You’ve probably heard that advertising on the web is cheaper than print, radio or television advertising. While this can be true, you can spend a lot of money on website promotions and not see any results. After all, the click-through rate for digital advertising is only .06 percent. Fortunately, there are some actions you can take to improve your conversion rates, get more clicks and make sure the traffic that does come to your site results in more sales.
Use Behavior Data to Increase Click-Throughs
More than 70 percent of marketers do not use behavioral data to target consumers. Just throwing an ad out there without first doing research into who your target audience is and how to reach them will not garner the results you want out of your ad campaign.
Instead, take into account information such as web analytics, cookies, browsing history, IP addresses and user personas to highly target who sees your ads and who doesn’t. This can result in not only a higher click-through rate, but assurance that those who do click on your ad will be exactly the type of person interested in your product or service.
Facebook utilizes this type of advertising. Have you noticed that when you go to Facebook, they advertise products to you that you recently searched for on another site? The reason is that they’re using your browsing history to figure out what you’re most interested in on a given day and then using those analytics to push ads to you on those topics.
Meet a Need or Show a Benefit
Imagine how many ads the average person sees and hears in a day. There are billboards, ads in magazines and newspapers, ads in the theater, on the radio and on TV. There are hundreds of ads on the websites a person visits each day. Our society is on advertising overload. In order to stand out from the crowd, you have to take the time to show the viewer how your product will help them. What need do you fill? What is the benefit?
Image Source: Dove.com
Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign is a good example of this method. They ask questions such as “wrinkled?”, “fit?”, “fat?” The idea is that they meet this need whatever situation you might face. What are the needs of your target demographic and how can you show them you meet those need?
Ask for Reviews
Ask your current customers to review your business online. When consumers read an online review, 88 percent of them believe it’s trustworthy. In fact, they trust those reviews as much as a personal referral from someone they know. This is a powerful bit of information for online advertisers.
You do want to have integrity and make sure that your reviews are authentic and from real customers, but there is no rule that you can’t send customers a follow-up email and ask for them to review your product or service if they’d like. If you’re doing a good job with customer service, then you’ll likely get good reviews.
A good example of the benefit of positive reviews can be seen on Amazon. Go to any book category and click on best sellers. You’ll note that the top sellers in any category have many more reviews than those books not on the bestseller list. There are many perks for hitting the best seller lists on Amazon, including the additional free advertising from your book’s placement at the top of the best sellers lists.
Image Source: Amazon.com
Depending upon what type of business you run, you can easily begin asking for more reviews and even incorporate some of the better ones into your marketing.
Add a Call to Action
Every ad that you put out on the Internet should include a call to action (CTA). This can be words or a button that encourages the viewer to take action. So, you might create a button that reads “Get 2 Weeks Free” for a free trial offer. There are many different types of CTAs.
For example, DropBox simply has a button that says “Sign up for Free”. Simple, to the point and calls the reader to sign up. The short form also makes it clear that the signup will be very fast and not time consuming, which is attractive to their target audience of small business owners and individuals who want to store files and share them with others.
You can easily add a call to action to any ad you put out. Simply figure out what action you want the reader to take and then try different words until you hit upon the combination that works best.
One of the most powerful online advertising tools at your disposal is your mailing list. If you’ve been gathering emails from your site visitors, then you have a list of people who are already interested in what you have to offer. This target audience is a powerhouse for you, so you should get them on your list by offering a free download, free trial, free newsletter, contests and other goodies to get them interested.
Then, you must engage them with unique content, such as an in depth article that addresses a problem they might have. You then can offer them additional services that fill that need. Paula’s Choice is a skincare company that does a good job with this. If you visit their website and sign up for their newsletter, they will send you occasional emails about certain skin problems and how one of their products helps with them.
You can take advantage of retargeting in the same way. Let your subscribers know about sales, problems you can solve, and new products.
Conduct A/B Split Testing
If you want to truly be successful with your online advertising efforts, you must conduct A/B testing to figure out what your target audience is responding to best. Try different layouts, different call to actions, and even different colors until you hit upon the combination that resonates with your readers.
Most mid-sized to large businesses use A/B testing to figure out what is most successful. Small tweaks can make a big difference in the overall conversions for a particular ad. Most social media sites let you change advertising midway in a campaign, so if one ad isn’t working well, you can mix things up.
Online advertising will likely continue to grow and become more and more important to business marketing. By focusing on some elemental features that make an ad stand out, you can have greater success than if you just throw stuff at the wall and hope something sticks.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.