A Simple Guide to Retargeting with SiteScout

by Matt Sauls on January 5, 2012 · 11 comments

Many people are surprised to hear that we also provide retargeting on our RTB platform. As a result of being connected to so many traffic exchanges, our network reach is large enough that our advertisers can run very effective retargeting campaigns in addition to their usual display campaigns. The following is a very simple guide to retargeting.

Use the following links to skip to the appropriate section:

The Basics
Frequently Asked Questions
How To Create a Retargeting Campaign
Advanced Retargeting Strategies

The Basics

Retargeting or “Audience Targeting” allows you to track all users that visit your webpage (or any online destination), and find those users across almost any site on the web. By building a retargeting list or “audience” of users who have visited a certain website, you can create powerful customized campaigns, tailored to those specific users, and which will only be seen by those users.

Primary Advantages of Retargeting:

1. Brand Recognition — Users who recognize your brand will now see your advertisements displayed across thousands of websites, creating the impression of a large-scale advertising campaign, but for a fraction of the budget.

2. Cost Effectiveness — The highly-targeted nature of retargeting allows you to pay higher-than-normal CPM prices compared to otherwise untargeted campaigns. However, due to the relatively limited size of audiences, overall costs are generally lower.

3. Behavioral Targeting — It’s possible to create campaigns which only target users that fall into certain behavioral groups. For example, users who are:

  • known to click on banners
  • known to enter their e-mail address into forms
  • known to make online purchases with a credit card
  • known to purchase specific types of products
  • and so on…

Frequently Asked Questions

The following are the most common questions that we get from our advertisers.

Q: Is there an extra fee for retargeting?

A: No, there are no extra fees. You only pay for the impressions you win, just like any campaign.

Q: Can SiteScout find users who arrived at my site from other traffic sources/networks?

A: Yes! It doesn’t matter how people arrived at your page, our system can track them. Whether they came from search engines, links from other websites, or even media buys on other ad networks, they will all be captured in your audience.

Q: Who cannot be tracked with retargeting?

A: Users who have cookies disabled cannot be tracked using retargeting. In addition, users who were being tracked, but subsequently erased their cookies, will no longer be tracked, unless they revisit your website and receive a new cookie.

Q: Is it difficult to set up a retargeting campaign?

A: Setting up retargeting is very easy! You paste a small piece of code on the page (or footer of the site) on which you want to build your retargeting list, but otherwise it’s almost the same as creating a traditional campaign. The following are the most basic instructions on how to build a retargeting campaign…

How to Create a Retargeting Campaign

The following steps assume you have an account on the SiteScout platform. To create a free account, just click here and complete the sign-up form.

Step 1: Place a Retargeting Pixel on Your Website or Page.

a. Open the Retargeting tab by going to the “Tools” menu and selecting “Retargeting Lists“.

b. Create a new audience list and give it a name:

c. Grab the retargeting code. Select your new pixel from the list and click “Get Tags”. Highlight and copy the code in the box:

d. Once you have copied this code, paste it into the HTML of the webpage from where you want to retarget users. The code should (ideally) be placed after the content, right before the closing body tag, but anywhere will do.

Step 2: Create the Campaign.

a. Click on the “Tools” menu -> then “New Campaign

b. Complete the Campaign Basics section.

c. Add Sites to your campaign. You should either add many sites, or select “Run of Network”. The idea is to get a large amount of network coverage so that your audience will see your ads no matter where they go. For the most reach and the simplest setup, choose “Run of Network”.

d. Add your Creatives (banners) to the campaign.

e. Add Geo Targeting to the campaign.

f. Go to the Retargeting section to add your retargeting list to the campaign. Once your audience has been added, the campaign will ONLY buy impressions for users on your audience list.

It’s generally a good idea to stay away from adding too much additional targeting if you plan on doing retargeting, since it will further reduce the traffic volume of the campaign. In other words, retargeting mixed with contextual targeting and/or day parting is generally not recommended.

g. Click the “Save” button, and your campaign will go into Pending mode for review.

Step 3: Monitor Your Audience Count.

Once you’ve added the pixel to your website, visitors will start being added to your retargeting list. You can monitor the progress of your list within the Audience tab.

Set the beginning of the date range on the toolbar to the day that you first added the pixel to your website. Leave the end of the date range as Today.

Every time a user is added to your list they will be counted in the “Created” column. Ever time a user re-visits your list, they will be counted in the “Updated” column. This allows you to track both the first and the most recent time that visitors accessed your page.

Once your list has at least one user in the “Created” column, your retargeting campaign will begin tracking them across the network.

Advanced Retargeting Techniques

The following are two ways to be creative with retargeting and really use it to it’s full potential…

1) Retarget Users for a Limited Time

It may be that you don’t want to target your users indefinitely. You would rather retarget them for a specific number of days after they visit your site, and then stop. You can set this window of time from the first time they visit your site, or from the most recent time they have visited your site.

The Process:

1. Tick the “Advanced” checkbox.

2. Add your audience as before, leaving the default setting of 0 days after first access.

3. Change the rule to “Untarget”, select the same retargeting list, and set the number of days after which you stop retargeting users. Add that rule. It should look like this:

4. This campaign will only target users for 7 days after the first time they access your site. Revisiting the site will not affect the status of the campaign pertaining to that user.

5. If you wish the campaign to react to the most recent time the user has accessed your site, then the rule should be changed to “last access”. It would look like this:

6. Each time the user re-visits the page, the 7 day window will be reset.

2) Untarget Converted Users

Your retargeting campaign might have a specific goal (signup, sale, form submission, etc.) Once that goal has been achieved (on a per-user basis) you no longer want to waste your budget advertising to those users. If you are selling a product, for example, you no longer want to advertise to users that have purchased it.

To accomplish this, you need to create a second retargeting pixel that will be placed on the Conversion Page, or Thank You page of your website. If that page is secure, you may need to redirect to a non-secure page to make this possible. Once the second pixel is in place, you’ll create a retargeting campaign which targets your main audience and untargets the converted audience:

That’s it.

If you have any questions, please let us know either in the comments or by contacting us directly.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Adam October 4, 2012 at 8:39 pm

Is it possible to use an audience pixel as an image instead of inside of JavaScript? I’m wondering about targeting my email subscribers and including an image pixel inside the email template. Is that possible?


Ratko Vidakovic October 4, 2012 at 9:05 pm

Good question. I will find out and let you know.


Jeremiah October 10, 2012 at 3:11 pm

I’m also interested to learn the answer. Thank you!


Justin Brooke December 21, 2012 at 1:06 pm

Yes it is possible just change the tag to an image tag instead of javascript tag. I do this all the time with my campaigns.


Gorkem January 28, 2013 at 10:16 am

Any way to change the name of list that we created before? or any way to delete the list?


Ratko Vidakovic January 28, 2013 at 6:50 pm

Not right now, but I’ve let our product team know and they’ll be adding that functionality very soon! Thanks.


Ratko Vidakovic February 2, 2013 at 12:47 pm

Okay we just added this feature. You can now rename your lists if you simply hover over the list name in the Retargeting menu. And while you still can’t delete lists, you can, however, now “hide” them. Hope that helps!


gorkem February 2, 2013 at 9:56 pm

That is great to hear thanks!

One more thing though, I havent used it very often but just tried for a short time. I was using it with different traffic source and was planning to create a campaign on SS based on this list but I have noticed that list number is now ’0′. It was about 10 a few days ago. What is the reason for that?

because they deleted cookies?

And what is the valid time range for these cookies? 30 days?


gorkem February 2, 2013 at 9:59 pm

Sorry about that, I just noticed that I have to set the date first :)

So lastly; if they erased their cookies, is this number going to be decreased? Or it is never going to be changed if we stop tracking?


Guy April 18, 2013 at 10:16 am

As an ad network we get many requests for media from advertisers with an existing 3rd party re-targeting lists.

Do you support 3rd party re-targeting campaigns ?
How to set it up if you do, taking in consideration the user list is not available and the fill rate is not 100%.



Ratko Vidakovic April 19, 2013 at 4:12 pm

It would require us to do a “cookie sync” to import the 3rd party data into our platform. We can do this under certain circumstances. If you’re interested in doing this, just let us know: support@sitescout.com


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