Your company designs and distributes ads to get results. But are you measuring the right thing?

The best thing about digital advertising is that the methods have measurable results.  When you create an ad and publish it on digital marketing channels, you can see how many people interacted with it through web analytics services. Most marketers make the mistake of tracking the wrong performance metrics and equating them to a healthy advertising campaign – which is not always the case.

With a study by Small Biz Trends showing that 62 percent of businesses saying their Facebook ads miss their targets, it’s time to change how you manage and monitor your ad campaigns. CTR is one of the metrics you need to stop focusing on, and we will explain why that’s the case in this blog post.

What is a CTR, and how you calculate it?

The click-through rate (CTR) is the number of clicks received per the total number of impressions. CTR is applied to pay-per-click (PPC) ads, social media ads, and email marketing campaigns.

When you run a marketing campaign through any of these advertising methods, your ads are shown to people who match your target customer. From the customer analytics solutions dashboard, you will know how many people came across your advertisement, and this makes up the impressions. Such people see your ads but don’t act on them. Then, some come across your ads and click on them. These people make up the total number of clicks on your ads.

To determine your click-through rate, divide the total number of clicks by the impressions. If you have ten clicks on your ad and 5000 impressions, your CTR is calculated as follows:

Click Through Rate = Clicks/Impressions

10/5000 = 0.002

CTR = 0.2%

Marketers aim to achieve a high CTR for their ad campaigns since more clicks mean more people get to view their content and learn about the business, making them more likely to purchase when the time comes. A high CTR also impacts your quality score and lowers your cost per click (CPC) for ad campaigns, thus helping you maximize your ROI.

But is a high CTR a good indicator of advertising success?

We don’t think so, and here’s why.

Girl thinking

Why CTR doesn’t always mean results

Big data customer analytics reveal that CTR isn’t a bankable metric for your advertising campaigns. While increasing your CTR by 100 percent sounds impressive, chances are high that the results may not turn into new business and revenue. Just because they clicked through doesn’t mean they converted.

Optimizing solely for CTR isn’t advisable because it gives a false sense of success and doesn’t give the actual performance of your campaigns. Instead, you should monitor metrics that better evaluate your digital campaigns, such as bounce rates, reach, and sales.

The issue of quality over quantity also applies here. You’d rather have fewer high-quality clicks than many low-quality ones. Many low-quality clicks will give you a high CTR, but the conversion rate will be low because those clicking on your ads aren’t interested in your products. Work with a data analytics agency to improve the design and targeting of your ads to bring more high-quality visitors to your site.

Man using calculator on desk

How to make your ads convert

Here’s what you need to do to make your ads convert.

Know your audience

Before you create an ad, take the time to understand your target audience. Who is the advertisement meant for? What do they look like (characteristics), and what sites do they visit when online? A clear understanding of your target audience will help you design ads that appeal to them. This will result in more engagement, conversions, and sales.

Use data analytics to understand what they’re looking for. Find out the online platforms where they spend most of their time to make your connection seamless. Try to find out what they usually do online (watch videos, read blog posts, etc.) and use the knowledge to make your ads more appealing.

You should also figure out what stage of the buyer’s journey they are at and design ads that communicate the right message for that stage. Customers at the awareness stage will need different ads than those close to purchasing. For the awareness stage, your ads should tell them about your company, while consumers at the decision stage need ads that give discount offers to push them into making a purchase.

Create engaging copy

Crisp copy is a vital component of a strong ad. If your ad copy isn’t engaging, visitors won’t bother to read it, and the engagement rate will remain low.

To make your copy sweet:

  1. Use personal pronouns that suggest a relationship between your brand and the audience.
  2. Speak in the audience’s language and avoid industry jargon that the average consumer will not understand.
  3. Keep the text brief by focusing on the essentials and scrapping unnecessary information.

Good imagery is key

Your ads should instantly capture your target users’ attention; you need good imagery for this purpose. Eye-catching visuals increase the chances your audience’s eyeballs will land on your ad and entice them to click on it.

When designing your images, don’t overload them with text, as this ruins the whole experience. If you have to add text to your visuals, move them to a designated area to avoid crowding the image. Also, ensure your pictures are of the highest quality since low-resolution visuals reflect poorly on your brand.

Field with flowers

Use the right keywords

Choosing the right keywords is crucial to the success of your ad campaigns. This is because keywords ensure your business gets discovered by the right prospects, boosting your conversion chances.

To identify the best keywords for your ad campaign, place yourself in your customers’ shoes and imagine the words they’d enter when searching for your business. Get as specific as possible to ensure you attract the right people looking for your products. If you sell men’s official shoes, “buy men’s official shoes” is one keyword you can use for your campaigns. Don’t forget to include synonyms and plurals to make your keywords relevant to your products.

Have the right PPC guide

Managing ad campaigns and generating high conversions isn’t easy. You need a PPC guide that informs your actions to ensure your ads don’t perform poorly. Some factors responsible for low conversion rates include poor ad copy, low-resolution visuals, irrelevant keywords, and hidden issues like a poorly designed landing page.

A PPC guide takes care of all these issues by highlighting what you need to do at each stage to ensure your ads stand out. You will know what customer analytics is and how to track them to determine the performance of your campaign.

Read our blog, What Is PPC Advertising? Learn How to Make Pay-per-Click Work for You, to learn how to create a guide for your ad campaigns.

Use data to create, test and optimize

Budget is a significant factor when running ads, so you must take every chance to maximize your budget, and data helps with this. Use data from your web analytics solutions to create ads that appeal to your target users. The essential data sets include when your target users are online, the devices they use for their online activities, and their preferred online channels.

Once you create the ad, use A/B testing to identify the best-performing elements of your ad. Track the performance and use the insights to implement conversion rate optimization strategies.

Data analytics plays a big role in this process and our blog, How to Use Big Data to Improve Your Marketing, highlights the role big data plays in your marketing campaigns.

Track the right stuff

Choosing the correct KPIs is crucial when designing your ad campaign. KPIs show how your ads are performing and if they are delivering the right ROI.

Some of the important KPIs you need to track include:

  • Cost per click
  • Conversion rate
  • Cost per conversion
  • Search term report
  • Quality score

It’s important that you track each of these metrics effectively as they will help you understand your campaigns and what you need to do to optimize them.

Google Tag Manager and Analytics are ideal for tracking these KPIs. We have explained how to use them on our blog, How to Track Marketing ROI with Google Tag Manager and Analytics.

Man looking through binoculars on blue sky

Become the master of data

Data is your ticket to audience insights, interests, behaviors and more! This information can help you turn your marketing strategy into one that is able to deliver the right message in the right place at the right time quickly and efficiently – presenting you as a business that truly cares about its customers. Don’t let these opportunities escape you! Learn more in Data and Web Analytics: The Complete Marketer’s Manual.

Getting results isn’t easy, but with the right tools, you’re sure to become a marketing master. Your target users are always online, and with well-designed ads, you can connect with them at the right time and bring them to your site.

You need to do a lot to ensure your ads appeal to your customers, but the team at Growth Marketing Genie can help. We are a web analytics agency specializing in the design and management of advertising campaigns to help brands achieve their marketing goals.


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