While you try to come up with ideas to lift that .4% average clickthrough rate (that’s good, right?) from your display ads, you’re probably also feeling pressure from the folks responsible for converting that traffic.

Assuming by now that you’ve at least dipped your toes into retargeting, there are three important principles to keep in mind during your quest to attain the highest return on advertising spend possible. Simply put, everything boils down to reaching the right audience, on the right websites, with the right creative.

1. Audience
Don’t expect to move any additional budget to retargeting until you put as much focus as possible on building an audience that will see your offers. Your biggest barrier to success will be the size of the “cookie pool” of potential customers who will see your retargeting offers.

Retargeting will be a challenge as long as you rely solely on visitors clicking around product categories, brands, and product pages of your own website. Yes, your customers visit websites other than just yours.

Until the number of people who can see your offers gets a lot larger, retargeting will remain a relatively small part of your display budget and a substantial challenge. But, hopefully, that will change and more budget will move towards retargeting rather than spray-and-pray display advertising.

2. Websites
Whether you buy direct or participate in an ad network or ad exchanges, you should seek as broad a reach as possible. Retargeting is not any different. Besides costs, the websites that are part of a vendor’s retargeting network will be one of your biggest considerations (if not the biggest) when deciding with whom to work.

Fortunately, there’s a lot you can do once that network is in place. First, if you’re already working with affiliates, make sure they’re part of your retargeting network.

Your next step will be to send your visitors to as many of these websites as possible. Reference related and interesting content in your emails and in posts to your Facebook and Twitter pages. Not only will this make your retargeting campaigns more successful, but you’ll likely increase the size of your social networks as well.

Chris Mann, VP of Product Management at Bizo, suggests a balance of special offers to your site with anywhere from 60%-80% of posts driving people to websites in your ad network that publish relevant content, such as how-to articles or additional reviews.

3. Creative
Not unlike your email messages or affiliate offers, the creative you use in your retargeting efforts should be reinforced once someone gets to your website. You spend so much time, money, and effort trying to bring traffic to your website; your job doesn’t end there anymore. Focus on the conversion.

Whether your retargeting ads include offers around products or categories viewed during past visits, cart abandonment, or product recommendations, be sure to keep consumers on what online marketing expert Bryan Eisenberg refers to as the “scent trail,” ultimately connecting them to the product or information they need and want.

Although it may not happen overnight, you can impact conversions. Your first move should be to become the biggest advocate within your organization to end channel segregation and start working with the person or team managing PPC and search retargeting, as well as the people running your social networks. You’re no longer an inbound marketer. You have to become a conversion expert.