Important Factors to Consider with Retargeting

Retargeting… Remarketing… What is this? What’s the difference? Should I be doing this in my digital strategy?

For starters, retargeting and remarketing are the same thing. The main difference is that Google branded the word remarketing while retargeting was used beforehand.

In a broad sense, retargeting is reengaging with someone who has already interacted with your website. This can happen in three different ways: banner ads, video ads, or search ads. Majority of clients only have retargeting banner ads as their retargeting strategy, so this will be the main focus.

In many first digital client calls when an automotive dealer signs on, I hear the client asking “why should we even have retargeting campaigns when they don’t convert to a phone call or form submission?” The point of a retargeting banner is to follow around a customer who has already been to your website; it’s that constant reminder of “hey, I still need to buy a new vehicle.” Hopefully, the customer will click on the ad, but the image could get them to search for the client instead – this is called a View Through Conversion.

When it comes to retargeting strategies, there are thousands possible strategies to implement. To narrow down your choices, here are several questions that you should ask:

  • How long is the buying decision process?
  • What products do you have?
  • Who is coming to your website?
  • Who do you want to retarget?


Google allows you to create customized retargeting lists which you can tailor your lists based on your answers from the above questions. Check out some other things to take into consideration below:

  1. If the buying decision process is several months like in the automotive industry, then you should have a longer duration within your retargeting lists. However if the buying buying decision process is much shorter, then you should stick with the 30 day cycle.
  2. Every industry has many products or services that they are trying to sell. For a restaurant, it’s the different parts of the menu. You can create retargeting lists based on where people went on the website. This allows you to serve specific ads to customers based on where they went on the website.
  3. In the automotive industry, there are customers who only want to buy either a new or used vehicle, while there are others who need financing options. Having a retargeting list for each part of the website will allow you to see how many people visited certain parts, so you can let the client know if they are missing a market. Keep in mind in order for Google to serve retargeting banners, the list size needs to be 100.
  4. Ultimately, the focus should be the client’s goal. In the automotive industry, does the client want to focus only on new vehicles? If so, we can remove people so that we only serve ads to people who visited a new vehicle.


Develop a strategy and test it out on a client. Compare the results to previous month then test it again. Your retargeting strategy can help make your digital strategy even more successful.

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