How exactly does online advertising work?
The majority of our work is usually PPC (pay per click) based. This is where advertisers place an ad with the major search engines (Google, Yahoo and MSN) and pay [up to] a certain amount per click.
Next they outline a list of keywords that might be prospective customers’ search terms, so that when someone comes to the search engine, and types in one of these keywords, the search results show a list of relevant sites to visit. Search engines usually have a mixture of both free and paid results that show up, targeted to the search term the user has entered.
The advertiser can then direct the traffic to wherever they want it to go – it could be to their main website, or a specific landing page setup for the traffic.
What’s so good about online advertising?
The best thing about online advertising is its tracking capabilities. With online advertising, we have the ability to track every single click, and every single user to see if they ended up becoming customers. It is even possible to track how much that customer is worth to your business. With such data, you can then refine your campaigns, cease advertising to the types of traffic that don’t convert, and increase your budget to those that do, greatly limiting your expenses while increasing results.
What is the best online advertising model?
It really depends on your type of campaign or product. PPC is probably the most effective. There is also CPM (cost per thousand impressions), which is used more for graphical banners and advertising. Both can work well, it’s just a matter of getting the targeting right and refining the campaigns as you go.
Is online advertising right for all organisations?
Yes and no. I believe most organisations could benefit from online advertising, although depending on the type of business the model will be different.
For example, a company selling timber floor installation will use a completely different online approach to a local fish and chip shop. But both can definitely benefit from an online marketing campaign.
What should organisations think about before embarking on an online campaign?
Their desired outcome: what do they want their visitors to do? Buy a product? Enter a draw? Subscribe to a newsletter? Once you have established what action you want your visitors to take, then you can design your website around that action for the best results.
What makes a good online advertisement?
Again, it differs depending on the market and medium that you are using. With PPC, the best ads are the ones that offer something of value: not just a ‘Here we are, come visit us’ type of ad, but more of a direct approach. A ‘Click here for this reason’ sort of ad works best.
What makes a bad online advertisement?
General, non-specific ads. You need to remember that most people will see your ad alongside at least 20 other ads and links, so you need to stand out. An ad that offers no real benefit over the others will have an extremely low CTR (click-through rate), and not get much traffic at all.
What is the most common mistake you see?
No clear outcome. So many people just send traffic to their main website (homepage) and expect people to find their way from there. The best way to advertise online is to set up a separate landing page on your website that has a direct call to action for the visitor to take.
Another mistake I see a lot is the expectation that people will hand over their money on their first visit to your site. Advertisers are much better off trying to get their traffic to subscribe to a list or newsletter or something, so that they can start to build a relationship with website visitors, and then ask them for the sale (or donation) once there has been some level of trust established.
What online advertising results should organisations see?
Unfortunately most organisations that advertise online don’t understand the concepts outlined above, and most don’t see any return at all from their online advertising. This is a shame in my opinion because if it’s done properly, online advertising can transform companies and organisations like nothing else can.
I have several clients who I have taken on after they have spent thousands, sometimes tens of thousands of dollars on marketing with nothing to show for it. Then once we take them on and explain what they should be doing and put all the pieces of the puzzle together, it’s common for them to see 10 to 50 times greater traffic and desired actions in terms of subscribers, or direct product sales.
More advice, tips and tricks on web advertising can be found at Brock’s website www.webvertise.com.au