Creating awareness for your brand online is important for building a complete Web presence for your small business. And one effective way to this is with display advertising on sites across the Web. To get started with your display advertising strategy, there are a few key elements you can focus on to make sure your campaign is optimized to drive clicks and conversions.

1. Audience Targeting

To get the most out of your display advertising campaign, it’s important to identify the type of consumer you want to target with your advertising. Audience targeting options, like geographic and behavioral targeting, allow you to target your display campaign to the audience(s) you want to reach. For example, you may want to target to people in your local area or people who have shown interest in your types of products or services. Keep in mind that depending on how specific the audience you want to target, your cost per thousand impressions, or CPM, will vary. For instance, if you want to drive broad awareness, you will typically have a lower CPM because you are showing your ads to a wide variety of consumers on many different sites. However, if you choose to show your banner ads to consumers based on their behavior, your CPM may be higher, but the audience you reach may be more likely to click your ads and convert into a customer.

Why it Works: Audience targeting narrows down the consumers who will see your advertising in order to drive better results from your investment.  

2. Eye-Catching Banner Ads

If you want your banner ads to draw the attention of your prospects, it’s important to use a clean and visually interesting design. One way to bring your banner ads to life by using an image or graphic that represents your business, as well as your business name, so prospects will better understand if your business is relevant to them. In addition, a clean image with bold colors and fonts will make your ad stand out on the page. And, because you don’t have a lot of room on your ads, keep the copy short and emphasize the main value proposition you want to convey to your audience. Highlight a benefit rather than a feature so consumers will know what’s in it for them if they click your ad and visit your site.

Why it Works: Having an eye-catching banner ad helps your business and your message stand out – which means more brand awareness and more potential clicks on your ads.

3. A Clear Call to Action

The call to action (CTA) is arguably the most important part of your display ad, because it tells consumers what you want them to do. So foregoing this critical step could mean losinga new site visitor. Remember that consumers will only see your ad briefly, so it’s important to draw them in with a single, compelling action that you want them to take. For instance, offering an incentive or freebie like a download, a coupon, or a free estimate may entice them to click your ad and visit your landing page. In addition, these basics will help your CTA stand out.

  • Benefit or Value – Restating the value the customer will get by using copy like “Get a Quote,” or “Sign Up for a Free Trial,” for your CTA helps persuade them to click.
  • Design Emphasis – To draw a consumers’ attention toward the action you want them to take,  format your CTA text in a color that stands out yet complements the rest of your ad and in a large, easy-to-read font.
  • Clickable Button – Formatting your CTA like a button subtly reinforces to consumers that your ad is clickable, so they don’t miss this critical step.

Why it Works: One of the most effective ways to drive a result from a consumer is simply to ask them to do that action.

4. An Optimized Landing Page

Your landing page is an important factor in your display advertising campaign because it provides necessary information that a consumer needs to convert. There are many ways you can optimize your landing page to drive conversions from consumers who visit your site via your display ads. One of the most important factors to the performance of the campaign is maintaining consistency between your landing page and the display ad that brought them there. Your landing page should not only contain a similar design aesthetic, but it should also emphasize the same benefit along with any offers mentioned on your display ad. Maintaining a consistent structure and message between the two enables consumers to easily make the correlation between your display ad and your landing page.

Why it Works: A landing page that is consistent with your online advertising instills confidence in your brand, which may make visitors more likely to follow through with a conversion.

5. Conversion Tracking

Tracking the activity you get from your banner ads is a necessary part of your display advertising campaign strategy. Tracking metrics like impressions and clicks is important, but you also want to measure true conversions from your ads, like phone calls and form submissions. It’s also important to establish a lead management process for all your online advertising, including your display ads, so you can track a lead all the way to a sale, which provides you better insight into consumer behavior.

Why it Works: Conversion tracking measures true conversions like calls and emails, not just clicks, so you can gather more insight about what ads are driving customers to your business – and why.

What display advertising strategies have worked for your campaign? Let us know in the comments.