5 tasks for online marketing in 2015 – Online Advertising

Yesterday, in the first of our online marketing projects for 2015, I looked at how we can get more out of third-party websites. Devote a few hours to this once a month and you’ll start to see your Google search traffic rise by this time next year, I promise. Today, let’s look at how we can improve our online advertising.

Obviously, this is our subject. Running online advertising for companies like yours (particularly Google AdWords) is what we do for a living. So you won’t be surprised by some of what I’m going to write. But here goes anyway.

Firstly, do seriously think about how much of your budget you’re spending on online advertising. There are still many companies out there spending more on print advertising than online. Usually nowadays, this makes no sense whatsoever. Just ask your customers where they go to source products. If you can’t be bothered to ask, for once a guess will do. Do you seriously believe they turn to trade magazines when it really counts? Sure, many will still read them, and if you’ve got the money to spend on reinforcing your branding, they play a role. But for generating enquiries? Not a chance.

Many of our clients now spend 100% of their advertising budget online. They get it. For those that don’t, I know that in many cases, any remaining print spending is more due to a lack of nerve, and perhaps to keep a long-in-the-tooth MD happy. That last bit I can at least appreciate.

Secondly, think about how you’re spreading your online advertising budget about. Can you justify those banner ads, or those directory entries? I’m not suggesting you can’t, but have you actually measured the response? There are even more people trying to rip you off with poor-value products online than there are in print. Many dubious publishers and websites come over as being quite respectable.

On the other hand, pay per click advertising by definition delivers the goods. If you don’t get the traffic, you don’t pay anything.

Finally, ask yourself if your pay-per-click advertising is in the right hands. Running a Google AdWords campaign in-house? If it’s only a couple of hundred pounds a month, that’s exactly where it should be. Agency charges would gobble up most of that sort of budget, so they make no sense. If you’re spending a thousand pounds a month (and I’d bet it’s at least that for one or more of your competitors), then pay-per-click advertising needs some serious time and experience devoted to it. Maybe you have that time to kill, and indeed need to be hands-on to justify your continued employment. In that case, please make sure you read as many blogs as possible to keep up with the latest developments. There are many great ones.

If not, think about letting someone else handle it for you. There may be no cost involved, and it could free up a lot of your time. We’d be delighted to chat about it, and it would be remiss of me not to say that conventional advertising agencies are also available.

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