What Is Search Retargeting and How Does This Form of Advertising Work?

Search Retargeting is a relatively new advertising concept in online marketing. As a dynamic form of retargeting, this method is used to target a target group after a user from this target group has carried out a certain action. This means that after a certain action, which will be explained in more detail below, a so-called display ad, i.e. a form of banner advertising, is played out to the users.

What is new about search retargeting, in contrast to the other forms of retargeting, is that it additionally combines display advertising, which was also used previously, with search engine advertising. This is because, with Search Retargeting, customers are targeted based on search queries and the keywords used in them, similar to Search Engine Advertising or Performance Marketing. Thus, the advertising is not only targeted at customers who have visited a company’s website and have thus already come into contact with the brand at least once but also at customers who have not specifically searched for the brand or the website, which means that the customer does not need specific brand knowledge. Basically, all those who are looking for keywords that you yourself bid on are targeted.

The search retargeting works like a bidding system. Here, advertisers can bid on certain keywords, and for the highest bidder on this keyword, the advertisement is played by this one when searching for the keyword.

In this way, campaigns can be run that is based on your own keywords and are relevant for the company, brand, and its products. For example, furniture manufacturers can display ads for users who have previously searched for ‘dining table’ or ‘kitchen table’. The target groups are thus targeted according to their searches on other websites.

The aim of Search Retargeting is to increase brand reach and thus to place more targeted advertising more cost-effectively. After all, only those users are targeted who have already been looking for exactly this product.

Difference to Site Targeting

Site retargeting is the form of advertising in which customers who have visited a company’s website are shown a display ad of that site. So when a user visits another website, an ad is played from exactly the same page that was previously visited. Site targeting is not based on keywords and often targets people who have already decided against the product the moment they have left the company’s website.

This is the main difference between Search Retargeting and Side Targeting. While side retargeting is used to re-target already known customers in order to persuade them to buy, search retargeting is used to acquire new customers who have not necessarily been in contact with the company or brand before.

In search advertising, the display ads are usually displayed directly next to the results of the search queries, whereas in search retargeting, the ads are only played out when the searcher has left the website or switches from the search results to a website, for example.

How does Search Retargeting work?

retargeting-remarketingAs already mentioned, the search retargeting is based on keywords. Ideally, advertisers should first start a comprehensive analysis of keywords to find out when which keyword is searched for and how often which keyword is searched for. The whole thing is based on a bidding system where you can bid on certain keywords and are then played out if you are the highest bidder on that keyword. It is optimal to adapt the bids to the strength (frequency of search queries or search volume) of the keywords and to ask yourself which keywords can actually convert and which cannot. Due to the meanwhile high competition in bidding on keywords, care must be taken to ensure that the budget has been used purposefully and sensibly. By linking to display ads, you can implement your own logos and visual aspects into the banner advertising. This is not the case with PPC campaigns, for example, where the design and structure is often specified by the provider. With Amazon Advertising, for example, the ad is often generated from existing product data such as images, titles, ratings and prime availability.

Advantages of Search Retargeting

By tying advertising campaigns to specific search queries, very precise targeting is made possible, which hits exactly those people who are already looking for the right product and shows a buying interest in every case. This precise search retargeting can also provide insight into the minds of the customers, or the way they think and search intentions. By regularly monitoring this data, the advertiser can understand how his customers search and how they do not search. These keywords provide the advertiser with data in the appropriate context, giving him valuable information about the consumer. In this way, the campaign can be optimized and sharpened to improve the return on investment (ROI).

Search retargeting is particularly interesting when it comes to making targeted use of an already existing buying interest.

Strategies for Search Retargeting

A tip for search retargeting is to start with the largest possible keyword set and check which keywords really convert with the help of regular reports. The keyword set can then be gradually minimized and sharpened to the converting keywords in order to use the budget optimally. This variant is much easier than evaluating downstream which keywords could also convert and adding them to the running advertising campaigns afterward.

In addition, the target group should be deployed gradually. The data and information collected on consumers can be used to find out exactly how specific customers search, what commonalities exist among consumers, and what customers have previously searched for. This information helps to optimize both the product and the advertising campaigns themselves, as well as to better understand the customer journey.

Search Retargeting Example

A user has searched for e.g. “cheap fitness studio Hamburg trial training” on the web but has not agreed on a trial training. The programmatically purchased display advertising can now reach him again afterward with a banner tailored to his needs. Here, therefore, with an advertising medium that shows fitness studios in the right category in Hamburg. In this way, the buying interest documented by the concrete search query can be converted into a deal. Or simply put:: The search interest is advertised directly and specifically and thus a deal is generated.

How Is Search Retargeting Related to the Amazon Dsp?

The Amazon DSP, like other “demand-side platforms”, is a programmatic advertising platform on which users can be targeted specifically and filled with ads. Search retargeting has been possible in the Google area for a long time, but not yet with the Amazon DSP. However, further, very targeted ads can be realized in the area of programmatic advertising on Amazon. Product retargeting ads, for example, are very sales-oriented and therefore usually controllable with a good ROAS. If a user was previously on a certain product, a certain ASIN, then targeted retargeting ads can be used to track the user on external websites until he or she actually completes the purchase.