As we all know by now, being an indie author is about more than just writing books.  It’s about selling them too.  And something else we’re finding out is that marketing is way more than just popping up on social media now and then and screaming ‘BUY MY BOOK!!!!!!’

Selling books is an art in itself.  And it can be daunting to those who have little or no experience of marketing.

Writers need help.  And that’s okay.

So here’s a little help.

Posting today (and back by popular demand!) is the digital marketing expert in the family – Robert Gillespie.  This time he’s here with an introduction to remarketing and how we can use it as a strategy to convert visitors to our website and ultimately sell more books.

Hope you enjoy.



How To Convert More Website Visitors Using Remarketing

It’s every website owner’s dream…

…someone visits your website, they browse a few pages then take the desired action you want.

Success with Remarketing

That desired action could be the purchase of a product, signing up for your email list, registering for an event and so on…

But that’s not reality I’m afraid. For most it remains a dream.

In fact, on average around 93% of your website visitors won’t take the action you are hoping for – even if you have the best converting website on the planet.

But it’s not all bad news…help is at hand.

You see, there’s a new digital marketing superhero that’s appeared in recent years called ‘remarketing’.

And one of remarketing’s key benefits is to help convert prospects who’ve visited your website previously…

…but haven’t take the desired action you wanted them to so far.

A friendly superhero I hope you agree!

Let’s dig in and learn some more about remarketing…

What Is Remarketing and What is The Big Opportunity?

Well for most of you reading this, you will have been ‘remarketed’ to before, I’m pretty sure of that.

Have you ever thought it was just a coincidence the ads you saw in your Facebook news feed were identical to the products you were looking at only minutes earlier on Amazon?

As you’re about to find out it’s no coincidence those ads appeared in your Facebook news feed – or as a banner ad at the top or sides of millions of websites.

You see, those ads were placed there on purpose using what’s called remarketing.

And one of remarketing’s aims is to entice you back to a website you have previously visited…but this time they want you to come back and take the desired action they hoped you would have taken previously.

And when remarketing is done right, the website owner has a much better chance of achieving their objective.

Remarketing Is Powerful…

I mentioned earlier that on average 93% of visitors to your website will not take the desired action you want them to.

That doesn’t mean they never will.

Some people just need warmed up before putting their trust in you.

Realise that it’s very hard to convert a ‘cold audience’ on a first or even a second visit.

trust me


And just for the record I refer to a ‘cold audience’ as someone who doesn’t know or trust your business…yet.

Think about dating and marriage for a minute…

You don’t usually ask someone to marry you on the first date!

Normally you would engage with them a little, get to know them, like them, trust them…warm them up so to speak.


Only after a little while do you then ask for marriage.

I’m sure you’ll agree you have a much better chance of your marriage proposal being accepted after you’ve dated for just a little while at least!

And that’s how remarketing can help your business too…it allows you to give value to your audience first, build trust and providing value before going in for the proposal i.e. the desired action you hope they will take.

Example: Remarketing In The Travel Industry…

Say you’re looking to book a holiday in Mallorca, Spain.

You like the look of a resort called Cala d’Or which just so happens to be a personal favourite of mine 😉

Next, you decide to visit your favourite travel website and start looking around at a few hotels.

You start comparing prices, facilities and so on…the usual stuff…but you decide to leave the website to look elsewhere without completing an enquiry form or actually purchasing a holiday.

Very unhappy website! You haven’t taken the desired action that they had hoped for…

The next thing you know though, you’re on Facebook catching up with some friends and BAM

…right in the middle of your news feed you see an ad promoting the very hotel you were looking it only a few minutes ago!

Jet2 Remarketing

The image above is the remarketing ad for that appeared in my Facebook news feed only 2 minutes after I left their website without booking…

It’s the exact hotel I was looking at and it contains an offer to entice me to come back and book now!

And if Facebook is not your thing, the same kind of remarketing ads can also be displayed as banner ads on your favourite websites.

Again, a few minutes after leaving the website without booking I was browsing a sports related website I go to from time to time…and what do you think appeared in the corner of the page…

…yes you guessed it…a remarketing ad for the exact same hotel I was just looking at!

Jet2 Banner Ad


Now, maybe you’ll ignore the ad because you are busy, but when it appears again in a few days or even 10 days later when maybe you have the time to go back and have a look at their latest holiday deals…

…you just might take the desired action they want and book that holiday!

And that’s the big opportunity that’s available to you when using remarketing.


* * *

How Remarketing Works…

Here’s a nice graphic to visually explain how remarketing works before I give you a real life example and then show you how to set this up for yourself.

remarketing ads

Step 1 – Prospect visits your website

Step 2 – A little tracking cookie is automatically placed on your browser by the website

Step 3 – Prospect leaves without taking desired action

Step 4 – Your ad promoting your desired action is then shown to those visitors all over the web including Facebook and millions of websites

How To Set Up Remarketing In 3 Simple Steps…


Ok, so hopefully you see by now the big benefits to using Remarketing in your business…but how do we set this up?

In this section I’m going to show you how to do this with Facebook in 3 simple steps.

Here we go…

Step 1 – Build your audience.

When I say build your audience, this is the group of people you want to target with your remarketing ad in the future.

To do this you first need to go to the ‘Audiences’ section within your ‘Ads Manager’.

Now remember, I use the Power Editor version of Facebook Ads so your page may look slightly different to what you see below, so don’t worry. (You can learn more about Power Editor in this post I wrote)

However you manage your Facebook Ads, you will find the audiences option fairly easily one way or another.


Once you click on ‘Audiences’ you will be taken to an option that allows you to build out your custom audience…

Custom Audiences

As you can see, it’s telling you that this action will help you connect with people who have already shown an interest in your business or product.

So click ‘Create A Custom Audience’ and you will see the following…

Create Custom Audience

Next select ‘Website Traffic’ and you will see the image below…this is where you choose how you want to build your audiences.

Web Traffic

As you can see, you can build your audiences based on those who visit a specific page on your website, or a set of specific pages on your website. The choice here is yours.

Audience Build

You then specify the page or pages in question, or just keywords from the URL’s if you use certain words on multiple URL’s. In the example below, all URL’s with the word Majorca in it would form part of my website custom audience.

URL Options

It’s advisable to build your individual audiences based on specific web pages they have visited so you can place a more targeted remarketing offer in front of that audience.

For example…

If you had a cooking related website, and a whole bunch of people had visited a page that talked about vegetarian food, you could build an audience based around them, and then remarket to them by showing an ad for a vegetarian receipe book on their Facebook news feed.

That would work much better than putting a meat based recipe book in front of them…

Get it?

So just for clarity, you would build an audience based solely on those who have visited pages specifically related to vegetarian topics.

And a great feature here is you also have a choice to decide how up to date your audience list is at any moment in time. It defaults to 30 days, which means it will keep the audience list populated based on a rolling 30 day period.

Pixel Options Timeframe

I’ll cover the importance of this time frame at the end of the post so don’t worry about it for now.

Finally name your list in a way that is memorable to you.

That’s step 1 complete.

Step 2 – Installing Your Pixel


After completing step 1, you will see an image similar to the one below:

Pixel Install

Basically you need to install a small piece of code onto your website. This pixel or code is what helps cookie the visitors browser so we can build our audiences.

Don’t worry about this. If you have a WordPress blog there are numerous plugins that can help you do this without any technical skills.

If you don’t have any technical skills whatsoever, go to sites like Fiverr and pay someone $5 to install it for you.


Don’t let technical issues stop you from starting the remarketing process.

Ok, let’s move on…

You need to go back to your main menu now and look under ‘Assets’ for the ‘Pixels’ option.


Once you get into the pixels section you should see something like the following:

Pixel Code

As you can see, there are options to ‘View Pixel Code’ or ‘Email Pixel Code’.

If you want to install the code yourself – view the code, copy it and add it to your website.

If you want to pay someone to do it, email the code to them or just copy it from the previous steps and send it to them on Fiverr.

Job done.

***Quick tip – If you are using Google Chrome you can add a free Chrome extension called ‘Facebook Pixel Helper’ which tells you whether a specific webpage has a pixel installed and if it is working properly.***

Here’s what it looks like when I was on the Fiverr website earlier:

Pixel Success

Step 3 – Creating Your Ad


Now that your pixel has been installed, Facebook will automatically start building your audience(s) as visitors land on the pages you’ve designated in step 1.

All you need to do now is create the ad that will appear in front of your audience.

I’ve written about the Ad Creation process in a lot of detail before in a previous blog post, so to get the full details about Ad Creation go here


…I’m going to point out one minor difference when it comes to creating a remarketing ad instead of a standard ad.

And the main change comes at this point of Ad Creation when you are selecting your audience…

Custom Audience

In the image above, the first box says ‘Custom Audiences’…in there you will type in the name of the audience you have just been building.

So for example…

…on a website I run that blogs about shaving, I’ve been building a custom website audience based on those visiting a page which talks about old fashioned safety razors…see below.

Website custom audience

As you can see my audience starts to appear as I start typing, and on the right hand side it gives me an indication of how many people are in my audience.

Just continue on with your ad creation following the steps in my other blog and you will do great.

And that’s it. You’re now a remarketer!

Now I could have finished up here, but before I go, I wanted to give you a little bonus section showing you a few tips on how to get the most out of remarketing!




Bonus: 5 Ways To Use Remarketing ‘Properly’…


1 – Give Value First, Before Asking…

Like I touched on earlier, it’s much easier to convert people who know, like and trust you.

So even if the visitor doesn’t take the action you want them to on their first visit, as long as you’ve made a good initial impression, given value or simply educated or entertained…

…you’ll have done your job of warming up your cold audience.

Giving value first could come from an amazing article you’ve written, an entertaining video you’ve produced…or it could be via a free chapter of your book. Something that just gives without asking. And you may need to give value a few times before someone takes action.

So by the time your audience sees your remarketing ad in the future they are much more likely to pay attention to it –  and as a result they are much more likely to take the action you want them to.

2 – Your Offer Needs To Make Sense…

You want to make sure the offer you make via remarketing is congruent with the content they have been exposed to so far.

willis meme

Keep it simple.

Reference what they’ve seen already. Remember the vegetarian example earlier?

Same could apply to my shaving website.

If someone has been looking at shaving creams on my website and becomes part of my ‘Shaving Cream Audience’…I’m much more likely to remarket to them with an offer about shaving creams than shaving razors.

Here’s an example from Ebay in the image below…I was looking at these very boots on Ebay, and then a few hours later I was remarketed with a reminder to ‘Take another look!’

Ebay Remarketing

Note the perfect copy as well…

…it totally makes sense as they know I have visited this page before. If I had not visited the page before…’Take another look’ would not make sense.

3 – Allocate 10% of Your Total Budget to Remarketing…

This is a quick one…whatever your total marketing budget is for Facebook, allocate 10% of it to remarketing.

4 – Choose Your Audience Timeframe Carefully…

Remember this section from earlier when I talked about building your audience?

Pixel Options Timeframe

You might think you want to keep your audiences for as long as possible, so the numbers are bigger, but that’s not smart in reality.

You want to choose a timeframe that makes sense for your product or service.

Here’s 2 quick examples to make my point:

A – If you had a website that sold cars…

…you’d probably know the average timeframe from someone researching to purchasing a new car was say 90 days. I’m just making up numbers here!

So maybe you’d want your audience to roll for 90 days so you can still remarket to someone 84 days after they first became part of your audience as that’s when they are most likely to be making a purchasing decision.

Just so you know…

You can if you want create multiple audiences and call them ‘Car Audience 7 Days’, ‘Car Audience 14 Days’ and so on…that way you can do lot’s of sexy things with your ads and copy at different times!

B – Let’s use Ebay again as my second example…

I’ve been looking at those shoes again I showed you earlier and it’s a 14 day auction.

Clearly then, Ebay want to build smaller timeframe audiences as having a 180 day old audience is pointless as the shoes will be gone in 14 days…

So they might create a 3 day audience and a 7 day audience and maybe tweak the urgency of the copy as time moves on.

There’s lots you can do here, but I hope this gives you food for thought when it comes to choosing your audience timeframes.

5 – Just START Building An Audience…

For me it’s all about starting…you just need to start!

Even if you don’t have a remarketing offer right now, go ahead and set up a basic audience of everyone who visits your website and get that pixel installed.

That way you’ll know if everything is working and you’ll start to see your first audience being built.

For example, here’s my generic audience I’ve built for everyone who visits my website:

Web Audience

As you can see, it’s based around everyone who has visited URL’s containing my main domain name over the last 180 days.

A little bit of a tangent here…

But generally I use this audience to promote new content to instead of remarketing. So if I have a new blog post that I want past visitors to know about, I will create an ad promoting the content and show it to this audience.

Remember what I said in tip #1 about giving value a few times before asking for something in return?

Still got questions about remarketing? Unsure about the technical setup of remarketing or want to know how you can apply it in your own business or industry?

Whatever your question fire it into the comments below and I will personally respond within 24 hours!