Search Retargeting Vs Remarketing: Which Do You Need?

Search Retargeting Vs Remarketing: Which Do You Need?

Team Streams

August 5th, 2021

Search Retargeting Vs Remarketing: Which Do You Need?

Search retargeting and remarketing are terms that are often used interchangeably. You are probably running retargeted ads for your business. If you're not, you should be because according to Spiralytics retargeting ad placements beat all other ad placements – and by a lot –with a 10x efficiency rate. 

If your business is running paid ads, there are some key differences between retargeting and remarketing that you need to know.

In this article, we cover what is search retargeting, how it is different from remarketing and when you should be implementing each strategy. 


Retartgeting vs remarketing


Search Retargeting and Remarketing: Same Thing But Different


The fact that retargeting and remarketing are used interchangeably by even the most expert and experienced marketers has created confusion and now you may think they are the same thing. While they are similar, there are some key differences.

Ad managers put a lot of time into testing audiences, reviewing analytics and developing ad creative. A common problem that businesses have with PPC search ads is that they get a low conversion rate. You generate a lot of traffic to your website, but it doesn't lead to sales. 

With all the tracking enabled on your website and ads, it's easy to get distracted or obsess over data. You want to try testing new copy, or different audiences to see if you can boost conversion rates. 

In this, you sometimes forget one of the fundamentals of marketing. To build trust with audiences and win them over before you push them to make a purchase.

This is where search retargeting and remarketing come in. They give you the chance to specifically target an audience that has already had interactions with your brand. 


The Key Differences Between Search Retargeting and Remarketing 


Search Retargeting

The most common definition of search retargeting is ads that target users who have had an interaction on your website without making a purchase

When a user takes a specific action on your website that you want them to take, a cookie is set in their browser. 

You can then use this cookie to retarget them with ads once they exited your website. This type of retargeting is not limited to search but can also be done with Google Display ads and Facebook social ads. 

These campaigns are almost always more successful than campaigns that do not retarget. This is because it is always easier to advertise to users who have already expressed an interest in your brand, products, or industry.


Search Remarketing

This is where things start to get a little confusing. The definition above is perhaps what you thought search remarketing was. Retargeting and remarketing share goals. However, the approach to achieving those goals change with each strategy.

Remarketing is often more about trying to interact with existing customers. Whereas retargeting focuses on pushing users who have had interaction with your brand (but have not made a purchase) through your sales funnel and turning them into customers. 


The Increasing Overlap 

These two methods of generating sales have become more and more overlapped in recent years. Remarketing was once mainly focused on emails. Emails would be sent to customers asking them to renew their service or showing them a new product. Retargeting was almost solely focused on ads and on-site interactions

However as technologies have grown and PPC platforms have added the ability to import email subscriber lists, the two have begun to overlap. This is where confusion in the terms has developed. 

The differences have become less distinct in recent years. There is no need to worry if you are confused or using the two terms interchangeably. 

We are seeing this kind of thing happen all over social media and digital marketing. Areas that were once totally separate start to merge and attribution of sales are becoming more difficult. Now the question is less about what do you call each tactic or strategy but what mix of them yields the best results for your business. 


The Sum Up


Search retargeting and remarketing are different. However, the most important thing is not defining one or the other, but understanding what combination of both strategies provides the best results for your business. 


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