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What Is Search Retargeting, and How Does It Work?

Posted by Zuri Stanback on October 28, 2015 at 10:46 AM

Search retargetingIn today's online shopping era, consumer activity is far from anonymous. In fact, there are tools available that allow you to track a user's online behavior to determine whether or not that user is a member of your target audience. You can then use this data to generate ad displays through a process known as search retargeting.

What Is Search Retargeting?

According to Econsultancy, search retargeting is "a form of 'behavioral retargeting' where a user of a search engine will be targeted with display ads based on their search queries." This retargeting process uses a consumer's online search history to build a user profile and present relevant ads to him or her. So, for example, if someone searched for a new couch online earlier in the week, he may see a weekend sale for a local furniture retailer show up in a Facebook ad a couple days later. Or if a consumer searched for running shoes online, she might see that very same pair of shoes in a video ad on another site.

How Does Search Retargeting Differ From Site Retargeting?

Search retargeting and site retargeting differ in the type of consumers that they pursue. By using site retargeting, an organization can reach out to consumers who have already visited their website and, for one reason or another, have left before completing a conversion (e.g., adding shoes to a shopping cart, but not purchasing them). In contrast, a user who is targeted by search retargeting may not have actually visited the organization's website previously. By using this form of retargeting, you can attract consumers who have conducted online searches that are relevant to the products and services you offer — maybe your store carries similar shoe styles and you can lure the consumer in with your more attractive deals.

Success in search retargeting is not guaranteed. Like SEO and other search marketing channels, search retargeting depends greatly on the use of focused, relevant key phrases. By choosing the right key phrases, you can attract your target audience, which will in turn lead to more conversions and a higher ROI.

Before adding this new targeting technique to your marketing arsenal, you should ask yourself, "What is search retargeting, and how can it drive results for my brand?" When used with highly relevant keywords and phrases, search retargeting provides you with abundant opportunities to attract searchers that are seeking out the types of products and services you offer.

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