What is Retargeting Advertising

Peter Roesler, President - Web Marketing Pros

By Peter Roesler

President, Web Marketing Pros

Retargeting Advertising, What is it? The PROS and CONS retarget

What is retargeting advertising? The simple explanation is your ads can stalk a potential customer, yes stalking.  Your banner ads will follow someone interested in your business or products around on the internet and show them your advertisements over and over again.  This is a very inexpensive way to make a big impact on potential customers.  It’s typically a fraction of the cost of AdWords.  Plus you will get thousands of impressions and customers will see your logo very inexpensively.

Below are the most popular types of retargeting.

So what’s the good, bad and ugly with retargeting? Let’s start off with the bad, that way it’s on the table and we can get rocking.


  1. Too many ads to often may scare business away.  People feel stalked.
  2. You may show ads to infrequently to get results.
  3. Without a “burn pixel” you can keep spending money advertising to people who have already become a customer.
  4. Without proper tracking you won’t know what’s working and what’s not, making it hard to cut costs.
  5. Difficult and time consuming to setup.


  1. Once setup easy to manage and change ads to suit your goals.
  2. If you only pay for clicks, you can keep your ads following around potential customers very cheaply.
  3. The cost to follow someone around is very low and the returns and impressions usually very high.
  4. You can control and test easily to make sure you are reaching the right customers.
  5. Creativity matters and with retargeting you can get very creative with your ads and get your customers excited about your business.
  6. Brand awareness.  You ads are following around people that are interested in your products or services therefore you are branding / advertising to the right people.  Plus usually you only pay for clicks so you will get hundreds if not thousands of impressions for free.
  7. It allows you to get someone back to the site who maybe didn’t have the time or money to make a decision and gives you another chance to convert them.

Tracking Retargeting Ads

You add a pixel to your site either a page, landing page or site wide.  When a visitor lands on that page(s) a cookie (tracking code) is stored in their internet browser and when they do searches around the web your ads will follow them around.  Once that visitor converts by metrics setup by you the pixel is removed.  Conversions can be buying a product, filling out a form or a specific action on the site.  Once a visitor converts you need the proper code in place to make sure the pixel is “burned” this will remove that visitor from your retargeting campaign or if you like add them to a converted campaign where you can target them differently.

More on the Burn pixel

The most important part of any retargeting campaign is the burn pixel.  After all doesn’t it make sense to stop advertising to someone who either bought the product you were trying to sell or filled out a form showing interest in your service?  There’s no need to keep serving them up the same ads.  Adding a burn pixel to your campaign will basically add a goal to your campaign once it’s reached the ads will stop showing to your customer.  ­­ So you don’t have to waste your advertising dollars marketing to your active customers.

Is Retargeting for you?

Retargeting if done properly can yield huge results and make a great impression on your new customer.  As long as everything is setup correctly and tracked effectively retargeting is a marketing effort that should not be over looked.  After all you only get one chance to make a first impression, with retargeting you can get that chance a few more times and turn a shopper into a customer.

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