What is Link Retargeting? Increase Your Top of Funnel Traffic by 500%+

Link Retargeting Rebrandly Blog
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Use Content Curation Mixed with Link Retargeting to Build Your Retargeting Pixels Faster

So, you may have heard of this cool thing you can do called retargeting…

It allows you to “pixel” your audience and serve them ads at a later time.

Back in my agency days, when a startup or small business came in to me, setting up a retargeting ad campaign was almost always the easiest way that I could immediately make them more money.

I mean, we spend all this time getting users to our site, only to let 75%+ leave forever.

If only there was some way to get them back…

Some way to reconnect them with our content, our offer, our business…

Please Come Back To Me Squirrel Meme

Said every website owner ever…

Well, obviously, that’s where the genius of retargeting comes into play.

And the best part?

Retargeting ads are easier to manage than regular ads and don’t cost as much in terms of advertising spend.

This is because your audience is going to be smaller — only people that visit your site, not the entire world — and “warmer” — only people that have heard of you via visiting your site.

Now, I will tell you more about link retargeting in just a second, but first I want to talk about just why this is so powerful.

Returning Visitors Make Up Most of Your Conversions

But why are retargeting ads such a good idea?

To give you an idea of the power of getting someone back to your site (and therefore the power of retargeting), let me pull some stats for you from one of my own sites.

This site doesn’t get a ton of traffic by any means… It’s currently sitting at just about 4,000 monthly unique visitors.

77% of the traffic is completely new to the business, blog, etc.:

New Vs Returning Users in Google Analytics

And out of all first-time visitors, it only gets .5% of them to opt-in to my list:

New Users signup SplashOPM

Now there are ways to optimize and improve this metric on its own, which are important, but let’s pretend I’ve done my best, and .5% is going to be my going opt-in rate for new visitors.

Sounds like I’m screwed right?

That’s not a great conversion rate at all, and I’m going to have to work my butt off to get all sorts of traffic…

But, what about returning visitors?

If you dig into the details a little further, you will find that anyone that visits the site 2 or more times, opts in at a rate of 9.6%, or 1912% more often.

Returning Users Conversion Rate SplashOPM

Now that’s a conversion rate I can deal with…

Are you starting to get the importance of getting people back to your site?

Why are Returning Visitors More Likely to Convert?

The answer is pretty simple:

  • They recognized you from before.
  • They’ve enjoyed your content for an extended period of time.
  • They chose to come back, which implies they like you.

You’ve built enough trust to break the “trust barrier,” and now they are ready to become a fan and give you their email.

And some underlying factors about why they didn’t convert the first time:

  • They could have been busy.
  • They read a post but didn’t have a reason to drop down an email address.
  • They were warming up to you.
  • They were just reading a piece of content and didn’t look into your business at all.

People don’t like giving strangers their email address. There is a psychologically minimal amount of time we prefer to wait before dropping it in there.

You know. You’ve felt it.

Think of a networking event, don’t you hate when someone tries to give you their card before you’ve said 10 words to each other…

Yet, the person who you’ve made a deep connection with and is sounding like a promising business connection… You’re thrilled to get a card from them.

Such is real life, and online. You have to provide them with comfort, tremendous value, and a strong reason to continue the conversation.

Link Retargeting: Pixeling People That Have Never Been to Your Site Before


Retargeting is supposed to be for people that have been to your site…

But there’s a new workaround out that allows you to retarget anyone that clicks a link that you control. Meaning you can retarget anyone that clicks on any piece of content (especially curated content) that you provide.

What is Link Retargeting?

Link retargeting is when you put your retargeting pixel code – be it Facebook, Google, Twitter, or otherwise – inside of a short link so that anyone that clicks on the link is added to your retargeting pixel.

This allows you to pixel people that are going from your social post to someone elses site (and there are a few similar applications). It’s perfectly legal and allowable, and honestly it actually serves additional value to your audience (assuming you continue to serve them well and not just relentlessly spam them).

Transform Long Links Into Branded Links - Sign up for Rebrandly

Who’s Link Retargeting For?

This is totally for you if you:

  • Are already serving retargeting ads
  • Are already using content curation as part of your strategy
  • Have great blog content to send people to
  • Have a clear action that you want people to take on your site

This is totally NOT for you if you:

  • Don’t have an inbound marketing funnel set up
  • Don’t have any content on your site to send people to
  • Have never run ads on GDN or Facebook before

So if you fit the criteria, keep reading…

Why Do Link Retargeting?

With link retargeting, you can build out your audience 500%+ faster, capture anyone who you’ve influenced online, and expand the awareness portion of your funnel to redirect people to your site at a later time.

Let me give you an example. You’re a local restaurant that just got on the local paper’s “Top 25 Best New Restaurants” list.

San Diegos top 25 new restaurants example

Naturally, you are going to promote the crap out of this on your Facebook page, Twitter, Snapchat, whatever…

But every person that reads this post that is showcasing your business will go to that site and then be lost in the woods forever.

Not with link retargeting…

OK, I”m Down! How Do I Actually Do Link Retargeting?

We’ve added link retargeting as an option for all Rebrandly Pro and Power users [updated 21/11/17].

Watch this video or keep reading to find out:

Open up your Rebrandly dashboard or extension and paste in your URL, then click the gear wheel and retargeting:

Hit the Retargeting Button After Adding a New Link


For Facebook Custom Audience Pixel:

Now you need to go grab your retargeting pixel. For Facebook you go to your business manager account and navigate to All Tools -> Pixels (this link might work for you):

Facebook Business Manager All Tools Pixels

Then click “Actions” and “View Pixel” to see your code:

Actions View Pixel Code

For Google Remarketing Pixel:

To get your remarketing tag code from Google, login to your AdWords account and go to Shared library -> Audiences -> Tag Details:

 Shared Library Audiences Tag Details Remarketing Tag

From here click “Setup” and “View AdWords tag for websites:”

Google Remarketing Tag Code

And copy and paste this code into the Rebrandly Retargeting script box, name it, and save it.

Save Your New Retargeting Pixel

Now you don’t have to understand coding to get this done, just copy and paste your code script directly into your Rebrandly retargeting script box, and add a name:

Pasting Facebook Pixel Code Into Rebrandly Link Retargeting Feature

Save the retargeting code and the link and you are ready to roll.

From here simply share this link in any Tweet or message that you would like to send out and you will tag anyone that clicks it and automatically start serving them ads at a later time.

Remember: This doesn’t work if you aren’t running retargeting ads.

Remember part 2: If you aren’t running retargeting ads, you are leaving money on the table.

Ready to Start Using Link Retargeting Right Now?

Click here to sign up for a Rebrandly account.

Final Thoughts

In the right hands, this little tool could make you $1,000s easy, maybe more.

I truly think this is like bringing a bazooka to a tea party. It will blow up your business!

Emerging technology is allowing us to enlarge our retargeting audiences and run highly targeted ads to “warm” traffic.

While there are many different types of retargeting ads that you can run to boost your business, the most important thing you can do is set up your Facebook custom audience pixel and/or Google’s remarketing pixel, and just start building your audience.

Not doing this is leaving mad amounts of money on the table and preventing you from hitting your maximum potential conversion rate for your on-site traffic.

People that are slightly aware of your brand, due to clicking on a link of yours from social media (or somewhere else) are far more likely to be your customers than cold traffic on Facebook or Google.

Get them to take the first step onto your site with highly targeted ads for dirt cheap.

Set up this simple retargeting process and plug a huge leak in your online marketing strategy.

So what do you think? Are you ready to grow your business with the power of link retargeting? Not sure if this will really work for you? Need help? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.


Further Reading:

This Article is About:

  • Link Retargeting
  • What is Link Retargeting?
  • Advertising




Head of Growth at Rebrandly. Derric is a lifelong entrepreneur and passionate about helping startups and marketers not suck. He speaks, practices, and blogs about growth and digital marketing on Rebrandly and across the universe.
  • Nice article, Derric. This is something I try and teach all my clients. What sort of offer are you sending to these guys when you retarget them?

    • What I didn’t get into in this post (but will in an upcoming one) is the content curation strategy and aligning that with your retargeting ads campaign. You could even go as far as segmenting which curated content people clicked on to send them to a hyper-targeted article of your own. For instance, if you curated a Neil Patel post on SEO, and target them with your own post or even course on SEO. Apply that concept to whatever industry you are in and you should see an extremely cheap Cost Per Click. Personally, I recommend sending them to content first, and nothing paid. Then when they actually hit your content for the first time, send them more towards the product or free signup. This keeps the message aligned with their familiarity with you and should see better results.

      • 100% love it 🙂

      • Hey Derric, did you ever post more info on this? It’s exactly what I want to do – have some different categories of links which we show different ads to

  • Great post Derric, will for sure implement this strategy with our http://www.bloominari.com Rebrandly account

    • Thanks Jaime, looking forward to seeing how this works for you and your clients!

  • Alon

    Hey Derric. Does link retargeting work if someone clicks on a link from a mobile device, or does it just allow click retargeting from desktop? And if just from desktop, can we retarget someone who facebook mobile if they click a link from a promoted post on facebook desktop?

    • So if I click on a link from my mobile device, and I’m logged into my Facebook app on that mobile device. The pixel will fire and Facebook will actually recognize me personally (encrypted for protection). Then anywhere I login to Facebook – desktop, mobile, friends computer – I will be served the targeted ad. And of course that means the same for desktop to mobile.

  • Jason Stogsdill

    Hi Derric. I’m going to implement this strategy. I have a question though about setting up retargeting audiences in Google when using the code in a link instead of the page. So, with the Google remarketing code, when you setup the audience like: people who have visited ______ url but not _______ url, are you putting your Rebrandly links there are the urls? And same thing with Facebook?

    • Well, kind of. In this case, you are saying people that “clicked on a link to my teachable school” but didn’t click on another link of yours. You would need to exclude the page or action that tracks as a conversion in teachable. Perhaps just anyone that clicked on the link, then upload a list of emails of those that converted and use that to exclude.

      Unless you’re getting dozens of conversions a week, I wouldn’t worry about excluding right away, it would actually be better if you just found a way to track conversions inside teachable. They should offer some sort of header code pixel installation or something. You need to be able to track conversions.

      • Jason Stogsdill

        Thanks for your reply Derric. That makes sense about not needing to exclude right away. I’m just getting going with this campaign, so I’ll see how it goes.

        Teachable has places to place header code sitewide and also in the thank you page. I notice that Google retargeting says it should be in the body code but Teachable doesn’t allow that.

        I went ahead and placed the retargeting code in the thank you page header (hopefully it fires properly). I tried this site wide on Teachable, but it messes up the whole layout when I do.

        I use Clickmeter, so I put a tracking pixel on the Thank you page. I also have the Google tracking pixel in the Thank you header too.

        I’ll see how it works out after I get some traffic flowing. Thanks!

  • Derric – what you failed to mention or clear up: Does it require a person to have a paid account to utilize the Retargeting feature in Rebrandly or will it work with the free or next price bracket up package??
    You make it sound like a person can just sign up for Rebrandly and begin using the Link Retargeting tactic right away, but it’s misleading because from what I can tell you have to pay $99/mo for that feature. You should stat that in the article if that’s the case, imho. Thanks.

    • Hi Ed, thanks for pointing this out. When I originally wrote the article, it was in a free beta, but now is a paid feature. I will let them team know that they should update the article to reflect that.

      Thanks for the feedback.

    • Louisa

      Hi Ed – I’ve updated the article to reflect that link retargeting is part of our paid packages. As Derric mentioned, when this piece was originally written all features were free. Thanks for your comment.

  • Ken Fleisher

    Hello. You wrote “It’s perfectly legal and allowable, and…” Could you please clarify this! I love this strategy and want to use it, but nagging questions need answers. How does this strategy comply with the Privacy laws? It seems a lot like it sidesteps them and the user is never notified that you are placing cookies or using software to retarget them. Disclosure is required for that but I don’t see any opportunity for disclosure. Also, does this strategy comply with Facebook, Google, etc. Terms of Use? Is using the pixels in this way a violation of the terms in any way? I truly want to be convinced that there is no issue with any of what I mentioned! Please help.Thank you!

    • Great questions Ken. The important thing is that your privacy policy reflects your actions. So make sure that it includes cookie and remarketing law, the same as it would for on-site remarketing. Each region has different laws and you should talk to a lawyer for clarification. I am not a lawyer and this is not legal advice. What I do know is that there are basically no laws addressing this specific issue.

      Here’s some Facebook rules about consent: https://developers.facebook.com/docs/privacy#about-consent

      And here’s some Google policy about it: https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2549063?hl=en

      I highly recommend researching it on your own, as every business will reach their own conclusions.