5 Tips To Optimize Online Advertising
But just because buying ads is usually better, doesn't mean that you can throw something up on Google's Adword's network and hope for the best. You have to optimize your online advertising so you don't blow your cash on worthless leads. Here's how to do that.
Make a Plan
This should be obvious, but most people are too lazy to do it. Figure out what you need to be profitable. If you need to make $3,000 per month, or $7,000 per month, it doesn't matter. What does matter is that you have this written down. Now, figure out what you expect to pay for advertising. Will you do PPC, CPV, media buys or something else? Each one has it's own quirks and typical response rates.
For example, banner ads are notoriously low in terms of response, so you have to figure about .04 percent as a CTR. PPC is a bit higher, but it's wickedly expensive. Even then, different platforms have different response rate norms. Google is higher than Facebook, for example, but Facebook user tend to engage you more (if your ad is well-targeted) than random users on Google.
Next, estimate your sales ratio. Can you realistically convert 3 percent of your target audience? 2 percent? 7 percent? Knowing this lets you make a budget plan for ad spend.
Now, work backwards. If you need to make $3,000 per month, your product sells for $20, then you need to make 150 sales. If your conversion rate is 3 percent, then you need to get your message in front of 5,000 people every month. It wouldn't hurt to build in a buffer. Let's say you figure high - 10,000 targeted visitors per month. That's actually not too difficult to achieve.
Analyze your market. Don't underestimate the value of research. Sites like AdGooRoo have this already figured out for you. It's expensive, but not as expensive as 5 years of wasted effort. You need some way to dig into your competition's ads to see what's working for them.
If you just don't have the money to spend on sophisticated intelligence software, you can always hop online and sift through ads in your industry. Look through Google ads, Microsoft Adcenter ads, Facebook ads, LinkedIn ads, and any other network you can think of. Make sure you're looking at ads in search results related to your niche. Keep refreshing the page and see what ads come up throughout the day. Track the ads that keep appearing over and over again for several weeks. Chances are good that if you see the same ad over and over for more than a week, it's because it's pulling in a high CTR. Now you can borrow that headline and save yourself a lot of guesswork.
Use Smaller Ad Networks
You don't have to chase the big players in your industry by competing against them in major ad platforms. In fact, this is often a huge mistake because your competitors chronically overpay for ad space just to get the #1 spot in their niche. Instead, consider media buys, CPV or CPM networks where the cost per impression will be lower than the equivalent "per click" cost of the bigger networks. You don't really care where your traffic comes from as long as the users are responsive and targeted.
Watch Your Spend
Don't let your ad spend get away from you. It's easy to blow $1,000 on advertising running a split test. Keep your tests small, under $200 if possible. Once you're sure an ad is working, roll it out and increase your ad budget. You want to see strong conversions before you commit to anything.
Sometimes, your problem isn't traffic. It's conversion. A higher conversion rate on your landing page can make up for a low CTR from a banner ad. If you're only getting a 10 percent conversion (sign up) rate for your email list, you're doing something wrong. Keep tweaking the landing page until you get 70 percent or better.
Image credit: © spiral media - Fotolia.com