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What is Retargeting? How Does It Improve Your SEO and SEM Strategy?

retargetingYour client sells pizza, but it's not just any old pie. They've created a buffet of gourmet toppings, imported cheeses and homemade sauces that allows customers to build the most unique flavor combinations known to carb lovers anywhere. You know there are plenty of hungry customers out there, so you decide to use retargeting to corner the market on all those "pizza near me" local searches.

So what is retargeting, exactly — and how does it improve your SEO and SEM strategy?

Understand Retargeting to Bring Buyers Back

Think of retargeting as asking for a second chance. That pizza-craving customer who saw your client's shop in their search results clicked through to the website and started to build a custom pizza, but then decided that tacos sounded like a better dinner option. Why is that?

You know they like pizza, and you know they're interested in your client's pizza. The next day, when they're browsing Facebook or checking their email, an ad for the pizzeria coincidentally shows up on their page. That's retargeting in action.

According to MarTech Today, third-party cookies, IP addresses, browser settings and website plugins have been tracking that pizza lover around the web, trying to get him to finish his original pizza order.

Updating Your SEO and SEM Strategies

In May 2018, the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (a measure aimed at reducing data breaches and privacy concerns related to user tracking) will take effect. Businesses anywhere in the world that collect data about residents of the EU will be required to follow limits and comply with guidelines — or face stiff penalties.

In light of these recent changes, it's more important than ever to refine your SEM and SEO strategies. Search Engine Watch suggested looking at precisely what search terms brought a viewer to the desired page. Pair those words with the action they took on the website and then update your keywords and messages accordingly.

So, what is retargeting good for? Let's think about our pizza-turned-taco shopper. Perhaps he searched for "pizza with chorizo" and landed on the gourmet pizza website, then clicked on the Build-a-Pizza tab. When he realized chorizo wasn't an available topping, he closed the browser and decided to find it another way (at the taco shop).

With the magic of SEO and SEM, a marketer could update the search terms associated with the pizzeria website to include similar words such as "sausage" or "spiced" that accurately reflect relevant options on the menu. A new search could bring that same customer to a page that describes a spicy sausage pizza that might satisfy his chorizo craving.

Taking the time to learn who customers really are — and what they're actually looking for — makes retargeting and SEO/SEM strategies a perfect pair. Think of it as refining your process to get even closer to what people want, rather than just promoting what the business provides.

If you're still not sure how to apply this strategy to your business, you're probably not alone. Reach out to a marketing professional who can help ensure you're catching every customer who may come your way.

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