Three Online Paid Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

Three Online Paid Advertising Mistakes to Avoid

Learn three common online paid advertising mistakes businesses make when using pay-per-click and display ads. Avoid these errors on your next campaign.

Have you looked at your ad spend and wondered, “Why are we spending so much on online marketing and don’t see an increase in our sales?”

After all, digital advertisers sell billions of dollars a year in ads and you know it’s working for a lot of companies. Why isn’t it working for yours?

The answer is likely found in one or more of the following three problem areas.

Failure to Invest in Strategy and Planning

Without a digital advertising strategy and plan, you’ve swung and missed—before the ball was even thrown.

The world of digital advertising constantly changes. As an executive running significant functions in your business, you cannot possibly keep up with the nuances of different methods and channels and how they evolve. Therefore, you probably picked a channel or a few channels, allocated a budget, launched a campaign, and reviewed the results at the end of the month.

And that’s one of the fastest ways to burn through an ad budget and one of the best ways to see little to no response from it.

Here’s one way failing to understand the intentions of the channel’s users can waste your money: You put the same ad on Google that you put on social media. Yet as a search engine viewer has more buying intent than a social media surfer, you need a different message for each.

Let’s assume you’ve already developed a research-based strategy to reach your goals. (If not, start here.) If you have, you then need to develop a digital advertising plan that includes the following key elements:

  • Develop targeted messaging that suits your audience and the mindset of the people on each of your chosen ad channels.
  • Determine the path you want the user to take. For example, do you want them to click your ad and go to a landing page? If so, will you then want retargeting to follow them after they leave? Or is some other pathway ideal for your goal?
  • Test your ads. Test different messages, images, and layouts for your advertising to find the ideal ad to yield your targets. When you test, change only one or two elements at a time so that you know which change had the greatest effect.
  • Agree to a follow-up plan—and execute it. You have just paid for the user to reach a more direct message or offer, so it is vital that you have a plan to engage and nurture him or her.

Your Landing Page is Terrible—Or You Don’t Have One

The user clicked, you paid, now where did they go?

Sending a user to the home page of a website is usually the kiss of death for your online paid advertising budget. This is because the home page of your website is usually all about you and not about answering the question the user had when they clicked on your ad.

This is a missed connection and it is one of the most common mistakes companies make when choosing online paid advertising as their marketing channel. A well designed landing page is essential to the success of any paid advertising campaign because it should clearly and quickly deliver the answer to the question being raised in the advertisement.

And if you have a landing page and its confusing, it isn’t optimized for mobile, or it doesn’t answer the question or need, the user will abandon your page without giving you their information. Huge loss.

Overlooking Your Competitors’ Campaigns

Are your competitors investing in digital ads?

Then you should take a look.

What message do they deliver? What does their landing page look like? How does the path the visitor follows feel to you, based on your knowledge of your consumer?

To win, you need to be doing better than your competitors. Researching your competition is critical to the success of your campaign—and your company.

Why It Matters

The companies that understand the principles of digital advertising and manage their campaigns correctly gain the lion’s share of the desired placement for their ads. Hence, they reap the benefits of having their ads reach the right audience at the right time with the right message.

Need help developing a powerful online advertising effort? Contact FrogDog.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles at

Posted: Sep 20, 2016
Updated: Oct 08, 2019
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