One of the greatest perks of working at an agency is collaborating with businesses of all shapes and sizes on their path to digital dominance. The Influence Agency partners with everyone from service-based community startups, to well-established and time-tested global brands. Teaming up with entrepreneurs who are just starting out poses a unique set of challenges, but it is also where a lot of the creative magic happens.
We love bringing big ideas to potential audiences, and paid advertising is one of the most efficient ways to get ideas in front of the right eyeballs quickly. However, first impressions are everything, and driving paid traffic to web pages that aren’t set up for success can be an exercise in burning money.
So what does your site need before jumping head first into search (Google Ads, Bing, DuckDuckGo), social (Meta, TikTok, LinkedIn), or display ads (Google, Programmatic)? We summed up a few quick points to help you get ready for the bright lights and big stage of paid advertising.
OK, let’s get something out of the way… we love landing pages and recommend any paid traffic strategy to utilize focused and conversion-heavy landing pages, but in this case, we are taking the ready, fire, aim approach to web design. When you don’t have the bandwidth to design and develop landing pages and you want to get the word out ASAP, these tips can help you get the most out of your site. So put those landing pages on your development road map, but in the meantime, there are a plethora of small changes you can make to get your site paid advertising ready.
The first step of getting your site ready for paid traffic is identifying which pages you will point your traffic to. Ask yourself the following questions, Is this an exercise in branding, are you selling a specific product, are you trying to increase leads for an individual service? Determining your overall objective for the campaign will allow you to settle on a specific page to optimize for paid media.
From a best practice perspective, adopting all of the following suggestions on pages with a purchase or action intent is always recommended. Anywhere on the site that we are asking the user to take action is where we want to start. Once we’ve determined which pages are top priority there are some simple steps you can take to get the most value out of them.
The first of these steps is establishing a clear objective for your page. Sign-up, Book A Consultation, Get A Free Quote etc… Visitors should realize quite quickly what it is they are supposed to do on your page. Make sure you hold their hand — if it isn’t immediately obvious, you’ve failed! Even on your homepage, a conversion point should be visible above the fold to encourage visitors to take action. Make sure your call to action buttons are stark, clear, and prompt the user to take action.
Additionally, offer value when you can to increase conversion rates. Free demos, consultations, and discounts on first purchases are all examples of tantalizing offers that drive action. Give the visitor something they perceive as valuable.
Lastly, make sure conversion points are available on any page a user might find themselves on. Whether you’re selling products or services, users should always be one click away from a form fill, a path to your product, downloadable gated content etc… Don’t strand a user on an inner page without an opportunity to convert.
Conversion rates and site speeds are directly proportional. There is no better way to put it other than slow-loading pages do not convert. The faster a site loads the more likely a visitor is to complete your desired action.
With paid media advertising this is extremely important. Driving traffic to a slow-loading page, where a user is highly likely to exit, is simply a waste of money. Before launching your paid ads use a tool like Google’s PageSpeed Insights to gauge how your site measures up. There are actionable items from a full diagnostic that you can share with your dev to get up to speed.
This is a pretty straightforward one, most of us work off of a desktop/laptop to design pages, launch campaigns etc…, but the reality is that most likely 40-60% of your traffic will come from mobile sources. Do you know how your site looks on a new iPhone? While most web design suites optimize for all formats through what is known as responsive design, have you actually taken a look at how your site appears on different devices? To do this, simply right-click on any web page (in Chrome) and select “Inspect” from the options. You will then see a series of code pop-up on the right side of the screen. Ignore this and choose from the drop-down menu located in the middle of the page. Available will be a number of today’s most popular devices, giving you an idea of where you could be missing the mark.
Another great tip to get your pages ready is optimizing your forms. Choose the path of least resistance and only ask users for required information such as name, email, etc… In some cases such as e-commerce, you will obviously have to include more details including payment gateway, but the fundamentals still apply. Minimize distraction and just offer users a clear path to complete their journey, no more or less than what is required. Be sure to utilize guest checkout for e-commerce to avoid mandating users to create new accounts and also auto-fill for quick and easy form fills.
Additional details can always be followed up post-sale or in the sales process itself. It’s important to take into account the user’s time and attention span and offer them a clear path to convert as efficiently as possible.
This will mainly apply to service-based businesses but is advised across the board, especially for new businesses trying to drum up action. Display your phone number in a visible and omnipresent manner, traditionally in the top right corner of the page and lock it into position for full visibility.
But how do you know when someone calls from an ad? Call tracking software is affordable and easy to use with limited technical knowledge. Call tracking software can dynamically change your phone number to a unique phone number based on where a user is coming from. This is especially useful for paid advertising as it allows you to attribute conversions from calls. These in turn can be pulled into specific ad platforms and help you make informed decisions on which ad spend has been the most effective.
Creating a thank you page serves ultimately serves two purposes. Firstly, it allows you to illustrate the next steps for a user once they’ve converted on your page. This can be as simple as letting a user know timelines when they will be contacted or as in-depth as an onboarding video. Secondly, thank you pages are a great way to track your success. Since a thank you page should have a unique URL that is only triggered through a conversion, this is a great place to track conversions through programs like Google Tag Manager, Analytics, or even ad platforms with their own pixels. Thank you pages are vital to a well-thought-out campaign with accurate attribution.
Lastly, this tip applies to all digital campaigns paid, social, organic, etc… Knowledge is power and being able to properly attribute your marketing efforts and dollars is truly the advantage of digital marketing. Utilize any data you can leverage whether it is traditional demographics like age and gender or in-depth location, time of day, ad creative etc… Tracking allows you to set yourself up for success and make informed decisions.
While there is no magic wand to wave to describe tracking for each and every platform (and they’re always changing), there is no shortage of resources from first parties like Google, to third-party content creators. It is in the best interest of these platforms to provide you with accurate data that can persuade you to spend more on their platforms.
These are just a few tips to keep in mind before you pull the trigger on paid media advertising. Get the most out of your ad spend and help push potential visitors to convert on your pages with well-thought-out and low-barrier design, that is measurable and informative.
Sounds simple enough right, but how do you make this happen? While there are an infinite amount of resources on the web to coach you through all of these changes, sometimes it is easier to have an expert take the reins. If you’re struggling to get your website ready for paid advertising, contact The Influence Agency. We’ve got an experienced team who knows how to build campaigns and websites that drive results for our clients using the following:
Whatever path you take, we wish you luck on your paid media journey. Bring your ideas to the right people and stop wasting valuable money and precious time on bloated campaigns that can’t be measured.4
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