We have all had the experience of searching for a product online, perusing different sites only to lose interest in finding what we need and abandoning our search. But by some spooky way of the internet reading our minds an ad for our previous search materializes, passively reminding us of the item we wanted or needed and putting us on a path to purchase. Retargeting ads are those spooky actions keeping you on a path that you thought abandoned.

What are Retargeting Ads?

Retargeting Ads are described as ads shown to visitors who have come to a website but have left without taking part in acting/buying. Through the use of tracking pixels or cookies that follow the user from site to site delivering an ad on social media, search engines, or a site (different from the origin of the pixel or cookie) to the visitor. Retargeting Ads is used interchangeably by many with the term “Remarketing” which Google defines as “[showing] ads to people who visited your website without buying anything, for example, remarketing helps you reconnect with them by showing relevant ads across different devices”.  Most marketers follow the google definition.

We have all been on websites price comparing, looking for better deals, or just browsing letting our curiosity get the better of us. That behavior is not just indicative to us, but for most websites that is exactly the experience for most potential customers. In fact, 96% of visitors to websites are not ready to purchase a product or service at all. And it is only likely that 4% of your websites traffic will buy on their first visit. Retargeting ads help navigate those lost visitors back your site focusing to achieve two goals: awareness and conversion


You want potential customers to know about your product. If they have navigated to your website even momentarily then they have found some value in your offering. You want them as fully educated as possible on the value of your product. So, allowing the visitor to learn more about your business or product gives them more evaluation time to consider your product as important enough that it can work for them now or in the future. This knowledge, then, could be shared with potential customers in the visitor’s social circle creating greater awareness of your brand and its products. Using retargeting ads for awareness is a less focused/targeted goal, but it allows for potential customers who lack knowledge of your business to grow in knowledge.


More than awareness, the goal is to turn potential customers into a customers to increase businesses revenue. By visiting your website, they have already shown their interest. If they have roamed your site checking out the About Page or looking at your products, then they are trying to discover what you can do for them. Their leaving is where the power of your retargeting ads can shine by reminding them of the product or service needed. This is an opportunity to convince them to buy/use your product or service by directing them to “Buy Now” or other Call to Action for a special offer that navigates them back to your site.

One of the great things about creating a second chance with your customer through retargeting ads is, with the help of 3rd party networks (Google, Display Networks, Facebook, etc.) which give businesses the means to reach multiple websites and platforms, you are able to give your customer a personalized ad experience through audience segmentation.

Whether you are segmenting your audience/customers by behaviors particular on your website, time spent on the website, or existing behaviors of websites in your industry, giving the personal touch to your customer allows them to feel a sense of connection and importance to your brand. This leads to the most important reasons for usage of retargeting ads as part of your marketing: Organic Tracking and The Up-Sell

Organic Tracking

Tracking Pixels and Cookies are remarkably similar in usage. Both are usually used in conjunction to track the behaviors of users as they travel across websites. Knowing the behavior of your visitors allows for better tailoring of retargeting ads to give a semblance of the personal touch to your customer. They grant you the ability to track the behavior of site visitors, access the overall robustness of your marketing campaigns, and measure organic traffic giving a more complete vantage of your customer’s personality and knowledge to develop strategies of engagement with a customer in the future.


Retargeting ads can bring the customer back for additional needs that may be complimentary to the product through the customer’s own determination or the business providing information regarding what other customers bought along with the product or service. By not just ending the sale after transactions are accomplished, you begin the first steps in the creation of a loyal customer through suggestion of retargeting ads: 1. they know you have the products they need or desire and 2. you keep your business in front of them, at the ready when needed. Upselling creates greater trust in your customer, but also, for the business, a greater ROI.

Companies spend a lot of time trying to get to know their customer only fail in the initial meeting. Second chances are rare, but through retargeting ads you are allowed a second chance to educate your customer about your product and convert their potential into revenue for your business. It may be a little mysterious, these ads suddenly appearing, but we have all gone back to a search because we became aware of the product or service again. To pass up on boosting your business with such a powerful and simple tool is to leave these window shoppers out in the cold.