online advertising

Every agency believes they have the right service for the price a company is willing to pay. So they can be very persuasive. Find out what questions you should be asking to pick the right agencies for your business.

Agencies make things possible that our marketing teams just can’t do with the resources they have.

What is maddening is the variety of different ways a problem, like getting search traffic, can be solved.

I believe that data can help us decide who we should go with and which agencies we should let go.

But, what data should you be asking for? Ask any agency and they’ll tell you, “The data we provide.” Who can you trust?

Fortunately, I have an old friend and high-integrity individual to ask, someone I know that won’t tell me what I want to hear. Lance Loveday is the founder and CEO of Closed Loop, a digital advertising agency that specializes in paid media management. I know Lance as a speaker and straight shooter.

Lance Loveday on Hiring an Agency

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Brian Massey and Lance Loveday on the Intended Consequences Podcast.

Brian Massey and Lance Loveday on the Intended Consequences Podcast.

Don’t be fooled by his mild manner. I we talk about the tough questions to ask when bringing on external resources to solve your most important problems. I was surprised by some of his answers, which means I learned something.

As an optimizer by nature, digital marketing comes naturally to Lance. He’s analytical but also creative – he uses his left brain and his right brain.

Closed Loop helps organizations leverage user experience to maximize strategic advantage. Their work is guided by a few simple beliefs: Good user experience is good business.

They believe there’s always room for improvement. And companies that value design, UX, and the human element will outperform those that live and die only by the numbers.

“If you if you don’t know for sure that you’re winning, you’re almost guaranteed to be losing.”

Lance believes that if you’re investing in the competitive ad auctions on Google and Facebook, you don’t want to be the “dumb money at the table.” Listen as we explore how to find an agency relationship that gives you a competitive advantage.

“There’s a really important qualitative element involved in any relationship right. And I think you need to have good chemistry. You need to ensure that there is alignment of values between the organizations and between the teams.”

When to bring in a paid advertising agency

“It’s one thing to ask the person who’s running the website to run the paid media campaigns, too. And even though you’re not fully trained and you’re not a professional at this we’re going to ask you to take this on as a fourth or fifth responsibility. And that’s OK, if you’re spending you know maybe ten or twenty thousand a month as a mid-sized company.

If you’re spending you know maybe ten or twenty thousand a month as a mid-sized company it’s really not ok at the point you’re spending one hundred or two hundred thousand a month to not have a dedicated professional who does this.”

Full funnel advertising

“You need to have a full funnel advertising strategy to both feed the top of the funnel and then harvest the existing latent demand out there as well.”

Questions to ask when picking an agency?

  1. “Where would we fit in in terms of size amongst your client base. Are we going to be a small fish and therefore get minimal attention?”
  2. “Ask to meet the team that would be dedicated to your account. It drives me nuts to compete with agencies I know are putting junior inexperienced people on accounts and because we we just we don’t do that.”
  3. “Ensure that there’s good chemistry, for lack of a better term. There’s a really important qualitative element involved in any relationship and I think you need to have good chemistry. You need to ensure that there is alignment of values between the organizations and between the teams.”

When you get back to the office…

Think about how you act as an agency to your internal teams. Ask a few good questions.

  • What do you do to ensure you’re communicating the right amount?
  • What data do you deliver and why?
  • How do you work on your “fit” with the rest of the team?
  • How are you soliciting feedback from others to improve what you do?

The answers you give for yourself can then be turned around to your agency relationships. What you expect of yourself should be expected of your agencies. Demand it.

Related reading: How to choose the best conversion optimization consultant

Subscribe to the Podcast

iTunes | Spotify | Stitcher | Google Podcasts | RSS

Check out these click-worthy examples of persuasive copy for online ads. Discover why they work and how to test for persuasive ad copy.

The world of digital marketing makes it super easy for you to reach your target audience. But you have to whip up a mighty persuasive online ad if you want your prospects to click on yours.

In this post, we’ll review the definition of persuasive copy, how to make sure it works, and show you compelling examples of persuasive copy in online advertising.

Appeal to logic emotion and credibility all in one. Check out these click worthy examples of persuasive copy in online advertising.

Appeal to logic emotion and credibility all in one. Check out these click worthy examples of persuasive copy in online advertising.

What is Persuasive Copy

Persuasive copy can be defined as an argument that elicits a desired action from a relevant audience. Easier said than done, right?

Aristotle explained what constitutes persuasive copy best in his rhetorical appeals or ‘modes for persuasion’. Let’s keep in mind that his goal was to make his oratory (his presentations) more persuasive. And in doing so, he identified three types of persuasion appeals that are as valid today as they were back then.

  1. the appeal to reason, logic or logos
  2. the appeal to emotion or pathos
  3. and the appeal to one’s character, credibility or ethos

Not everybody makes a decision about a specific product or service based on the same argument. Purchasing a lipstick could be more of an impulse buy and an appeal to pathos or emotion may be the right call. Adding an appeal to reason such as “Free Shipping” may seal the deal and get you the click you desperately want.

An example of emotionally persuasive copy in this Avon color trend nail polish, Fairytale collection: "Until your prince charming shows up have fun with the frogs."

An example of emotionally persuasive copy in this Avon color trend nail polish, Fairytale collection: “Until your prince charming shows up have fun with the frogs.”

Avon color trend nail polish, Fairytale collection. The copy reads: “Until your prince charming shows up have fun with the frogs”. Why is this a prime example of persuasive copy in advertising? The famous Prince Charming in other countries, like Brazil and Italy, is called the “Blue Prince” — royal blue blood and all. So, until the blue one shows up, have fun with the rest of the colors. Clever emotional argument to leave the guilt behind and have fun now. If the shoe fits. ;)

Fortunately for most of us, developing persuasive copy is not an art but a data driven process. And as such, it can be tested.

How to Test Persuasive Copy in Online Advertising

As investment in digital advertising increases, it becomes essential to figure out what really works. Ad copy testing can be executed pre-campaign launch or while the campaign is live.

Some methods for online ad copy pre-testing may include focus groups, projective techniques, and recall tests. Performing these pre-tests ensures less spend is lost when it comes to activation.

Running an online ad campaign is costly. This is a different version of the Paypal for Business ad used to test the level of persuasiveness in the copy. What appeal has been dropped? Let us know in the comments section at the end of the post.

Running an online ad campaign is costly. This is a different version of the Paypal for Business ad used to test the level of persuasiveness in the copy. What appeal has been dropped? Let us know in the comments section at the end of the post.

But the proof is in the pudding and nothing beats solid AB Testing to provide you with the metrics you need to define what’s really working. If you are looking to learn about testing persuasive copy, our blog is packed with articles that explain how to do this in detail. Check them out:

The Proven AB Testing Framework Used By CRO Professionals

4 Types of Useful AB Testing Tools You May Not Realize You Have

The AB Testing Process that Empowers Marketers

4 Mobile AB Testing Ideas that Worked for Our Clients

Or you can take our CRO Course and become a conversion specialist. Or if you’d rather have an experienced conversion agency power boost your online marketing spend and turn more of your ad clicks into revenue, check out our CRO for Advertising solutions.

And as we promised an article about compelling examples of persuasive copy in online advertising, let’s dive into them!

Why Is Persuasive Copy Crucial to Online Ads

Let’s assume you have the right ad placement, defined the perfect audience, and have properly identified what your audience responds to. After all, persuasive ad copy in and of itself is not the only factor that weighs in on a campaign’s success.

Is your ad copy missing the mark? Has your click through rate hit a new low?

We all want our online ads to influence our audience in such a way that they are inclined to click to call or click to buy from our website. But, what makes copy this convincing? Sometimes, actual examples of persuasive copy can guide us in crafting our own click-worthy online ads.

Compelling Examples of Persuasive Copy in Online Advertising

A genius way to apply emotion to a SaaS service on a Facebook ad for Litmus & dotmailer.

Examples of persuasive copy in online advertising help illustrate the concept. A genius way to apply emotion to a SaaS service on a Facebook ad.

Examples of persuasive copy in online advertising help illustrate the concept.

Appeal to logic or logos works quite nicely for the auto insurance industry. I wonder what would happen to these click-through rates (CTRs) if they added some emotional arguments to the ad copy.

Auto insurance appeal to logic examples. They all look alike. Which one would you click on?

Auto insurance appeal to logic examples. They all look alike. Which one would you click on?

Finding examples of persuasive copy in advertising is simple if there is a Google Guarantee available. Not an easy addition to your online ads but worth every penny. All the credibility you want in a single line.

Building credibility through the Google Guarantee.

Building credibility through the Google Guarantee.

Ethos and logos appeal for this Facebook ad campaign.

Ethos appeal. Persuasion example in online advertising.

Ethos appeal.

Lower the guilt with a logical argument. Less fat and less calories than your biggest competitor: McDonald’s french fries. How is that for an attention-getting example of persuasive copy?

Burger King fries ad copy. How is that for an attention-getting example of persuasive copy?

Burger King fries ad copy. Stop clicking the button and keep reading!

Of course #FOMO is an emotion! This compelling example of persuasive copy in online advertising proves it! Almost depleted iPhone battery coupled with “Last Chance to Buy T&C Tickets” An example from a Digital Marketer Facebook ads campaign.

Appeal to emotion iPhone battery Facebook Ad example from Digital Marketer.

Appeal to emotion iPhone battery Facebook Ad example from Digital Marketer.

Searching for click-worthy examples of persuasive copy for your Facebook lead generation campaign? A winner. Hands-down. No big emotional commitment. Only 8 hours for $500 and you get rid of those pesky projects.

Lead generation ad example targeting homeowners looking to start projects.

Lead generation ad example targeting homeowners looking to start projects.

IBM Watson understands that their audience responds to reason. And that some may be ready to buy. The free trial is a highly persuasive method to get them to click on their ad.

IBM Watson "free trial" a persuasive element of their offer.

IBM Watson “free trial” a persuasive element of their offer.

This online ad for WD40 is all about persuading through pathos. You will need some WD40 to unstuck that scroll bar.

Humor, sex and curiosity are all emotional appeals. Online ad for WD40.

Humor, sex and curiosity are all emotional appeals.

Every once in a while, you run across an ad that you just can’t forget. Trident’s Facebook ad that appeals to emotions or pathos through some quirky logic as I am sure deodorant won’t taste like spearmint either.

Example of emotional and logical appeal in persuasive copy for Trident's online ads.

Example of emotional and logical appeal in persuasive copy for Trident’s online ads.

Although they usually resort to logic and ethos – 4 out of 5 dentists recommend – to craft persuasive copy.

Trident Coupons: Save money, prevent stains.

Trident Coupons: Save money, prevent stains.

Sandwich delivery ads leverage a mix of ethos or credibility (reviews, how many served), logical (pricing and selection) and emotional (fresh, good, smells, comfort) elements. Definitely great examples of persuasive copy in PPC ads.

Sandwich delivery ads. Definitely great examples of persuasive copy in PPC ads.

Sandwich delivery ads.

Pizza delivery examples of persuasive copy for Google Ads. One relies on logical and ethos vs emotional appeal.

Logical and ethos vs emotional appeal for pizza delivery Google Ads.

Logical and ethos vs emotional appeal for pizza delivery Google Ads.

Nike sneakers Google Ads: These are not Nike stores, so they lack the brand’s built in credibility. Therefore, they use pathos or emotional persuasion on the headline and ethos appeal on the body via the rating reviews and the on time delivery percentage.

Pathos or emotional persuasion on the headline and ethos appeal on the body via the rating reviews that give credibility and the ontime delivery percentage.

Pathos or emotional persuasion on the headline and ethos appeal on the body via the rating reviews that give credibility and the ontime delivery percentage.

The Nike Official store, is all about logical persuasion of product availability with some additional credibility elements as message support.

Nike official store Google ad.

Nike official store Google ad.

PPC ad copywriting for a mobile ad with emotional appeal. Click to call the luxury location of your choice.

PPC ad for best NYC hotels. Luxury, of course.

PPC ad for best NYC hotels. Luxury, of course.

So many persuasive reasons for that mileage traveler in you. Capital One Venture card uses ethos on their youtube and tv ads but not on their Google Ads. Here it’s all facts.

Capital One Venture card uses logos or logical appeal to persuade to click on this PPC ad.

Capital One Venture card uses logos or logical appeal to persuade to click on this PPC ad.

I hope you found inspiration and ideas on these compelling examples of persuasive copy in online advertising. Now, discover how to Make Testimonials More Persuasive or sign-up to receive our weekly newsletter. Packed with great conversion optimization tips.

Discover how to use Google ad extensions to improve your customer acquisition efforts. Find out which ad extensions should you be using and when.

We will start by reviewing the various ad extensions available. Then, we’ll discuss the implications of ad extensions on customer acquisition. And finally, we’ll uncover how to use these Google ad extensions to improve your customer acquisition efforts.

Let’s first review this concept and then analyze the different ways of using Google ad extensions to improve your customer acquisition efforts.

What are Google Ad Extensions?

Extensions expand your ad with additional information – giving people more reasons to click on your ad.

You’ve seen these before. Those extra lines below the Google ad text that displays the store address closest to you? Or maybe a few reasons that entice you to click on their ad? Something like, Free Consultation or 24/7 or Free Shipping.

According to Google, ad extensions “typically increase an ad’s click-through-rate by several percentage points.” But Google is taking the liberty of choosing which extensions to show on your ads for you. “To maximize the performance of your text ads, Google Ads selects which extensions to show in response to each individual query on Google.”

They have enough information on a prospect’s search intent, history and geo in order to have their algorithms work in favor of advertisers.

But first, you need to set them up. Here is a current list of Google Ad Extensions. They do add more on a regular basis.

  • Location extensions (automated)
  • Affiliate location
  • Sitelink (automated)
  • Price
  • Callout and dynamic callout
  • Structured snippets
  • Call extensions (automated)
  • Message extensions (automated)
  • Seller Ratings (automated only – but you can do things to help make them appear)

Don’t worry trying to figure them out right now. We’ll dive into them later in the article.

Why is Google so confident that they can increase click-through rates for your ads?

They make the point that ads with extensions provide “greater visibility and prominence.” This means your ad is more likely to be seen. Makes sense, you have more lines than your competitor ads (unless they have Google ad extensions too.)

It also means that you’re pushing competing ads below yours down the page.

Google also makes the case that you can offer the visitor more clicks to choose from, or offer “interactive ways of reaching you — as with maps, SMS or calls” and this will increase the likelihood of them clicking on your ad.

Setting up ad extensions doesn’t mean they will show on your ad. Google lists two possibilities for ad extensions to appear:

  • When the extensions are predicted to improve the ads performance
  • When your Ad Rank is above a minimum level.

So, you see. It’s not all under your control. You gotta trust Google to present the best extension for your business goals at the right time, place and query.

We say, they better.

What’s the best thing about Google Ads extensions? They are FREE. So setting the right ones up is always an advantage.

Get a higher return from your ad campaigns. Start implementing CRO for advertising today.

Improve your Customer Acquisition Efforts with Ad Extensions

The goal of ad optimization efforts is to gain more customers at a lower cost. The lower this acquisition cost, the more profit you make on each new customer or on each transaction and you can afford to spend more on ads – which implies more volume or more competitive bids. Or you can just pocket the difference.

There are two ways to reduce these acquisition costs

  1. Spend less on ads for the same number of conversions.
  2. Get more conversions from your ad spend.

The first is accomplished by refining bids, eliminating low-converting ads, and designing offers that deliver better qualified visitors.

The second is accomplished by refining the websites and pages to which you send your ad clicks.

In both cases, the higher your conversion rate, the lower your customer acquisition costs. We may choose to spend less on low-quality visitors that convert poorly, or do a better job of converting the ad traffic we are getting.

And this is where Google ad extensions can help improve your customer acquisition efforts.

Ad extensions clearly offer the hope for more clicks and conversions without increasing spend. Their impact on websites and landing pages is less plain.

Evidently, Google Ads extensions let you add more information to a typical text ad. They allow advertisers to say more about the offer made in the ad so that searchers make better choices about whether to click or not.

Ad Extensions that add Links to More Targeted Landing Pages

Three Google ad extensions add additional links to your ads.

  1. Sitelink Extensions
  2. Price Extensions
  3. Promotion Extensions

Sitelink extensions are great for broad match keywords. They allow the searcher to click on narrower topics than their search phrase might return. The example below, shows sitelink extensions with an additional description. A great feature that entices advertisers to convert their campaigns to enhanced campaigns.

Example of sitelink ad extension with description. Ad Extensions that add Links to More Targeted Landing Pages.

Example of sitelink ad extension with description.

An eCommerce site can use a variety of pages as landing pages: product pages, category pages, search results pages, and even specific informational pages for those not ready to buy just yet.

Sitelink ad extensions used in eCommerce.

Sitelink ad extensions used in eCommerce.

Tip: Consider targeting your primary segments with sitelink extensions.

Price Extensions allow you to feature pricing right in your ads. This is a great feature to weed out those prospects that may not go through with their purchase because of price. And an additional element to improve your customer acquisition efforts.

Example of a Price Ad Extension on a mobile device. Discover how to use Google ad extensions to improve your customer acquisition efforts. Find out which ad extensions should you be using and when.

Example of a Price Ad Extension on a mobile device.

Google Ads Sitelink Extensions Improve Ad Quality Score

Ad extensions also allow advertisers to send searchers to more relevant pages on their websites. These are called Sitelink extensions.

First of all, Google uses the performance of your landing page to determine how high they will place your ad on the page. Higher placement is better. If you have visitors clicking on your ads but then “pogo-sticking” immediately back, Google will penalize your ads by assigning a lower quality score. You may have to increase your bids if you have lower quality scores and your sitelinks may not show until your score goes back up.

Thus, if you can send them to a more relevant page, they are less likely to click away. And this signals to Google that you deserve a higher quality score.

The following ad for “kitchen countertops” has one link.

This ad has one link, the headline link. Discover how to use Google ad extensions to improve your customer acquisition efforts

This ad has one link, the headline link.

The following ad for “choosing kitchen countertops” has a sitelink extension that includes five more links:

This ad uses a sitelink ad extension to get five links. Discover how to use Google ad extensions to improve your customer acquisition efforts

This ad uses a sitelink ad extension to get five links.

  • Contact Us
  • Featured Projects
  • Info & Prices
  • News Center
  • Products Catalog

This approach allows advertisers to help searchers make better choices about what to click on based on their needs therefore, improving their customer acquisition efforts. In this example, we have a link to “Contact Us” for contractors working on a project, and “Products Catalog” for those who want to know their options.

These extra sitelinks must go to different pages according to Google’s rules. That means you must have two, three, four, or more different landing pages for any ad that uses a sitelink extension. You may see this as a burden. We see it as an opportunity.

Avoid Sitelinks to the Homepage

Many of the ads we see take a visitor to the website’s homepage. We have demonstrated over and over again that a landing page will convert more ad clicks than the homepage, thus improving your customer acquisition efforts.

Sitelink extensions force advertisers to think about the needs of various searchers, and develop pages for those specific needs.

The Ad Extension Halo Effect

Sydney Sheedy, Senior Account Manager at (un)Common Logic, tells us that ad extensions can have a halo effect on your online ads.

Sitelink ad extensions can increase clicks on the ad. But Sheedy’s data shows that, even when sitelinks are present, most clicks are on the headline itself. In the following table, Sheedy shows four accounts that use sitelink extensions, and how the clicks break down.

Click data for ads with sitelink extensions. Even when sitelinks are present, most clicks are on the headline itself.

Click data for ads with sitelink extensions.

Overall, only 10% of clicks go to the sitelinks. That means 90% are on the headline.

Of course, Sitelink ad extensions can increase clicks on the ad. Let’s keep that in mind and keep on increasing your chances of improving your customer acquisition efforts.

Ad Extensions for Mobile Visitors

  1. Call Extensions
  2. Message Extensions
  3. App Extensions
  4. Structured Snippets

While these extensions will appear on desktop and tablet devices, they are well targeted to our small-screen visitors. Your ad strategy should be different for small-screen mobile and large-screen visitors.

For example, Girikon presents call extensions and a drop-down ad extension to mobile visitors:

Example of a click-to-call ad extension. Girikon presents call extensions and a drop-down ad extension to mobile visitors.

Example of a click-to-call ad extension.

But on the desktop the click-to-call ad extension is not presented.

The desktop version of this ad has no click to call extension.

The desktop version of this ad has no click to call extension.

Call extensions give your ads the ability to connect searchers with your business using a special app on smartphones called Phone.

Our customers find higher close rates and larger order values when they get a prospect on the phone. It’s great for mobile lead generation and considered purchases.

Message extensions leverage another handy app found on smartphones: Text Messages.

Why not let mobile visitors text you directly? When the searcher taps the message extension, they text you first and they will receive a message that you create as an auto-reply.

Example of mobile message ad extension. Why not let mobile visitors text you directly?

Example of mobile message ad extension.

App extensions invite the visitor to download and install your app.

This ad contains a mobile app extension. How to use Google ad extensions to improve your customer acquisition efforts

This ad contains a mobile app extension.

Google Ad Extensions to Improve your Customer Acquisition Efforts in the Real World

  1. Location Extensions
  2. Affiliate Location Extensions

For those visitors that are wandering around the city looking for a physical location, these two location ad extensions will deliver. They improve customer acquisition efforts by getting people in the door who want to shop in the real world.

Location extensions let the visitor open a map to your physical stores, offices and sites.

Example of an ad with location ad extension.

Example of an ad with location ad extension.

Affiliate location extensions do the same for stores that carry your products or offer your services.

Other Ad Extensions that Improve Acquisition Efforts

  1. Callout Extensions
  2. Structured Snippet Extensions

Callout extensions increase the real estate of your ad, giving you more lines of text. The more you can explain the fewer clicks to your landing page are required.

Reducing poorly-qualified clicks is a great way to reduce your acquisition cost while improving your customer acquisition efforts.

Structure snippet extensions provide more detailed information on your offer, but don’t provide additional links. If they see what they want in your structured snippet, their click will be more relevant, increasing conversion rate and dropping acquisition cost.

Structured snippets can use one of the following headers:

  • Amenities
  • Brands
  • Courses
  • Degree programs
  • Destinations
  • Featured hotels
  • Insurance coverage
  • Models
  • Neighborhoods
  • Service catalog
  • Shows
  • Styles
  • Types

Stacking Ad Extensions: Is it Even Possible?

If one ad extension is good, isn’t two better? Ad extensions are free, so why not use them all, and use them all of the time?

Not necessarily.

We want to consider the paradox of choice. Providing too many choices can cause visitors to become paralyzed.

Second, Google is the one that decides if and when to show them.

They better.

Example of an ad with multiple ad extensions.

Example of an ad with multiple ad extensions.

Here are some tips for deciding if you want to stack ad extensions or not.

Don’t Repeat Yourself (too much)

If you have a good reason for extending your ad, use it. But be careful about introducing too much repetition. Ad extensions may work best when they add additional information rather than repeat it.

These ad extensions are probably too repetitive.

These ad extensions are probably too repetitive.

Don’t Ask Them to Call if No One is Home

Call extensions can be very effective, especially for mobile searchers. But make sure there is someone to answer if you’re providing a phone number. This is a great tip. Use it when stacking up or when flying solo.

Example of an ad using a call extension with 24-hour service.

Example of an ad using a call extension with 24-hour service.

Test Stacking Ad Extensions

It’s the 21st century. Adwords is a great platform for testing ad creative. Try a variety of ad extension combinations and go with the stack that delivers the best bottom-line results.

Of course, always take control of the landing page experience. Our clients have seen increases of up to a 40% in leads and revenues from their Google Ads campaigns after we optimized their conversion rate. Schedule a call with our ad campaign conversion optimization consultants.

Automated Extensions: Yes or No?

Google will take the liberty of adding ad extensions to your ads if they feel it’s a good idea. If you don’t have a team that can give thought to your ad campaigns, this may seem like a good thing.

But we have to ask, “Why spend the money on ads if you don’t have the bandwidth to be smart about the spend?”

To avoid these automated extensions, turn them off and add your own extensions. Just know that the ones Google Ads created automatically before you turn them off may still appear. (Pesky little things)

When do Ad Extensions Hurt?

As a general rule, Google ad extensions should be used on all of your ads.

  1. They increase your visual footprint on search engine results pages (SERPs)
  2. They push your competitors down the page
  3. They can generate a halo effect to increase clicks on your ads
  4. They increase qualified clicks reducing acquisition cost

When should you avoid extensions?

  1. When you don’t have relevant pages to send visitors to
  2. If you don’t have calls to action on your landing pages
  3. If you don’t have the resources to apply what you learn

Google Ad Extensions to Improve your Customer Acquisition Efforts Summary

Here are the takeaways from our discussion on using Google ad extensions to improve your customer acquisition efforts.

  1. Use ad extensions to reduce your customer acquisition cost.
  2. Use ad extensions to increase the performance of your ads overall.
  3. Use sitelink extensions to target specific segments of your audience.
  4. Use mobile ad extensions to engage your growing smartphone audience.
  5. Use ad extensions to develop effective landing pages.
  6. Find more opportunities to grow your email list.

The folks at WhoIsHostingThis.com have put together a very complete infographic on mobile advertising.
We like articles and infographics that support their findings with research and case studies.
One thing we’d like to put a fine point on is this:

Formula: Number of mobile site visitors divided by the number of actions taken, all multiplied by 100 to give the conversion rate.

Responsive vs. Dedicated Mobile Site

We are seeing in the literature more evidence that responsive designs suppress mobile conversion rates. The primary culprit is load times. We are currently recommending the Native Mobile Website approach for phone-sized screens.
Furthermore, many sites are displaying mobile sites on tablets and phablets that have the resolution to show more. This may be suppressing conversion rates as well.
Everything You Need to Know about Mobile Ads - Via Who Is Hosting This: The Blog
Source: WhoIsHostingThis.com
[sitepromo]

Your unique is a powerful tool, a tool that gives you over your marketplace. It is what makes making money, generating leads and growing your business look easy.
How can this be?
There are five big reasons that companies that understand their online equation win:

  1. They pay less for the exact same advertising as you.
  2. They hit your prospects several times to your one touch.
  3. Their content is about their prospects, not themselves.
  4. They don’t make mistakes more than once.
  5. They are waiting on search engines for your dissatisfied visitors.

There are two ways to learn more about these five advantages in my new Search Engine Land column 5 Ways Conversion Takes Market Share Like Candy From A Baby.
My upcoming book is only weeks away, and you can get at the .

Readers may be involved in your content, like the chicken is involved in breakfast. How do you find the readers that are committed to your content, like the pig who is providing the bacon?

An excerpt from 12 Ways to Get Readers to Take Action:

image
Press Button. Collect Bacon.
Looking for committed readers.

If you were to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to advertise on someone else’s Web site, you wouldn’t create a call to action that said “For more information on our company call….” You’d create an ad that:

        

  • Gets the reader’s attention visually
  •     

  • Offers something of value (“learn more about our company” is not a valuable offer)
  •     

  • Includes a clear action for them to take: Call or click
  •     

  • Shows up in the part of the page that contains Grade “A” Choice cuts, the best placement that you can afford.

Since you’re probably spending hundreds or thousands of dollars creating reports, white papers, webinars, seminars, articles and videos, you should be using this same approach to point the reader/viewer/attendee to the next exciting thing on your content menu.
Read the 12 ways to Get Readers to Take Action at the Content Marketing Institute.
Be bold. Be inline. Be shameless. Be frequent. Incentivize. Merchandize. Be mobile. Be creative. Be generous. Be miserly. Be a tease. Be exclusive.
image

You wouldn’t play tennis without a racquet, would you?

The machine hurtled fuzzy green balls at me with a “fwoom, fwoom” sound every 10 seconds or so. I dodged most of them, but  occasionally got pegged in the chest, stomach, or some place worse.
“Fwoom, fwoom.” I was on the court. I was dressed in snazzy tennis gear worthy of Wimbledon. I had top-of-the-line footwear. I kept my feet moving.
I just didn’t have a racquet.
The only ball I was able to return across the net bounced off my head. Not only was I missing every shot, but I was experiencing bodily injury.

RANT WARNING – If you are already using landing pages for your targeted banner advertising, you can proceed to my article about landing pages for dynamic display ads on ClickZ. Everyone else, pay attention.

You don’t have to be a tennis pro to know that this is insanity. Yet thousands of businesses across the Web are using targeted banner advertising to drive traffic to their home page. Smart marketers with effective email campaigns are sending clicks to pages that don’t call the visitor to take action; to buy, call or download.

Landing Page?

Landing pages are pages that are specially designed to catch visitors, taking them directly to information that they are interested in, and asking them to become a prospect or a customer.
We can use a landing page anytime we know why someone clicked through to our site. If we know what they expect, it makes sense that we would create a page to specifically address their needs.

How do we know what the landing page should say?

We know exactly what a visitor is looking for when they click on an ad or link that we created because we wrote it. If we wrote the ad, and it caused them to click, wouldn’t you assume that the page they come to should address the offer made by the ad copy?
This shouldn’t even be a question in your mind (and for most of my readers it isn’t).

Pardon my exasperation

I don’t like to be rude, but can you imagine what my tennis instructor would have said if they’d seen me getting pummeled by a ball machine because I forgot my tennis racquet?
If you want to score points, you need to have all of the basic equipment. In the game of online advertising landing pages are basic equipment.

Your Home Page Won’t Do

The primary job of the home page is not to convert visitors into leads or sales. It’s job is to funnel buyers to pages that either provide information or call the visitor to take some action… or both.
Your home page has a lot of work to do, and as a result, it will probably contain the most links of any page on your site.
Paying for an ad that promises “Software that will improve your business,” and then asking them to sift through a page full of links (About Us, Contact, Our Products, Home, News, etc.) is conversion suicide.
Why not bring them to a page that says “Our software will improve your business, and here’s how.” Then explain why it is good for them and how it works. Then tell them how to get more information, or invite them to purchase.

Why Landing Pages are Important

1. Landing Pages will make you more successful by generating more leads, sales and business.
2. Landing Pages will make your visitors love you more. There is no better brand experience that finding what you’re looking for.
3. Landing Pages will cut the cost of your advertising by increasing your conversion rates. As the cost of generating new clients, you can put more into your advertising.
4. Landing Pages will keep me from ranting about landing pages

Technique and Practice Are Important

In tennis, how you swing your racquet will determine how many times you score. It is the same with landing pages.
How would you like to learn almost everything you need to know about landing pages in just two days?
The first ever Conversion Conference is happening May 4 and 5, and I can get you $100 off of the price of admission.
I know of no other opportunity to learn from the best conversion experts and Web site optimizers in the industry.
The Keynote is being given by Jakob Nielsen, the champion of fast and cheap ways of improving user interfaces.
Use the promo code CCW510 when you register for Conversion Conference 2010 to get your $100 discount. Early bird rates end April 10.
This is one of those shows that should pay for itself quickly. Think of it as tennis lessons with a profit.

Why would I pay to advertise free information? Does it make sense?

The answer is, “Yes.” On December 10, I’m going to show you the techniques marketers use to make it pay, and I’m going to do it with your content.
Why, you might ask, does it make sense to use your scarce marketing dollars to advertise free information? The answer is this:

At any given time, more people are considering a product or service like yours than are ready to buy a product or service like yours.

Many more.
Thus, if you can get the attention of someone while they’re still thinking about how to solve a problem, you can expect more of them to visit you when they ARE ready to buy.
The key is content that converts, the kind of educational, helpful, informative content that your business generates all of the time. You may say, “My business doesn’t generate any online information.” Oh, but it does.
It’s hiding in plain site. It’s in the product specifications you write. It’s in the sales presentations you’ve created. It’s in the blog posts that you’ve written. It’s in the emails that your most grateful customers have written you.

It’s not actually free if you’re generating leads

If you are doing lead generation, your information isn’t free. The consumer of this helpful and informative knowledge pays with their attention, with a little information about themselves and by extending you some permission – on credit – to continue conversing with them.

The results may well be better than your benefit-oriented ad copy

If I have decided to solve my problem with a product or service like yours, a benefit- or discount-oriented ad will do the trick. However, if I am part of the much larger audience that is still “in the question,” I won’t even know how to process your offer.
Content can help me decide. It can help me make cost tradeoffs. It can help me sell a solution to my boss. It can help me understand the real cost of not solving the problem. It can help me rationalize a purchase.

Which desk drawer is your gold hiding in?

You’re invited to spend a day with me and a panel of smart marketers as we transform plain, everyday information into content that sells.
Join us on December 10 in Austin, Texas for BYOContent: The Extreme Conversion Makeover Workshop.
By the time you leave, you will know:

  • How to identify ordinary content that your visitors will find extraordinary
  • How to present it in ads and on your Web site so that visitors can’t miss it
  • How to use it to generate leads with it
  • How to use it to entice prospects to buy
  • Where to find the free and inexpensive tools needed to transform and deliver your content

Join me, Apogee Search’s Alissa Ruehl, online marketing expert Jane Dueease and a room full of smart people like you as we turn ordinary information into online content that will grow our businesses.
Act before Thanksgiving, and we’ll knock $50 off the price. Breakfast, lunch, and a snack are on us.
If the Web is important to your business, this will be one of the most eye-opening events of the year.
Of course, I’d appreciate you sharing this email with other businesses, but don’t send it on until you’ve secured your own seat. I like to keep my workshops somewhat intimate.
Get the details and reserve your place in the room. This is going to be a fun one.
Best regards,
Brian Massey

This article The Language of Behavioral Marketing, Part 1 by Brian Massey originally appeared on ClickZ.

There is a great deal of information, but you have to decipher the code.

There appears to be some amazing solutions in the behavioral marketing industry. In this article, I parse the language of the behavioral marketing world and find out once and for all what it all really means.
I use the websites of a number of behavioral advertising vendors in an attempt to clear the fog that surrounds this marketplace.
I can already hear the groans.
Yes, the behavioral marketers’ children have no shoes, to borrow from a famous euphemism. The websites of the behavioral marketing world aren’t necessarily the best examples of advanced marketing techniques. But I am not interested in casting stones at individual sites. I’m on a search for meaning and truth.
Here are some general observations about why it is so difficult for marketers to narrow the list of behavioral marketing vendors based on their websites.

Everyone’s a Leader

As ClickZ author Tessa Wegert points out in her survey of ad networks, there are a lot of “leaders” in the market. In fact, most of them call themselves the “leading provider” of something. We’ll see if we can find clues to what each vendor is a leader in.

Shooting at the “Other Guys”

Behavioral vendors spend a lot of time describing what they are not. They’re dealing with an industry that has exploded over the past several years, a market with few barriers to entry. As a result, aggressive vendors have entered the market creating privacy issues and abusing their customers’ brands in an effort to get “reach” at any price.
More reputable vendors go out of their way to differentiate themselves from these “pray and spray” approaches, writing about “premium ad networks” and “comprehensive technologies.” For those of us who don’t know the history, this language sounds like bravado and manipulation.

Everyone Does Everything

From their websites, it’s very difficult to tell what these vendors do and don’t do. In general, the claims to fall into these categories:

  • We have a network of online publishers — websites — that let us place ads on their sites.
  • We collect data from the people who have been to the sites of our ad network.
  • We collect data from publishers that help us target ads at visitors across an ad network.
  • We have a special technology that makes us better at targeting ads at visitors across an ad network.
  • We develop the strategies and/or creative that will make you better at behavioral marketing.

All of the vendors provide some combination of these services, but they all do them differently. Most are also courting publishers, which I am ignoring for this series. Their websites have a complex message to deliver, making it difficult for any vendor to differentiate themselves. They should try harder.
[sitepromo]

Valueless Value Propositions

Anyone who subscribes to the “eight-second rule,” a rule that says you have only eight seconds to engage a Web visitor, is in for a communication challenge. Behavioral marketing vendors adhere to this rule, trying to fit everything they do into a sentence or short paragraph. The result is that their value propositions sound remarkably similar.

  • “patent pending, dynamic ad optimization technology”
  • “comprehensive suite of targeting technologies to reach target audiences across a Premium Network
  • “The technologies we use to deliver, target, and optimize your campaigns go far beyond established norms and standards for performance”
  • “the leading targeting platform and advertising marketplace that connect people to engaging advertising.”
  • “increases the productivity of each customer interaction through our industry-leading predictive marketing solutions

In contrast, the “self-serve” sites get to the meat quickly. “Hundreds of millions of impressions a day on hundreds of thousands of sites. Click here to get started.” Now, that’s works in eight seconds.

Playing It Safe

The majority of the sites I’m reviewing would be called “brochure sites.” The main goal of a brochure site is to look professional and successful. However, this encourages a vendor to be very careful with the content it places on the site. This is certainly the case for the behavioral marketing industry.
Roy H. Williams of the Wizard Academy says, [pullquote]“You’re not communicating effectively if you’re not pissing someone off.”[/pullquote] I’d like to acknowledge those vendors who take a chance in the interest of communicating more clearly.
[signature]