Top Platforms for Running Your Retargeting Ads

Ever wondered why you keep seeing ads for that pair of shoes you almost bought online? That, my friends, is the magic of retargeting in action. It’s a powerful tool that bridges the gap between website visitors and paying customers. Here at Desert Dog Marketing, we’ve seen firsthand how retargeting, when implemented with the right strategy on the top platforms for retargeting ads, can significantly boost sales and brand recognition.

For a recent client project, we were tasked with increasing website traffic and ultimately conversions. We knew retargeting would be a game-changer, but the challenge lied in selecting the perfect platform for their target audience and campaign goals.

Benefits of Retargeting Ads

But why exactly are retargeting ads so effective? Let’s explore the undeniable benefits that make them a must-have in your digital marketing toolbox:

Increased Conversion Rates

Retargeting ads excel at converting website visitors into paying customers. Unlike random display ads, they target people already familiar with your brand. They’ve explored your site, interacted with your content, or even added items to their cart. This familiarity builds trust and increases the likelihood of conversion. Studies from SharpSpring show retargeted ads are 70% more likely to convert compared to regular display ads.

Enhanced Brand Recall

How often do you forget about a product until you see an ad for it again? That’s the magic of brand recall. Retargeting ads keep your brand at the forefront of potential customers’ minds. By reminding them of their initial interest, you increase the chance they’ll return to your site and complete a purchase.


One of the biggest advantages of retargeting ads? They’re budget-friendly! By targeting a specific audience segment who has already shown interest, you eliminate wasted ad spend. This laser focus maximizes your return on investment (ROI), ensuring you get the most bang for your marketing buck.

How Retargeting Ads Work

Understanding User Behavior

The foundation of retargeting lies in understanding user behavior on your website. Here’s where pixels come into play. These tiny snippets of code, invisible to the user, are placed strategically on your website’s pages.

As visitors browse your site, the pixel tracks their activities, building a profile of their interests. Did they spend a significant amount of time looking at a specific product category? Did they add something to their cart but abandon it before checkout? 

This valuable data becomes the cornerstone for crafting highly targeted retargeting campaigns.

Use of Cookies and Pixels

Now, how does this information translate into those persistent ads you see online? Enter cookies, those small data files stored on a user’s browser. When a user with a pixel– tagged website in their browsing history visits another website, the pixel sends a signal to the ad platform (think Google Ads or Facebook Ads). This signal, combined with the data stored in the user’s cookie (their browsing behavior on your website!), allows the ad platform to recognize them and display relevant ads. 

Essentially, cookies and pixels work hand-in-hand, with pixels triggering the cookie and the cookie revealing the user’s browsing history, enabling the platform to showcase targeted ads that nudge them to return and complete their purchase journey.

Top Platforms for Running Retargeting Ads

1. Google Ads

Overview: Google Ads is a heavyweight in the digital advertising arena, offering robust retargeting options through its display network and search ads.


  • Extensive reach across the web
  • Detailed targeting options
  • Powerful analytics tools

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Vast reach, powerful tools, detailed analytics
  • Cons: Can be complex to set up, potentially high cost per click

2. Facebook Ads

Overview: Facebook Ads offer powerful retargeting options thanks to its massive user base and detailed targeting capabilities.


  • Custom Audiences
  • Lookalike Audiences
  • Detailed demographic targeting

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Highly detailed targeting, large user base
  • Cons: Competition can drive up costs, requires constant optimization

3. Instagram Ads

Overview: Instagram, owned by Facebook, leverages the same powerful ad platform, making it ideal for visually-driven retargeting ads.


  • Seamless integration with Facebook Ads
  • High engagement rates
  • Visual storytelling

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: High engagement, visually appealing format
  • Cons: Limited to visual content, can be costly

4. LinkedIn Ads

Overview: LinkedIn Ads are perfect for B2B retargeting, offering professional demographic targeting.


  • Job title and industry targeting
  • Account-based marketing
  • Sponsored InMail

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Professional audience, detailed targeting
  • Cons: Higher cost per click, smaller audience

5. X (Formerly Twitter) Ads

Overview: X Ads allow for creative and conversational retargeting campaigns, leveraging real-time interactions.


  • Promoted Posts
  • Tailored Audiences
  • X Cards

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: Real-time engagement, creative ad formats
  • Cons: Limited targeting options, variable engagement

6. Pinterest Ads

Overview: Pinterest is a visual discovery platform, making it ideal for retargeting visually appealing products.


  • Promoted Pins
  • Shopping Ads
  • Detailed interest targeting

Pros and Cons:

  • Pros: High engagement with visual content, niche targeting
  • Cons: Smaller audience, can be less direct in driving conversions

Choosing the Right Platform for Your Business

Understanding the inner workings of retargeting ads is key, but putting them into action requires selecting the  perfect platform. Here’s what we learned:

Factors to Consider

When choosing a platform, consider your target audience, budget, and marketing goals. Different platforms offer unique benefits and may cater to specific audiences better.

Target Audience

Who are you trying to reach? Understanding your ideal customer’s demographics, online behavior, and preferred platforms is crucial. For instance, retargeting on Facebook Ads might be ideal for a clothing brand targeting a millennial audience, while LinkedIn Ads would be a better fit for a B2B company aiming to reconnect with professionals who visited their website.


Retargeting platforms offer various pricing models, so be mindful of your budget. Some platforms  charge per click (CPC), while others utilize a cost-per-thousand-impressions (CPM) model. Knowing your budget limitations will help you select a platform that offers the most bang for your buck.

Marketing Goals

What do you hope to achieve with your retargeting campaign?  Are you aiming to  boost sales by reminding cart abandoners about their forgotten purchases?  Or perhaps you’re looking to  increase brand awareness and re-engage website visitors who haven’t converted yet?  Different platforms cater to specific goals.  For example, Google Ads excels at retargeting website visitors who have shown interest in particular products, while Facebook Ads is a master at brand awareness campaigns with its engaging visual ad formats.

Aligning Platform Capabilities with Business Goals

Ensure the platform you choose aligns with your business objectives. Let’s illustrate this platform selection process with real-world examples:

Example 1: E-commerce Athletic Wear

  • Scenario: An e-commerce store selling high-end athletic wear wants to retarget website visitors who browsed expensive yoga pants but didn’t convert.
  • Platform Choice: Here, Google Ads might be a strategic selection. By retargeting website visitors who specifically viewed yoga pant product pages, the store can showcase targeted ads featuring those same pants on relevant fitness websites or search engine results pages (SERPs).

Example 2: Professional Services Firm

Scenario: A professional services firm is launching a new white paper on marketing automation and wants to reach key decision-makers.

Platform Choice: In this case, LinkedIn Ads could be the golden ticket. LinkedIn boasts a highly professional user base, allowing the firm to target its retargeting campaign towards professionals who have downloaded similar content in the past or who hold specific job titles within their target market.

Best Practices for Retargeting Ads

Selecting the right platform is just the first step. To craft truly effective retargeting campaigns, you need to  master the art of ad creation and audience targeting. Here at Desert Dog Marketing, we’ve honed these practices to a science, and we’re ready to share our insights:

Segmentation Strategies

Imagine showing the same ad for a luxury watch to everyone who visited your jewelry store’s website. Not exactly a targeted approach, right? That’s where segmentation comes in. By segmenting your audience, you can deliver highly personalized ads that resonate with each group. Here’s how to break it down:

  • Behavioral Segmentation: Group users based on their actions on your website. Did they browse a specific product category? Did they abandon their cart at checkout? Tailor your ads to address their specific needs and interests. For instance, show cart abandoners a reminder ad featuring the abandoned product, while showcasing new arrivals to those who browsed a specific category but didn’t convert.
  • Demographic Segmentation: Consider your target audience’s demographics like age, location, and income. This allows you to personalize your ad language and visuals to resonate with different segments. For example, you might use a more playful tone and trendy visuals for a younger audience, while opting for a more sophisticated approach for an older demographic.
  • Interest Segmentation: Leverage the power of user interest data to craft hyper-targeted ads. Many retargeting platforms allow you to target users based on their online browsing habits and interests beyond your website. This enables you to reach potential customers who have shown interest in similar products or services, increasing the chances of conversion.

Ad Creative Tips

Your ad’s creative is the first impression, so it needs to be eye-catching and persuasive. Here are some tips to craft winning ad creatives:

  • Visual Appeal: Humans are visual creatures. Use high-quality images or videos that showcase your product or service in its best light. Consider using lifestyle imagery to create a sense of aspiration and connect with your audience on an emotional level.
  • Clear Calls to Action (CTAs): Don’t leave your audience guessing! Tell them exactly what you want them to do, whether it’s “Shop Now,” “Download Our Free Guide,” or “Learn More.” Use strong CTAs that are clear, concise, and action-oriented.
  • Highlight Your Unique Selling Proposition (USP): What makes your product or service stand out from the crowd? Use your ad copy to highlight your USP and explain why the user should choose you over the competition. Focus on the benefits your product or service offers and how it can solve the user’s pain points.

Frequency Capping

There’s a fine line between staying top-of-mind and becoming annoying.  Frequency capping allows you to limit the number of times a user sees your ad impression within a specific timeframe.  This ensures your ads remain effective without bombarding users and turning them off.


What is the best platform for retargeting ads?

The best platform depends on your target audience and marketing goals. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are popular due to their extensive reach and detailed targeting options.

How do I measure the success of my retargeting ads?

Track key metrics such as click-through rates (CTR), conversion rates, and return on ad spend (ROAS) to gauge the effectiveness of your retargeting campaigns.

Can I run retargeting ads on multiple platforms simultaneously?

Yes, running retargeting ads on multiple platforms can help you reach a broader audience and improve your chances of conversion.

How much should I budget for retargeting ads?

The budget for retargeting ads varies based on your industry, competition, and marketing goals. Start with a small budget and scale up as you see positive results.

Are retargeting ads suitable for small businesses?

Absolutely. Retargeting ads can be highly effective for small businesses, offering a cost-efficient way to boost conversions and improve brand recall.

Conclusion: Retargeting – A Powerful Tool for Reaching Your Audience

Retargeting ads are a game-changer in the digital marketing landscape. By strategically re-engaging website visitors who have shown interest, you can boost conversions, enhance brand recall, and maximize your return on investment. Now that you’re armed with the knowledge of how retargeting works, the benefits it offers, and the best practices to implement, it’s time to take action!

At Desert Dog Marketing, we’re experts in crafting retargeting campaigns that drive results. We understand the intricacies of different platforms, audience segmentation strategies, and ad creative best practices. Let us help you reconnect with potential customers and turn them into loyal brand advocates.

Ready to leverage the power of retargeting for your business? Contact Desert Dog Marketing today!

  • Shoot us an email at
  • Give us a call at +971 4 453 2710

We look forward to partnering with you and helping your business reach new heights!

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