How Attribution Management Enhances Search Retargeting

The concept of search retargeting isn’t especially new, but it certainly remains in the early adopter stage from a practical perspective.

For a while now, companies like, Magnetic and Chango have been offering marketers the ability to identify Internet users who have performed a search on a given search term on one of the websites with whom these vendors have partnerships.

Marketers then use that information to target these individuals with online display ads via the ad exchanges.

The search engines have actually been doing this between their paid search platforms and their own display networks for a while as well. It’s a very cool concept and has proven to be particularly effective under certain conditions.

Enter Attribution Management

What elevates this cool concept to the super-cool level is the addition of attribution management to the process.

As a bit of background, the attribution process provides marketers the ability to identify and monetarily quantify the ad exchanges, adservers, publishers, creatives, sizes, offers, and any other attributes associated with display ads that produce the best return on investment toward any of the marketer’s specific business objectives/metrics.

It is also able to identify and monetarily quantify the affinity between specific display ads/variations and the keyword or keywords that were subsequently searched by users after exposure to those ads – including those keywords that serve as the most effective “introducers,” “influencers” and “converters.”

Retargeting on Steroids

Armed with a knowledge of the ads/placements that produce the most bang for the buck, as well as the knowledge of what keywords have an affinity with which display ads, marketers who want to pursue more effective search retargeting can do the following:

  • Identify the keywords with which the most effective display ads have an affinity and retarget those individuals who performed searches on those keywords with those most-effective ads/placements.
  • Identify the keywords that serve as the most effective “introducers,” “influencers” and “converters,” and retarget individuals who performed searches on these terms with the display ads/placements with which they are associated.

As an example, people who are exposed to highly-effective display ad “A” have an affinity to eventually search for “Bermuda vacation rental.”

With this knowledge, marketers can use a search retargeting service to find all those people who searched “Bermuda vacation rental” and serve them display ad “A” via the ad exchanges.

Conversely, marketers who know that the keyword “digital camera” is their best “introducer,” that “under $300 digital camera” is their “best influencer,” and that Nikon Rebel XT price” is their best converter, can identify all those people who searched for those terms and serve them display ad “B,” “G,” and “M,” respectively based on the affinity of those keywords with those ad variations.

Measure, Test & Refine – At No Additional Cost

Obviously, attribution, search marketing and search retargeting are all iterative processes, and not one-time projects. So it is imperative to continue to monitor the results of all three and tune them accordingly as new insights are discovered about performance and affinities.

The great news is that this can all typically be funded through reallocation of currently ineffective spending that’s discovered through the attribution management process.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Analytics | Credit Is Due


About The Author: is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Visual IQ®, maker of IQ Intelligence Suite™ of cross channel marketing intelligence software products recognize opportunities for optimization hidden in marketing performance data.

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