(484) 469-7736 adam@nerdsdoitbetter.com

Don't Give Up the Sale

Why do people even click on your ads?

That’s the question you wonder as you watch your ad spend continue to rise, while your sales remain stagnant. Users click on your ad, check out your page and leave without making a purchase – never to return.

You are Katy Perry’s left shark of advertising.

So what do you do?

You try redesigning your web page in an attempt to get visitors to convert. You change the buttons, colors, the text, and update the images. All of this costs time and money – the two things your business never has enough of. However, the effects of your effort is negligible. The clicks continue to occur and visitors continue to leave without producing revenue.

Now you are frustrated and consider quitting Internet Advertising altogether. PPC may work for some businesses, but not yours.

The truth is, it can work for your business and the poor results are not your fault. You probably did make your page more enticing to visitors! However, it wouldn’t matter what you changes you made to your website – because it isn’t about your site.

It is about how people behave on the Internet.

So grab a cup of coffee and get ready – it is time to learn what prevents your campaigns from becoming profitable and how to fix it.

You Expect A Sale On The First Click

A person searches for your business, clicks on your ad and begins to look at your page.

They consider making a purchase on your site – but then the phone rings, or they decide to check facebook, or their boss comes by and they have to close the screen. Or a million other reasons that have nothing to do with your product, page or business that causes you to lose the sale.

The fact is the vast majority of visitors do not convert on the first visit to a site.

It is not a problem specific to your ads or text on the page – it is how users interact with the Internet in general. They are constantly opening new windows, browsing, searching and looking at new information. They only convert when they have the time, desire and attention to do so and those are three things which you do not control.

However, just because they left your site without converting the first time, it doesn’t mean that in the future they will not convert. These are visitors who have shown interest in your product or service by searching for and clicking on your ad.

Since you can not control their time, desire and attention you need to catch them at the right time. This could be at home, it could be when they are on a bus – basically it could be anywhere. Since it can be anywhere, your ads need to be in front of them consistently and that’s where retargeting comes in.

Use Retargeting To Convert Them On Subsequent Clicks

Your conversion may not happen on the first click, but it doesn’t have to:-)

You know those ads that seem to follow you around after you visit a web page? You are not hallucinating, those ads don’t just seem like they are following you – they do follow you.

Those ads are retargeting ads (also called remarketing ads) and they are what you will use to consistently keep your ads in front of visitors to get them back to your site when they have the time, desire and attention to convert.

The way retargeting works is a site drops a cookie in your browser, and this cookie tells the network (usually Google or facebook) to follow you around the Internet with specified ads.

These retargeting ads are effective because:

  • You do not lose the sale after the visitor leaves your page.
    The ads follow them around wherever they go without them ever performing the search again.
  • Retargeting ads can be tailored to the visitor.
    For example, if a user visits an eCommerce site, and leaves without making a purchase they can receive ads based on the pages they views. They could be shown women’s shoes ads if they visited the women’s shoes page and can be shown by women’s coats ads if they visited the women’s coats page. You can do this type of targeting down to the specific product level!
  • You can stop the retargeting users based on your business needs.
    If a user clicks on the retargeting ad and converts you can stop showing the ad to them. This makes sense for lead generation businesses such as a house painting company. Once someone submits the form that they want to be contacted with more information about having their house painted having an ad that would continue to follow them around would annoy them and waste your money.
  • Retargeting is cheaper than typical ads.
    Studies show that they may be 22% cheaper.
  • They convert at a higher rate.
    I have read case studies that report that retargeting raises conversion rates by as much as 300% (though that is a Google published case study, and their numbers are obviously intended to try to convince you to advertise with Google. In my experience the conversion rate increase isn’t quite that high 🙂

How to Retarget

1. Create a strategy
Before you start with a single line of code, start with your strategy. You want to answer some basic strategic business questions such as:

  • What are you attempting to accomplish with your retargeting campaign? Do you want to have ads that target users based on the specific items they view or will the ads be more general?
  • Will you present the user an additional offer? For example, you could target users who don’t complete a purchase with a 10% off coupon to entice them to come back to complete the purchase.
  • What networks do you plan to retarget on – facebook, Google, etc.?
  • Do you plan to target both desktop and mobile users? Users exhibit different purchasing behaviors depending on the device and that is important to keep in mind when designing your retargeting campaign.

2. Drop the cookie
Each network has their own unique way to add the cookie/retargeting pixel to a page. You should follow their individual network instructions carefully or the code will not fire. The following are links to Google and Facebook’s official pages with the step by step instructions on how to accomplish this:

3. Create the campaigns
Create the campaigns based on the strategy you crafted in the first step. For example, if you have one campaign and that targets users who simply visited your site and left, and one campaign that targets users who put an item into your online shopping cart and abandoned it you would want different ads and to allocate a different budget.

4. Optimize
Keep track of how your campaigns are performing, and make changes to them based on the data that you receive. Remember, Internet Advertising is not a set it and forget it form of marketing. Even the best advertisers don’t start with perfect campaigns, they constantly track results and change the campaigns based on data and you should as well.

Your Turn!
Now you know not to expect users to convert on the initial click, as well as how to continue to target them until they have the time, desire, and attention to make the purchase. Try out retargeting and put in the comments how it works for you!

How do you get customers back who have left your site without converting?

Adam Lundquist (@adamlundquist) is the founder of Nerds Do It Better, a marketing business that delivers business results. He has been featured in The Harvard Gazette, Search Engine Journal, PPC Hero, Certified Knowledge, KISSmetrics, Mtv, Vh1, Sports Illustrated, and Moz. He is the author of the eBook: 17 PPC Optimization Tips.