When Internet shoppers land on a dealership’s website, 96 percent of them leave without buying, according to Google and digital marketing firm Webmarketing 123. The two companies sought to help dealers capture those sales this past June during a webinar titled, “Remarket and win.”

The crash course offered tips on how to reconnect with customers who leave a dealer’s site using a digital marketing tactic called remarketing. Also called retargeting, the cookie-based technology uses Javascript code to anonymously follow website visitors to allow marketers to reengage shoppers by displaying web ads wherever their web search takes them.   

“Ninety-six percent of visits to your site leave without converting — that’s a pretty alarming statistic,” said Alan Chan, Webmarketing 123’s director of PPC. “[Users] don’t submit a form, call a number or request a live chat; none of the conversion points.”

The webinar centered on how dealers can use Google Display Network (GDN) for their remarketing efforts, which Dana McKeithen, business development manager for Google, said offers insights marketers can use to deliver a more tailored message.

“Remarketing works by tagging your website with code,” McKeithen said. “By adding snippets of code on your website, you have direct insight into how customers are interacting with your business. You can then segment these users by their activity and deliver smarter, more tailored ads to drive conversion.”

Getting Started

McKeithen also touched on Google’s new remarketing tag, which the company rolled out in late June. It offers more ways to target and reengage shoppers. The tag will create remarketing lists of different audiences the company wants to reach. Marketers can also define a more granular audience based on a user’s actions and activity on the site.

For example, a dealer can target all users who clicked on a dealer website’s “Schedule A Test Drive” tab but did not commit. When the user leaves the site, he or she will see an ad from the dealer about scheduling a test drive for the model the shopper viewed.

Aside from creating customer lists based on what they looked at, Google Analytics provide insights on what specific actions the user took, the sequence of his or her searches and the sources like Facebook that directed the customer to the site. Campaigns can also be based on engagement or how long a user spent on your site. The tools also allow marketers to cross-sell products to users who did commit, while also offering character insights on the shopper.

McKeithen said the previous version of the AdWords Remarketing Tag required companies to create tags for every action. The older version also required users to identify the type of page they wanted to segment. Now, companies can place one tag, or snippet of code, across the entire site and then use Adword’s interface to define which page categories to target by entering the URL of that page.

“You can define remarketing lists using your site's web URLs since URLs usually include words that describe the content of each page,” McKeithen says.

The Right Message

McKeithen noted that more than a million sites make up the GDN, adding that 500 million users receive billions of impressions every month. And aside from being able to reconnect with shoppers, he said remarketing can be used to drive brand awareness and conversions.

“Remarketing allows you to reconnect with your strongest prospect and continue the conversation,” Chan says. “Repetition is important to really drive the message home and keep the message at the top of the customer’s mind.”

Remarketing can also be used to augment search and display campaigns. And since audiences can be targeted, the tag also allows marketing to segment out users they don’t want to reach. More than anything, remarketing can be used by marketers to give customers “the last little nudge they need to convert,” Chan said.

“It allows you to target users based on what matters to you and what matters to them,” says Google Account Strategist Shira Solomon. “If I see a specific and targeted ad, which was exactly what I was looking for, I’m more likely to return to the site.”

For dealers, the enhanced retargeting tag allows them to deliver a more customized ad. So, instead of announcing a promotion, dealers can market the exact model a website visitor was looking at before he or she left the dealer’s site.

“Make sure the ads are targeted and optimized,” Chan advises. “And assume people who see your ads are unaware of your product or service.”

—     Kirsti Correa