search retargeting

As a digital advertising strategist I am always looking for new, exciting and effective ways to help my clients reach their target market. I genuinely want them to succeed – both professionally and personally. I take great pride in helping one of my friends achieve their goals. So, as I contemplated a recent ad campaign and thought about how I would answer the client’s questions about optimizing keywords and achieving best-possible focus, I became excited.

What on paper appeared to be a small disappointment (one the campaign’s top click-getting keyword was not an obvious term), was actually a great lesson. In fact, it could be a springboard to further success.

The situation was this: one of the many tactics we set up for a regional golf course was a Search Retargeting campaign using obvious keywords such as “golf course”, “country clubs”, “titleist” and others. No doubt, “golf” did fetch a good amount of clicks. But so did “spas”. Hmmm. Curious. Why would someone searching for spas click on an ad about a golf course?

Search Retargeting (Keyword)

Top terms by clicks:
1. membership
2. golfing
3. luxury hotels
4. irons
5. titleist
6. spas
7. membership
8. resort vacation

*REAL C2 Connections CLIENT


It’s tempting to think that kind of a click is worthless, or at least of less value than something more relevant like “tee times” or “Washington golf vacations”. Anything of lesser value should be kicked out of the campaign, right? But think about it: looking at the data from a keyword campaign can tell you a lot about who your target audience really is. It is entirely feasible that the people you thought were your customers really aren’t, and the people you thought couldn’t care less about your product really do.

In this case, it’s probably not a stretch to think that those people who are looking for high-end regional spas could also fit the demographic of someone who would be interested in a destination golf experience. I can tell you by first-hand experience, my friends who like golf also like spas, and vice-versa. I can also tell you that, of my friends who like either spas or golf, they have plenty of money to afford both. But I diverge from the point at hand….

The bottom line is this: when using data to target your audience with a clear call to action (i.e. book your tee time now), don’t be so quick to throw out results because they don’t fit the narrative you have in your head about who your clientele is. Using data in online advertising goes both ways: it will help you more effectively deliver your message AND it will tell you more about who wants to see your message.

Now…. go book your golf vacation at one of Washington’s premiere destination courses AND enjoy a day at the spa!

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