To optimize your ads, make sure you aren’t making the common mistakes that have derailed so many businesses’ online marketing efforts. Common pay-per-click (PPC) advertising mistakes that are costing you sales and conversion PPC advertising is a quick way to promote your brand, products, or services to a targeted audience. Your visitors aren’t likely to take the time to search all over your website for the product or offer in your ad. Not testing your landing page If your landing page isn’t generating the conversion you want, it doesn’t matter how well you target your ad or how good the ad copy is. You can put more money behind competitive keywords or audiences for your Facebook and AdWords campaigns while testing out other options. If you don’t pay attention to them, you risk making the same mistakes, and then you’ll wonder where your ad money has gone. By clearly defining your objective, you can create the right message, advertise the right content or products, and track the right actions. If you’re using text in your image, make it “thumb-stopping” to capture users’ attention. Not optimizing your image size If you don’t follow Facebook’s recommended image sizes for the campaign’s objective, your ad may not be shown in all the different formats. Keep in mind that Facebook users don’t get onto the platform to see ads.
Many people think pay-per-click ads are the magic bullet for getting website visitors and making sales.
I wish that were true. It’d make our lives a whole lot easier.
Alas, we can’t climb into the way-back-when machine and go back to when the Internet was young, users were less jaded, and the competition wasn’t stiff.
In today’s marketing landscape, simply throwing a bucket of ad dollars at a couple of platforms can no longer guarantee traffic or conversion.
With more advertising platforms and more sophisticated technologies come more pitfalls.
If you aren’t optimizing your ads for the specific distribution platforms, you won’t get the most out of your ad budget.
In fact, lack of strategy or poor creative can result in lost revenues, PR disasters, or customers ignoring your brand and tuning out your message.
Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom.
Online advertising isn’t a “money black hole” as some people portray it to be.
When done right, it can be very effective — especially for reaching customers seeking a specific product or for new websites that haven’t built up the SEO juice to rank high in organic searches.
To optimize your ads, make sure you aren’t making the common mistakes that have derailed so many businesses’ online marketing efforts.
Common pay-per-click (PPC) advertising mistakes that are costing you sales and conversion
PPC advertising is a quick way to promote your brand, products, or services to a targeted audience.
The fundamental idea of PPC is quite simple: you identify keywords or phrases and link them to a series of ads.
Search engine advertising is the most common way of running PPC campaigns in which ads are displayed on search engine results pages (SERPs).
In addition, you can place PPC ads on blogs and other websites in the form of contextual or in-text ads.
However, the use of the many PPC platforms and the various ways campaigns are set up are quite complex.
Navigating all the options of features and functions can be overwhelming. One wrong click of a button and you could send your campaign down the wrong path.
To get the most out of your PPC ads, here are some pitfalls to avoid:
Not investing in strategies and plans
If you dive headlong into buying ads without a sound strategy that maps to your business objectives, you’re just throwing spaghetti at the wall and hoping something will stick.
Your strategy should inform how you differentiate your products from the competition, segment your audience, allocate your budget, define your key performance metrics (KPIs) and design your mix of marketing tactics.
Not using a landing page
If you’re advertising a specific product or offer only to send visitors back to a generic homepage, you aren’t making the most of your advertising dollars.
Your visitors aren’t likely to take the time to search all over your website for the product or offer in your ad. Instead, they’ll just leave.
To increase your conversion rate, you need to ensure message-offer match by using a dedicated landing page.
A landing page has one objective: to get a conversion.
In order to get a conversion, you need to deliver a coherent user experience. Simply put, the landing page content should be a continuation of the messaging on your ad.
There should be one clear call to action (CTA) on your landing page that is designed to support your business objective.
If you want to learn more about landing page best practices, check out this infographic.
Not testing your landing page
If your landing page isn’t generating the conversion you want, it doesn’t matter how well you target your ad or how good the ad copy is.
Split testing is the best way to find out what works and what doesn’t in the real world.
While there are many elements you can test on your landing pages, make sure to test only one variable at a time.
Be patient with your A/B testing.
Besides allowing enough time to gather a statistically significant sample size, you also need to run the test for at least a week to capture the fluctuation in traffic.
Putting all your eggs in one basket
Start with a couple of solid strategies, such as Facebook ads and Google Adwords, but don’t limit yourself to the “usual suspects.”
There are many online advertising platforms, so branch out to identify the ones that are most effective for your business model, type of products, and audience segments.
In addition, you can explore buying ads on email newsletters if you have a well-defined audience and know exactly what newsletters they subscribe to.
Just like any form of advertising, you need multiple exposures to build awareness and familiarity.
Buying one send will unlikely generate the results you want. Plan on developing a relationship with a few newsletter owners to gain consistent exposure to their subscribers.
Not buying ads from publishers
Most people only think of buying ads on major ad networks like Google AdWords or Facebook ads.
However, if you have a very targeted audience and know that they frequent a particular website, then buying ads directly from the publisher is likely the way to go.
In the past, buying directly from publishers could be a manual process that took time and effort.
Now it’s getting easier as more publishers are using self-service systems.
In addition, you can use online ad marketplaces such as BuySellAds, Blogads, and Federated Media to further simplify the process.
Strategy and budget mismatch
If you have a small budget (maybe $100/month), you need to focus on one or two platforms to maximize the impact of your ads.
Facebook and AdWords will likely be your best bet. Be diligent when selecting the keywords and audience so you can stretch your ad dollars.
For example, you can try targeting audience or keywords that are unique and less competitive.
If you have a larger budget (maybe $20,000/month), then your strategy could be completely different.
You can put more money behind competitive keywords or audiences for your Facebook and AdWords campaigns while testing out other options.
You can also scale up your campaigns or experiment with some niche platforms.
Not using remarketing/retargeting
Remarketing is a great way to avoid paying for low-quality traffic by showing your ads to people who have already visited your site.
The audience will satisfy certain criteria such as product page visited, time on site, number of pages visited, demographic information, or geographic location.
The visitors that come through retargeting ads are likely to be “warm” leads, so you can be more aggressive when promoting a specific product or discount.
Many people are missing out on video remarketing using Google AdWords.
It allows you to target people who have…