Retargeting Links: How marketers should use them



According to Forbes, retargeting will continue to be a priority for marketers in the coming year. With three-quarters of consumers taking notice of retargeting ads and 63% of marketers assigning a section of their budgets to it, this comes as no big surprise. If like other marketers, remarketing will be a key part of your strategy this year, you should take your campaigns to the next level and expand your funnel with retargeting links.

So how do you know if retargeting links are right for your marketing strategy? Well, are you already using retargeting ads? And do you use curated content or PR as part of your strategy? If so, link retargeting is a no-brainer as it will be easy to implement and boost your company’s conversions.

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We’ll cover the how and the how-to for you now:

So why use retargeting links?

Retargeting is a cookie-driven technology that lets you target your website’s visitors with display ads on various platforms, including the Google Display Network, Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter. But with retargeting links, you can also display ads to people who have shown an interest in your business without actually visiting your site.

A well-organized retargeting campaign can improve brand awareness and up your conversion rate so there’s little reason not to extend your retargeting audience in this way.

Traditionally, retargeting helps companies present ads to people who have previously visited their website. This works because most people don’t intend to buy anything the first time they visit a website. By retargeting these visitors with ads, brands can build trust, and encourage follow-up visits to their website, which might result in a conversion.

Retargeting links work in a similar way, but instead of focusing on website visitors, you target ads at people who have clicked on a link you control.

These links could lead to a positive customer review on a third-party website or some recent media coverage. The people who click on them have read something that will help them feel confident in your brand and make them familiar with your business. This is key for prospects to convert. Once you’re no longer a stranger to them, they will be more likely to give you their email address or trust you with their payment details.

Even if prospects don’t convert immediately, seeing your ads in their newsfeed will build brand awareness. And hopefully, if they are looking for your services in the future, your brand’s name will be on the tip of their tongue.

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If traditional retargeting is the online form of stopping someone who is about to leave your shop and presenting them with a personalized sales pitch. Link retargeting is about grabbing people who are looking at your window display and bringing them inside to see all you have to offer.

If retargeting ads work for your business, it makes sense to use retargeting links to add even more prospective customers to your retargeting funnel.

Link retargeting is simple to do. When creating a branded short link in Rebrandly, just add a pixel code from Google, Facebook – or whatever ad platform you are using. You’ll find the codes in your Facebook business manager account or AdWords account. (You can check out the full guide on how to add pixel code to your links here.) Then, share the links on social media and you can present ads to anyone who clicks on them.

5 ways to use retargeting links

Both small and big businesses can make clever use of retargeting links.

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For bigger businesses, marketers can use link retargeting to make the most of their influencer marketing campaigns. While smaller businesses with limited resources for content creation can use retargeting links along with a great content curation strategy to make more of an impact with their remarketing ads.

Retargeting ads at people who have read about your business on a third-party website bodes well for your brand too. Consumers trust the recommendations of influencers and reviewers. Research by Twitter showed that people confide in the endorsements of social media influencers as much as word of mouth ones from people they know. While 84% of consumers also trust online reviews as much as friends.

To share reviews and media coverage

Whether you’re a small restaurant that was reviewed in a local newspaper or a bigger brand with some glowing Yelp ratings, if you’re sharing out this positive coverage, you’ll want to add retargeting pixels to those links.

Every person that clicks through to read these reviews will be left with a great impression of your business. So don’t let them forget about it! Retarget them with ads and encourage them to take the next step and click through to your website to book a table or buy your product.

In influencer marketing campaigns

More and more businesses are turning to influencers to promote their brand. If they are promoting a link to their latest vlog which reviews your product, ask them to share one that you’ve added retargeting pixels to. This will allow you to follow up with anyone who clicked through to their website or YouTube channel. You can even target this audience with custom ads which refer to the influencer they follow.

To share industry insights and news

Adding retargeting pixels to carefully chosen articles from thought leaders in your industry can make for a great retargeting audience. For example, if say you are an eco-friendly cosmetics company that shares articles about the latest news on eco-friendly packaging, you could find some extremely relevant prospects to present ads to. The more niche and targeted your content is, the more your retargeting links will lead to conversions.

To share helpful content

If you’re writing a guest post or a Quora answer that is relevant to your business, where appropriate, consider adding retargeting pixels to the references you link to. If someone is clicking through to find out more, the chances are they are extremely interested in what you’re talking about and they might appreciate being made aware of your brand and what it does through retargeted ads.

For other curated content

You can get pretty creative building your retargeting lists with Rebrandly. For example, if someone on social media asked us for information about link retargeting on Facebook, it could make sense to link them to one of Facebook’s FAQs rather than our own website. But we could add retargeting pixels to the swish branded link we’d send to them.


You could also do the same with any YouTube videos or third-party tutorials you share for the benefit of your social media. Or the Facebook and Eventbrite event links you share.

5 tips to improve your link retargeting campaigns

There are some nifty ways that you can optimize and organize your link retargeting campaigns to get the best bang for your buck and really make an impact on your audience. Though they can take some time to implement, they will be well worth the return.

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Here are our top tips:

Choose your platforms wisely

Retargeting is possible on social sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, as well as the Google Display Network. They each offer different benefits and levels of targeting, so take time to consider which ad platform can boost your brand the most.

Social media is great for retargeting ads because a prospect’s followers and friends can help drive engagement with your brand. For example, a retargeting ad on Facebook will let people know how many of their friends have liked the company advertised. This brings trust, credibility and social proof to your brand and the ad’s message. But if your business only has a handful of Facebook followers, perhaps this isn’t the best choice for you.


However, you might choose to opt for Facebook because of its ability to create sequential retargeting campaigns, which allows you to present users with a series of ads over a few days. This lets you remind prospects of the great review they read, before presenting them with an ad about your business or product.

You can also introduce retargeting to Google search adverts so that when someone who has clicked your links does a search for keywords related to your business, they will be presented with your ads.

When they search for a keyword, even if it’s not until a year after they originally clicked one of your links, they will see your ad and, hopefully, recognize your brand name and remember reading about your business. Click!

Combining keywords and your link retargeting lists in this way should help attract some very warm leads to your website.

Segment your audience based on the links they clicked

Marketers are moving more and more toward personalizing their retargeting ads wherever possible. It makes more of an impact on consumers and makes for a healthier ROI too.

This is important for all of your retargeting ads. But in terms of the remarketing lists you’ve put together from the pixels added to your links, here are some personalization ideas you can consider.

Let’s go back to the example of the eco-friendly cosmetics company sharing curated content. Consumers who clicked on the news piece it shared about environmentally-friendly packaging should be targeted with ads highlighting the brand’s eco-friendly beliefs. While someone who clicked through to a makeup tutorial featuring the brand should be presented with ads about the brand’s quality.

Alternatively, you can include retargeting links in your email newsletters or social media to segment your lists based on the products your audience is interested in. For example, a children’s clothes shop might retarget ads at users based on what they clicked on in a newsletter.

Those who clicked the link to an article about preparing for a newborn baby would receive ads relevant to them, while those who clicked on a link about back-to-school advice would see ads about clothes or school uniforms for slightly older children. Again, this is great for small businesses who might not be able to create all this content themselves, but who share curated content to provide value to their customers.

Make use of burn codes

Burn codes are used to remove customers from a specific retargeting campaign once they have converted. This means you won’t bombard current customers with retargeting ads intended for prospects. It will save your business money and keep customers happy too.

Install frequency caps

After a while, retargeting ads can frustrate potential customers – and this is definitely not the intended outcome. If it looks like your retargeting ads aren’t working despite the person showing interest in your business, a frequency cap will mean that they stop seeing your advert before it gets annoying.

It’s still important to refresh your retargeting lists often. But at least if you put it on the long finger, none of your prospective customers will get stalked by your advertisements.

Run A/B split tests on your link retargeting adverts

Using A/B split testing can help you figure out exactly how effective each of your ads is. It can also help you determine which type of curated content is most likely to lead to conversions. Tweak your CTAs and try out different images to optimize your conversion rate. And if there’s a piece of content that works with your retargeting ads really well, keep sharing it so that you can boost the number of prospects who click through to it and are later presented with adverts.

People who have clicked on your links and are aware of your brand are far more likely to become customers than cold traffic on Facebook or Google. Presenting personalized and targeted ads to people who have already engaged with your brand online is a smart way to invest your time and spend even the tightest of budgets.

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Alongside lots of other great features, link retargeting is available to all Rebrandly Pro and Power users. Even if you aren’t running any retargeting ads currently, start building your audience so you’ll have a great base to present ads to when you do. If people are showing interest in your business, make sure you encourage them to take the next step and visit your website.

Further Reading:

This Article is About:

  • How to use retargeting links
  • Link retargeting use cases
  • Examples of how to use retargeting links
  • How to boost remarketing campaigns

Photo in main image by Carl Raw via Unsplash


Originally Posted: 6th of March 2018
Last Updated: 26th of March 2021

Louisa works on putting together creative and useful content for Rebrandly customers to read. Though she spends a lot of time reading and writing online, she still loves to buy the Sunday papers.