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7 Ways To Segment Your Audience For Successful Retargeting



7 Ways To Segment Your Audience For Successful Retargeting

If marketing is the art of persuasion, then retargeting is that art at its finest.

A user that has expressed interest in our brand, products, or services can be considered a warm lead. Therefore, you can expect that – with the right approach – our chances to convert are greater than when marketing a cold lead.

However, no matter how warm our lead might be, the strategic approach is key to closing the deal.

This is where it’s essential that you use all available information about the users and how he/she has interacted with your brand.

Why We Segment Audiences For Retargeting

Information such as demographic, which channel was the source of the lead, whether the interaction was on-site or off-site, and the level of interaction are just a few examples of the data that you can use to segment your audience.

This enables you to cluster users into different lists in order to maximize your chances to convert.

The above is also critical in order to be able to choose the most appropriate time and location for when to re-engage, and for the right messaging.

Think about it – marketing leverages psychological triggers to get people to take the actions you want them to take.

Remember some time ago when Google used to talk about micro-moments?

Retargeting means personalization that makes a connection in those micro-moments.

Understanding our users’ needs and motivations helps us to successfully use all of the above signals and give our retargeting campaigns the best chances to succeed with more personalized ads and experiences.

Let’s have a look at some easy-to-implement, practical examples of how you can segment our audiences into successful retargeting lists.

First, What Not To Do

To start, you must begin with the most obvious and avoid common mistakes that will sabotage your best efforts.

Too often, advertisers create a one-size-fits-all retargeting strategy that doesn’t acknowledge any of the information they have about the users and how they have interacted with the brand. They use the same generic messaging for all.

They might even land them all onto the homepage!

The most obvious place to start is segmenting our audience based on where and how they have interacted with our assets.

If that is on-site, you can create different lists based on the web pages they have visited and how far into the conversion path they went.

Those using Google Analytics with EEC (Enhanced Ecommerce) will find that the platform does the heavy lifting for them straight out of the box.

Different lists are automatically created to split users that have visited a product page from those that have gone a step further and added to the cart, or those who dropped at the checkout.

Here, the retargeting strategy should address any possible barrier for which users have dropped out and consider the appropriate messaging/possible incentive(s) required to get the user to convert.

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s have a look at something a little bit more creative, exciting, and sophisticated!

1. Don’t Think Channels; Think Users, Instead

Advertisers tend to think too much in terms of channels and in that way, they compartmentalize their strategy.

The reality is that things are much simpler. This is even more so in the case of retargeting, as you shouldn’t think about channels but focus on your users instead.

If you can overcome that default channel-based mindset, you start opening up to endless possibilities.

For example, you can run retargeting campaigns across multiple channels.

It is quite normal when setting things up to have Facebook prospecting and retargeting campaigns.

But why limit it to that?

It’s easy and quick to create lists of website users based on the source of the traffic.

In Google Analytics, for example, you can do that by selecting Traffic Sources and then Source, Medium, and Campaign as required.

Screenshot from Google Analytics, January 2022

In my example, you have created a list of users that have visited your website after clicking on a Facebook ad, advertising a Valentine’s Day promo.

What this means is that you can not only retarget those users within the Facebook network (Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, etc), but you are also able to amplify our reach and re-engage with those users across Google Display Network, YouTube, and more properties.

In a similar way, you could retarget users that have clicked on an email or have been referred by an affiliate site.

2. Flirting With Our Competitors’ Users

Now, this could be a bit controversial.

You’ll often see advertisers going to the extent of setting up campaigns that target their competitors.

If you are okay with bidding on your competitors, why stop there?

It’s not often that they follow up and continue engaging with those users that have clicked on their ads.

Most of the time, competitor campaigns are judged by impression share or direct conversions.

But if you’ve started flirting with your competitor’s audience and they have shown interest, you should really make the effort to continue engaging with them.

Additionally, you can use RLSA (Remarketing Lists for Search Ads) in Google to target users that have been on your website but are now searching for your competitors. Try to stop them before it’s too late!

3. Using Sequential Messaging And Storytelling For Engagement

We often think of ad campaigns as a one-dimensional interaction.

Our target audience shows interest in our ads by clicking on them or engaging with them, and marketers consider the job done.

But what about developing a series of ads that are all linked to one another?

For example, you could have the first ad setting up the story.

A number of ads follow, either in a linear way (i.e. ad 2 follows ad 1, and it is then followed by ad 3, ad 4, etc) or with a few alternative follow-ups that keep the story open and engaging.

Although this would require some creative effort to set up the ads in a storytelling sequence, from an audience perspective it’s actually quite simple.

Segments can be created to feed on each other with the trigger being whether the user has clicked, seen, or engaged with the previous ads.

4. Broaden Your Strategy By Targeting Life Events

Use business knowledge and data to create new segments to target audiences based on life events.

While these are generally readily available for prospecting campaigns, you can create your own audience segments for your retargeting ads.

For example, removalists, storage, and utility companies are likely to want to target people that are actively looking to buy a property, since they could also be interested in their services.

Creating a new audience with the targeting criteria as per below will help reach out and engage with website visitors that are on the move.

demographics displayed on Google AnalyticsScreenshot from Google Analytics, January 2022

Why is this important?

Because knowing the why – the reason why someone is interested in our products or services – allows us to greatly refine our messaging strategy and personalize the user experience.

Continuing with our example, and assuming you run a storage company, you could retarget your in-market audience with a message like this:

setting up the story in adsImage created by author, January 2022

5. Contextual Retargeting

Continuing from the idea of retargeting users based on the moment they are in, something similar you can do is to create audiences based on social and demographic profiling.

For example, you could segment avid TikTok or Instagram users and retarget them based on the context they are in.

A higher education provider such as a University or College could create ads and campaigns that are triggered when their users are in a specific location or attending an event of public interest – when they are in the proximity of a campus or attending an Open Day, for example.

Here, the profiling and segmentation of our audience is key to the success of the ads as you must understand our target users and their expected behavior.

6. Retargeting Users That Have Run A Site Search But Not Transacted

An often underutilized resource, site search can be turned into a powerful way to gather valuable information about our website visitors, especially those that haven’t converted.

Going back to Google Analytics, you could create a new audience by selecting the following criteria to segment our audience.

First, you need to specify the conditions which will define our filter, so after going into Audience Builder you choose Conditions, and select Site Search Status equals to Visits With Site Search.

After that, you can add an additional condition and select AND Days Since Last Session is equal or less than 2, if you want to focus on retargeting warm leads.

For the last condition, you also add the AND operator and select Transactions (per user) are equal to 0.

Now you can save the filter and create the audience.

For a practical example, imagine being a florist in the business of selling online fresh flowers delivered locally and nationally.

It is sometimes impractical to have a website that can cover every possible flower type with a dedicated page, or at times availability could be scarce and the stock quickly sells out.

So it is common for users to use the site search.

In this case, you could retarget our new audience with display ads as soon as stock is back on sale, or offer an alternative arrangement.

7. Retargeting Our Most Valuable Audience Segments Through (Buying) Personas

The concept of personas has been around since the beginning of marketing.

But we often think about them as a complicated piece of work that requires a lot of time and effort to put together.

In reality, anyone with access to website analytics is likely to be able to at least create a simplified version of personas.

For example, in Google Analytics, it’s easy to identify the gender, age, location of our most valuable customers.

But not only that – you can see what device they use, the model and OS, when they are most likely to be active on our site, and much more – including what they are (broadly) interested in and even what they are looking to buy (in-market).

With that information, you can create audiences based on the same exact traits and specifically retarget them after they have visited our site.

The advantage is that you can create ads and campaigns that specifically talk to them and in the way that is most likely to resonate with them.

See How to Use Website Traffic Analysis for Persona Development to learn more.

Final Thoughts

For many years now, we’ve been told personalization is key in all things marketing.

With increasing channels, competition, and the difficult markets we may now find ourselves operating in, it is certainly important.

Retargeting is often be overlooked and underutilized but as we’ve discussed, it doesn’t have to be a complex undertaking.

You know your customers and no doubt have the information you need.

Investing a bit of time and using the points above, you can convert more of those warm leads with smarter segmentation for your retargeting campaigns.

Not only will you add incremental value but you will also engage more personally and successfully with your customers, creating better experiences with your brand.

And that’s a win.

More resources: 

Featured Image: mentalmind/Shutterstock

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Google Updating Cryptocurrency Advertising Policy For 2024




Google Updating Cryptocurrency Advertising Policy For 2024

Google published an announcement of upcoming changes to their cryptocurrency advertising policies and advises advertisers to make themselves aware of the changes and prepare to be in compliance with the new requirements.

The upcoming updates are to Google’s Cryptocurrencies and related products policy for the advertisement of Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts. The changes are set to take effect on January 29th, 2024.

Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts are financial products that enable investors to trade shares in trusts holding substantial amounts of digital currency. These trusts provide investors with equity in cryptocurrencies without having direct ownership. They are also an option for creating a more diversified portfolio.

The policy updates by Google that are coming in 2024 aim to describe the scope and requirements for the advertisement of Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts. Advertisers targeting the United States will be able to promote these products and services as long as they abide by specific policies outlined in the updated requirements and that they also obtain certification from Google.

The updated policy changes are not limited to the United States. They will apply globally to all accounts advertising Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts.

Google’s announcement also reminded advertisers of their obligation for compliance to local laws in the areas where the ads are targeted.

Google’s approach for violations of the new policy will be to first give a warning before imposing an account suspension.

Advertisers that fail to comply with the updated policy will receive a warning at least seven days before a potential account suspension. This time period provides advertisers with an opportunity to fix non-compliance issues and to get back into compliance with the revised guidelines.

Advertisers are encouraged to refer to Google’s documentation on “About restricted financial products certification.”

The deadline for the change in policy is January 29th, 2024. Cryptocurrency Coin Trusts advertisers will need to pay close attention to the updated policies in order to ensure compliance.

Read Google’s announcement:

Updates to Cryptocurrencies and related products policy (December 2023)

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SEO Trends You Can’t Ignore In 2024



SEO Trends You Can’t Ignore In 2024

Most SEO trends fade quickly. But some of them stick and deserve your attention.

Let’s explore what those are and how to take advantage of them.

If you give ChatGPT a title and ask it to write a blog post, it will—in seconds.

This is super impressive, but there are a couple of issues:

  • Everyone else using ChatGPT is creating the same content. It’s the same for users of other GPT-powered AI writing tools, too—which is basically all of them.
  • The content is extremely dull. Sure, you can ask ChatGPT to “make it more entertaining,” but it usually overcompensates and hands back a cringe version of the same boring content.

In the words of Gael Breton:

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t use AI to write entire articles. They’ll be boring as heck. Instead, use it as a creative sparring partner to help you write better content and automate monotonous tasks.

For example, you can ask ChatGPT To write an outline from a working title and a list of keywords (which you can pull from Ahrefs)—and it does a pretty decent job.


Create an outline for a post entitled “[working title]” based on these keywords: [list]


ChatGPT's outline for a blog post. Pretty good!ChatGPT's outline for a blog post. Pretty good!

When you’ve written your draft, you can ask to polish it in seconds by asking ChatGPT to proofread it.

ChatGPT proofreading my content and making it betterChatGPT proofreading my content and making it better

Then you can automate the boring stuff, like creating more enticing title tags…

ChatGPT writing enticing title tagsChatGPT writing enticing title tags

… and writing a meta description:

ChatGPT writing a meta descriptionChatGPT writing a meta description

If you notice a few months down the line that your content ranks well but hasn’t won the featured snippet, ChatGPT can help with that, too.

For example, Ahrefs tells us we rank in position 3 for “affiliate marketing” but don’t own the snippet.

Ahrefs showing featured snippets that we don't own, despite ranking in the top 3Ahrefs showing featured snippets that we don't own, despite ranking in the top 3

If we check Google, the snippet is a definition. Asking ChatGPT to simplify our definition may solve this problem.

ChatGPT rewriting a definition and making it betterChatGPT rewriting a definition and making it better

In short, there are a near-infinite number of ways to use ChatGPT (and other AI writing tools) to create better content. And all of them buck the trend of asking it to write boring, boilerplate articles from scratch.

Programmatic SEO refers to the creation of keyword-targeted pages in an automatic (or near automatic) way.

Nomadlist’s location pages are a perfect example:

Example of a page from NomadListExample of a page from NomadList

Each page focuses on a specific city and shares the same core information—internet speeds, cost, temperature, etc. All of this information is pulled programmatically from a database and the site gets an estimated 46k monthly search visits in total.

Estimated monthly search traffic to NomadListEstimated monthly search traffic to NomadList

Programmatic SEO is nothing new. It’s been around forever. It’s just the hot thing right now because AI tools like ChatGPT make it easier and more accessible than ever before.

The problem? As John Mueller pointed out on Twitter X, much of it is spam:

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t use programmatic SEO to publish insane amounts of spam that’ll probably get hit in the next Google update. Use it to scale valuable content that will stand the test of time.

For example, Wise’s currency conversion pages currently get an estimated 31.7M monthly search visits:

Estimated monthly search traffic to Wise's currently conversion pages (insane!)Estimated monthly search traffic to Wise's currently conversion pages (insane!)

This is because the content is actually useful. Each page features an interactive tool showing the live exchange rate for any amount…

The interactive currently conversion tool on Wise's pagesThe interactive currently conversion tool on Wise's pages

… the exchange rate over time…

The exchange rate over time graph on Wise's pagesThe exchange rate over time graph on Wise's pages

… a handy email notification option when the exchange rates exceed a certain amount…

The email notification option on Wise's pagesThe email notification option on Wise's pages

… handy conversion charts for popular amounts…

The handy conversion charts on Wise's pagesThe handy conversion charts on Wise's pages

… and a comparison of the cheapest ways to send money abroad in your chosen currency:

The useful comparison table on Wise's pagesThe useful comparison table on Wise's pages

It doesn’t matter that all of these pages use the same template. The data is exactly what you want to see when you search [currency 1] to [currency 2].

That’s probably why Wise ranks in the top 10 for over 66,000 of these keywords:

Wise's keyword rankings for currency conversion pagesWise's keyword rankings for currency conversion pages

Looking to take advantage of programmatic content in 2024 like Wise? Check out the guide below.

People love ChatGPT because it answers questions fast and succinctly, so it’s no surprise that generative AI is already making its way into search.

For example, if you ask Bing for a definition or how to do something basic, AI will generate an answer on the fly right there in the search results.

Bing's search results for "definition of mental health"Bing's search results for "definition of mental health"
Bing's search results for "how to add drop down list in google sheets"Bing's search results for "how to add drop down list in google sheets"

In other words, thanks to AI, users no longer have to click on a search result for answers to simple questions. It’s like featured snippets on steroids.

This might not be a huge deal right now, but when Google’s version of this (Search Generative Experience) comes out of beta, many websites will see clicks fall off a cliff.

How to take advantage of this SEO trend

Don’t invest too much in topics that generative AI can easily answer. You’ll only lose clicks like crazy to AI in the long run. Instead, start prioritizing topics that AI will struggle to answer.

How do you know which topics it will struggle to answer? Try asking ChatGPT. If it gives a good and concise answer, it’s clearly an easy question.

For example, there are hundreds of searches for how to calculate a percentage in Google Sheets every month in the US:

Estimated monthly search volume for "google sheets percentage formula" via Ahrefs' Keywords ExplorerEstimated monthly search volume for "google sheets percentage formula" via Ahrefs' Keywords Explorer

If you ask ChatGPT for the solution, it gives you a perfect answer in about fifty words.

ChatGPT's answer to the Google Sheets percentage calculation formulaChatGPT's answer to the Google Sheets percentage calculation formula

This is the perfect example of a topic where generative AI will remove the need to click on a search result for many.

That’s probably not going to be the case for a topic like this:

Example of a topic that AI shouldn't impact too muchExample of a topic that AI shouldn't impact too much

Sure. Generative AI might be able to tell you how to create a template—but it can’t make one for you. And even if it can in the future, it will never be a personal finance expert with experience. You’ll always have to click on a search result for a template created by that person.

These are the kinds of topics to prioritize in 2024 and beyond.


None of this means you should stop targeting “simple” topics altogether. You’ll always be able to get some traffic from them. My point is not to be obsessed with ranking for keywords whose days are numbered. Prioritize topics with long-term value instead.

Bonus: 3 SEO trends to ignore in 2024

Not all SEO trends move the needle. Here are just a few of those trends and why you should ignore them.

People are using voice search more than ever

In 2014, Google revealed that 41% of Americans use voice search daily. According to research by UpCity, that number was up to 50% as of 2022. I haven’t seen any data for 2023 yet, but I’d imagine it’s above 50%.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

75% of voice search results come from a page ranking in the top 3, and 40.7% come from a featured snippet. If you’re already optimizing for those things, there’s not much more you can do.

People are using visual search for shopping more than ever

In 2022, Insider Intelligence reported that 22% of US adults have shopped with visual search (Google Lens, Bing Visual Search, etc.). That number is up from just 15% in 2021.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

Much like voice search, there’s no real way to optimize for visual search. Sure, it helps to have good quality product images, optimized filenames and alt text, and product schema markup on your pages—but you should be doing this stuff anyway as it’s been a best practice since forever.

People are using Bing more than ever before

Bing’s Yusuf Mehdi announced in March 2023 that the search engine had surpassed 100M daily active users for the first time ever. This came just one month after the launch of AI-powered Bing.

Why you should ignore this SEO trend

Bing might be more popular than ever, but its market share still only stands at around ~3% according to estimates by Statcounter. Google’s market share stands at roughly 92%, so that’s the one you should be optimizing for.

Plus, it’s often the case that if you rank in Google, you also rank in Bing—so it really doesn’t deserve any focus.

Final thoughts

Keeping your finger on the pulse and taking advantage of trends makes sense, but don’t let them distract you from the boring stuff that’s always worked: find what people are searching for > create content about it > build backlinks > repeat.

Got questions? Ping me on Twitter X.

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Mozilla VPN Security Risks Discovered




Mozilla VPN Security Risks Discovered

Mozilla published the results of a recent third-party security audit of its VPN services as part of it’s commitment to user privacy and security. The survey revealed security issues which were presented to Mozilla to be addressed with fixes to ensure user privacy and security.

Many search marketers use VPNs during the course of their business especially when using a Wi-Fi connection in order to protect sensitive data, so the  trustworthiness of a VNP is essential.

Mozilla VPN

A Virtual Private Network (VPN), is a service that hides (encrypts) a user’s Internet traffic so that no third party (like an ISP) can snoop and see what sites a user is visiting.

VPNs also add a layer of security from malicious activities such as session hijacking which can give an attacker full access to the websites a user is visiting.

There is a high expectation from users that the VPN will protect their privacy when they are browsing on the Internet.

Mozilla thus employs the services of a third party to conduct a security audit to make sure their VPN is thoroughly locked down.

Security Risks Discovered

The audit revealed vulnerabilities of medium or higher severity, ranging from Denial of Service (DoS). risks to keychain access leaks (related to encryption) and the lack of access controls.

Cure53, the third party security firm, discovered and addressed several risks. Among the issues were potential VPN leaks to the vulnerability of a rogue extension that disabled the VPN.

The scope of the audit encompassed the following products:

  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for macOS
  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for Linux
  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for Windows
  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for iOS
  • Mozilla VPN Qt6 App for Androi

These are the risks identified by the security audit:

  • FVP-03-003: DoS via serialized intent
  • FVP-03-008: Keychain access level leaks WG private key to iCloud
  • VP-03-010: VPN leak via captive portal detection
  • FVP-03-011: Lack of local TCP server access controls
  • FVP-03-012: Rogue extension can disable VPN using mozillavpnnp (High)

The rogue extension issue was rated as high severity. Each risk was subsequently addressed by Mozilla.

Mozilla presented the results of the security audit as part of their commitment to transparency and to maintain the trust and security of their users. Conducting a third party security audit is a best practice for a VPN provider that helps assure that the VPN is trustworthy and reliable.

Read Mozilla’s announcement:
Mozilla VPN Security Audit 2023

Featured Image by Shutterstock/Meilun

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