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As you may have read in Luke’s blog post, retargeting ads are a terrific way to capture the attention of potential customers. Retargeting can be used as a powerful tool for driving repeat business. By strategically placing your ads on other websites (after a person visits your site without making a purchase or filling out a contact form), the retarget is meant to jog their memory and keep you at the front of their minds while they decide weather or not they choose to complete the purchase of your product.

But, are retargeting ads right for you?

This type of ad is a very powerful tool, but it isn’t for everyone. Before you go diving head first into retargeting, there are some things you should consider. Without doing so, you may risk a significantly low ROI… or worse, none at all.

Consider your product and sales cycle

What you are selling and what is the typical shopping experience for your product? These are the two most important things to think about when deciding for or against retargeting ads.

Retail products are often seen as a great business for retargeting, so lets use shoes as an example. Someone looking for a particular set of shoes browses your shoe website, takes a look at them for awhile, maybe puts them in their cart and then leaves without purchasing. Why?

The why is because in general there isn’t any great sense of urgency when buying shoes. Shoppers are going to take their time and shop around for the best value or most attractive style. A shopper might look at several sites before making a decision. It may take a few days or longer before a decision is finally made.

When the shopper leaves without purchasing, a cookie from your site is placed in the visitor’s browser. The cookie will follow your prospective customer around the internet for up to 60 days, periodically showing them an advertisement or picture of exactly the shoes they left behind. After 60 days, Google gives up and stops following them.

Retail is not the only industry which will benefit from retargeting. Think about products like flooring, cars or even furniture. Customers are going to take their time, shop around and compare prices. They may even forget about making the purchase for a little bit. It is during this window of time that retargeting ads are most effective, capturing their attention and making them think “Oh yeah, this website had a pretty good deal on what I was looking for. I should go back and check again!”

This purchasing behavior makes retargeting a better fit for businesses with a longer sales cycle. If the product fills an immediate need, the ads will be displayed after the sale is made. Think about a company that sells air conditioners. If in the middle of a brutally hot summer, someone needs a new air conditioner there is no way they are waiting 30-plus days to make a decision. The same goes for exterminators and auto repair firms. 


Just because you aren’t a good fit for retargeting ads doesn’t mean you can’t keep yourself in the hearts and minds of the people. There are plenty of alternatives including Facebook and Linkedin advertising. Learn more about all your options. 

Online Ad Guide