Internet Marketing: From text & hyperlinks to video & retargeting. What’s next after 20 years online?

Posted by Laura Costello

It’s hard to believe that this week we saw the 20th birthday of the world wide web (thank you very much, Al Gore). In just twenty years, we’ve seen the internet go from a text page filled with instructions (see a sample of it here)  to at least 14.2 billion pages (according to and the first place that many of us go to research, shop, share, chat, bank, market…not to mention work!

With the speed that the internet has grown, it’s inevitable that it is sometimes difficult to stay on top of the latest internet marketing trends and know what the most effective tools are to use to best reach your audience. That’s particularly true when it comes to online display advertising options. While banner ads were once the king of internet advertising, click-through and conversion rates quickly dropped, opening the market to site retargeting banner campaigns. It’s not surprising that they quickly grew in popularity. Site retargeting allows businesses to advertise to a user who has already visited their website and is somewhere else surfing the web, providing companies with the chance to re-engage their users and increase conversion rates.

In 2011, a higher education client was using display advertising to promote their adult education programs and was experiencing a low, but not uncommon, click-through rate of .07%. We suggested a retargeting program for them and they saw their click-through rates on that same website leap to 18%! Those results were unusually high but their average CTR for their retargeting campaign averaged out at .28%, still a 4x improvement over using a straight display program.

Just a few years later though and users are catching on - and some marketers are seeing the success of their site retargeting programs slow.  Of course, online display advertising options continue to evolve. Now marketers are finding new and better ways to focus their retargeting campaigns, including options with search retargeting, contextual retargeting, SEO retargeting and email retargeting. While similar to site retargeting, all of these options afford deeper segmenting and targeting, more often reaching the right person at the right time and boosting conversion rates once again.

Have you used any form of retargeting in your internet marketing campaigns? What has been your experience with their success?






Topics: Direct Marketing