Why Keywords are Key to Search Retargeting


Two distinct flavors of search retargeting have emerged in the past several months:

• Audience Segment Search Retargeting
• Keyword-Level Search Retargeting (a.k.a. keyword targeted display)

In Audience Segment search retargeting, a single audience segment is created from all users who have searched on a list of terms within a specified period of time. This segment of users is then targeted with the same bid, and reported on as a single group. There is no visibility as to which keywords are driving the most traffic, which are performing best, etc.

In Keyword-Level search retargeting (which…you guessed it…we offer here at Simpli.fi), bidding, reporting, and optimizing are all done at the keyword level. So, just like search campaigns, advertisers get to see exactly the number of impressions, clicks, and conversions attributed to each keyword that they specified. Also, just like search, advertisers are able to change bids individually at the keyword level, raising bids on keywords that perform the best and lowering them on poorly performing keywords.

So…why should you care about Keyword-Level search retargeting? Here are a few reasons:

• Improved performance. As search marketers know well, individual keywords perform differently on different campaigns. By enabling advertisers to see the number of impressions, clicks, and conversions attributed to each individual keyword, advertisers are able to optimize campaigns for CTR, CPC, or CPA by raising or lowering individual keyword bids.

• Keyword discovery/expansion. A tried and true technique for search marketers is to launch a campaign, see what types of keywords are performing, and then expand the keyword list with similar keywords. In search retargeting, this technique is available only when advertisers are able to see how each individual keyword is performing. We see time and time again where the best performing keywords are those added after a keyword-level analysis of the first few days of a campaign.

• Improved transparency. Many advertisers want to know who they are reaching with their campaigns. For a health insurance campaign, for example, how many impressions are reaching users who searched on “health insurance” vs. users who searched on “flu symptoms”.

• Instant On/Addition/Removal of Keywords. Search marketers are used to being able to start up new campaigns instantly, and also being able to add and remove keywords instantly from campaigns. With most audience segment based search retargeting systems, whenever an advertiser wants to start a campaign or add/remove a keyword from their list, they need to restart the process of building a cookie pool. This can take 1-4 weeks. With a keyword level targeting platform such as Simpli.fi‘s, changes to keywords lists go online instantly at full volume, as the need to build and rebuild cookie pools upon any change to a keyword list is eliminated.

So…give us a holler if you want to learn more about keyword-level search retargeting!

Thanks for listening…

Frost Prioleau