Too often advertising is perceived as simply getting your company’s name & logo in front of the customers’ eyes. Once you’ve put your message out there, how do you know if it brings in the customers? Tracking is one of the essential components of advertising yet, but because of its perceived difficulty, it is often neglected. Surveys have revealed that only 19% of respondents felt confident in their ability to measure their advertising. And 73% didn’t fully understand the effects an advertising campaign could have on sales. Advertising tracking can be a huge undertaking, but with just a few small steps on your part, you can uncover advertising that’s costing your company lots of money.Assuming you’ve probably used Google Advertising at some point, you’ve probably looked at your stats of click thrus & impressions. It’s great that Google can employ very advanced technology to create, measure, and elevate your better performing ads, but don’t forget to track those ads on your end as well. Let’s assume you’re running two ads on the Google network & Google indicates they’re getting equal clicks. What if one ad yields a 4% closure rate & the other ad yields 31% closure rate? It wouldn’t make sense to keep paying for both ads. With the 4% ad, you’re paying Google for unqualified leads. The wrong audience is clicking there. Google doesn’t realize it’s underperforming since the clicks are about the same for both ads.If you’re still not convinced ad tracking is right for you, consider how much you pay for an ad in the yellow pages. A company I used to work for was paying over $122,000/year for a full page ad, but never tracked its results. Needless to say, they didn’t take my advice until I attended an industry convention. At the convention I learned that everyone that tracked their yellow pages ad discovered it generated less than 5% of their customers. It didn’t make sense for them to be paying for full page ads, so they all shrank down to a business card ad.Ad tracking, like anything else, starts with a few small steps. Here’s a few you can take this week to get a better handle on your advertising.Use separate phone numbers. If your ad lists a phone number as the ‘call to action’, list a different phone number on each ad variation. Then you simply log which phone line rings the most. Phone lines don’t cost very much, but are great tools for tracking your advertising. If you still need to justify the cost of a second line: The money you save from discarding an underperforming ad will more than pay for a second line. If you’re paying for any size yellow pages ad, then it’s imperative that you include a separate phone number only in the ad. The white pages listing could be your regular phone number. This is one of the easiest methods & works across all advertising media.Use separate email addresses. Just like a second phone line, only free & easier to log. Mostly for print or online advertising.Use separate web pages. This takes a little creativity on your part, but is a great tool for measuring your ad performance when you don’t have a lot of direct customer contact. If an advertising company were to run an ad campaign with 2 different variations, each ad could direct visitors to a separate page. You could also have 2 different versions of your website (.com or .net)Utilize tracking software. Although it can only track your online sales, it’s extremely important if you do most of your business online. If you don’t want to tackle the technical challenge yourself, right now’s a great time to find a freelance programmer. You’d be surprised how many simple solutions are available to track what your visitors are doing at your site.Offer a coupon code. Coupon codes are great for several reasons other than ad tracking, but are also one of the easiest ways to determine ad performance. It can be used across all medias. In a radio ad, when you call the listener to action, tell them to mention a specific code. Web or print ads can do the same, such as, “Use coupon code: banner5.” With online ordering, you can simply add another field on your checkout form and label it “coupon code.” Every order that comes through after that can be linked back to a specific ad.
You have your high-end designer website. Check. You have your dynamite product(s)/service(s)/opportunity(ies). Check. You have an abundance of pay-per-click advertisement throughout the World Wide Web. Check. You are dedicated to your business and believe in it. Check. So, you may ask “why is no one coming in to do business with me?” The answer could lie in you and not your skills. Here are some valuable online advertising tips:Online Advertising Tip #1: You get what you are – Every serious entrepreneur knows that a key to successful business is marketing. However, it is also important to analyze the message that you could be sending out to your target audience. Whatever you advertise, that is what you will get.For example, if you have an online advertisement or website that says “Powerful Home Exercise Equipment Makes You Lose 10 Pounds in 2 days! Fast Results! Never Diet Again!” The online advertisement would attract a group of people looking for a quick fix to lose 10 pounds. Sure you may sell a bunch at first but what will happen once they get your equipment home and had not lost ten pounds in two days? Some may do nothing, some would want refunds, and in today’s world some would sue.A better way for the online advertisement/website would be, “Innovative Home Exercise Equipment. Designed For All Levels of Fitness To Help Reach Goals. Intensive Equipment Testing.” This way, your business would attract a wider variety people with different needs for home exercise equipment.Remember to be straightforward enough to attract the people you want to do business with yet compelling enough to force potential clients to go to your website to learn more and spend money.Online Advertising Tip #2: Communication is the key – Say what you mean, mean what you say. Instead of talking strictly about your product/service/opportunity and how great it is, mention the benefits that the potential customer would receive by using your product/service. For instance, if you are advertising online a business opportunity that others can take part of and earn a significant income, a wise thing to do would be to NOT make any dollar amount income claims such as, “Fire Your Boss and Earn $5000/wk” or ” Make $506,234 Your First Year by investing only $50.” These types of online advertisements could attract people who are looking to make fast money without doing much work or willing to invest much (while the serious people would ignore your online advertisement). These types of people don’t tend to stick around long. Instead using wording such as “Fire Your Boss and Finally Get to Have Breakfast With Your Family” or “Earn CEO-Level Income” or “For Serious Entrepreneurs Only”. These statements could attract people who are looking to have more time freedom to spend with family and high quality leaders and entrepreneurs (unlike the lazy people looking to get rich quick). This audience is more likely to spend money with you and continue to do business with you in the long run.Online Advertising Tip #3: Give before you can receive – If your focus is strictly quantity in your online advertising efforts and nothing else, it is not going to put a lot of money in your pocket in the long-term. Rather focus on the value that your product/service/opportunity would provide to others as well as quantity (after all one of the secrets is going through the numbers). Marketing guru Perry Marshall said it best, “People who buy a drill are not looking to buy a drill; they are looking to make a hole.” Earlier I mentioned how communication can determine your result. Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. What would you want to know if you were that customer? What kind of problem would that customer have that you can solve? Using the business opportunity model, a quality person looking to spend more time with his family is a better prospect than the lazy person looking to get rich quick. By truly empathizing with your customer, you can better determine what to communicate to your target audience in order to get them to respond positively to your online advertising.Online Advertising Tip #4: Personal Development – Okay. Okay. This may not be an official online advertising tip but, the most crucial one. Regardless of what type of entrepreneur you are, it is important as a leader to participate in some sort of personal development program or self-help type of program everyday for at least an hour. The various forms personal development comes in include books, seminars, audios, mentorship, religious organizations, counseling, and many other things in between. It is critical, to consistently strive to reach your full potential so that you are a success and that others greatly benefit from all of what it is that you have to offer. That way greatness comes to you second nature. A good example of someone who was able to achieve this was Leonardo DaVinci. He was the poster child of a human being reaching their full potential. He was everything from artist to bodybuilder and had made a tremendous impact on our world and is still considered great today centuries later. In the 21st century, mega billionaire and fellow entrepreneur, Bill Gates, could also be someone who strives to reach their fullest potential (although you don’t have to be rich in order to do so; Gandhi is a good example as well.)The bottom line is this: be the exact person that you want others to be in regards to your business. Always provide a value to others first and you will get it back ten times. Never underestimate the power of growing and developing you to be of greatness.