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How to increase conversion from online advertisements

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After helping a member on Experts Exchange with conversion from an ad to his website, I'd like to help others out there as well.

For marketers, the web is a great tool to reach many people pretty easily. However, just because you got in front of them doesn't guarantee a high return on investment. Depending on where you're advertising, whether it is banner ads on many different sites or it's as simple as a Facebook ad, making sure you see success in your efforts is important. Not only to your bottom line, but to the awareness of your product.

emroze asked how to increase conversion from a Facebook ad. Since I do conversion as a career, I was able to give some insight.

Couple easy tips to increasing conversion from your ads:

Make sure you have a call to action
If your ad only has information or statistics or general information, but no reason to click on the ad, then people won't click it. Make sure you have something beyond just click here or something generic like that. Make sure your visitor has a reason. "Click here for more information!" Learn more about _____" etc.

Make sure you answer "where am I?" "what can I do here?" immediately when they reach your landing page
This is critical. Marketing Experiments talks about how if visitors don't know what's going on within a couple of seconds, they will have clicked the back button and never even gave your page a chance. Ways to make sure you answer that question quickly is to have the same headline or similar call to action at the top of the page. Make sure there is some continuity in the experience. If the visitor lands on a page that is completely different than what they thought, they're out. This leads to the next tip.

Manage expectations of your visitor
While you're building your ad and the page the visitor will be taken too when they click on the ad, ask yourself "what would I expect to see when I click on this?" Try to put yourself in their shoes. Make sure you're able to answer "where am I?" "what can I do here?" and ask your coworker or random friend who hasn't been to the site to give their honest opinion about the experience. The more you're able to do outside research, the better your entire experience will be.

Test a couple different ads
If you make a couple different ads (different colours, calls to action, images etc) you'll be able to see what more people click on, then you can presume that more people identify with the concepts in the winning ad. This will tell you more about what your audience is looking for and you can tweak your landing page and other aspects of your site to have the same look and feel as the winning ad.

[b]Couple things to keep in mind[]/b]

Some clicks are going to be "whoops" clicks
A slip of the mouse, or an over eager clicker can accidentally click on your ad and then click the back button before it's even loaded. Therefore they never gave your site a chance.

People are curious
Keep in mind that some people may want to know what you're talking about or how something can be done, but have no intention of signing up for your services or buying your product.

Having a 100% conversion goal is unrealistic. You should calculate your return on investment based on how many people you need to sign up and how much it's costing you to run the ad campaign.

Hope this helps and happy converting!
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