PPC Remarketing and Retargeting: Are They the Same Thing?

If you have any digital marketing experience, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about Google Ads remarketing and retargeting. These terms are used interchangeably, often referring to important aspects of paid advertising campaigns; however, there are clear distinctions between dynamic remarketing and retargeting.

If you’re responsible for running digital marketing campaigns on behalf of a business, you should learn what these differences are and the significance of them both. The team at Ginger Digital have created this short guide to help you make that distinction.

What is PPC Retargeting?

Before exploring what Google retargeting and remarketing are, we need to establish a clear definition of PPC to avoid doubt.

PPC is an acronym that stands for ‘Pay-Per-Click’, referring to advertising where you pay the platform to show your ad. PPC ads could be run on Google or YouTube, or social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or LinkedIn, among others.

The types of PPC ads you run will depend on keywords and paid search terms if you put them on a search engine like Google or YouTube. Or, you can run ads to appear before your target audience, based on factors like age, gender, job title, etc.

Retargeting is a form of PPC marketing that displays ads to target people who have already visited your site.

Retargeting involves installing tags in your site’s code to track visitors, depending on the platform you want to advertise on. For example, Facebook has Pixel, LinkedIn has the Insight tag, and Google has its own solution known as Tag Manager.

You can establish specific rules to retarget your site visitors, for example, if someone visits a particular page but doesn’t complete a form. Your PPC retargeting ads could remind them of the benefits of becoming a customer with you.

What is PPC Remarketing?

When someone refers to remarketing ads, they could very well be talking about retargeting. As said earlier, the terms are somewhat used interchangeably.

Having said that, remarketing refers to sending follow-up communications as part of your marketing strategy, to a prospective customer.

An excellent example of remarketing would be re-engaging customers via paid ads, reminding them to act or to upsell a service, based on some activity they’ve completed on your website.

While this may be slightly confusing, it’s important to remember that retargeting and remarketing share goals. The terminology is not as important as the particular strategy you adopt.

Onsite and Offsite Interactions

The aforementioned retargeting examples mentioned deliver paid campaigns to people who have either already visited a website, taken action but not completed a purchase or interacted with products or services somehow.

Onsite retargeting is about monitoring your visitors’ behaviour, and if this indicates they could leave your site soon, retargeting them with messages at the right moment. Offsite retargeting refers to retargeting visitors after they’ve left your site.

Retargeting individuals who have had onsite or offsite interactions can take many forms. Whether you’re using paid Google Ads, Facebook or Instagram ads, LinkedIn ads or Twitter ads, you can increase conversion rates and retain customers who have expressed interest in your brand.

How Do PPC Retargeting and Remarketing Overlap?

Whichever way you measure it, large percentages of the traffic you pay to receive won’t convert on the first visit. Retargeting allows you to bring them back, push them over the line and maximise your ROI with PPC ads.

The misunderstanding of these two terms between PPC advertisers isn’t helped by the constant interchangeable use of the phrases.

Platforms like Facebook and Google Ads added capabilities for paid advertisers to target specific customer lists.

Taking Google Ads as an example, their documented advice states that remarketing and retargeting are ostensibly the same thing.

Over time, remarketing (as an umbrella term) has expanded to include both remarketing and retargeting strategies. Therefore, the key takeaway here is that remarketing in Google Ads or social media involves a combination of both.

Again, the terminology is vague and, to be frank, almost irrelevant. What’s more important is understanding how your business can effectively use retargeting and remarketing strategies on different channels to achieve similar goals of increasing conversions and brand awareness. Knowing when and how to use the strategies will help your business achieve its targets more effectively.

Paid Advertising Campaigns from an Experienced Marketing Agency

At Ginger Digital, we are experienced in video marketing, production and PPC campaign management. While we run campaigns for clients with video at the heart of our operations, we also provide standalone Google Ads campaigns, social media advertising campaigns, and much more. With our experience and market knowledge, we’re confident that we can set up winning retargeting and remarketing campaigns for your business, whatever sector you’re in.
If you’d like a free, no-obligation consultation, please give us a call.

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