Track Your Results
Tracking results means checking how well your ads have converted (clickthroughs), and how many of those who click through complete an action (subscribe or buy).
If you don’t track your results, you are sure to waste money. You can’t just set and forget your ads. To get your best return on investment (ROI), you must track your entire process.
AdWords has Conversion Tracking.
You can also use your traffic logs to look at the level of traffic on the sales landing pages you have created. Then check your email marketing platform, such as Aweber, to see how many new subscribers you get each day. Check your sales reports to see how many new orders you get each day.
Google Analytics (GA) can be used on any website to track your results. It gives an incredible amount of detail about your site. There are 2 features of this robust program that can help you with your conversion tracking. One is Goals and the other is Funnels.
With Goals, you are measuring a result, such as getting a subscriber. If they have landed on the Thank you page, you can assume they have completed the action.
With Funnels, you can track your results from one page to the next, such as your Landing page through to the Thank you page and perhaps a special product offer you would like to give them as a reward for becoming a subscriber.
You can access your free account through your free Gmail account, and click on the Conversions tab to get started with Goals and Funnels.
If you are not getting a good ROI, it’s time to check your campaign settings.
Refine Your Campaign Settings
Some settings might give you better clickthroughs. Check keywords, audience targeting in Facebook, location, language, and so on. Don’t try to be all things to all people at this point. Be very specific and focused on who you think is your ideal customer and what will be the best keyword, message and offer that will resonate with them.
With most niche marketing, it is better to have a narrow focus than a broad one. You are not trying to market to everyone, as they do in TV ads, (the scattershot approach), but rather, people you know are already interested in your products, services, and information. How do you know? Because of the keywords they use.
Set up different formats of ads in different groups because they need to be managed differently, such as search versus display ads. You might also wish to split out desktop versus mobile. And of course, make sure your landing pages are mobile friendly.
Check quality and relevance scores and follow any recommendations to improve them.
Check that you are only promoting one product per campaign and have only one call to action. Check your scheduling to make sure your ads are being shown at the right time of day for your target audience, especially if you have only a small budget. Don’t forget time zones. If you are targeting a country, like the UK and Ireland, and you are on the East Coast of the US, set the time 5 hours ahead of your own.
Once your ads are running, you will have an idea of how much of a budget you will need for the next 30 days. But before you get too carried away, it’s time to check to see if your ads are the best they can be. This means testing and optimizing.
Test and Optimize
Refining your campaign settings may help improve your results. Testing and optimizing should do so even more.
You have 2 main things to test:
- Your ads
- Your landing pages
Test your ads by using what is called split testing. Create 2 exact versions of the same ad. Then change one key element of the ad. The original ad will be A, and the new ad will be B. (It is also commonly referred to as A/B split testing.)
Rotate the ads evenly and see which comes out a winner. If it is A, create a version C to go head to head with it. If B is the winner, make it go head to head against your new C.
Things to test
- Image in Facebook-keep the wording the same, but change the photo
This process will take time, but you should find a clear winner, in which case your ad is optimized. Remember, even a single percentage point improvement in conversion rate can add up.
Split testing your landing pages is also possible. You can use the Google Experiments tool to compare two versions of the same letter. Again, you can test headline, wording, image, call to action and so on.
Make sure your landing page is 100% relevant to what your visitor is looking for. NEVER send them to your home page via an ad.
Test different offers. Test different phrasing for your call to action. Consider adding video to your sales landing page. These may sound like a lot of little tweaks, but they can all add up to a better return on your ad spending, with more subscribers, sales, and profits.
No matter what size of company, paid advertising can be a short cut to growth and success IF you know your numbers and watch your spending, clickthrough rate, and conversions in relation to subscribers and sales. It may seem like only pennies per click, or “only” $150 per month ($5 per day), but it is wasted money if you are getting clicks but no real results. Track your results!
Ads can drive massive traffic, so be patient with the learning curve involved, follow the suggested steps for each ad network you try, and you should soon see the results you need.
I’m author and online marketing strategist Connie Ragen Green. I work with entrepreneurs to create multiple streams of online income and would love to connect with you. Download my Online Entrepreneur’s Blueprint and get started right away.