5 Tips for Getting the Most Out of Online Advertising

Competition for ad space is getting fierce on the online marketplace. Check out these tools to get the best advantage.
August 06, 2012

Online advertising is quickly becoming the main advertising platform for all businesses. A study by Pew estimates that income from digital advertising will increase by 40 percent between 2011 and 2015. Within the next four years, online advertising could soon overtake all other forms of promotion. 

Because of this trend, competition is getting fierce as the online marketplace begins to get overcrowded with ads. It is easy for small businesses to get lost in the crowd.

Whether you use Google AdWords, Facebook Ads, content marketing or a combination of everything, you need to make sure you are using them to your best advantage. This will get your business seen and allow you to save money in the process. 

Below are a handful of tips to help you get more from your online ads:

Use Google AdWords Features

There are a lot of features available when you are using Google AdWords, and there are probably a few that you are not aware of. One of the most beneficial features is ad site links. These let you add a few additional links to your website at the bottom of your ad. These links can say anything, like “Free Trial,” “Pricing,” “Locations,” etc.

Most of these features are free to include in your ad and simple to set up. Since adding these features will increase the size of your ads, you will see a boost in your click-through rates. A bigger ad catches the eye (just think of those ads we used to run in the phone book).

Define Your “Negative” Keywords

If you haven’t heard this term before, you’re probably scratching your head. Negative keywords are those that you do not want your ads to appear for. For instance, if you do not offer free trials, free software or free samples, then the last thing you want is for people to click on your ad in search of something free. That will just cost you money for zero return. That is why “free” should be included as one of your negative keywords.

I provide marketing consulting services but I wouldn’t want my ads to show up for a search on “marketing consulting jobs”, so jobs might be a good candidate for my negative keyword list.

Look through your current analytics detail to help find negative keywords and spend some time using the free Google Keyword Tool or the free Negative Keyword Tool from Wordstream.

Be Clear About Your Facebook Ad Targets

The more targeted your ads, the more effective they are going to be. When you are creating your Facebook ads, you get to choose your targeting options—either broad categories or precise interest. 

Broad categories will get you a larger audience, but not a specific one. You can choose one of the predetermined categories that fit with your audience in a general way, like “baseball fans” or “single moms.”

Precise interest categories are broken down even further to help you capture a smaller, but more specific audience. These categories come from Facebook profiles and activities.

Attach Images to Your Facebook Calls to Action

The fact will always remain that images draw the most attention. When you need to get people to follow through on a call-to-action, ad an image to it. Right now, the images you can attach are 100 x 72 pixels, so take full advantage of them. Do some testing to see which images get the most response. Typically, when the image includes a person, it performs better than just a brand logo.

Consider Retargeting

Retargeting, or what Google calls Remarketing, is a feature that lets you reach people who have previously visited your site, and show them relevant ads when they visit other sites on a particular ad network or in the case of Google, the Google Display Network.

Many businesses choose to pass over the option of remarketing when they set up their Google AdWords account. With this feature, any time someone visits your site, they will be added to a list for retargeting. Once they leave your page for another that is also on the Display Network, then your business’s ads will appear on those other sites. This is a way to keep your name in front of prospects even after they exit your page.

Whatever method of online advertising you choose, remember that it is important to maintain a focus on quality content. You don’t want to be a pushy salesperson, constantly thrusting your products and services into the faces of your prospects. The right content can win over customers quickly, so always aim for quality over quantity in your advertisements. 

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.