Create Higher Converting Ads by Following These 5 Ad Optimization Levels

Create Higher Converting Ads by Following These 5 Ad Optimization Levels

Last updated on by Fahad Muhammad in AdWords Advertising, Conversion Optimization


Did you know that the triangle is the strongest shape found in nature? Any added force on a triangle is evenly spread through on all three sides – the more added force, the stronger the triangle.

It’s no coincidence the Egyptian Pyramids are actually just gigantic triangles, or that the Eisenberg brothers’ optimization hierarchy fits neatly into a triangle as well.

Before we get into the detail of the optimization pyramid and how your ad optimization fits in, let’s do a refresher on what optimization is:

Optimization, in digital marketing, is the process of improving a campaign or part of it (web page, advertisement, landing page) to the point that it’s as near-perfect as it can get. Optimization starts with continuous testing, and data collection, and ends with making improvements to campaigns based on those results.

The end goal of optimization is conversion, getting there, however, requires you to perfect each component of your marketing campaigns, starting with your ad.

What is ad optimization?

All online ads are divided into two basic categories:

Search ads

These ads are generated by search engines such as Google and Bing after a user types in their search query. Search ads are user prompted ads and should be created based on user intent.

This is what a typical Google AdWords search ad looks like:

ad optimization typical search ad

Display ads

Display ads are also known as banner ads, and they appear on websites as a user is browsing online.

The ads are prompted by the user’s search history and online behavior. Remarketing campaigns use display ads to call back lost visitors.

This is what a typical Google AdWords display ad looks like:

ad optimization ecornell display ad

Ad optimization refers to the process of creating ads that are relevant to users who see your ads and then perfecting these ads informed by data collected through A/B tests and user testing.

But, if you’re just starting out with creating ads you need to start somewhere, and this is where ad optimization techniques come in.

The optimization process includes using ad optimization techniques that perfect both ends of your ads for better user experience:

Your ad is optimized for the user only when you’ve taken care of the both the frontend and backend of ad optimization. To ensure that your ad optimization is strong enough to result in a higher click-through rate and eventually lead to conversions post-click, let’s see how it fits into the optimization hierarchy pyramid.

What is the optimization hierarchy pyramid?

Developed by the Eisenberg brothers, the optimization hierarchy pyramid showcases the levels your optimization must have to make an impact on potential customers and guarantee conversions.

The pyramid is made up of 5 levels, and each level must be achieved to ensure your optimization is the strongest. Going through these steps can convince potential customers to take the desired action – which in this case is an ad click.

Here’s what the optimization hierarchy pyramid looks like:

ad optimization hierarchy of optimization

Let’s look at each level individually regarding ad optimization.

Functional

This level deals with the functional aspect of the ads, i.e., do your ads work properly. If your display ads have animations, do they load properly and make for a good user experience?

Do your search ad extensions work properly when a user clicks the click-to-call button can they actually place a call?

Fixing functional errors may seem like low hanging fruit, however, when your ads function properly you have the potential to have high conversion rates.

Accessible

Accessibility deals with responsiveness. Are your ads responsive? Do they adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit into all screen sizes?

Google AdWords introduced responsive ads for the Google Display Network in January 2017. The size, appearance, and format of responsive ads are tailored to match the look and feel of the web page they appear on your targeting options, and the campaign goals you have set.

The responsive ads are a hybrid of image, text and native ads, and look something like this:

ad optimization responsive ads

Accessibility regarding ad optimization also deals with targeting options you’ve selected in your chosen advertising platform. You need to ensure that your ad is accessible or is being shown to your target audience at the right time.

When selecting keywords for your Google AdWords search ad campaign keep in mind user intent. You should also use negative keywords to rule out keywords that aren’t relevant to your campaign ensuring better ad targeting.

As far as targeting options for display ads, Google AdWords gives you the following options for your brand campaigns:

ad optimization google display ad targeting options

Facebook gives you the option to focus specifically choosing demographics, location, interests, and behaviors. You also may choose three types of audiences:

To ensure your ad is accessible make sure it can be seen by your target audience on all devices.

Usable

Your ad should have a good user experience. A good ad user experience involves:

Intuitive

In the optimization, hierarchy intuitiveness refers to matching user expectations with their place in the customer journey. It also relates to reducing barriers to entry between one stage of the client’s journey and the next.

To make sure your ad is intuitive, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Does your ad copy match what the users had in mind when they typed in a search query?
  2. Do your display ads; especially your remarketing display ads effectively capture user attention?

To ensure your remarketing display ads work, you must to segment your audience and then show those segments of your audience personalized ads that are relevant to the experience they had when they interacted with your page.

Message matching also plays a prominent role in making your ad intuitive, as you need to consider the entire customer journey.

Message matching refers to the process of matching your ad content with the landing page it is connected to. The message is reinforced in the mind of the prospect, and they know it’s relevant.

Optimization requires customers to transition from one digital asset to the next, and connecting ads to dedicated landing pages ensure that their transition is seamless.

Let’s look at the AppSumo Facebook ad and connecting landing page as an example.

Here’s what the ad looks like:

ad optimization appsumo ad

This is the landing page the user is directed to after the ad click:

ad optimization appsumo landing page

It is important to optimize the pre-click and post-click experience for your ads to actually make an impact.

Persuasive

A compelling ad is an ad that effectively communicates your offer, improves user motivation, and persuaded them to click. For your ad to be convincing it needs to reduce friction and influence visitors to click.

Creating persuasive optimized ads requires you to add certain elements. Let’s discuss how you can optimize your Facebook and Google AdWords ads.

Facebook ad optimization

The platform allows you to create ads in 6 formats:

An optimized Facebook ad has the following characteristics:

Visual

Visual content works wonders on Facebook because it is treated more favorably in Facebook’s ad optimization algorithm. Visual content also has better recall and appeal. Make sure the visuals you use in your Facebook ad are relevant to the offer the ad is promoting and also maintains message match with the post click landing page.

This is what Your Sweet Spot Strategy’s Facebook ad and corresponding landing page do:

ad optimization sweet spot stratgey landing page

ad optimization sweet spot strategy ad

Relevant

Your ads need to be relevant to the audience who see your ads. Ads which are of interest to the audience obtain a higher relevance score and are treated more favorably by Facebook.

This CoSchedule Facebook ad gets points for relevancy because it’s a remarketing ad that started showing after I exited the CoSchedule website:

ad optimization coschedule ad

Unique Value Proposition

Your value proposition is what entices users to click your ad. The ad copy should mention what you’re offering, and it should do so in a persuasive manner. Adding social proof and statistics in your ad copy make it more credible, increasing the number of clicks your ad will get.

Klipfolio’s UVP is explicitly mentioned in their ad headline, ‘build and track KPIs on a custom dashboard:

ad optimization klipfolio

Clear call-to-action button

Your Facebook ad should have a clear and contrasting call-to-action button that gets visitors to click. You can include urgency to your button copy or offer a discount to make your ad more enticing.

This is what Quickbooks does:

ad optimization quickbooks ad

Create persuasive Facebook ads by adding the ad above components.

Google AdWords ad optimization

An optimized Google AdWords search ad should have the following characteristics:

Persuasive and relevant ad copy

When creating ad copy, think like your customer and showcase your offer clearly: keeping in mind what the customer would want to know.

Also, keep your offer in mind – what does your product do? How does it help visitors solve their problem? What differentiates you from the competition? Create ad copy that answers these questions.

The ad copy should also be relevant to the user’s search query.

A Google search for ‘team communication tools’ shows Slack’s ad that is relevant to the search query phrase and features a testimonial and a description of what the tool can do:

ad optimization slack search ad

Use ad extensions to add details

Ad extensions allow you to add details to your search ads. Some ad extensions you can use include location extension, callout extension, call extension and review extension.

Marketo’s search ad uses the review extension to feature a review by G2 Crowd:

An optimized Google display ad should have the following characteristics:

Persuasive ad copy

Your display ad copy should feature your unique value proposition clearly to convince users to click.

Funnel’s ad copy features persuasive copy:

ad optimization funnel

Relevant image

The image you use in your display ads should be relevant to your offer. The overall design aesthetic of your ad should go well with your branding to add credibility to your offer.

Jumpshot’s display ad uses a relevant image of analytics on an ad that’s promoting customer-centric analytics, plus the overall ad design is on brand:

ad optimization jumpsot ad

Contrasting CTA button

A call-to-action button should be able to call out to users to click the ad. This can easily be done by creating a CTA button design that contrasts with the page background and adding actionable button copy that is relevant to the offer.

This is what Salesforce does with their CTA button:

ad optimization salesforce ad

Create better marketing campaigns with ad optimization

The first interaction your potential customer has with your brand is most commonly on your ad. Ad optimization helps you make the right impression on your audience and optimizes the rest of their conversion journey.

Optimized ads are relevant, have action-oriented copy and are descriptive so that they stand out and the visitor feels compelled click them. For your ads to be truly optimized you need to connect them to relevant landing pages, as these dedicated pages ensure that you don’t lose the visitor at the ad, but, they progress further down the marketing funnel.

Haven’t started creating landing pages yet? To create professional and 100% customizable landing pages, create yours with Instapage today.

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