What is retargeting? Everything you need to know

19 June 2021 | Author: Alina Nikolaevna | Eye icon39 What is retargeting? Everything you need to know

Retargeting is an advertising tool that allows you to reach an audience that has already visited the advertised site. Ads are shown on sites that are part of ad networks. Google Adwords calls this technology remarketing and supports impressions on search.

Principle of operation

Retargeting works like this. A special code is placed on the advertiser's website (for in Google Adwords - a remarketing code). At the moment of performing some action or just visiting, it is triggered and saves information from the user's browser, which will then help to find it.

On the sites participating in the advertising network, a code is placed that reads this information, and if there is a match, the ad is displayed to the desired user.

What tasks can be solved

Ad impressions to those who have already had experience with a product, service, or brand can:

These tasks help to solve different retargeting methods.

Types of retargeting

What is retargeting? Everything you need to know

Broadly speaking, retargeting can be:

The possibilities and principles of implementation may differ in different advertising systems.

So Google Adwords uses the following types of retargeting:

Different conditions can be combined at the same time for more accurate segmentation.

On-site targeting

On-site targeting is clearly aimed at users who have already visited your site. It doesn't matter if they bought goods or services, or performed other actions without placing an order.

Working with this category of users not only allows you to increase conversions, but also retains those potential customers who are already interested in your brand's products or services.

Off-site targeting

If earlier retargeting was limited only to the behavior of users on the site, today everything has changed dramatically, as more and more users spend time on social networks. This means that it is no longer effective to communicate about brands and their products in the same place.

Instead, it is necessary to expand the scope of information delivery. In other words, bring work to sites that do not belong to the brand. Popular social networks like Facebook quickly realized this and started working on engagement targeting.

In other words, brands push users to retarget based on how they interacted with the platform as it relates to their page, as well as events and other brand-related elements that Facebook controls. This opens up many new possibilities for off-site retargeting.

Remarketing and Retargeting: The Difference

Marketers spend a lot of time testing audiences, coming up with a new creative approach, or just getting hung up on numbers. And despite all this long process, not so many users who clicked on an ad turn into buyers.

And even if you get consistently high traffic, these visitors may never turn into buyers or sales. Few visitors from all traffic flow make purchases or checkout the first time they land on the page. The problem is that, living in an era when you can track and analyze anything, we are very easily distracted and can forget about what remarketing is and what its real role is.

The point is that you need to attract people and create a positive opinion about your product or company before they go to your site. This means that it is best to target your targeting not at attracting everyone in a row, but at working with those who have already visited your site more than once, placed an order, made an online purchase, or interacted with your online resource in a different digital format.

Both remarketing and retargeting work to attract these customers. And this is very important, since it is this target audience that is more likely to make repeat purchases than new visitors who first came to your site. Therefore, such a strategy can play a key role in building a plan to promote your business.

The blurred line between remarketing and retargeting

If the two tools used to exist separately, they have become almost interchangeable lately. The reason is that platforms like Facebook and Google Ads have added a new feature to target a customer list. This means that email is no longer the only and separate repository of information from paid media.

After you upload the list of email addresses, the platform will match them with usernames, and the resulting matches will be used to serve ads. This is the difference between targeting, which involves the use of email and regular sending of messages by email, but with paid advertising, and marketing.


Every year it becomes more and more difficult to distinguish between these two concepts. Perhaps this is because these tools have similar goals and strategies, the end result of which is to increase conversions among those who have already bought and will buy something from your brand again.

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