It’s an age-old question: How do I get more traffic to my website? In decades past, marketing strategies centered around getting foot traffic into a brick and mortar store, or more eyeballs on a billboard. An effective marketing campaign in 2014 must include a combination approach to increasing traffic. In past blogs, we’ve already focused on using SEO and social media. Future articles will explore email marketing and traditional advertising.
Today, we’ll cover the basics of using online ads.
What are online ads?
Online ads are, very simply, ads that appear on the internet. They include banner ads, affiliate marketing where ads appear on affiliate sites, and you can also buy ads on search engine results pages. Like traditional ads, online ad success depends on selectively showcasing your ad to the right demographics, and carefully crafting alluring ad copy and design.
How do online ads work?
Online ads pop up according to what the internet knows about users. As a user, whenever you visit websites over the course of a day, a month, a year, data is stored, including factors like your gender, age, and other sites you visit. Depending on this information, the ad program on any given site will display an ad that it thinks you’re interested in, or one that matches your data.
Every internet user has a digital profile, or a bank of transactions or keywords based on web usage. Websites, in turn, use this information to get an advertising impression return that’s likely to prompt a response from you. Namely, the ad should get you to, at the least, click through to the website, and ideally, buy a product or service.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you visit website like eBay and Amazon in search of clothing. On a subsequent visit to a search engine or other website that features ads, you may get an online ad for a specific clothing company, like The Gap or Levi’s. The ads you see are based on your usage history.
The Google Display Network is one of the most common tools businesses can use to start an online ad campaign. It’s free to use, and you can pay only for ads when a user clicks on it, thus making it a low-risk, low-cost way to engage in an online ad campaign.
Further, AdWords campaigns are easy to tweak, or split-test. Develop campaign A with compelling, succinct copy and a catchy design. Measure and analyze its performance over a few weeks. Then, develop campaign B that features a few distinct changes over campaign A, and let it run concurrently. See which one performs better, and continue to tweak the campaign until you find an online ad that gets great results.
Watch for the next articles in the series, “How do I get more traffic to my website,” where you can learn more about the steps it takes to develop an effective, comprehensive approach to drawing more traffic to your site. An online ad campaign in place that addresses SEO, social media, online ads, email marketing, and traditional advertising, you’ll give traffic a jumpstart.