their Facebook if I create a page specifically for them.

A lot of online retailers will use retargeting for people who reach a purchase page, but abandon the cart. You could do the same thing for your affiliate campaigns. Build a retargeting list of people who hit your landing page, but left before they converted and start displaying a banner to those users specifically to get them back.

If you are creative, there is a lot of opportunity to build up a lot of targeted traffic with retargeting. I’m only at the beginning stages of my retargeting experiment, but I can already see there’s a lot of opportunity with it. Check it out and let’s make some money!

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