What Is Remarketing? An Absolute Beginner's Guide

Josh Horton

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Although the term "remarketing" may be unfamiliar, chances are you’ve come across it at one point or another. Whether you realize it or not.

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Before joining the world of marketing, I always thought it was kind of strange that ads for a website I was recently on were showing up on my Facebook, or on other websites. It makes you think, “How do they know I was looking at those shoes?” or “This is kind of creepy.” Don’t think this is happening? Research a car. You’ll see ads for that brand for weeks.

One of our fearless leaders, Josh Curcio, sees it as convenient rather than creepy. From a user perspective, ads can be annoying. However, they’re a little less annoying and a little more convenient when you’re seeing ads for stuff you need.

If you do it well, remarketing can be a subtle way to keep your prospects warm.

What Is Remarketing & Where to Begin

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If you’re already using Google AdWords, you’re in good shape.

The next step is to add the Google remarketing tag to pages on your website that you want associated with your campaign. You can create all sorts of codes for certain keywords on your pages. For example, you can create a “sneaker” tag to place on all pages that mention sneakers.

Once the tags are in place, they show relevant ads on other pages based on a cookie. A cookie is a small file stored on a user's computer. It can understand your interests based on your browsing behavior. These cookies are key to remarketing. Without cookies, Google wouldn’t be able to keep track of the pages you visit.

P.S. - when you clear your browsing history, there's an option to clear cookies as well. This will remove any remarketing ads you're currently seeing, as well as other tracking cookies from other sites.

What’s the Cost?

You can spend a lot or just a little on remarketing. Like all things AdWords, the more you spend, the more people you reach.

Reach - If you’re targeting all users who are visiting your site, you’ll need a much larger budget than if you’re just targeting visitors of a certain page. This can be difficult, especially in highly competitive industries.

Competition - If you’re a niche business, you won’t have to spend too much. Chances are you’re one of the only ones doing this. The more competitive the industry, the more you’ll need to spend to be relevant. It can be tough for small businesses to compete with large corporations with unlimited marketing budgets.

Will It Actually Help?

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First: you’ll get out what you put in. In the case of AdWords, you’re going to spend some money, you’ll need to create a few ads, and you’ll need to define which keywords are relevant to you. That's the first puzzle piece.

Second: relevance is key. The more relevant your ads, the more likely a visitor will interact with them. Irrelevant ads WILL NOT perform well, and are a waste of money.

Remarketing is a great tool that if nothing else, will increase your brand awareness and drive relevant traffic to your website. Through remarketing, you’re putting yourself in front of people who, at one point or another, were searching for something you offer. Give it a shot, I think you’ll be glad you did.

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