If you want quick, guaranteed traffic, PPC is the way to go. If you want to take the time to design a high performing banner ad to get that burst of traffic, CPM may be your weapon of choice. Either way, I’ve seen more and more ski resort banner ads show up on sites across the web. They’ve appeared on everything from news and sports websites to marketing blogs.
Along the way, like a good little blogger, I’ve managed to capture a few screenshots:
Many of these ads I’m sure working fairly well. However, I have no doubt that many of them are blowing through cash with little or no results. That said, let me recommend a few ways to optimize your banner ads from someone that wasted a lot of money on banners learning these lessons the hard way.
- Make sure your ad moves the clicker one step closer to purchasing the offer in the ad rather than starting them over in the decision making process. A problem I often see if that an ad for a “$99 Ski and Stay deal” takes the clicker to a generic starting page for all of your ski-and-stays. If I clicked an ad about a specific offer, I probably want more information about it and am interested in taking the next step.
- Take the time to put together a custom landing page for your ads. Fit the content and call to action to the specific expectations and needs of someone that would have click on one of your ads. Your website, as awesome as it is, is designed for the masses, not the extremely specific type of visitor your ad is producing.
- Ads today must break through the clutter with an offer and appearance that are really something special. Sometimes the cleanest looking design doesn’t get the attention, rather it’s the ugly banners that catch the visitor’s eye and get the click. Be clever, not cookie-cutter. It will take more than an impressive fact about your mountain to get me to click.
- Each ad should be one of many versions and offers that you are testing to find the best performer. Design is cheap compared to thousands of wasted clicks. Always let your ads be competing for the top spot. Start out with more variety then, when you have a good one, tweak that a few different ways and start again. However, don’t let your testing stop at the first click. Test ad performance all the way to the “thank you for your purchase” page.
It’s hard to find better ways to get quick, traffic than with PPC ads. At the same time, it’s hard to find faster ways to burn though a few thousand dollars in advertising. Make sure your ads are part of a well designed, heavily split-tested, short buying process to get the most bang for your buck.
Thoughts? Ideas? Feedback? Comments are old-school,
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