Last September we noted how ad blocking technology is complicating online advertising. However, despite issues with ad blockers, online advertising remains a huge business and thousands of marketers continue to consider this a critical component of their overall promotional strategy.
When advertising online, marketers primarily have two options for placing ads. First they can manage advertising placement themselves by negotiating directly with specific websites. For instance, a clothing retailer could make a deal with a fashion magazine website and agree to pay the website for displaying their ad. To get the ad to appear, the website will insert computer code that loads the ad from some other location managed by the retailer.
A second option for placing ads, and one that is far more likely to occur, is for a marketer to run their ads by using the services of an advertising network. Ad networks handle the placement and delivery of ads. They also provide advertisers with backend access for managing important decisions such as choosing keywords that will trigger an ad; setting an ad budget; determining how much to spend for each click on an ad; and selecting the type of websites where the ad will be displayed. The backend also offers a slew of analytical tools allowing marketers to see how ads are performing.
The leading advertising network for both large and small organizations is the Google’s AdWords platform. When first launched in 2000, AdWords limited advertisers to placing text-only ads on Google search results pages. A few years later, with the introduction of their AdSense ad revenue sharing program, Google expanded ad options by enabling advertisers to display both text and image ads across thousands of websites. As AdWords has evolved so too has its backend ad management tools. In fact, it has become so sophisticated that a vast majority of marketers use only a tiny fraction of the backend tools. Because of this, inexperienced online marketers, whose ad spending is relatively small and who devote limited time on the AdWords backend, are often at a competitive disadvantage compared to larger marketers, who have well-trained staff to manage their AdWords account.
For marketers who are not well versed in managing their AdWords account, this story from Target Marketing Magazine may prove helpful. The story offers ten tips for using AdWords more efficiently including suggestions for improving the selection of keywords that trigger when ads will appear; understanding how the effectiveness of an ad can differ when viewed on desktops, tablets and cellphones; and creating more compelling ad copy. While the suggestions offered here should be well understood by anyone using AdWords, it should also be understood that getting the full potential out of Adwords campaigns will take significant time and effort.