When we think of pain points as advertisers, it’s usually in reference to our customers. These are customer pain points that involve needing something faster, better, easier, more efficient. But everybody’s somebody’s customer, which means we have pain points too.
And if we can’t overcome our own advertising pain points, we can’t effectively help our customers overcome their pain points. So, what are some common advertising pain points, and how do we overcome them?
Common advertising pain points and how to overcome them
Advertisers of all disciplines encounter pain points daily. From driving clicks to describing products and generating conversions, roadblocks present themselves at every stage of the customer journey. Here are some you’re likely to encounter along the way.
Problem: My paid search ad isn’t appearing on page one of Google
If you’re experiencing this issue, you’re in the company of most advertisers bidding on competitive terms. It’s tough to reach the coveted page one spot for profitable keywords. If you’re not where you’d like to be, there are a few things you can do.
- Raise your bid. In a blog post for Disruptive Advertising, Blake Larson says:
Bids are probably the fastest and easiest way to get your ads to the first page of Google. It might be expensive, but knowing how much you have to pay for a keyword to be on the first page is valuable to know. Knowing how much a keyword will cost you to perform can tell you if it is worth targeting or whether you need to try something that costs less.
Keep in mind, Google has admitted that these numbers aren’t always entirely accurate. Take them for what they are — an estimate — and base your bidding strategy accordingly.
- Improve your quality score: According to Google, your Ad Rank is greatly impacted by your ad relevance and landing page experience:
The quality of your ads and landing page – AdWords also looks at how relevant and useful your ad and the website it links to are to the person who’ll see it.
That assessment is summed up in a Quality Score, which you can see in your AdWords account. But because increasing your Quality Score doesn’t necessarily result in a better Ad Rank, many advertisers have argued its importance.
However, if you improve all the things that Google claims are wrong with your ad, then your odds of moving up in Ad Rank improve. Are you guaranteed a spot somewhere higher? No. There are lots that impact where your ad is placed in a search, including things like time of day, the location of the searcher, etc. But improving quality score most likely won’t hurt.
If you need additional evidence, check the Instapage blog, Jacob Baadsgaard of Disruptive Advertising found a correlation between Quality Score and cost per conversion:
Data gathered from 2,000 AdWords accounts seems to show that the better the Quality Score, the lower the cost per conversion.
So, how does one improve Quality Score? From Google, here’s what’s taken into account:
- Expected Click-Through Rate (CTR): How likely is someone to click your ad when Google serves it for the keyword they type in?
- Ad Relevance: Does the ad make sense to appear when someone searches for a particular keyword?
- Landing Page Experience: Does the information on the landing page correspond to what the ad is offering, and vice versa?
To learn more about Quality Score, read the rest of Jacob’s post here.
Problem: My ad click-through rate is low
If your ad click-through rate is low, the cause is likely one of two culprits;
- Traffic quality: More impressions are only positive if they’re the right impressions. As in, you could be targeting the wrong people, times, locations, keywords. You could also be the victim of a spam network, which publishes your ads on poor quality pages which visitors are tricked into clicking.
- Ad creative: How compelling is your ad? How eye-catching is it? Have you quickly and clearly conveyed the benefit of claiming your offer? If you’re creating a paid search ad, consider using AdWords extensions to make your creative more clickable. If you’re creating a display ad, consider using motion or color to get the ad to “pop” from a neutrally colored background, which is what most websites use. Take some inspiration from these creative ad examples and these skyscraper ads.
Problem: My campaign conversion rate is below average
Nobody likes being below average, and the label is only half of it. Below average conversion rates usually translate to missed objectives and poor outcomes. If people are clicking on your ad, but your conversion rate is low, what could be the issue?
If session time is low, the issue is likely message match. This is the process of meeting the expectation set in the ad on the landing page. If your ad makes mention of a discount on a magazine subscription, your landing page should convey that. The headline should match, and images, colors too — your prospect shouldn’t question whether they’re in the right place. Here’s an example from the Wall Street Journal:
If session time is normal, it could be because your landing page doesn’t use the anatomy of a perfect landing page. It should feature a compelling headline, engaging media, a short form, and more. Even seemingly small issues, like strangely shaped CTA buttons or misspelled words can turn your visitors off from converting.
Problem: My landing page conversion rate is high, but we’re still not hitting revenue goals
This is a commonly confusing campaign optimization issue. You have a high conversion rate compared to past campaigns, but you’re still not meeting revenue goals.
This has less to do with your errors and more on a little bias that the digital marketing industry has spun in our heads. You see, marketers have been taught to improve metrics: click-through rate, page depth, bounce rate, conversion rate, etc.
And what happens is we get so busy optimizing them that we forget those metrics have to translate to dollars earned. So, having a high conversion rate is only great if it’s generating ROI. If it’s not, you might try what Server Density did by optimizing the conversion itself (the packaging and pricing of the product) instead of conversion rate. The result was fewer conversions, but much more revenue.
Problem: Our A/B tests are only bringing small lifts
This is a non-problem disguised as a problem. Unfortunately, the most widely circulated blog posts about A/B testing discuss MASSIVE lifts of hundreds upon hundreds of percentage points. However, MOST A/B tests will not have this effect.
In fact, even the ones that look like they’re producing a big lift don’t end up producing a big lift in the end (for the same reason your conversion rate will even out over time). Those giant lifts will end up regressing back toward the mean. Don’t get caught chasing the White Whale of conversion rate lifts. You won’t catch it, but you will waste your time and resources.:
Problem: My landing page conversion rate is falling rapidly
This is a frustrating situation for all advertisers: You work hard to drive clicks to your landing page, and things look good at first. Visitors are converting one after the other. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, conversion rates begin to plummet. Here’s what could be to blame:
- Regression to the mean. This is a fancy way of saying things even out over time. Coin flips, dice rolls, even landing page conversion rates will move toward the average eventually. That means it’s unlikely that a 50% conversion rate after the first 100 visitors will carry through the next hundred, thousand, ten thousand visits. At some point, your conversion rate will move toward industry averages.
- A problem with your campaign. User error is almost always a factor in every campaign. Ads and their groups are turned on and off and edits are made to pages, links are changed too. These are just a few places a user can accidentally alter a part of the campaign that resulted in a drop in conversion rate.
- An issue with your tools. It’s always possible the instrumentation effect is to blame here. Software is not perfect, servers go down. Double-check that everything is running the way it was when you triple-checked it after campaign launch.
Problem: There are too many different ad types to keep up with across major platforms
Facebook Live, Twitter Sponsored, Instagram Stories, Google skyscraper, YouTube preroll — the list goes longer than our word count limit. But that doesn’t change the fact that you have to learn all the different design specifications of each platform’s ad types to create content people want to click.
Instead of what used to be a laborious process of filing through every platform’s support articles, now there’s the Instapage Ad Specs Reference Guide, where you can learn all there is to know about design specs of ad types on all the major networks.
Advertising pain points are nothing to fear
Sure, advertising pain points are frustrating, but they need only be temporary. A quick search of your issue will likely overturn at least a handful of articles from people who’ve been in your situation before. Arm yourself with information, and stop the sting of landing page pain points with the most robust post-click optimization platform on the market.