Marketing is a familiar concept to most people. But what about “remarketing”? This profitable technique for getting visitors to a company’s website to return and buy something was the subject of a Webinar on Monday hosted by Welton Hong of Ring Ring Marketing in San Jose, Calif., which helps small businesses generate more leads.

“Most businesses only worry about improving traffic to their website, and that’s definitely very, very important,” Hong said. “But all that traffic is useless if you’re not converting website visitors into customers.”

Hong said most business websites audited by his company don’t do conversions very well, which is where Google remarketing ads come in.

“Remarketing is a powerful tool for advertising to people who have already shown a strong interest in your products despite not purchasing anything at that time,” he said.

Hong then gave an overview of remarketing.

“People searching for a product that’s fairly substantial, such as windows and doors, rarely stop researching after checking out only one potential provider,” he said. “They might check out your website, leave, and then peruse other window and door sites. Remarketing directly promotes your products to people who have already checked you out.”

The technology behind remarketing is based on cookies, which are small files placed on your computer by websites you visit.

“When someone visits your site, the technology tracks the visitors through the use of cookies,” Hong said. “Wherever this person goes on the Internet afterwards, the technology displays your specifically designed advertisements. So this means your business is in the homeowners’ mind when he or she continues through the research process. While the homeowner might be examining a variety of retailers, your ads will be the ones that continue to show up, following them around until they’re ready to call you.

“Think of this as a virtual salesperson, who keeps gently reminding them of your products or services.”

Hong said remarketing could be a game-changer in the marketing world.

“No initiative we have tried before achieved more in less time than remarketing ads,” he said. “It’s something that provides more bang for the buck than virtually any other strategy businesses can employ.”

Next, Vanessa Conceicao, an agency development manager for Google, explained the nuts and bolts of how Google remarketing works and the trends driving it.

“The consumer journey has evolved,” she said. “It’s gone from hearing about an item on TV or radio to searching for it online. And today, people use multiple devices to go online.”

Conceicao says most businesses aren’t using the right medium to reach the largest possible audience.

“According to one of our studies, the average consumer today spends about 42 percent of their time on digital, but marketers only spend about 24 percent of their marketing dollars on digital advertising,” she said. “A consumer today spends about 2 percent of their time on newspapers and magazines, and marketers are spending a little over 20 percent on advertising in those mediums. A lot of marketers are missing out on this consumer shift.”

Conceicao cited a Google study entitled “A New Multi-Screen World,” which found that 90 percent of consumers who own multiple devices switch between screens to complete tasks. These people are two times more likely to be influenced by targeted digital ads.

Google AdWords, a program which matches search terms to specific advertisements, can reach 80 percent of internet users in U.S .Conceicao said.

That’s where remarketing comes in.

To make the program work, you’ve got to create a remarketing list for search ads. Conceicao said. “You create a list and place a script on your website to capture information,” she said. “Once you have that, you can create a remarketing list. It’s extremely simple.”

Remarketing ads have a lot of benefits, Conceicao said. Tailored ads relate to your site visitors’ past experience on search and on the Web, and remarketing is transparent and accountable.

“You know exactly how you’re performing, know exactly where your ads are appearing, and know exactly what you’re paying,” she said. “It’s better than shooting an arrow into the dark. You can cast a wide net in a very relevant way. Remarketing is one of the most useful products for small and medium-sized businesses.”

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