A retargeting campaign is an effective, affordable way to get your business' ads in front of eyes that matter. Here's how it works. Once users visit your website, a couple of lines of code will keep track of them using what are called cookies and show them ads for your business on their favorite websites - such as Facebook*. Hence the name "retargeting" - you are simply trying to retarget users that have already been to your website to come back as loyal customers. All you need to get started is access to your website's back-end and a Google AdWords account. After that, here's what you need to do:
1) Create An Account
Once you have your AdWords client center set up (http://google.com/adwords), click on "Create account" near the top. In the drop-down menu, select "AdWords." Once you have put in the name of your business, the time zone you operate in and what form of currency you'll be using, hit "Create account."
2) Create Your Retargeting Campaign
Go into your new AdWords account for your business and click on "Create your first campaign." Give your campaign a name like "Retargeting" then where it says Type, click on the drop-down menu and select "Display Network Only." This means that we only want to show ads on websites and not on any Google search pages. After that, select "Remarketing" (retargeting and remarketing mean the same thing). Finally, click on "Set up remarketing" at the bottom.
3) Get The Code
Once you click on "Set up remarketing," this notification should pop up. Enter the e-mail of the person who handles your website's back-end - whether it be you or a systems administrator - and hit "Send and continue." This person should receive an e-mail with a couple of lines of code for you to put in your website. You can either place this "retargeting tag" in the footer of your site to work on all pages or you can put it in each page individually depending on your preferences. Go back to AdWords and hit "Continue" then "Return to campaign."
4) Set Up The Rest Of Your Campaign
Back at the Campaign creation screen, you need to decide if you want to do automatic or manual bidding (Bid Strategy) and then select your daily budget. This amount is the most you will be charged in one day depending on who clicks on your ads. Hit "Save and continue" at the bottom when you are finished.
5) Create An Ad Group
Give a name to your ad group, then select a default bid - the maximum amount you want to bid for a space to display your ad on a website. For a retargeting campaign, a default bid of $2.00 should be good (your actual cost should be less than $1/click). Next, click on the double arrow button next to "All visitors" to move that audience into your AdWords account. This will keep track of the amount of users who are visiting your site and who will be shown the retargeting ads. Finally, hit "Save and continue."
6) Create Ads
Using the tools provided by Google AdWords, create compelling text and image ads to convince users to come to your website. Going through the full process of making ads is beyond the scope of this blog, but here are tips from Google on how to make both text ads and image ads for your retargeting campaign. Once you've finished making ads, hit "Done."
7) Select Where You Want Your Ads To Go
Once you have put in your billing information (go to Billing-->Billing Summary), it's time to put your ads on Facebook. In your company's Retargeting campaign screen, click on the "Display Network" tab, then click on the green "+Targeting" button. Go to the Ad Group you want to do this with (you should only have one), then select the "Add targeting" drop-down menu and click on "Placements." Click where it says "Add multiple placements at once" and type in the URLs of the websites you want to display ads in. Since this is just going to run on Facebook, all you want to enter is "facebook.com". Hit "Add." Finally, scroll to the bottom and hit "Save."
8) Check Your "Audiences" Tab
Your ads will only start showing once AdWords has accumulated 1,000 "cookies" or unique users to your site. Click on "Shared Library" in the bottom left of your screen, then "Audiences" to keep track of your list size.
That's it! Once you've gotten over 1,000 unique users after embedding the retargeting code, you will start to show ads. You can always change your ads and customize your bids depending on your budget, as well as add more websites that you want to show your ads on. Be sure to stay tuned to this blog for more helpful posts in the future.
*Note: Since Facebook has its own advertising system, AdWords ads will most likely show up in its third-party apps rather than on Facebook pages themselves