What is Retargeting?

Simply put, retargeting is a form of online marketing used to “retarget” users that left your website without taking any action. A retargeting strategy aims to increase conversions using cookies. Cookies use a basic code, sometimes known as a pixel, to follow your website’s visitors. Sounds a bit intrusive, right? Thanks to the new GDPR rules, users now have the ability to opt out of tracking. Websites have to feature this option from the onset of the user’s visit.

The cookie’s code, or pixel, follows your visitors and places customized ads where it matters most. Common platforms like AdWords and AdRoll allow you to create your own ads to share on the web, on social media, and through email. The entire retargeting process looks something like this:



Retargeting diagram that shows prospect visiting site, leaving, being tracked, viewing ad, and returning to site.

Many ad vendors give you the freedom to target your audience the way you want. You can target users who visited at least one page and left, or you can target users who didn’t finish filling out a contact form. Retargeting is a lot more affordable than you think. You set your daily budget for an ad’s duration and decide how you want to pay: per click, per conversion, or per impression.

If you think retargeting is too much work or there’s not enough room in the budget, consider this:


Only 2% of web traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting reaches the 98% of users who didn’t convert.


Types of Retargeting Strategies

Retargeting expands beyond web, social, and email campaigns. There are 7 common types of retargeting strategies:


1. Search

In search retargeting, you’re ads reach users who searched using keywords or phrases that are related to your business.


2. Site

Target users who took a specific action on your site, viewed particular pages, or left your site completely without doing anything.



This type of retargeting reaches users based on how they got to your website, specifically if they arrived through an ad presented on search engines as a result of keywords or phrases.


4. Email

If you make use of a newsletter, this type of retargeting sends out ads to users who interacted with your email campaigns.


5. Contextual

Target users who browse content or search for businesses that are similar to your own.


6. Engagement

This type of retargeting serves ads to those who took action with distributed content, like sharing a video or interacting with an online ad.


7. Social

This type of retargeting is one of the most popular forms of online marketing. Social media is where most, if not all, of your audience communicates. This type of retargeting strategy serves your ad to users through their feeds and timelines. Popular platforms include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. Not only can you promote ads through an ad vendor, each platform offers unique options to reach users.


Facebook & Instagram

Conveniently, you can create Instagram ads through the Facebook campaign dashboard. Target your audience based on demographics and interests. Reach new people who are similar to the audience that already likes your page. Create an audience based entirely on customer contacts that are already in place.



Twitter has about 330 million monthly active users, most of whom are millennials. These ads are scrollable and naturally integrated into feeds. You can target your audience based on demographics, location, keywords, and you can even target follower look-alikes. These are users with interests that are similar to a particular account’s followers. In other words, you can tap into your competitors’ followers.



LinkedIn is geared towards B2B sales, vendor connections, and recruiting. It is commonly known as a more “professional” platform. You can target your audience based on demographics, job title and seniority, schooling and degrees, and skills, just to name a few.

Before implementing a retargeting strategy, determine your goals, your ideal audience, and your brand. Each form of retargeting serves a unique purpose, and it’s important to optimize potential outreach. Not only do we specialize in hosting and development, we’re also pretty good at retargeting! Talk to us about your strategies and how we can help to improve.


Free consultation to discover your best-fit solution.