You might not be familiar with the term ‘retargeting’, but you probably have experienced it.

Say you were researching cordless drills online, then next time you visit Facebook or Instagram, suddenly you’re seeing posts from the same stores.

It happens all the time right?  It’s not someone from Facebook spying on you; it’s something known as retargeting, and it just might work for your trade business too…

In this guide we’ll look at retargeting as a form of online marketing for tradies.

What is Retargeting?

Retargeting is a form of online marketing that gets your brand or message back in front of people who have already visited your website.

So it’s not targeting people who’ve never heard of you, it’s retargeting people who have heard of you.

The idea behind it is that very few people will make a purchase decision, or even get in touch with you on the first website visit, so you want to get back in front of them before they forget you.

Picture this…  You’re an electrician, and someone managed to find your website when they were considering having their home rewired.  Your website was one of ten electrician sites they looked at that day.

Over the coming days the idea becomes less of a priority and they move on to other things.  Then suddenly they see your logo whilst scrolling through Facebook.

It might not prompt them into action, but it brings back thoughts of rewiring, and they’re associating that with your brand.

The same thing might happen a few times over the coming days and weeks until they finally decide to take the next step and make some enquiries.

If you’re the only electrical business that was clever enough to use retargeting, who do you think that client will be getting in touch with first?

You of course!

How Does it Work?

Retargeting works by placing a small piece of code on your website which collects a ‘cookie’ from the website visitor.

That cookie is then used by advertising providers, such as Facebook and Google, to show your ads to those same visitors.

Placing a snippet of code on your website might sound very nerdy and daunting, but it’s actually very easy if your website uses a popular platform such as Wordpress.

How Much Does It Cost?

The costs of any form of online advertising (especially with Google and Facebook) will vary hugely depending on the level of competition from similar advertisers.

Sadly for us at Trade Risk, insurance is extremely competitive when it comes to online marketing so our costs are very high.

But for an electrical or carpentry business, there is not that same level of online competition, so the cost will generally be far lower.

Either way, retargeting will generally be far less expensive than other forms of online marketing.

Setup costs will depend on your ability to DIY.  If you can set it up yourself (which is entirely possible) the only setup cost will be your own time.

If your time is better spent ‘on the tools’ then you might be better to pay someone to set it up for you.  Given our experience in this area, it might be something Trade Risk offers in the future…

Ongoing costs will depend on how frequently you wish to display your ads, and which networks you choose to advertise on.

The costs are fairly low regardless, and a budget of just $50 a month will see your ads getting plenty of love.  The more you spend, the more your ads will be seen.

How Do I Get Started?

First up you need to sign up for an advertising account.  The two main options are Google and Facebook.

Retargeting with Google runs through the Google Ads system.  We recently put together a guide on Google Ads for Tradies which is worth checking out.

Here are some more links to help you get started:


Google Ads (official page)

Hubspot: How to Use Google AdWords: A Simple Setup Tutorial

Facebook (includes Instagram):

Facebook Business (official page)

Facebook Business – Pixel

Hubspot: Simple Step-by-Step Instructions for Setting Up a Facebook Ad Campaign

Once you have an account setup, you need to place the relevant code on your website to start tracking your visitors.  There are separate pieces of code for both Google and Facebook, and the Facebook code also works for Instagram.

You then set your daily budget, go through a few targeting options and let your campaign fly!

Once the campaign is up and running it’s important to track how it’s going.  For a trade business you might want to track how many people are clicking on your contact page, or how many are actually completing the contact form.

This will give you a good idea of whether or not your returning visitors are actually taking some action and making the whole thing worthwhile.

Is It Worthwhile?

For our insurance business the answer is not a definite yes, but certainly a probable yes.  And the cost is low enough that it’s worth the punt.

Whether or not it will be worthwhile for a trade business is unknown to us, but given the even lower costs, we’d think it’s definitely worth a punt.

And when you think through the example we gave for the electrician, and think how a similar scenario would play out for almost any other trade business, we’d be surprised if it didn’t work.

At Trade Risk we do all our online marketing in-house.  Whilst we don’t currently offer such services to other businesses, it is something we are considering in 2019.

Because we currently do it all in-house we don’t have anyone else we can recommend, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find online marketing businesses keen to compete for your money.

Hang On, What About Remarketing?

Remarketing and retargeting are terms that are often used interchangeably, but they are different.

Retargeting is what we’ve described above, which generally utilises an ad network (such as Google or Facebook) to show ads to people who have already visited your website.

Remarketing on the other hand typically involves email marketing.  For example a user has left their email address when requesting a quote or more information, and you use a system to email those users at a later date.

If you can combine retargeting with remarketing, you’ll give your trade business an even better chance of scoring new and repeat clients!

Tradie Marketing Guide - Retargeting