Just as Google came up with a way to present searchers with better results when they performed a search, they also an algorithm to improve the ads they displayed. This is Ad Rank and it displays ads based on Quality Score and maximum bid. The idea is to show the ads that people will likely click on higher on a page, sometimes over advertisers willing to pay more.
Most of my clients seem to know what Quality Score is, as it is displayed with their keywords in Google Adwords. Yet, this is just one element to be concerned about. If you have a high Quality Score, but your bid is below the first page bid, you're likely not to be seen.
If your keyword phrase has a low Ad Rank, it will negatively impact your ad’s position. You’ll have to bid higher for phrases and even then you’re not guaranteed a top listing. Google’s philosophy is that if searchers aren’t clicking on your ad, they’re not making money. So they’ll bump up the ads that will get clicks.
How Google Ad Rank is changing.
This past month Google announced a major change to Ad Rank. Now they would be factoring in site links into their algorithm. Site links were one of the key elements of Google Enhanced and include extensions for phone, location, even reviews. Here is what the Google Adwords blog said about the change.
“Ad extensions and formats can now influence the position of your ad on the search results page. If two competing ads have the same bid and quality, then the ad with the more positive expected impact from extensions will generally appear in a higher position than the other.”
There is a variety of ideas as to why this is occurring. Some suggest that it’s Google’s way of making more money and this does make sense. Often site links don’t appear unless ads are in the top 3 positions.
Yet, even if the intentions might be motivated by profit, advertisers do benefit from extensions. I’ve seen click through rates for my clients increase dramatically through their use. Extensions expand a listing and provide prospects with more information. They also benefit people using their mobile devices to look for products and services.
Whatever the motivation for the change, the main thing to consider is that adding them will lower your cost per click.
At least once a week, I get a frantic call from a client who is in a panic because their ads apparently aren't running. They've checked on their phone or their laptop for their key phrases and their ads are nowhere to be seen. They've checked and they still have money in their daily budget so they can't understand why their ads aren't running. Surely there must be something wrong.
I always look into the problem because I know ads not running means losing out on potential business. Yet, more often than not, there is a reason their ads aren't running and it's not because of any error. Here are some typical reasons why their ads aren't showing up when they search.
The budget is used up
Yes, even I can see that a client still seems to have money in their account, but I also know the data is often an hour or two behind. So the number of impressions being shown and more importantly the number of clicks for the day, usually isn't up to date. If you're constantly finding your ads aren't running at a specific time then either increase the daily budget or have your campaign set to spread evenly throughout the time period.
The budget is nearly used up
While you may still have money left in your account, its dwindling. This means your ads aren't going to be shown all the time. If they were, and a number of people clicked on your ad, then you'd be overspending significantly for the day. Google will go over as much as 20% of your daily budget on a day, but tries to avoid anything more. So your ads will only show sporadically and often at a lower bid.
The campaigns are set to show evenly throughout the day.
Many people don't realize when they set their budget the default is set to show ads evenly throughout the day. If you're typically reaching your daily budget, Google and Bing will pause your ads occasionally so that they will appear throughout the day. If you'd rather have them run continuously then choose accelerated delivery. The problem here is that when your budget runs out, your ads are paused for the day.
Your impressions count
When clients tell me they've searched for their ads, I always remind them of one thing. Quit searching for them on Google or Bing. Each time they do, it counts as an impression. So even if they've found their ad, they've increased the number of impressions and lowered their click through rate. And if they look on their smart phones they affect it in another way. For example, Google often shows only two ads usually at the top and if you don't click on your ad, the next time you search you'll likely see two different ads.
The best option when looking to see if your ads are appearing is to use the ads preview tool provided by both Google and Bing. You can see your position in your target market, even if you're nowhere near your target settings.
The Ads Are in Violation
A more serious reason ads aren't running is because they're in violation of some ad policy. For example, businesses often used to include their telephone numbers in ads on Google. Google changed the policy on this (instead wanting you to use click to call) and so ads that were once running were now rejected.
It could also be that you're using trademarked terms in your ad, such as Dell or Apple. If you're in fact legally eligible to include a brand name then you'll need to provide proof. This isn't always easy. One of my clients was in fact, a Apple affiliate, but Apple wouldn't provide proof of this until we had the correct logo in their specific dimensions prominently on the site.
You're Not Bidding Enough or Your Quality Score is Low
I've lumped these together, but the result of both is the same. Your ads are appearing, they're just appearing pretty low. This is almost the same as your ads not runnning becaue if they'r showing low, no one is clicking on them. See what your average position is. If it's below the top 3 or worse not in the top 10, you're likely not being seen by anyone. Either increase your bid or work to increase your Quality Score or simply pause the words.
If you're relying on pay per click to generate leads for your business, then you want your ads running when they're supposed to be. Otherwise potential leads are going to your competition. If you're looking for assistance with your campaign then consider bringing in a pay per click specialist such as myself. Not only will I make sure your ads are running, but that they're targeting your specific market. That you're getting the highest return on your investment.
When I begin working with a client on their pay per click management, the first step I take is to compile a list of keywords to target. Using feedback from the prospect, analyzing their site and their competitor’s sites and using various tool I usually create a very extensive list. Then I pass this on to client to review and approve.
Recently a client returned a list with a number of words crossed off. This isn’t surprising as there are usually words eliminated because they don’t apply to a company’s products and services. Yet, in this case many of the words eliminated I thought in fact were ones we needed to target the most. When I reviewed the list with him, I mentioned this. His response was that his company’s site already ranked for these words and so there was no need to target them with PPC.
I guess the response of my client shouldn’t have been all that surprising, as I’d heard it before. My client believed that people would be more likely to click on the natural rankings (which was true) and wouldn’t click on the ad (which was untrue).
The thinking is that by running an ad it could take away clicks from the natural listings. Yet, study after study shows that the opposite is true. There are people who will often click on an ad over the natural listing. And if it’s not your ad they are clicking on then it’s your competitors.
In fact many major brands, such as Dell purchase ads target their brand name, even though their company site ranks number 1 for their name. This allows them to dominate the results page.
A recent case study reinforced the importance of running ads for highly ranked phrases. A marketing technology company, Resolution Media and Kenshoo, analyzed a year’s worth of US pay per click and organic campaign data from the Imaging and Printing Group of Hewlett Packard. Although IPG had a number one ranking for a phrase, nearly 40% of prospects clicked on their accompanying ad instead. If the site had a lower ranking for a phrase the importance of a paid campaign only increased.
Resolution Media and Kenshoo summed up their analysis by stating that prospects from pay per click ads were actually more profitable from those that clicked on organic listings.
I’ve had this experience with a number of my clients. I do SEO for clients in addition to pay per click and even when I’ve achieved a top ranking for a phrase, the ads we run for the same word are regularly clicked on. For example, I have a client who runs a plumbing company and his site ranks number 1 for various sewer related phrases. Yet, we spend hundreds of dollars each day for pay per click for these phrases and his phone rings more because of these ads, then the number 1 organic listings. How do we know this? When we stop running the ads, the phones nearly stop ringing.
If you achieved success with your site in the natural listings, don’t think the work is done. Run ads for these words. Not only does it provide business from people who might not click on your ads, it provides you with two listings on a page. This also reinforces your image of a company being top in your field. This can increase the number of clicks on your natural listing.
Google even allows for advertisers to see data now when a site is running ads along with its natural listings. According to Google this report allows you to "compare your performance for a query when you have either an ad, an organic listing, or both appearing on the search results page."
Pay per click should be an integral part of your marketing campaign. If you're not sure if your company would benefit from paid ads, then contact me. We can discuss how to take full advantage of it while improving your natural listings, as well.
I was working with a client who was investing more and more money into pay per click and naturally wanted the highest return on investment. I pointed out that we were getting good traffic, but that they just weren't converting. We needed to revise the landing page we were using. He agreed and we came up with new content.
Unfortunately, creating the content was just the first step. We had to get a quote from the web design agency and then wait for the content to be uploaded. It was a two week process. For just one page for one campaign. And we had many campaigns planned.
It's one of many times I wished a client was using HubSpot as the platform for their website. It's not just that the changes could have been done quickly (after all wordpress would have been just as fast), but that the tools they offer would make marketing a business so much easier.
Combining Hubspot and Google Adwords can produce results immediately. Not just relevant prospects, but also the testing of offers and the development of new keywords to target. Here are a few ways the pairing can make an immediate impact on a business.
Using Pay Per Click and Hubspot to nurture leads
One of the main tenants of HubSpot is cultivating leads once they’ve visited your site and either filled out a form or made a phone call. Much of this involves email and contacting these leads about information or whitepapers they might be interested in. By remaining front and center with these prospects and demonstrating your authority in your field you gradually win them over.
The problem with email is that people receive so many that even if they’ve visited your site, they might not recall it enough to open an email. And with the changes to Gmail in particular, it might get even harder. A recent study revealed that 40% of people using the new tabs feature spend less viewing promotional emails. Yet, if you have a quality whitepaper you want them to know about businesses can incorporate into a remarketing campaign. A display ad referencing a whitepaper can appear when they visit sites such as weather.com. They’ll be reminded of your business throughout the day.
Using HubSpot to lower Pay Per Click costs
For many people the argument for using pay per click is that it costs each time. Yet, if it’s profitable, and that’s the key, then why not use it. Many people mistakenly believe that if they rank well for a keyword phrase, then why waste money on pay per click. They pause their ads thinking it will result in more organic clicks, but studies have shown this is not to be the case. Instead they’ll click on the competitor’s ad that now runs in its place.
More importantly studies show that having both organic and paid ads on a page benefits both sides. By seeing a business listed multiple times reinforces the impression that it’s a leader in its field. So creating relevant content through Hubspot improves your site rankings and in the process improves click through rate. An improved click through rate improves Quality Score on Google Adwords, which in turn lowers costs.
Generating Data Through Pay Per Click
One major problem with HubSpot is that, like Google Analytics, it can’t show all the keywords that brought visitors to a site. With my site it’s nearly 80%. So even though I have generated leads from some of these words I don’t know which. Which means I can’t build on the ones that convert or improve on the words that don’t.
With pay per click, however, the words are shown. By knowing which words convert here, I can develop content accordingly for my site.
Testing Done Quickly
With pay per click you get immediate results when targeting keywords. With HubSpot you can begin immediate testing of these phrases. This means you can test out new phrases that can then be later incorporated as part of a content marketing campaign. You can also revise the content as necessary to improve conversions. To test them organically would take months.
Creating Real Landing Pages
Too often businesses are left with little choice when assigning a landing page for the pay per click campaign. This also means incorporating the best practices of landing page design, such as leaving off the navigation bar. This ensures that visitors focus on the offer on a page. Yet, most sites can't do this with their site. With HubSpot, the navigation can be removed immediately. And added back if necessary.
A successful landing page is also tied into the offer or promise of the text ad. As I learned with my client, however, making simple revisions to a web page or developing a new one can be a time consuming process in itself. Time during which a competitor benefits.
Taking Clients Through Your Funnel
Pay per click gets visitors immediately to your site, but that is all it can do. What they do once they are on your site is where HubSpot takes over. With HubSpot you not only engage with your prospects immediately with a landing page but continue to engage with them once they leave. Between Google Adwords and HubSpot, you can target visitors at various states of the buying process and eventually transform them into customers.
It seemed simple enough. A client wanted to change the settings on a campaign, but to do this we had to create a new campaign. So I duplicated the campaign in Bing's editor program and then loaded it online. At the same time we paused on of the ad groups in the duplicated campaign because it wasn't showing good results.
The next morning I checked the campaigns and it seemed like it was active. There were no impressions, but that wasn't surprising since the data is always behind. And I checked to make sure the ads were showing up in the search results. A few hours later, however, I checked and realized there was a problem. The paused campaigns showed impressions and a number of clicks. The active campaigns were showing nothing.
I contacted Bing and even they were confused. They offered to look into it, but the problem persisted for a few more hours. The biggest problem was that the ad group that wasn't to be running at all was also generating clicks. I hadn't paused the original ad group because the entire campaign was supposedly paused.
Bing never did really figure out what happened this day and to their credit they refunded the money for clicks for the ad group that wasn't to be running. Yet, if I hadn't been monitoring the campaign the problem could have gone unnoticed (assuming the problem took care of itself). And my client would have lost money.
If you have a pay per click campaign going, even if it's been incredibly successful, you need to be constantly monitoring it. Here are a few reasons why.
As my experience with Bing shows, things happen. And to be fair I've seen errors with Google Adwords, and Facebook Ads that shouldn't have happened. Campaigns that aren't supposed to be running on certain days are running continuously, keywords that have been targeted don't trigger ads, etc. There are millions of ads running every second so it's easy to see why advertising platforms occasionally don't work correctly.
Your Competitors Aren't Sitting Still
It's not just that your competitors are constantly testing new ads, landing pages or even keywords, there are new competitors coming onto the scene. Businesses that have been hesitant about pay per click are now making the leap. Where before your 10 dollar bid was enough to get you into the top three, now your ads are running along the side.
Your Missing Out On Opportunities
The way people search constantly changes. Google admits a significant portion of searches each month are for phrases they've never encountered before. Both Bing and Google Adwords offer a list of suggested phrases each month. Review them and either discard them or apply them to your campaign. You might discover some very valuable keywords this way.
The Ad Companies Make Changes
When Google changed to Enhanced it was a big story. Yet, both all the advertising platforms are constantly tweaking their programs and rolling out new features. They alert advertisers to these changes in emails and on their blogs, but if you don't pay attention to these you again might be missing out on marketing opportunities.
You're Wasting Money on Certain Words
Part of your review should include looking at the data on the words you're targeting. It's likely some of these aren't bringing in the type of traffic you expected. Also look at the actual keywords people are typing in when they click on your ad. You can do this by looking at the Search Terms while in the keyword tab. Most likely a number of these aren't even related to your business and can easily be eliminated by changing match type or adding negative keywords.
Pay per click campaigns aren't a set it and forget type of program. If you haven't done anything with your campaign in a while then it might be time for a pay per click audit. Most likely you're wasting money with part of your campaign and missing out on opportunities with other areas.
I had a client call me last month to tell me he was going to stop doing pay per click for his business. He told me he thought his site now ranked well enough that he didn't need to spend money on clicks. Since I was doing other work for him it really didn't affect my business too much with him, but I still thought he was making the wrong choice.
I reminded him that he wasn't spending a lot on pay per click each month and most importantly, wasn't he getting a healthy return on his investment. I knew for a fact that for every dollar he was putting into his campaign he was getting 5 dollars in revenue back. Wouldn't he miss out on this additional revenue I asked him? He admitted he would but he was convinced that most of the people that had clicked on his ads would now click on his organic listings. I was skeptical, but paused his campaigns as he asked.
This past week we restarted his campaigns. He admitted that his sales went down when he wasn't running his campaigns. He learned that by stopping his ads, people weren't clicking on his search listings they were clicking on his competitor's ads. So not only did we restart his campaign, he doubled his monthly budget.
If It's Not Broke Why Fix It
For many business people pay per click has a stigma because there is a cost associated with each click. Yet, they need to look at the big picture. If they know that by spending x amount of dollars each month they get 3X or more in return, then doesn't it make sense. My advice to clients is that as long as they're getting a healthy return on investment, there is no reason to stop doing pay per click.
In fact, there are a number of studies that show that businesses who show up well in the organic listings and have ads running alongside them do better overall. People assume they are a major player in their industry and are more likely to click on their organic listing because of it.
Organic Listings Are Being Buried
Another reason that pay per click makes sense, especially for businesses that serve a community is that organic listings are being pushed down. I do SEO for a number of businesses and one of my clients ranks number 1 for nearly all the services he offers. Yet, for some of these listings people don't see his listing when they first perform a search. It's because the top 3 listings are taken up with ads and the next group is taken up with the Google 7 Pack. These are the Google Places listings that are considered to be closest to the location of the person doing a search. So his number 1 organic listing looks like it's not even in the top 10.
When Pay Per Click Doesn't Make Sense
If for many businesses pay per click does make sense there are definite cases where it doesn't make sense. For some of my clients it worked initially because they didn't have any traffic, but the cost was high. For one client the cost per click for his service was nearly 55 dollars. He was a plumber who was running a promotion for a 79 dollar drain cleaning. To me that didn't make sense and I eventually convinced him to focus on less costly phrases. I did get him to rank for plumbing in his area so although this too did cost a lot of money, he could recoup this cost over time.
If Your Website Sucks Why Send Visitors To It
A major reason that pay per click doesn't work for businesses is that there website just isn't good. It looks outdated or it lacks any calls to actions. It lacks the information that people are looking for or it simply copies other sites. No amount of traffic is going to convince people you're the company for them, if you don't have a good website. Most of the clients I've cut loose is because they had no way to update their site or no desire to. Pay per click can drive traffic, but it can't drive sales if your vehicle is a lemon.
If you're doing well with pay per click, then why not continue with it. There are always going to be people who click on ads over the listings available in organic. The main thing is to find out how to build on your success with PPC and how to lower your overall cost per acquisition. This is why having a pay per click specialist examine and monitor your campaign can help take your business to another level.
If you’re like most business executives using Google Adwords, the things that most interest you each month is cost per click, monthly spend, and most importantly, how much business it generated. Yet, for your campaign to run efficiently and generate the highest return on investment, you need to be aware of a lot more factors. One of these is Quality Score and you might not even know what it is.
Quality Score is a number that is given to each keyword you're targeting with your Adwords campaigns. It's not something that shows up when you first log into your account. One of the ways to find it is when you click on the keywords tab. Under the status heading you'll find such assessments as eligible, low search volume, etc. Next to each is a small icon that resembles those bubbles that appeared in comics when characters talked. By running your mouse over it, you'll get you're Quality Score.
The Quality Score is a number from 0-10, with the highest number being the most desirable. If you have a QS of less than 7, then you need to evaluate your campaign.
Why Quality Score Is Important
Quality Score is a value given to each keyword in your campaign. The better your score, the more likely your ad is going to show higher than a competitor who has a lower score. This means that even if your competitor is willing to bid more, your ad will appear higher even if your bid is lower. Google wants two things. To have ads get clicked on and that the person doing the search is satisfied with their results. This ensures that they make money and that searchers continue to rely on them for their research.
If you want to get more clicks for your money and a better response from those clicks, then you'll want a high Quality Score.
How Is Quality Score Determined
Just as Google has an algorithm for their organic search results, they also have one for their pay per click platform. Bidding is still important, for if your bid too low your ad won’t appear near the top and thus no data will be generated. Thus you must bid high enough to show up in the results, but it’s your score that will keep your ad showing. Quality Score is based on three elements related to your ad campaign, you're expected click through rate, ad relevance and landing page experience.
There are others elements that can impact your Quality Score, but a recent change from Google puts the most emphasis on these three criteria. This means that even more you need to pay attention to all three aspects when evaluating your phrases.
Quality Score is also dynamically generated. It’s constantly being revised, but only when your ads are running. Pausing a campaign won’t affect your score, but it could set you back if your competitor’s scores continue to improve. It’s one of many reasons you want to continuously monitor your score. Even now many businesses may be seeing their scores drop because of Google’s changes and not something they’ve done.
If you have a low score, Google often gives you an indication of why. For example, they could state that it’s due to your landing page. Most often this is because the search terms being targeted aren’t referenced.
How to Improve Quality Score
As mentioned Google often gives indicators of why your score is low. If it’s the landing page, then revise it to incorporate the words being targeted. This won’t just help your quality score, but often your conversion rate as well. If the person clicking on an ad don’t find what they’re looking for on a page, they’ll simply back out and go the next ad.
If an ad isn’t relevant to the phrase it’s not just that your score is effected, but your click through rate. Here again if you can incorporate the phrases in your ad, it won’t just benefit your QS, but your campaign. If you’re targeting a number of phrases don’t group them into one ad group. Break them up so that each ad group targets phrases directly related to one another.
Quality Score is determined differently for Display Campaigns because it’s such a different platform. This article focuses on search and hopefully by now you understand the value of separating search and display campaigns.
If you want to get more out of your marketing dollar, then work to improve your Quality Score. It can take time to get results, but in the end you’ll see a much higher return on investment and you’ll connect with the prospects most interested in what you offer.
I had to contact Google Adwords this week about a problem I was having connecting a client's Adwords account with their analytics (they had separate accounts for each). As the specialist tried to walk me through it we came to an impasse. What he was describing wasn't what I was seeing on my screen. And because he was having issues with his computer he couldn't do a screenshare. He ended the call saying he'd email me some information.
It seemed strange to me that he couldn't assist me. I have Google Adwords on speed dial (do people still say that?) because I call them frequently. In the past they can usually answer my questions. What bothered me about this conversation was that I was telling the specialist that it said on my screen I was seeing a new dashboard and he seemed oblivious to it.
Not content with my response I called back and reached a different specialist. He also couldn't help me at first until I told him that it said it was a new dashboard. He realized he'd receive an email on this, but hadn't read it (apparently so hadn't the first specialist). After reading the email he was able to help me in a few minutes.
First I don't want to give the impression that I'm writing this to imply that I have a special relationship with Google. I call the number they post on your Adwords account when you click help.
Instead this demonstrated to me that even people working full-time with Google Adwords have difficulty keeping up with all the changes. If they can't keep up then how can an independent business person running a business and an Adwords account hope to keep up with many changes that Google constantly implements.
The person who set up their pay per click campaign and then let it to run on its own realized recently that that wasn't practical anymore as Google Enhanced was announced. Yet, while Google Enhanced was a major change to the platform, there are lesser known changes each year that they probably weren't even aware of.
To take advantage of the full potential of Google Adwords you have to be constantly keeping up with their revisions. If not, then you are potentially missing out on a way to generate more traffic to your site. Or you could be overpaying for phrases that aren't even benefiting your business. For example, with Google Enhanced many businesses are overpaying for mobile campaigns simply because they haven't adjusted their bid modifiers. Or their ads are showing up in markets they don't even serve.
If you wonder about the value of a pay per click specialist, then you're likely focusing on their cost, not the value they can bring to your business. If Google's own people have trouble keeping up with all the changes to the platform, then can you really keep up by reading a few blogs or articles each month? Particularly when you're prospects are constantly changing not just the way they search, but on what they perform their searches.
There are few advertising tools that have the ability to pinpoint prospects so effectively and with such immediacy as Google Adwords. To reach your market and convert them into customers then consider bringing on a specialist such as myself to help.
Today is the day many business people expected to wake up and find their Google Adwords has been switched over to Google Enhanced. For months the warnings have been popping up whenever someone logged into their account. Despite these warnings roughly 25% of advertisers failed to make the switch. And despite the warning that campaigns would be switched today, this hasn’t really happened.
Google announced today that despite their declaration of today as the deadline, it’s actually the start of the process. It could take a few weeks for the transition to be complete.
If you’ve woken up today and found your campaign has indeed been switched over, then it’s time to check the settings. If it hasn’t changed over, the best option would be to begin the transition yourself. Or have a professional take care of it yourself.
The update itself seems relatively minor if you begin the process yourself. Typically they ask what you want to set your mobile bid at. You can decrease or increase by a percentage. This seems simple enough and if you’ve already been running a mobile campaign you have a good idea of what to expect to bid. Yet you want to monitor your position over the first few days. It’s liable to change, particularly as more jump on the mobile bandwagon.
With the transition to Enhanced you might find some of your ads are now disapproved. This is because you’ve been including phone numbers in your text ads and now this is no longer allowed.
If all you’ve done is to set your mobile bids, then you’re missing out on many of the features that now make Google Adwords nearly indispensable for marketers. For example, call conversion tracking is a way to determine which ad campaigns are most effective.
Take advantage of incremental bidding as well. Particularly if certain times of the day convert better for your business or certain times are worse. In fact, there are a number of bidding options available that you should explore.
Also if you’ve been running separate campaigns for different devices and now combining them into one, make sure you incorporate all the words from each campaign. I’ve seen advertisers adding to one campaign continuously, but not incorporating those words into all the campaigns. If you’re pausing some of these campaigns now, make sure you’re not missing any valuable phrases.
Although many marketers miss some of the features that were possible prior to Google Enhanced such as the ability to market by device, the opportunities outweigh the losses. If you’ve set up an ad campaign, created a text ad and left the campaign to run on its own, then chances are you’re missing out on a lot of potential business for your company. Have a Google Adwords specialist review your campaign and its settings.
Calls To Action Buttons are integral part of most websites, even if many people don’t realize what they are. To put it simply, call to action buttons are any request for website visitors to do something such as click here or download this. Yet if nearly all websites have some sort of CTA, it doesn’t mean they use them effectively. If you’re getting a lot of traffic to your site, but little response, consider improving your call to action to improve the number of responses you receive.
A call to action buttons is designed to get people to go from the page they’re reading to submitting information or visiting another page to learn more about an offer. As the name implies, it’s a button so it should stand out on a page. Hubspot is one of the best at the use of call to action buttons, having it not just on their website, but often in all their marketing materials such as their whitepapers.
A call to action button is a graphic that links to a page or form, but that doesn't mean you have to be a graphic designer to create one. They can be designed simply enough in such common programs as PowerPoint or Microsoft Word. You can have a designer create them, but remember the attention should be on what the action is, not the graphic.
Here are some things to consider when incorporating them into your marketing strategy.
Make it Prominent
For a call of action to work, it has to be seen. Ideally this means they see it almost immediately when they arrive on a page. Have it stand out from the background color and a size that draws someone’s eyes to it. It should be above the fold, meaning it should be seen even if your visitor doesn’t scroll down the screen.
Make clear your selling proposition clear.
Click here isn’t really a call to action, at least not a very strong one. Instead make it something like download this or receive whitepaper. If you can make it an actual statement such as To receive
Avoid Missed Opportunities
Many people think the only place to have a button is to a form, not realizing this is just one of many opportunities to incorporate buttons. One excellent place to have them is on blogs. If you’re using your blog to sell a visitor on your service or product, then follow the natural progression. Have it on the bottom of your blog or along the side. Also the home page is your most visited page so take advantage of the traffic available there.
When not to have a call to action button
If you’re doing a pay per click campaign, then having a call to action button on the page isn’t necessary. After all they’ve clicked on your ad to get to your page, so they’ve already performed an action. Having a call to action button will only send them to a new page. Instead have what they’re looking for on the landing page so that the action they take is not to click something, but fill out a form or make a phone call.
Have a Good Product
Even the best CTA won’t matter if the material people are downloading won’t be of interest to them. Calls to action may convince visitors to take some sort of action, but they won’t sign on unless they believe what you offer has some value. You have to sell them on what you have before they’ll do any action.
Test and retest
As with all elements of your marketing campaign you should always be testing. Try a different call to action or vary the color. Make the button more prominent or move it up on a page. Even if you are having a good response to your button it never hurts to test. You can always go back to what worked. But at least you’ll know you’ve given yourself the best chance for success.