Avoid these common retargeting mistakes and watch your ROI increase dramatically while keeping your customers happy and loyal.
Retargeting Mistake #1: Not Frequency Capping Your Campaigns
With most AdWords campaigns, you don’t need to worry about frequency capping. Chances are, if someone is searching for your product ten times, they are just as likely to click on your ad and buy something with their tenth search as they are with their first search.
With Retargeting, you are showing your ads to the same person repeatedly, so if they don’t click on your ad after seeing it ten times, chances are, they won’t click on it at all (or if they do, its accidental).
I usually launch retargeting campaigns with a frequency cap of 6 impressions per campaign, but I usually also find that the ROI improves as I reduce the frequency cap to an even lower number.
Retargeting Mistake #2: Not Using Negative Audiences
If someone has already bought your product, you should stop showing them ads, right?
You can do this by creating an audience list from your existing conversion tag (this is an option when you create any new audience segment), then adding this audience as a ‘negative audience’ in your campaigns tab.
By creating negative audiences you will a) improve your ROI and b) avoid pissing off existing customers.
Retargeting Mistake #3: Not Using a Series of Banner Ads
As mentioned previously, with retargeting, you are showing ads to the same person repeatedly, and if they didn’t click on your ad initially, chances are, they won’t click on it later.
By running a series of banner ads, you can create a value proposition for any type of potential customer. With a reasonable frequency cap of 6 impressions per week, you can still show 6 unique messages per week per audience member.
Retargeting Mistake #4: Only Using Text Ads
I’ve had plenty of success running retargeting campaigns with text ads only, and text ads can be a great way to define the best messages for your audience with minimal work, but text ads don’t get nearly the clickthrough rate of image ads.
With catchy image ads, you can improve your clickthrough rates dramatically, cutting your costs down significantly in the process.
Retargeting Mistake #5: Not Using Multiple Audiences
This is a key tactic referenced repeatedly in our ebook. When your site reaches more than a couple thousand people per month, its important to create multiple audiences based on browsing behavior, how someone entered your site, and where people visit. You can even create unique audiences for people who open your emails or visit your Facebook fan pages.
Retargeting Mistake #6: Not Using a Duration Limit on Your Audience
In almost all cases, someone who has visited your site yesterday is much more likely to buy something than someone who visited your site a year ago.
When creating audience lists, its important to create audiences with multiple duration limits, and then bid accordingly for each audience. For example, bid more to show an ad to someone who has visited your site yesterday than someone who visited your site last year.
Retargeting Mistake #7: Not Using Multiple Ad Banner Sizes
With retargeting, you are bidding against thousands of other advertisers to show ads to your past visitors. Fortunately, not all advertisers are savvy enough to create banners in multiple sizes. Most advertisers only create banner ads in basic sizes – 300×250, 728×90, and 160×60 – so if you create banner ads in less common sizes – 468×60, 120×600, 250×250 – you can often pay significantly less for clicks.
Retargeting Mistake #8: Not Blocking Placement Categories
By default, retargeting ads generally run on almost every type of website. By optimizing placements, you can add an extra level of targeting to your campaigns.
I usually block in-game ads for example with most retargeting campaigns. Based on your product and your target audience, you could also consider blocking in-video placements, in-app placements, or social network placements.
Retargeting Mistake #9: Not Blocking Mobile Traffic
This tactic is only appropriate for non-mobile sites. Every marketer should be looking at their Google Analytics and AdWords reporting to see how mobile traffic converts. In most cases, mobile traffic doesn’t convert nearly as well as general web traffic, so if that is the case, you should keep your retargeting ads away from mobile phones.
Similarly, if you have a mobile site, you can break your retargeting campaigns into two sections: One campaign can target general web placements, and send traffic to your main website and a second campaign can target mobile placements and send traffic to a mobile website.
Retargeting Mistake #10: Not Creating Regional Campaigns
Not only can you block non-converting regions from seeing your ads, but you can also create unique messages for people in different countries, states or cities.
If you use this tactic, you should note that adding a regional targeting layer on top of audience retargeting can often lead to a much smaller audience size, so consider building up your audience list to at least 10,000 people before targeting specific regions.
I’ve Made Some Mistakes. Now What?
We’ve created a quick (and free) retargeting cheat sheet that should make it easy for you to update your campaigns in less than an hour.
If you want to take your retargeting campaigns to the next level, you can join our community and download the comprehensive 86-page ebook on retargeting