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Impress with a Great Website

Posted July 24, 2012 by Marina @ 10:07 am

As hard as it is to get customers and viewers to your website, it is easy to let them get away when you don’t have a proper page to keep them there.

Sure, you may have a stellar remarketing campaign and your social media following is through the roof, but what if when a customer or guest makes it to your website and they can’t even navigate it? Is it cluttered with too much information or products from the start page? These are the issues that you have to worry about when you’re beginning your campaigns in attempt to increase your conversion rates.

Half the battle is getting people to your website, but that’s not the end-game for making a sell. First of all, while your advertisements are great and could be very effective, they are more like the picture of a person on a dating website. Sure, it’s a small look at what you’re getting, but there’s no substance and no personality to go along with it.

Advertisements are previews (teasers) that will draw everyone to the main attraction, giving them the ultimate first impression once they get the full thing. That’s why as much time as you put in on your advertisements and marketing campaigns, your website should receive just as much, if not more attention than those other factors. Having an interactive, easily navigated, accessible website could be the difference from a new customer and a bad review.

Simply put, there are things that you need to be sure of when you’re building up your website in order to ensure that people will have no problems when they visit to make a purchase of some sorts.

Organization – What good is an online business if people can’t find the proper buttons or categories to make that purchase? Sure, you could be providing the best quality items on the internet with excellent customer service, but does it matter if people can’t properly navigate the website to get the information they need? Have everything of importance — including contact info, categories, deals, etc. — in an easy-to-find matter so your potential customers don’t have to spend more time looking for information than they need to.

Highlight Focus – The best part about building and operating your own online business and website is that you know exactly where you want the focus to go when people enter your site. Say you have a huge new deal or some blowout savings that you know for a fact you can profit from; it’s in your best interest to make those deals and products the focus of your initial home page. Sliding images, BIG CAPITALIZED LETTERS, bold font; make sure that people see your biggest and best factors that you know they will love and you can make a profit off of.

Simple – Your website is designed to entice customers with the products you have and the service you provide. It is not necessary to go too far on your website design when you go above and beyond to please your customers through every purchase or inquiry they make. No need for a Flash laser-light show when someone enters your website to keep them involved; keep things simple, it’s for the better.

First impression is a key to success; don’t let it slip away.

Image credit: Robert Couse-Baker on Flickr

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Need Inspiration for your ads? These 5 sites should do the trick.

Posted July 17, 2012 by fran @ 12:21 pm

Ideas can either make or break your ad campaigns. Even if you’ve found the perfect online ad network that offers fast and easy services with ad formats that are great for your products or services, your campaign won’t take off if it isn’t backed by interesting ideas and solid strategies. That’s why continuously coming up with unique concepts is key to having long lasting success in advertising. You always have to strive to keep those good ideas coming in order to stay ahead of the competition and gain more customers.

The good news is there isn’t a shortage of resources that you can draw ideas from. You may think that inspiration is hard to find these days, but the truth is, there are plenty of brilliant concepts to go around, you just have to know where to look.

Not sure where to start? Check out the 5 websites below. These unsung blogs are excellent sources of the most brilliant ads out there, and you should definitely visit them if you need to get your creative juices flowing.

1. Between 10 and 5 – This site showcases the most creative works in the advertising world and beyond. From graphic designs and photographs, to print, video, and TV ads, Between 10 and 5 is an awesome resource for all things creative. See the story behind your favorite TV advertisement or discover obscure but excellent works on the site.

2. Adverblog – Founded in 2003, Adverblog aims to deliver “the best and forget the rest” in digital advertising and marketing. Check this blog and see some of the most interesting advertisements in the world. What’s great about Adverblog though, is that the guys and girls behind it don’t just upload a couple of videos or images then call it a blog post. They actually insert their own insights and tell a little bit of the stories behind the ads, ensuring that each post is an interesting one.

3. Ads of the World – This website offers the ultimate archive of great ads from all around the globe. Aside from showcasing creative works though, Ads of the World also offers a forum where members are able to discuss any topic related to advertising. Feel free to ask questions, comment, and critique. Need a job or looking for one? Check out the jobs forum and you could just find the advertising career that you’re looking for.

4. AdPulp – This site has a more activist slant in the industry. You’ll find a lot of great ad campaigns here, but on top of that, the guys at AdPulp post informative commentaries about ads and what’s happening in the industry, and the site strikes the perfect balance between being entertaining and informative. Be sure to check it out!

5. The Canned Banners Notebook – Canned Banners is a website that allows people to create their own banner ads with the use of their ad builder. They also have a blog called “The Canned Banners Notebook” wherein they showcase some of their clients as well as provide tips for effective ads in general. This site is must-visit if you need inspiration for your banner ads.

Image credit:  photosteve101 on Flickr

 

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Sales vs. Brand Awareness: Which One Is It?

Posted July 10, 2012 by fran @ 10:39 am

With the many forms of online advertising, the decision of which ad model is “the one” can be overwhelming, especially if you have a tight ad budget. Are video, mobile, and social ads effective or should you reach users through pay per click advertising or remarketing instead?

The fact is, there isn’t a one size fits all ad model. Each ad format offers unique advantages, and the “right” ad you depends largely on what your business is trying to sell, who the target audience is, and more importantly, what you want to accomplish. Are you in it to get actual sales or do you simply want to put your brand name out there? Either way, you shouldn’t spend your advertising budget yet if you don’t have definite answers to the questions above.

If your goal is to increase sales, then consider using remarketing. Remarketing ads (also known as retargeting) pertain to advertisements that are displayed to bring users back to a website. Used by online merchants, remarketing works by tagging the computer of a user that visited a website without buying anything. When that user leaves that website, the remarking technology will display ads on other websites that the person visits to remind them to go back and complete the purchase. Remarketing is very effective because it targets users that have already expressed interest in making a purchase. In fact, studies show that remarketing can increase conversion rates to up to 125%.

PPC ads can also effective for those “hard sales”. This model works by letting advertisers bid on keywords that users type into search engines. Whenever those keywords come up, the bidders’ ad units will be displayed. PPC advertising also drives sales because these types of ads appear when users are obviously looking for something. For instance, when a person types in a search for “used cars” and a nearby dealership displays an ad on the search results, the user that performed the search would be inclined to click on the ad, and will be more likely to ask for a quote or drop by.

What about social ads? Well, as other studies have shown, Facebook ads have had a lackluster performance when it comes to converting users. However, this isn’t to say that these ads are completely useless. A recent survey by AdAge revealed that Facebook ads are purchased for awareness, rather than increasing sales. When asked “What do you use Facebook ads for?” 45.7% of marketers answered “Build awareness and sentiment for my brand.” This was followed by “Drive traffic to my website”, “Build fans or ‘likes’”, “To stay in touch with my customers”, “Generate sales leads”, and finally “Social commerce”. It’s evident that Facebook ads are mostly used for branding purposes.

If your purpose is to increase brand awareness, boost your fan count, or to get people to read your blog, social ads (Facebook and Twitter ads) could be worth a try.

Image credit: fontplaydotcom on Flickr

 

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How to Create Landing Pages that Seal the Deal

Posted July 3, 2012 by fran @ 10:24 am

Landing pages are extremely important especially if you’re running a pay per click ad campaign. After all, getting users to click on your ad is one thing, but getting them to actually take action after that is a whole different story.

Whether your landing page is a product specific page, a contact form, or your homepage, always test and optimize it to ensure that you’re getting the highest conversion rates possible.

Check out the landing page tips below to help get you started:

Showcase what you promoted in the ad – Your landing page should deliver the promise of the ad that led the visitor to it. Users click on ads because they’re interested in what it has to offer, so make sure that content of your landing page is consistent with the ad. It takes more than an appealing bait to successfully reel users in; your landing page should showcase whatever’s being promoted in the ad in order for them to take action. If your ad is about a special deal, make sure that your landing page reflects this. If you’re promoting specific products in your PPC ads, users that click on them should be able to see those products in the page that the ads link to.

Always deliver on your ads’ promises. Don’t try to pull a bait and switch on your users as this will only give customers a bad impression or your brand, and you’ll only end up wasting your ad budget.

Make it easy to navigate – Chances are, if you designed your own a landing page and if you’ve seen it a million times, then you know it like the back of your hand. To you, finding relevant information on the page is quick and simple—maybe even common sense. But this may not be the case for first time visitors. Test your landing page by showing it to users who’ve never seen it before and ask if it is indeed easy to navigate. Their feedback will help you determine if you need to tweak your page and make it more user-friendly.

Remember that ease of use is important to converting users. You want your visitors to be able to find what they’re looking for as quickly as possible; otherwise, you risk the chances of people leaving your site to find what they need elsewhere.

Include a clear and focused call to action – This may seem elementary to some, but you’d surprised to know just how many advertisers mess up on the call to action aspect of their landing pages. Your landing page should clearly and unequivocally communicate what you want your customers to do. It should be laser-focused and the call to action should be unmistakable to visitors. Make sure that all the aspects of your landing page are working towards one thing: getting the user to click on that one call to action button. Now is not the time to be subtle. People appreciate clear and simple instructions, so don’t be shy on telling them what you want them to do.

Image credit:  FutUndBeidl on Flickr

 

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