How to Improve Customer Retention Through Paid Search

How to Improve Customer Retention Through Paid Search

How to Improve Customer Retention Through Paid Search

By John Jantsch

A lot of marketers and business owners think of advertising as a tool to attract the attention of new customers. But the great thing about paid search is that it’s also a powerful way to improve customer retention.

Once you go through all the trouble of winning over new business, it’s worth your while to put in the effort to keep them coming back. Here are some ways to put paid search to use specifically in boosting customer retention for your brand.

Recapture Lost Customers

The great thing about digital marketing is that it puts a lot of data points at our finger tips. Using that data, we can get smart about where we’re spending our advertising dollars, and who we’re directing our advertising towards.

Remarketing allows businesses to show ads to people who have visited their website but not made a final purchase. This is effective in winning over new prospects who are further down the funnel, but it’s also a great way to recapture the attention of a return customer who might need one last nudge to make a repeat purchase.

There are any number of reasons they might have navigated away from your website. Maybe they got distracted before they could complete their purchase. Maybe they wanted to look up a competitor to compare pricing. Maybe they were at work and their boss walked past so they clicked out of the shopping tab! The possibilities are truly endless, but using remarketing allows you to direct your ad spend at people who have already expressed interest in your brand and may just need one final reminder in the form of a targeted paid search ad to get the job done.

Create Special Offers

Using data on existing customers to shape future advertising also empowers you to create tailored offers in your marketing campaigns. Search engines like Google allow you to create custom audiences for your ads.

This means that you can display certain ads to certain people based on prior interactions with your brand. If you haven’t seen a set of customers in a while, consider targeting them with a “welcome back” offer or discount, to hopefully bring them back into the fold.

Seasonal offers are also an effective way to create repeat customers. The holidays are a great time to engage retargeting tactics. If someone’s done business with you in the past, they might just need a friendly reminder about your brand to ensure that you’re the company they go to for their holiday gifts. Creating paid search ads that feature your business name front and center for these existing customer audiences is a way to reestablish that brand recognition at a time when most people are making lots of purchases.

Display Related Products

Defining your audiences in search marketing also allows you to show existing customers ads about related products and services. Let’s say you run an electronics company and someone just purchased a new air conditioning unit from you. It might make sense to target them with advertising for A/C replacement filters for the brand and model they just purchased.

A move like this not only allows you to make the upsell now, it helps to put you top of mind again and makes you likely to be the go-to store for their future electronics needs. The earlier on in your customer relationship you can establish a pattern where that consumer relies on you for all goods in your category, the better.

Think Visually

Back in the day, paid search was all about text-based ads. Now companies have a lot of options when it comes to the type of PPC ad they want to run, and a lot of them include visual elements. Depending on the industry you’re in, including a photo or video as part of your ad can be a great way to stand out from the crowd.

If an image of your products—with you logo and brand name in brand colors—appears at the top of search results, you tap into that familiarity your customer already has with your brand and give your business an additional leg up in standing out in search results.

Reduce Cart Abandonment

It may shock you to learn that the abandonment rate on online shopping carts is more than 75 percent! It’s so painful to lose a customer’s attention when they’re so close to making the final purchase decision. That’s where retargeting can come in. Directing your ads about specific products to people who recently almost purchased that product from you is a way to prompt those relevant customers to head back to your site and finish what they started! This is a tactic that works on both first time and repeat customers who have abandoned their most recent shopping cart on your site.

Once you’ve done the hard work of winning over new business, you don’t want to have to start from square one again! Instead, focusing on customer retention can help you increase the overall lifetime value of each customer, and can help you generate revenue success for years to come. Using specific paid search tactics can boost customer retention and ensure the long-term health of your business.

If you liked this post, check out our Small Business Guide to Paid Search.

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