That’s retargeting! An invisible pixel is placed on select pages of a website so a person that has spent time on that website can be shown customized ads while they surf the web. Think of these consumers as “prequalified shoppers” that could be enticed to come back, perhaps by showing them an ad with a reduced price on the item they researched on the site.
About 95% of visitors to websites leave without converting; retargeting can help to recapture those lost leads. But if a visitor comes to your site via a paid search campaign, you’ve already paid once for that visitor. With a retargeting campaign, you’re paying a premium to drive that same person back to your site. Our advice: carefully track the average cost-per-click of your retargeting campaign and factor in the cost of the clicks that originally drove visitors to your site to be sure you’re not paying too high a price for your conversions.
Many third-party services offer retargeting and they make their money by marking up the cost-per-click. The vast majority of advertising inventory used by these third-party services is the Google Network. If you’re already advertising with Google Adwords, retargeting can be set up through your existing campaign and there is no need to pay for a third-party service.
Some very large well-known retailers use retargeting. Zappos is one of them and they’re getting some negative publicity for not being smart with their tactics. They bombard consumers with ads for the products they had been viewing on their site, even after they make a purchase. We highly recommend placing a frequency cap on impressions for retargeted ads, and removing users from retargeting campaigns after they make a purchase.
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