What is retargeting in search advertising – and why is it so effective?

Chris Botterill | February 1, 2022

In our last blog, the Top 3 Myths about Search Advertising, we hopefully debunked the beliefs that search advertising is solely reserved for big companies with limitless spending. 

Deep pockets have some advantages, but search advertising is a vitally important, effective, and affordable tool for today’s small business. The key concept in search advertising is that your potential clients are in the early researching stage of the buying cycle, which is exactly where you need to be to meet them.

Let’s call your potential client “Learning Larry” because he is making queries into the Google search engine, trying to find a solution to a particular problem or wanting something specific. 

And you just happen to sell the product or service that will help him. 

As you recall, the specialized approach we use in search advertising that catches the more affordable and specific word phrases are called “longtails” that Larry is typing. 

Google search catches these longtails linked to your business and then makes an introduction by placing your website or social page up on Larry’s search results! There is a high probability that he will click, as he is actively gathering information or patiently looking for a specific thing or feature that you have.

Larry and his questions ultimately land on your virtual doorstep. Now, your well-crafted website or social page is ready to serve him with information such as:

  • education
  • support/warranties 
  • establishment of expertise and authority in your industry
  • your products/services 
  • your business values / mission
  • stories of how others have been helped / served 
  • community / sponsorships/charity interests
  • location
  • your bio and team

Perhaps still committed to his search, Larry just might leave your site without any interaction or purchase. But here is where the fun begins. 

‘Tracking codes, cookies, & API’s, oh my’…

OK, so you don’t need to know how it all works. The point is that if Larry has left your website without booking or buying, thanks to digital science within your marketing plan, you will be given several more chances to remind him of why your business should be considered. 

Retargeting: the boomerang of ads

Through a series of display ads across several platforms and Internet locations, a new campaign called retargeting is launched that continues the engagement with our Larry. Specific visual ads each answering his potential questions help reiterate the specific features, intrinsic values, or products/services of your business. They will keep pace with Larry as he moves forward with his future browsing, crossing platforms and devices in a way only advanced technology can.

Why retargeting is so effective:

  • It just works. Re-targeting boasts very high conversion rates. Translated: A lot of people like Larry will purchase from you.
  • Cost effective. You only pay per click. Only clear-intentioned searchers are selected and only those engagements are paid for.
  • Maintain profit margins.  When price is not the only factor, undercutting yourself is less likely.
  • You are considered. You become a solid option in a sea of competition.

Want to learn more about deploying this go-to strategy?
Contact us!


This is the second blog in a six-part series that boils down the fundamental of digital marketing. Click here to view the other blogs:


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