So many online journeys, consumer and otherwise, begin with a search engine. So, naturally, the data stemming from those searches offers incredible value to marketers. This single data stream may be the most comprehensive and illuminating source of information you'll find anywhere online — digital marketers can't afford to ignore the opportunity it represents.
The value of search data isn't restricted to applications within those search engines themselves. Marketers can pull that data and use it to retarget consumers on other channels as well. Search retargeting uses past search activity to display ads on other platforms, including Facebook and other display ad networks. Search Engine Journal explains it is an important component of your marketing strategy.
Retargeting is an effective strategy for brands looking to recapture interested consumers and pursue transactions that were abandoned before they could be completed. When properly deployed, it offers incredible value.
Building Ad Campaigns From Search Activity
Search retargeting isn't the same as site retargeting, although the two do share some traits in common. With site retargeting, brands are trying to recapture traffic that left the site without making a conversion.
Search retargeting, however, concerns a different consumer group. These people may have never been to your company's website — and they may have no idea your company even exists. But based on their keyword searches, your marketing strategy has deemed them likely to have an interest in your company. If you're an all-natural pet food company, for example, you can presume that most people conducting searches for all-natural dog foods might be interested in your products.
With search retargeting, you can display ads to this small-but-relevant group of consumers, attempting to capture those who weren't reached through the search engines themselves.
Pinpointing Consumer Segments
The key to success in search retargeting is understanding how certain keyword searches are relevant to what your company offers. If you choose keyword searches that are too broad, or only somewhat related to your company and what it sells, performance for these ads might suffer — consumers won't find the ads relevant, and they won't click.
With that in mind, you'll want to begin by identifying the best keyword searches. A good place to start is by looking at which keyword searches generate the highest conversion rates for your company's search marketing efforts. Those keywords have already proven themselves valuable and are worth testing for retargeting.
Tracking Your Benefits
Every digital marketing campaign needs to be tracked through analytics. But retargeting metrics are fairly straightforward: You're essentially looking for a boost in engagement and conversion rates, along with increased brand reach and recognition. Targeting a smaller audience may offer a small sample size, but you'll have an easier time parsing the data and understanding what it says about your strategy.
You might also want to run a test group where ads aren't displayed through search retargeting filters, allowing you a chance to compare results and gauge the effectiveness of your retargeting.
When done correctly, retargeting can offer very efficient engagement and conversion rates that exceed the performance of paid search and targeted display ads. Don't be afraid to use a little trial and error as you explore which keywords and targeting strategies are most beneficial for your brand.