You may be a new or an experienced blogger wanting to get new users to your site. You may have optimized your blog to create value or have created a sales funnel that allows you to monetize your blog effectively. How do you get new readers?
Ads allow you to reach a bigger audience and lead them to your product. However, ads come at a price, and learning to make the most of that price is crucial and necessary for making the money you spend worthwhile. Unfortunately, I had to learn this the hard way; I have wasted thousands of dollars on ads at Ascend simply because I did not know what I was doing wrong, what I could be doing better, and how I could significantly improve my ads’ effectiveness, and, in turn, save money.
In this article, you will learn from my mistakes, so that you can make your ads as effective as possible. Through discussing 3 specific things I have learned using ads, you will have some useful knowledge on how to market your business and product to the world.
1. The intent is important
As a blogger, you may realize faster than me that buyer intent is crucial when you desire to monetize your blog. Intent-based marketing, as defined by DemandZen, “helps businesses predict purchase intent through an in-depth analysis of user behavior”. At its root, intent-based marketing is about customer behavior and purchase intent. It is about researching and having a good grasp and familiarity with your audience. This marketing strategy stems from the concept of intent which is “information about a person’s reasons for visiting, based on their behavior and activity online. To determine intent, you need to look into topic and context data”.
When an audience’s intent is high, this means that there is clear evidence that consumers are interested in buying a product based on their engagement. On the opposite side of the scale, if the intent is low, it means people are not wishing to buy or engage directly with your product. For example, when marketing the debt payoff planner, I may mistakenly try to target “debt payoff” when a better keyword may be “best debt payoff planner for Android”.
In order to make the most of your money, your goal is to determine your audience’s intent when it comes to your product. The main way this is done is through analysis of individual consumer data. Research past consumer behavior to see whether the intent for the ad you would like to market is high. Analyze the data when it comes to your ads, determine whether your audience is returning to engage with your product, note their dwell time on your website — pay attention to the data. If you do this and adjust your ads based on consumer intent, you are already on track to using your money on ads as effectively as possible.
2. Too broad will kill you
Keywords pair nicely with intent. The reason for this is because when an individual does a keyword search, they have an intent, which is to find a solution for their need. This is where the importance of keywords comes in. Your keyword needs to be relevant enough to match their search and more specifically, meet their intent. For example, when marketing our Chapter 13 payment calculator, I may have lost money by trying to spend ads on the keyword, “Chapter 13”, which would result in people who were trying to research Chapter 13 of a book.
If your keywords are too broad, this can make or break the effectiveness of your ad. The idea here is that you want to narrow your keywords because the more concise and specific the keywords are, the more effective they become. Do not think that your keywords have to be long and complex — they do not. All they should be meeting is your audience’s intent.
3. Bad CTA hurts
Now, you have established your intent and honed in on your keywords — this is great, but if you do not have an effective call to action, you are still going to waste money. A call to action is as important as the two tips already mentioned. For example, in my Chapter 7 bankruptcy means test page, I start with a button at the top and then interactive CTAs throughout the article. You have to target the right folks with the right words and most importantly, deliver a call of action. The goal of CTA is to drive consumers to take action concerning your product. As perfectly stated by Hootsuite’s Ad Espresso, “There are two main purposes of a call to action: to tell someone what they should do, and give them the motivation to do so.”
How Can You Improve Your CTA?
Brevity is Key
The briefer your call to action is, the better. You want the consumer to see your intent clearly and remove all distractions that could hinder them from doing so.
Clarity is Crucial
Make your call to action as clear and direct as possible. Tell the consumer what they should do. For example, if you want them to go to your site to receive a discount and save money, tell them directly. Be as direct as possible with what you want your audience to do. Additionally, you are much more likely to get your consumer to follow through with your directions if there is a clear benefit or incentive for them. In this example, the benefit would be that by clicking on our website link, they receive a discount.
Ads may be an important means to monetize your blog, but carefulness is key. It is all about honing your ads to make them more specific, properly defined, and engaging for consumers. It is simple to do, yet difficult to implement if you are not careful. In this article, we explored 3 things that I have learned personally, having lost thousands of dollars on ads in the past. Remember these things as you create new content and market yourself and your business to the world.
About the Author
Ben Tejes is a blogger for Ascend Finance and Saved By the Cents to help lead people to achieve debt and financial freedom by making it cheaper, easier, and faster. When not working, Ben enjoys going on adventures with his wife and three young daughters.