Leverage search retargeting to serve more relevant ads

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Josh Shatkin-Margolis
Josh Shatkin-Margolis

Advertisers pay very close attention to consumer trends by monitoring keyword searches on the Web. As the market continues to evolve, advertisers can target customers based on keyword data gathered from search queries. 


Sponsored searched ads, the text ads that show up in the right hand column of Google and Yahoo, are the highest converting ads on the Internet — perhaps the world. Some verticals can experience conversion rates as high as 50%. However, only 2% of users' time online is spent on search engines while a whopping 98% of their time is spent on websites that feature graphical display ads. Clearly, there is an opportunity here.


With search retargeting, advertisers can pull the power of search data from that 2% of search engine inventory and apply it to the 98% of display inventory by targeting display ads based on user search history. An example of this powerful process would be if Verizon Wireless, which recently began selling the iPhone, were to place display ads on a major publisher site such as CNN for any users who had searched for "iPhone" in the last 10 days. 


Search retargeting can be run on any display media including media available through advertising exchanges, demand-side platforms (DSPs), advertising networks and publishers. All modern ad servers support retargeting pixels or real-time bidding (RTB), which enables search retargeting companies to cherry-pick only the media for which the user has previously searched for the desired term.


Many advertisers can reap the benefits of these search retargeting efficiencies. Specifically, this targeting works best for brand advertisers looking for transparency; search advertisers wanting to extend existing search engine marketing; display advertisers geared toward performance; and those advertisers focused on efficient pricing.


The concept is simple — find users who have searched for a specific brand or topic, and target them with a relevant display ad. With a winning formula of connecting the right user with the right message at the right time, advertisers are better positioned to connect with interested, in-market customers while maintaining full transparency in the advertisement space to best protect brand identity.


The ability for advertisers to leverage the data culled from 
the time users spend on search engines with the other 98% of their online time spent elsewhere on the Web will lead to exponential growth in the digital marketing space.


Josh Shatkin-Margolis is CEO of Magnetic. Reach him at josh@magnetic.is.
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