Search Retargeting aims at influencing users who have already begun their research on sites like Google, Bing, YAHOO, and MSN.

While Search marketing places ads on SERPs, Retargeting extends this and shows relevant display ads on other online sites.

Target users are determined based on the search terms used by them and keyword relevance to the brand. The users may or may not have visited advertisers site.

Search Retargeting Platforms

Several Retargeting Platforms are currently available that can be used to run retargeting campaigns. These platforms offer the ability to:

  • View individual keyword performance and understand which ones are performing well and which ones are not.
  • Enable businesses to use the keyword performance and allocate budget on right keywords to maximize ROI.
  • Retarget based on Location and Demography.

Google AdWords, Retargeter, AdRoll, Perfect Audience, Bidable, ActionX and Rubicon Project are few of the best Retargetting Platforms.

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads

Remarketing Lists for Search Ads (RSLA) enables users to customize search ads to people who had once visited the site or a product page.

RLSA gives the flexibility for marketers to bid differentially for users who are closer to sales funnel vs users who are performing a generic search.

RSLA Example

Consider a Beauty Product Retailer, who might bid for generic key words like ‘Lipstick’. If they know that a user has visited their website to check ‘Organic Lipsticks’, they can take a call to bid higher on the keyword ‘Organic Lipsticks’.

Also, the keyword ‘Organic Lipsticks’ could be specifically for users who have once visited their site in last one week and retarget them with a different ad that can influence them better.

Retargetting vs Remarketing

Both Search Remarketing and Retargeting are techniques that will help marketers convert previously lost customers.

These involve showing banner ads on third party sites that serve as display ads.

Search Retargeting – ads are shown based on what user had searched on major search engines. Since the user has already begun searching, these ads can further influence and drive conversions.

Search Remarketing – ads are shown only to previous site visitors when they are actively searching for similar products or services. This approach is precisely targeted, less invasive and more effective.

Retargeting and Remarketing Potential

Both Search Retargeting and Remarketing are driven by customer intent and have a potential to drive high conversion rates at lower cost.

Contextual Targeting

Direct Navigation to well-established sites like,,, etc. bypasses all search engines leaving no search trial. In this case, both retargeting or remarketing techniques have no impact.

Opportunity: Targeting users who are already consuming content aligned to a product or service could be more profitable and deliver higher conversion rates.

Leverage contextual targeting to engage new consumers by displaying them ads that sync with the content they are using.

Contextual targeting looks at the keywords or category of the page a customer is viewing and then serves them relevant ads.

Search Retargeting and Remarketing – Final Note

Contextual Targeting along with Search Retargeting and Search Remarketing offers a complete recipe to reach more users, more effectively.