Skip to content

Your Guide to Search Retargeting


A customer with a need and a brand with a product that fulfills that demand is a match made in heaven. But online advertisements must first survive scroll-throughs by thousands of uninterested web surfers before finding that perfect coupling. That’s where search retargeting comes in: expediting this mutually beneficial meeting to ensure you get the most bang for your buck when creating ads to acquire new customers and boost sales.

People’s search histories reflect their search intent: what they’re interested in, looking for, or planning to buy in the future. Search engines then utilize keyword search data to serve up results that closely align with search intent. But for eCommerce sellers, user search history is an informational goldmine.

Keep reading to explore Premiere Creative’s guide to this profitable and cost-effective marketing tactic; discover how you can apply search retargeting to your digital strategy today!

What is Search Retargeting?

Search retargeting essentially gives brands a way to tailor a custom audience for their ads, based on users’ online search queries. This high ROI strategy is akin to behavioral targeting conducted through website retargeting, which displays ads to returning website visitors who have not yet made any purchases. But search retargeting places ads directly in front of the right clientele: the group (determined by data history) most likely to buy your products.

This new audience does not necessarily have an existing interest in your brand, but rather expresses enthusiasm in your niche, a determination made evident from keyword search data. Prior to using this type of audience targeting, some users may not have even known your brand existed! Thus, search retargeting effectively bridges the gap between users and undiscovered brands that can fulfill their needs.

Search Retargeting at Work

Imagine a homeowner wakes up one weekend morning to discover their trusted lawnmower reached its final day. They then took to their computer to find another machine to deal with unruly yard growth. After typing in “best affordable lawnmowers,” the customer notices several ads appearing at the top of SERPs. None of the products excites the homeowner enough to complete a purchase, so he puts his search on hold. But after logging onto Facebook the next day, an ad for a John Deere lawnmower pops up on his Facebook feed!

In need and ready to buy a John Deere product, that brand found its perfect customer—all thanks to search retargeting. For the consumer, the ad acted as a reminder of a need; yet for the brand, search retargeting brought a ready-to-buy customer, who potentially had no idea about John Deere’s lawnmower options, straight to their website.

Thus, the customer gets a shopping tool, connecting them with a brand to fulfill their desires, while the brand receives traffic from a consumer already in the market for what they sell.

The Benefits of Search Retargeting

Improves Brand Awareness

Brand awareness steers consumer buying decisions away from competitors. Let’s image that a customer is in the market for a backpack. They will visit websites belonging to brands they already know, whether that’s Herschel or North Face, over a perhaps lesser-known seller like Dagne Dover.

With this marketing strategy, your brand does not limit itself to avenues like word-of-mouth referrals or showing up in organic search results to attract new customers; instead, search retargeting closes in on likely-to-buy customers through specifically tailored ads.

Increases Visitor Traffic to Your Site

Buyers must first land on your eCommerce website before they can transact. The more people that visit your site, the more potential customers you will convert. So, bringing your display ads to the screens of already “in the market clientele” enhances your site’s visitors. Recent statistics show that pop-up ads can deliver valid results; some companies rely on them to increase email signups by almost 14x or leads by 162%.

Brings The “Right” Viewers to Your Ads

Projections for the worldwide spending on marketing predict an increase to $4.7 trillion by 2025. On a brand-by-brand scale, companies typically allocate 7 to 8% of their gross revenue to marketing outreach. Yet seeing healthy ROI requires the higher conversion rates that retargeted search ads can yield.

It is no secret that utilizing website data to find and target the most likely to buy consumers reaps benefits for sellers; ads utilizing highly customized approaches directed toward specific sub-sets of audiences can lift conversion rates by nearly 70%.

How Search Retargeting Works

Create a List of Keywords

Ask any marketing specialist, and they will tell you that keywords are an essential component in other areas of digital marketing, such as SEO and PPC. Keywords also serve as the groundwork for search retargeting because the strategy determines the most relevant keywords that can help optimize your ads.

For example, Converse might add “athletic shoes” or “casual footwear” to its keyword list. Long-tail keywords, which contain a string of several words, are typically most effective, attracting a specific group of users. Furthermore, your brand has the choice to retarget prospects who use broadly related, exact, or phrase-matched keywords in their search queries.

Design Your Ads as Relevant to Those Keywords as Possible

If you expect to see value from search retargeting, each new ad you create must match the keywords on your list. So, the keywords you choose should act as a roadmap as you produce your ad’s creative design and sales copy. Since search retargeting uses display ads, make sure to optimize images and your brand logo, use clear and compelling text that highlights your top keywords and utilize rich and colorful media.

Launch Ads and Track Results

If you choose to use Google Ads, Google makes metrics like conversion rate and click-through rate available for your review. Get the most return on your marketing investments by using this helpful data to tighten your keyword focus, so you can connect with prospects who match your ideal buyer persona.

Make Your Ads Work for You Through Search Retargeting

So much thought and time goes into the design of branded ads, but all of that is for naught unless these promotions reach a ready-to-buy audience. Ensure that your ads land on the screen of those most willing to buy—for both the customer in need and your business profit margins sake—by making use of search retargeting.

Get some individualized guidance on how to make this method a critical component in your brand’s advertising toolbox. Connect with Premiere Creative today by dialing (973) 346-8100! Countless new consumer leads await you.