Organic Remarketing is a term I coined to describe an added and potentially overlooked organic benefit in Google Search results from using Adwords advertising. It seems that the term is indeed something new since a Google search on “Organic Remarketing” yields no exact matches. Additionally, the concept involved does not seem to have ever sparked much discussion on the web which is interesting considering that it is a definite advantage in terms of customer acquisition and keeping prospects in your sales funnel.
It is common knowledge that Google Search collects and stores information about users’ browsing habits in order to enhance the user experience for individuals. This has been the case for a number of years and is just one more component of the complex process that the Google search engine uses when finding the best answers to each query made. In the image to the left you see a screen shot that describes the kind of data that Google collects and stores for you in your Web History. The type of data that is pertinent to this story is; “Ads you respond to by clicking the ad itself or completing a transaction on the advertiser’s site”
This data is what Google Adwords uses when an advertiser is running a Remarketing campaign on Adwords. After someone visits an advertiser’s website Google can show that person the Advertiser’s ads for up to 30 days on all of the sites that are part of the Google Display Network. This is a great way to keep previous visitors to your site aware of your business and in your marketing funnel. It seems to me as though there may be a similar benefit to be had in organic searches as well.
The fact that the websites that you visit play a role in your future search results (if you are signed into Google accounts while browsing) is established as I said. To illustrate this I did two screen shots (below). In the first I searched for the term Log Home without being signed into the search engine or a Google account within the browser and with my previous browsing history deleted. My location was set in search to USA to give the most broad based set of results possible for the term.
In the second image I was signed into the Chrome browser with my normal Google account and my browser history was left in place. This is important because I have been doing quite a few searches for log home related items in the last month. I have done organic searches and visited sites via Adwords ads. One site that I have visited more than once through both types of links is Timberhaven Log Homes and in these images you can see the result of these visits in my organic search results. In other words, it is an example of Organic Remarketing.
On the left side of the image you see the results from a search done on the term Log Homes without being logged into the search engine and after having erased my browser history. Timberhaven Log Homes does show up on the first page of Google search (A). Four other log home companies also show up in these search results and in this case they are above Timberhaven.
While having your company show up on the first page of search results nationally in this kind of search is great all by itself, in the second half of the image (right side) it gets even better. In this case I was signed into the browser and my browsing history was intact. As you see Timberhaven came up again along with a Google+ post from the Timberhaven Google+ account (C) because I followed them on Google+.
In addition, a result came up in the second search that did not appear in the first search and it ranked highly. The Log Home Design Center (B) is another site that is owned by Timberhaven Log Homes but is on a separate domain. That site came up because I had previously visited it. At the bottom of search results for previously visited pages there may be a small note telling you when you last visited the page.
The overall effect is that three of the four other log home companies that appeared in the first search do not even appear in the second set of search results in order to make room for the sites from my own web history. They have been replaced by listings associated with Timberhaven log homes. As a business the benefit of Organic Remarketing is obvious at this point. It effectively keeps you front and center in search results of those people who have previously visited your website and as a result can potentially block competitor’s searches from showing up. The effect can be had from Google+ as well as general search so I included both in this article.
The only requirement is that the person has to have visited your site before. Does a visit to your site via someone clicking on your Adwords ad count as a visit in this respect though? It is true that Google Search does not count traffic volume from Advertising as a ranking factor in Google organic search results but that is different. That is the general ranking of the site in search results on the web no matter who is doing the search or whether or not they are signed into the search engine. In the case of the example in this story I am talking about the personalized search results seen only by the person who has visited your site before and is signed into Google while doing the search.
I have not found a reliable answer to this question yet either from contacts at Google or via search. But I have not had anyone tell me it was not so either so it seems as though this may be a somewhat ignored part of marketing on the web. Therefore I do think that the concept of Organic Remarketing does deserve some serious consideration. After all, why should visitors to your site who have gotten there via clicking on one of your Adwords ads not be the just as interested in seeing your site turn up in organic search results for them as someone who visited your site through a link on another website or in an email or even by your URL directly into their browser from your business card or a newspaper ad? In all cases they did the same thing; they visited your website.
There is at least one instance in which this definitely does work in a slightly modified way. People who follow your business or personal profile on Google+ (those who circle you) are likely to see your Google+ posts show up in their search results when signed into Google and doing a search on a term related to your or your business such as products and services, example in image above, right side results (C).
In the case of Google+ there is not any restriction on the source that the people who follow you come from. Whether by a direct link, a referral or Adwords the result is the same. If they follow you then they will probably get to see your posts in a preferred location in search results. Of course that does require a second action on the part of someone other than just visiting your website. They have to decide to subscribe to your Google+ profile. However there is nothing wrong with asking people to do just that on the landing pages that you create for your Adwords campaigns (example below).
If you keep the concept of Organic Remarketing in mind it can help you create more effective content on your website/blog and on Google+. If you assume that at least part of the people who visit your site as a returning visitor are coming from organic search results on a related term who may have visited your site before then you can craft your Google+ posts to include keywords that will appeal to that demographic which will help bring them back to your site again much in the same way that you do when creating content to bring people to your site for the first time. It is all part of ongoing SEO and creating content that is optimized for search is already (hopefully) part of your ongoing marketing strategy on the web.