Content Marketing Blog

Why not having remarketing tags on your site is a huge mistake

One of the most critical components of any online marketing strategy is the website it revolves around.

Regardless of whether your business is selling fancy soap or cutting edge FinTech software, you need consumers to both visit your website and be prepared to convert at some stage in the future. ‘In the future’ is the key phrase here, with too many business leaders believing that if a website user isn’t prepared to make a purchase or complete some other valuable action on their first visit, then they’re effectively lost as a customer.

In reality, a user’s first visit to a website is relatively unlikely to lead to conversion. A recent survey from Episerver found that 92 per cent of consumers are not planning on buying when they first visit a site.

This is an absolutely enormous number of visitors that many businesses are simply letting slide away, rather than having a plan in place to re-engage them and facilitate a smooth journey towards conversion.

This process is known as ‘remarketing,’ and if you’re not already doing it, you should be.

What is remarketing

Website remarketing is the process of targeting consumers who have visited a particular site – showing interest in the business’ products or services – but without completing any significant action. In essence, it’s reminding these users that they spent some time on the website, and gently nudging them to return and continue their journey through the sales funnel.

The goal of a remarketing campaign is therefore to increase conversion rates, rather than worrying about overall traffic to a website. It all falls under the principle of quality over quantity, ensuring that potential consumers don’t fall out of the sales funnel simply because they’ve forgotten about their interest in a certain product or service.

Types of remarketing

As with many facets of content marketing, remarketing strategies come in several different forms. What most of these have in common, however, is the technique of showing targeted ads to previous website visitors while they’re browsing the internet.

A few examples of remarketing strategies include:

  • Standard remarketing: Which shows general ads.
  • Dynamic remarketing: Which shows ads relating to specific products a website visitor previously viewed.
  • Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA): Which shows ads relating to Google searches.
  • Video remarketing: Which shows ads to users who viewed a business’ content on YouTube.
  • Customer list remarketing: Which uses a business’ own information on its customers (such as email addresses) to show them ads when they’re signed into Google.

Remarketing largely uses the search and advertising frameworks developed by Google to deliver ads to users.

How remarketing works

As you can see from the above examples, remarketing largely uses the search and advertising frameworks developed by Google (which also owns YouTube) to deliver ads to users. Remarketing is a specific functionality within Google’s Adwords platform, described by the company as:

“A way to connect with people who previously interacted with your website or mobile app. [Remarketing] allows you to strategically position your ads in front of these audiences as they browse Google or its partner websites.”

Google’s reach is enormous, with WordStream reporting that the company’s Display Network (sites that show ads hosted by Google) reaches as much as 90 per cent of internet users. These ads can be found everywhere from on social media through to blog posts on unrelated websites. As a result, remarketing through the platform is one of the very best ways to ensure as many users as possible are reached.

Remarketing uses specials tags to pull pages from your website and transform them into ads on Google’s Display Network. These tags are simple pieces of tracking code that tell Google which pages a business wants to prioritise within its remarketing campaigns.

How to set up remarketing tags

We won’t go into the technical nuts and bolts of adding dynamic remarketing tags to your website in this article.

Even so, it’s worth mentioning that there are three different ways that remarketing tags can be added to a website. These are:

  • Google Tag Manager: Allows for remarketing functionality to be enabled within the existing Google Tag Manager framework which is designed for conversion tracking and analytics.
  • Google Analytics: Remarketing tags can also be set up via Google Analytics, so if you already use this platform it’s an easy addition to make.
  • Google Adwords Remarketing Tag: Generate a new tag via Adwords and place it directly on to your site.

In general, using Google Tag Manager is the easiest way to set up and manage remarketing tags, but the best option for your business may vary based on a variety of factors, such as whether or not you already use Google Analytics. Accordingly, it’s best to liaise with your IT team as well as experienced content marketers when setting up remarketing, in order to ensure you’re using the most suitable implementation strategy or combination of multiple strategies.

For a comprehensive breakdown of the three methods from the horse’s mouth, check out the below video from Google, which outlines each tag type and how to implement them.

What are the benefits of remarketing?

Now that we know what remarketing is and how it works, it’s time to take a look at why your business needs it. We’ve covered the basic benefits of remarketing, namely getting people back on to a business’ website, but click-through rates are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what the right strategy can achieve.

One of the best elements of remarketing is that it allows businesses to create tailored ads that directly relate to what an individual consumer (or more accurately, group of consumers) are interested in. For example, if a section of your audience has been looking at a certain product – say, stationery – then they’ll be shown ads that relate to that. This ability to customise ads provides a far more individual experience for users, making them feel as though they’ve already established a relationship with your business, rather than being shown items they have no interest in.

In addition to increasing the likelihood of conversion, using the right data to display relevant ads helps create a sense of familiarity with your brand. Not only will this solidify your position as a leader in your industry, it will also ensure customers don’t forget about your business even if they’ve subsequently looked at your competitors’ websites.

Finally, remarketing is a relatively inexpensive way to take digital marketing campaigns to the next level. The costs of displaying targeted ads can be as low as a few dollars each month, but even more importantly, pricing is based on a ‘cost-per-click’ scale, so you’ll only be paying for the increased site activity that you actually get.

Remarketing pricing is based on a ‘cost-per-click’ scale, so you’ll only be paying for the increased site activity that you actually get.

Making the most of remarketing

In order to get the best return on an investment in remarketing, it’s essential to keep in mind that simplicity is your friend. It may be tempting to display bold, bright ads with animated graphics to catch the eye, but in reality, simple, static advertisements are often the smarter choice.

This is because for the same cost it would take to create a single complex ad, you could instead have your graphics team come up with several variations targeted towards different segments. Not only will this help you to cover more bases, it also allows for better tracking of which ads work and which don’t.

Page choice is also critical. As a general rule, you’ll want to remarket pages further down your sales funnel, in order to gently guide users on to the next stage of the sales funnel from the original ‘interest stage’ that led them to visit a website in the first place.

Common marketing mistakes

While remarketing may seem like a simple, affordable way to boost engagement on your website and improve conversion rates, it doesn’t come without its hazards.

Some of the most common mistakes made when remarketing include:

  • Forgetting to add remarketing tags to any new pages added to a website. If these pages relate to new, popular products, you’re missing a huge opportunity to remarket them to previous site visitors.
  • Take a one-size-fits-all approach. It’s easier to remarket in bulk to your entire audience, but you’ll see far better results by spending time creating user segments and showing tailored ads to each dedicated persona.
  • Only using some of the remarketing platform’s functionality. There’s a huge number of businesses who use remarketing tags but ignore the Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RLSA) functionality. This means they’re missing out on generating leads from an audience actively searching for their particular product.
  • Forgetting about creative. Remarketing relies on great ads, and if you haven’t invested in informative, attractive ads, there’s not much point getting them in front of an audience.

Ultimately, remarketing is an essential part of the modern content marketing landscape. If your business isn’t already taking steps to ensure website visitors are enticed to return, then you could be missing out on valuable lead generation and a boosted conversion rate.

Just as importantly, setting up remarketing tags and creating relevant ads to show your audience doesn’t have to be complex or expensive. With the right expertise and assistance, there’s no reason why you can’t see improved results. So what are you waiting for? Get remarketing!

Get updates from the experts - Castleford

Ben Lange
Ben Lange About the author

A Castleford veteran now based out of England, Ben writes across a broad variety of industries, including construction, education, recruitment, banking and film and music. He’s a regular contributor to the Castleford blog and writes for clients such as Hilti Australia, TRC Group and Beyond Bank.

Read more of Ben's articles