So you’ve built your ads, you’ve gotten clicks, visitors have come to your landing page—now what? If you haven’t already pulled the visitor through the sales funnel, it’s time to retarget. And as we’ve been discussing conversion rate optimizations as they apply to both initial ads and landing pages, it’s time to share how to best optimize for retargeting.
The first step is to determine the desired outcomes and audience types you’ll be retargeting.
- Is this for brand awareness, conversion, lead generation, etc.?
- Did the audience see an ad already?
- Did they visit a landing page from an ad, but abandoned a cart or dropped without conversion?
- Or are you using 1st party data to retarget?
- Did the viewer visit your site recently?
Initial Strategies for Retargeting Optimizations
Depending on the previous interactions, the audience’s mindsets are in different places. Retargeting is created to incite a new behavior, but depending on where they are in the funnel their receptiveness to this message may be easier or harder to access.
From our own experience with client objectives, which matches with data from eMarketer, the top two reasons for retargeting are increasing brand awareness and driving sales. To simplify types of optimizations we will focus primarily on these two objectives for this article, but strategies learned can be applied to other objectives as well.
Tailoring Audience Segmentation
Just like with initial ads, one of the easiest optimizations is creating separate ad groups for each retargeting audience. Segmenting these can be based on a few criteria, and it’s important to keep in mind your audience types, initial ad goals and retargeting goals.
For users that have seen your ads, you can segment them based on which part of the website they visited. This makes it possible to optimize the retargeting message to something that will best resonate with them.
Along with audience segmentation, bid strategies are an important factor as well. There are numerous strategies that can be run depending on the end goal, and it’s important to organize based on how you want the ad to run.
If you want a user to perform a certain action (buy something, fill out a form, etc.) on your website, you would optimize the bid strategy for conversions. But if your aim is simply for people to visit your website, your bid strategy should optimize for clicks.
Tailoring Messaging and Creative
The other side of optimizations lies with the actual ad being shown. Should you update the ad you display or use what you’ve previously done? Rethinking messaging and imagery doesn’t mean recreating an entire campaign. But it can be helpful to revisit the difference in strategy between the first and second touchpoints.
If the retargeted audience has already been served an ad, it’s especially important to consider how you can update their second interaction. Think about what they’ve already seen, and what your follow-up should be.
Limiting Ad Fatigue
This takes us to another side of retargeting ads: being careful not to over-advertise to your audience. Anyone seeing the same ad over and over will at best start to ignore it, and at worst feel negatively towards the brand.
Updating messaging and imagery can be one way to help with ad fatigue. For added brand awareness, slight nuances can feel refreshed but increase message views. Or if you’re trying to sell or convert to someone who previously dropped off, it could be helpful to add an incentive that increases that conversion for those sitting on the fence.
Another way to avoid ad fatigue can be as easy as monitoring what is being shown at any given time. Watch the frequency of the ads being served, and set up guardrails to limit the amount of ads. No matter what type of ad you’re showing, too much is too much.
Following these strategies can help ensure the ads being created are targeting an audience that is most receptive, with a message that really resonates. And similar to optimizing initial ads and landing pages, these optimizations can lead to improved conversion rates with lowered acquisition costs.