Why Remarketing is a BIG deal and how it will affect PPC and SEO

What Is Remarketing?
In case you aren’t familiar with Remarketing, it is a new part of Google AdWords launched this year which allows you to tag visitors when they visit your website and then show ads to them on the Google AdSense network.

For Example
An example would be, say someone visits a site from Google organic with the keyword “cricket bat” but they decide to close their browser and do something else. With Remarketing you tag them whilst they are on the site, so when they log back on and visit GMail, for example, you can send them an ad for your website that displays a cricket bat and directly links to the cricket bat page – in the hope they are still interested and come and buy.

This is a simplistic example of how Remarketing works, there are lots of different things you can do with it and I think its going to help increase Google’s profits substantially. You can tag people according to what page they visit and you can make custom combinations with varying cookie lengths to create all kinds of audiences.

How will this affect PPC?
Firstly cost per click on the Google Content Network is going to go up substantially, as bid amounts may get as much as 10 times higher.

Secondly it means that bid costs on keywords are going to increase, because if people don’t buy on the first visit, at least you can tag them and they become part of your “audience” which is essentially an asset. An audience member will have a value in itself, worked out by the average earnings minus the cost of each audience member.

How will this affect SEO?
I think Remarketing is so powerful that it is likely to have an effect on SEO. It may actually become detrimental to have a well ranking site, as you may only want to tag those who are interested in what you are selling, rather than some of the obscure terms that people websites for (for example one of mine is “YouTube fetish”)! Building up an audience of people that aren’t interested in what you have to offer is likely to cost you money in terms of quality score – an untargeting audience yields a low CTR and so will have a higher CPC to compete with your competitor who has a targeted audience with a higher CTR.

What can Remarketing be used for?

  • Targeting people who visit your site and then go away again (well duh) – but taking into consideration how long they may take to be ready to buy e.g. 30 days or 90 days?
  • Tagging people by product and then hitting them with ads for that exact product
  • Tagging people who convert and then asking them 30 days after purchase for feedback (customer survey)
  • This was DaveN‘s suggestion: tagging people for 365 days and then advertising to them all when you have a sale/promotion going on.
  • Tagging people all the way up the conversion funnel, so you can bid higher amounts of the most probable prospects.
  • With annual contracts such as car insurance or many B2B contracts it is worth tagging people with a 395 day cookie and a 335 cookie and then hit them 11 months later when they are considering renewal.
  • Targeting people who don’t convert and asking them why with a survey and offering them something in return (a money off voucher?)

Anyways, I’m sure there are loads of other things that it can be used for, but it is going to mean that PPC costs are going up and for those that don’t embrace Remarketing, their sales, ROI & market share will be going down.

Also if you are interested, Stephen Pavlovich recently recommended a service called Criteo which appears to get a higher ROI – although I think with a bit of hard work you can get the same functionality out of Google Remarketing (unless you are selling more than around 10 products/services).