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Ad Retargeting

How to Boost Your ROAS with Ad Retargeting

David Halmai, B.Comm.
  •  July 3, 2023


Have you ever visited a website, looked at a product or service, and then left without buying anything? If so, you’re not alone. According to research, 92% of consumers do something other than make a purchase on their first visit to a website. That means you’re missing out on a lot of potential customers who might be interested in your offer, but need some more convincing or reminders to come back.

That’s where ad retargeting comes in. Ad retargeting is a powerful digital marketing technique that allows you to show ads to people who have already interacted with your brand online, either by visiting your website, viewing your products, or giving you their email address. By showing them relevant and personalized ads on different platforms, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads, you can increase your brand awareness, engagement, and conversions.

In this blog post, we’ll show you how ad retargeting works on Google Ads and Facebook Ads, and share some best practices and tips to help you create effective retargeting campaigns that can boost your return on ad spend (ROAS).

What is Ad Retargeting?

Ad retargeting is a type of online advertising that shows ads to people who have previously interacted with your brand online, but have not completed a desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a newsletter, or filling out a form.

The goal of ad retargeting is to re-engage these potential customers and persuade them to come back to your website and take the next step in your sales funnel. Ad retargeting can also help you cross-sell or upsell to your existing customers by showing them complementary or upgraded products or services.

Ad retargeting works by using cookies or pixels to track the behavior and preferences of your website visitors. These are small pieces of code that you install on your website and that collect data about your visitors, such as what pages they visit, what products they view, how long they stay, etc.

You can then use this data to create custom audiences based on different criteria, such as:

  • The pages they visited on your website.
  • The products they added to their cart but did not buy.
  • The time they spent on your website.
  • The email address they provided through a lead magnet or opt-in form.
  • The device they used to access your website.

You can then use these custom audiences to show them targeted ads on different platforms where they spend their time online, such as Google Ads and Facebook Ads.

How to Create Ad Retargeting Campaigns on Google Ads and Facebook Ads

Google Ads and Facebook Ads are two of the most popular and effective platforms for ad retargeting. They both have large and diverse audiences, advanced targeting options, and various ad formats to suit your goals and budget.

Here are the basic steps to create ad retargeting campaigns on Google Ads and Facebook Ads:

Retargeting with Google Ads

Google Ads allows you to show retargeting ads to your website visitors across its search and display network, as well as YouTube. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Create a Google Ads account if you don’t have one already.
  2. Create a remarketing tag in your Google Ads account. This is the code that you need to install on your website to track your visitors.
  3. Copy and paste the remarketing tag into the header tags of every page of your website.
  4. Create remarketing lists in your Google Ads account. These are the custom audiences that you want to target with your ads based on their behavior on your website.
  5. Create a remarketing campaign in your Google Ads account. Choose the type of campaign (search, display, or video), the budget, the bidding strategy, the location, the language, etc.
  6. Create an ad group for each remarketing list that you want to target. Choose the ad format (text, image, video, etc.), the keywords (for search campaigns), the placements (for display campaigns), etc.
  7. Create compelling ad copy and visuals that match the intent and interest of each remarketing list. Include a clear call-to-action that encourages them to return to your website and complete the desired action.
  8. Launch your campaign and monitor its performance. Use metrics such as impressions, clicks, conversions, cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-acquisition (CPA), ROAS, etc., to measure its effectiveness and optimize it accordingly.

Retargeting with Facebook Ads

Facebook Ads allows you to show retargeting ads to your website visitors across its family of apps and services, such as Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, and Audience Network. Here’s how to set it up:

  1. Create a Facebook Business Manager account if you don’t have one already.
  2. Create a Facebook pixel in your Facebook Business Manager account. This is the code that you need to install on your website to track your visitors.
  3. Copy and paste the Facebook pixel code into the header tags of every page of your website.
  4. Create custom audiences in your Facebook Business Manager account. These are the custom audiences that you want to target with your ads based on their behavior on your website or their email address.
  5. Create a retargeting campaign in your Facebook Business Manager account. Choose the campaign objective (traffic, conversions, catalog sales, etc.), the budget, the bidding strategy, etc.
  6. Create an ad set for each custom audience that you want to target. Choose the ad placement (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, Audience Network, etc.), the optimization goal, the delivery method, etc.
  7. Create engaging ad creative and copy that match the intent and interest of each custom audience. Include a clear call-to-action that encourages them to return to your website and complete the desired action.
  8. Launch your campaign and monitor its performance. Use metrics such as impressions, reach, frequency, clicks, conversions, cost-per-click (CPC), cost-per-acquisition (CPA), ROAS, etc., to measure its effectiveness and optimize it accordingly.
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Best Practices and Tips for Ad Retargeting

Ad retargeting can be a powerful way to boost your ROAS and grow your business online. However, it also requires some planning and testing to make sure you’re reaching the right people with the right message at the right time.

Here are some best practices and tips to help you create effective ad retargeting campaigns on Google Ads and Facebook Ads:

  • Segment your audiences based on their behavior and interests. Don’t treat all your website visitors the same way. Instead, create different remarketing lists or custom audiences based on their actions and preferences on your website, such as what pages they visited, what products they viewed, how long they stayed, etc. This will allow you to show them more relevant and personalized ads that match their stage in the buyer’s journey and their pain points or desires.
  • Use dynamic ads to show them the exact products or services they were interested in. Dynamic ads are a type of ad format that automatically shows the most relevant products or services from your catalog or website to each individual user based on their browsing history or behavior. For example, if someone visited your website and looked at a pair of shoes but didn’t buy them, you can show them a dynamic ad featuring that exact pair of shoes with a special offer or a reminder of why they should buy them.
  • Offer incentives or urgency to entice them to come back and buy. Sometimes, your website visitors need a little push or a nudge to return to your website and complete their purchase or sign up for your offer. You can use ad retargeting to offer them incentives or urgency that can motivate them to take action. For example, you can offer them free shipping, a discount code, a limited-time deal, a bonus gift, a free trial, etc., depending on your business model and goals.
  • Test different ad formats, placements, copy, and visuals to see what works best. Ad retargeting is not a one-size-fits-all strategy. Different platforms, audiences, and goals may require different types of ads to achieve optimal results. That’s why you should always test different variables in your ad retargeting campaigns to see what performs best and optimize accordingly. For example, you can test different ad formats (text, image, video, carousel, etc.), different ad placements (search network, display network, YouTube, Facebook feed, Instagram stories
David Halmai, Ads Specialist

David Halmai, B.Comm.

David is a Senior Paid Search Specialist at Clicks Freak, with over 23 years of experience in the Digital Marketing space working with B2B and B2C companies, in a variety of verticals. He is a Google Ads Certified and loves to help others out where possible. His goal is to deliver both consumers and clients the best experiences possible.


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