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Jul 01

choozlechat: Search retargeting strategies with Sam Kang

Hannah Middleton, Content Manager: To start, what is search retargeting exactly?

Sam Kang, Strategic Account Manager: Search retargeting is a great way for brands to expand their SEO & SEM efforts into programmatic advertising. You can either use an existing keyword list or come up with a new list and target people that have searched for those words within a select list of search engines.


HM: Why should marketers use search retargeting strategies?

SK: The value of search retargeting comes from being able to target people that are in-market, actively searching for either content related to your brand, or for a specific product/service.

Think of search retargeting as a mid-funnel tactic. Although tactics like third-party data targeting are great for reaching new prospects, search retargeting helps bridge the gap between the top and bottom of the funnel, which helps drive additional engagement and conversions.


HM: While they’re both a form of retargeting, site and search retargeting aren’t one and the same. What’s the difference?

SK: The main difference between search and site retargeting has to do with the type of data they are and the audience’s intent.

Site retargeting consists of first-party data–these are the people that have already shown interest in your brand and have been exposed to your site. Search retargeting, on the other hand, is still considered third-party data and the audience consists of people that have searched for content/services related to your brand.

If we’re comparing the two kinds of data, I would say site retargeting is still much more valuable but search retargeting allows you to expose your brand to a whole new audience that may or may not be aware of your product or service.


HM: How does search retargeting work in Choozle?

SK: First, we start by creating a custom list of keywords. If you are already running SEO/SEM, then you can simply pull the top 40 to 50 performing keywords. If not, you can always create a fresh list. (If you’re unsure whether your list is strong enough, be sure to reach out to us for help.)

Once we have the keyword list we work with our partner Cross Pixel to curate a custom audience that is normally ready within 48 hours. When the audience is complete, then you’re ready to create your campaign in Choozle with the search retargeting audience as your main target and start delivering ads.


HM: Do you have any examples to share or stories from clients who’ve successfully leveraged search retargeting strategies in their campaigns?

SK: The most memorable one has to be a client that was advertising for a number of pet stores. With the increase in online orders over the last few months, we identified a list of keywords people were searching for within select markets and created a full-stack approach with search retargeting being the main driver for feeding new prospects farther down the funnel. Ultimately, it helped us drive a 300 percent return on ad spend.


HM: What are some best practices marketers should keep in mind when using search retargeting?

SM: Take your time and be strategic when coming up with your keyword list, and make sure to keep your list broad or very specific depending on the overall marketing goal.

Keep in mind search retargeting is a mid-funnel tactic, so if your overall goal is to drive conversions, then you’ll want to make sure to include lower funnel tactics such as site retargeting or CRM targeting.


HM: Any final thoughts?

SK: Be creative with the words you choose–make sure to put yourself in the mind of the consumer and think, “What type of words would I search for when wanting a certain product or service?”

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About The Author

Hannah Middleton is the Content Manager at Choozle, where she writes about how to get the most out of self-serve programmatic advertising tools. She’s on Team Oxford Comma.