Hit the marketing bullseye with retargeting

30 October 2019

Hit the marketing bullseye with retargeting

Let’s face it. Today’s consumers are ad weary, so it can be difficult to make your online real estate marketing stand out from the crowd. This is where retargeting comes in. But what is it and how can you make it work for you?


Ever noticed how certain ads tend to follow you around online? Well, there’s a reason you’ve become a ‘person of interest’ to these brands. It’s because of online behavioural targeting – or, as it’s more commonly known, retargeting.

As consumers, we’re used to seeing ads everywhere we look online. We recognise them instantly and have learned to tune them out. Why? Because we’re constantly being bombarded with unnecessary information and we’ve adapted to only retain what we’re really interested in and need.

Doesn’t sound very positive for your digital marketing efforts, does it? But it’s not all bad news.

Retargeting explained

Think about it. The ads you’ve noticed following you around online are, in some way, connected to what you’re interested in or a website you’ve visited recently. You look at a product or service online and suddenly you’re seeing ads for it everywhere.

Why? Because of behavioural targeting, which is, as the name suggests, all about behaviour – and retargeting relies on your online behaviour.

You’re being targeted because you’ve shown interest in a particular product or service online – and the advertiser is hoping that if you see the same product or service enough times, you’ll eventually want it so much that you’ll decide to engage with them.

Following you around the internet might sound a tad creepy. But, here’s the thing: it works! Consumers are far more likely to click on a retargeting ad than regular online ads. This makes it a cost-effective form of marketing, because it yields a higher ROI than other marketing channels.

However, as your retargeting ads are only seen by people who have already visited your website, it doesn’t generate new leads. That’s why retargeting should only be used in conjunction with your regular advertising as a means of increasing conversion.

How retargeting works

Put simply, retargeting tracks visitors to your website using small snippets of code installed on your website (sometimes referred to as a pixel) that’s unnoticeable to your website visitors.

Every time a visitor comes to your website, the pixel is triggered. This means the person will then start seeing your ads on other websites they visit, giving you the opportunity to direct them back to your own website.

Retargeting allows you to tracker a visitor’s online behaviour using their IP information. You can see the pages on your website that they’ve visited and how long they’ve spent on each page.

This means you can tailor your advertising to appeal to them directly, giving you the best chance of conversion. The more relevant the ad, the more likely a person is to click on it. For example, you can segment your ads by those visitors who have viewed your ‘Buy’ pages versus your ‘Sell’ pages and retarget them separately.

Retargeting your website visitors is a cost-effective way to turn prospects into clients. But before you even think about installing a pixel on your website and running retargeting ads, you need website traffic – and lots of it. After all, you can’t retarget traffic that doesn’t exist. So, when you send out an email or post something to social media, give the viewer a reason to click through to your website.

Using retargeting for real estate

Retargeting works particularly well when it comes to real estate, because no one makes a major life decision involving hundreds of thousands – or even millions – of dollars without doing their research. And, these days, that means researching online.

You can use retargeting ads to promote your listings, boost your agency or personal profile, or even extend the reach of your blog posts and videos. With lots of web searches, your ad will be seen multiple times by the same person and, as a result, the credibility of your real estate brand will subconsciously grow.

In real estate, with so many businesses now competing for attention – including the major listing portals, as well as rating and review sites – it’s critical to drive as much traffic as possible back to your own website, so you’re no longer competing for attention.

What’s next?

How can you possibly ignore the opportunity to nurture potential clients everywhere on the internet?

Retargeting can help you identify potential buyers and sellers, build brand awareness, generate leads and, most importantly, increase sales. Getting it right can make a huge difference to the traction you achieve from your real estate marketing efforts – so why not give it a go.

This article first appeared in the Sept/Oct Journal.

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