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Online Advertising: Best Practices for Best Results

Originally posted on April 27, 2016; Updated on June 17, 2022

By now, everyone knows that for their business to be successful, they have to know how to wrangle Google and their mysterious ways in order to show up in search results when they need it most. Now that you know there's no way around it, you create a few ads you think are awesome and sit back waiting for huge amounts of traffic and increased sales. When it comes to successful online advertising for your Edmonton business, there are best practices to follow to get the best results because just creating a few ads won't get you the business you're looking for. Consult with us on your digital marketing strategy today!

Successful Online Advertising Begins with Great Ads

Successful ad campaigns still begin with creating great ads that will capture your readers' attention and rank your business high in search engine results. However, a few great ads are not enough to get your customers to click through and get them to bring their business to you. There are five best practices that you need to follow to maximize your online advertising success.

1. Make Sure Your Website is On Point

You can have the most attention-grabbing ads in the world, but they won’t do you much good if your website doesn’t cut the mustard. Make sure you have a well crafted, responsive website designed with user experience (UX) in mind. Your website should be easy on the eyes, load quickly, and have straight-forward navigation. Having your website built with a responsive design makes sure that your website works and looks right on all devices so that you don’t alienate your (very large!) audience searching on mobile devices. Keep in mind that over 60% of all searches these days are conducted on mobile devices. If your website is useless on mobile, your reach is vastly stunted.  

2. Give Your Campaign Sufficient Budget

One unfortunate outcome of the Covid-19 pandemic is that online advertising has gotten much more competitive as more and more business were forced online. As a result, the average cost of advertising online has risen roughly 25% compared to pre-pandemic ad budget.

All that aside, how do you determine what your ad budget should be? Unfortunately, we can not give you a magic number.  There are many factors that go into determining your ad budget, such as:

  • The number of ad groups you are running. This will be determined by how many different products and services you are advertising.
  • Within each ad group, how many keywords you are targeting, and how competitive those keywords are.
  • The size of your geographical target.
  • Who your local competition is and how hard they are going at their advertising!

Working with an agency will help greatly when figuring out your advertising budget. Digital marketing agencies, such as your friendly, neighbourhood Smart WSI Marketing, have access to tools that help you best identify your competitors and what kinds of campaigns they are running. From there, you can emulate that as a starting off point, but ultimately, improve on it and do it better than the competition. From there we can help you determine your budget and how to get the most out of it.

Another important note on budget is to not be too rigid. There is definitely a little trial and error when it comes to advertising, and sometimes it takes a little more than anticipated to be effective. Alternatively, you could be prepared to spend a lot more, only to find you don’t need to spend that much. Your budget should ultimately be a range. According to the BDC, your budget should be a minimum of $1000 per month. WordStream says that the ad budget range for most small to medium businesses can range anywhere from $1000 to $10,000 per month. Again, an agency will help you make the most of your advertising budget and adjust your campaigns as necessary to get you the best results.

3. Implement Google’s New Ad Format

There’s always something new at Google! Responsive ads, however, aren't that new. Certainly, you’ve heard the phrase “work smarter, not harder”? Responsive search ads allow you to do just that. Rather than creating individual ads and testing them, leverage Google’s AI and machine learning capabilities. You provide multiple headlines and descriptive text samples, and the Google machine will mix and match them to create the most effective ads, based on actual user searches and other data.  

4. Use Appropriate Extensions

Ad extensions show additional information related to you your ad, giving your potential customers more reasons to click on your ad (and not your competitors!) Including these extensions can improve your click-through rate (CTR) by 20-30%, which translates to a lot of traffic you're missing if you don't use them.

These extensions include:

Sitelink Extensions:

This displays additional links to relevant pages on your website below your ad. For example, you may link to informational pages, a product page, or your blog. This will definitely drive up your CTR.

Call Extensions:

This will show your phone number or a call button (on mobile) next to your ad so that people can contact you straight from your ad in the search results.

Location Extension:

This will display your business’ physical address in a blue link that will take users to Google Maps when they click on it. These extensions are particularly helpful for businesses with a brick-and-mortar location looking to drive foot traffic to your store or office.

5. Have Deliberate Destinations

Be sure that your ads are taking your customers to the right places. It is confusing and frustrating to click on an ad for a specific product only for it to take you to the company’s “About Us” page. Make sure that your ads run to the most relevant page on your website. If you don’t have a page that exactly fits your ad, build a landing page specifically to complement that ad.

The Best in Best Practices

Creating successful online advertising campaigns for your Edmonton business takes a lot of thought, research and monitoring to ensure you are getting maximum exposure and CTR. At Smart WSI Marketing, we can help you get rid of the guesswork involved in creating ads so that you can get more traffic and increased sales that you need to grow your business. Contact us to learn how we can help and be your partners in digital marketing.

Lynne team member
Lynne Motkoski, Digital Marketing Strategist
Specialty: Digital Marketing Strategies
Education: MA Communications & Technology, BComm [U Alberta]
Author: The Online Marketing Handbook for Busy Entrepreneurs (coming soon)

Lynne is known for her strategic approach to marketing communications, technologies, and lead generation. She has a passion for education, keeping up with current marketing trends and practices, and helping clients keep ahead of their competition.

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