Retargeting Ads: The Digital Chakravyuh

In the marketing industry, finding new leads isn’t just a good practice—it’s a necessity. But, in the rush to find new leads, it’s easy to overlook the people that you’ve already found.

Marketers know that, no matter how good you are, you can’t convert every lead into a customer on your first try. You could have the best content, the best sales pitch, and the most amazing advertisements, and you still aren’t going to convert everybody.

But that’s why knowing how to find them again is extremely important.

Maybe the first try didn’t convert a sale, but what about the second or third? If you’ve already generated interest, and know that they’re looking at your content, why would you not try to see if you can convert them later?

In this post, you are going to learn how to set up and customize your retargeting ads campaigns via Facebook and Google Ads. Not only is this strategy effective, but it’s also relatively cheap.

Retargeting is something that sets good marketers apart from great marketers, and it’s a process that every marketer should learn.

Simply put, retargeting is trying to recapture the attention of leads that have visited your website or interacted with your advertisements but didn’t actually make a purchase.

Chances are, even if you aren’t familiar with the term, you’re familiar with retargeting. Ever been on a site and then seen ads for the very product you were looking at everywhere you go online for the next week? You’ve been retargeted.

You need to truly understand what retargeting is to create messages that will convert your leads into customers. Hitting them with the same old sales pitch probably isn’t going to work.

Because if you’re retargeting them, it’s pretty clear it didn’t work the first time.

Persistence is important, but technology is power.

Once you learn how to use these powerful advertising platforms, you’ll be able to bring leads back in and have them buy more than ever before.

But the first step is making sure you can keep track of the leads to retarget in the first place.

Retargeting on Facebook

  • Setting up the Pixel

Using Facebook’s ad management software, you can create a pixel that you can put on your website. Using it, you can identify the Facebook users that visit your website and target them with advertisements and content to try to get them back on to your website.

Think of all the times you’ve visited a website for the first time and then you immediately start seeing their advertisements on your Facebook feed. You’re witnessing a Facebook pixel in action, which should show you how effective they can really be…

To set up a Facebook pixel, go to the “Events Manager” icon under “Business Tools” on the Facebook Ad Manager platform. From there, you can start setting up your pixel.

Once you’re to the “Events Manager” page, you can select to create a pixel for your website under “Add Events.” Then you will have to pick from two options, and it’s important you pick the right one:

FB Pixel Setup

1. Manually add pixel code to the website

This is the option for businesses that have their own, custom made website. It will provide you the code that you can insert into the header of your website and should work no matter what coding language your website was made with.

2. Use a partner integration

This is the option that may use platforms like WordPress or Squarespace. The pixel is specially made to integrate into those platforms, making it quick and easy to implement. It requires no coding at all.

The next step is to decide if you want to do Automated Advanced Matching. This process allows you to find the Facebook accounts of people who may have already provided you with some of their information.

FB Pixel Setup Retargeting

The last step, integrating the Event Setup Tool, is completely optional. Although it could perhaps be helpful, it is by no means required for the purposes of retargeting.

  • Setup the Audience for Campaign

Now that your Facebook pixel is set up, the next step is to set up your audience. To find it, you simply go to the Audience section of Ads Manager, where you can manage all of your audiences and check in on all of your campaigns. Then you can create your custom audience for retargeting purposes.

FB Audience

There are lots of criteria that you can set for the audience you want to target. However, for the purpose of retargeting, you’re going to want to target all of your website visitors over a recent period of time.

FB Audience Retargeting

  • Creating a general campaign

Now that you have your audience set up, you need to actually set up the campaign they are going to see.

This is a 2-step process—the first step is simple, and the second one is a bit more complicated.

When you make it to the “Campaigns” section of the Facebook Ads platform, you will select the option to create a new campaign. It will then prompt you to choose between Guided Creation and Quick Creation. Guided Creation may be helpful for first-timers on the Facebook Ad platform, but Quick Creation will give you a more self-controlled experience.

Once you click on the Quick Creation option, this will appear on your screen.

FB Ad Campaign

This part is the more straightforward part of the process. Simply start by naming your campaign so you will remember its purpose (retargeting, DigitalManiya, etc.). You will then select the Buying Type as Auction.

Auction is almost always recommended for your retargeting campaigns. Reach and Frequency is only recommended for large companies and corporations.

The most important part of this first process is your campaign objective. In the case of retargeting, you will want to select your objective as conversions. This is because the point of retargeting is to get previously interested people to buy something. There is no sense in trying to create traffic or leads when targeting an audience of people that have already visited your website.

As an option, you can try Campaign Budget Optimization on your campaign. This will allow you to take a much more hands-off approach to your advertising and advertising spending by allowing Facebook’s algorithm to make a lot of your decisions as it pertains to optimization.  This is completely optional but only recommended if you are running 3 or more ad sets.

Once you name your ad set and the advertisement you want to run with, you can move on to the next part.

  • Customizing your Campaign

FB Ad Campaign

It’s on this screen where you will be able to see the options that you have selected, as well as the estimated reach and conversions of your campaign. Here, you can make sure you are targeting the right Conversion Event Location (website visitors), Conversion Event (purchases), and using the right pixel and audience for your campaign.

You need to be absolutely sure that this information is correct, otherwise, your retargeting campaign could target the wrong audience or accomplish the wrong goal.

There are a few minor things that you can do to further customize your advertising reach, and you can also see metrics on how Facebook thinks your advertisement will perform. For all other questions about placement, including how to actually create and upload the actual ad that people will see, refer to Facebook’s help page.

Retargeting on Google Ads

Unlike the way that Facebook uses a pixel, Google uses its tag manager platform to track the traffic coming to and from your site. It’s not as simple as simply integrating a pixel into your website’s code, but it also really isn’t that difficult. You simply need to integrate your Google Tags Manager (GTM) account into your Google ads account.

To set this up, go into your Google Tags Manager account and create a new tag. You are going to select the retargeting tag. It will then show you this screen and prompt you to enter your Conversion ID.


You will get your Conversion ID from the Google Ads platform. To find it, go to the Audience Manager in Google Ads and integrate the two platforms together. You will be able to do so using the Conversion ID that Google Ads provides for you on that screen.

You will then select a trigger for your tag. For the case of retargeting, it will be someone visiting any page on your website.

Just like that, you’ll have your tag so you can create your target audience. Then you can start creating and customizing your Google ad campaign.

  • Creating a Google Ads Campaign

When creating a campaign on the Google Ads platform, it will give you many different options of what defines success for your campaign (traffic, sales, leads, etc.). For this post, we are going to walk through how to set up a campaign without guidance.

Although using a guided campaign is an option, doing so will limit some of the options for customization in your campaign that you would have otherwise had. It will also make recommendations for your campaign, which may not be in your best interest.

You’ll then decide what sort of display you want for your campaign. For retargeting, you are going to want to use the standard display campaign to avoid Google making unnecessary additions to your otherwise simple campaign.

Then you will add your website URL and name your campaign, and then you’ll be ready to begin customization.

  • People you want to reach

This is the section where you can set up your audiences and demographics that you want to target. For general audience set up, you’re going to want your targeting criteria with “How they have interacted with your business.” Then you’re going to tell the algorithm to target all of your website visitors.

As always, as far as demographics are concerned, you want to make them as inclusive as possible when it comes to retargeting. If they have seen your website and interacted with your content, it doesn’t matter if they’re 65 or 25­­—they’re still a qualified lead.

As far as your audience is concerned, you can Google recommended audiences or ones that you’ve set up on your own. But, generally speaking, you should want to try to target all of your website visitors when running a retargeting campaign.

Google Ads Retarget

According to Google, combining retargeting ads with the other advertising you already do can help you sell 50% more stuff.

Google is a gigantic company that owns lots of different entities that you can use to advertise on. Whereas Facebook only uses Facebook and Instagram, Google uses its primary search platform, YouTube, Gmail, and every other Google platform. This makes Google Ads extremely powerful and can help you get your ads in front of a lot of people.

It is possible to get ultra-specific with the channels that you target, but it’s not recommended when executing a retargeting campaign.


I don’t want to scare you off. Retargeting can be incredibly effective for advertisers that put the time in to manage and optimize spend effectively.

Retargeting provides you incredible opportunities to target exactly the customer you want by giving you another chance to display your brand and message to users who have already shown interest. Don’t waste it by directing visitors to a page that won’t get you immediate conversions for a specific offer — like a cluttered homepage.

Create optimized retargeting ads and connect them to dedicated post-click landing pages to get the most out of your campaigns.

I would love to hear if any of you have been using it, and if so, what are you seeing?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top