There comes a time when every website owner wonders when it’s time to start running paid ads.
There is no question that paid ads can really move the needle for your business. Ads not only get your offers to the top of Google almost instantly but can also help move traffic from one stage of a sales funnel to another.
When the time comes to run paid ads, you might be faced with a big question:
How do you effectively run ads without wasting your hard-earned money?
In this post, I’ll be sharing some strategic thinking to help you get your paid traffic off the ground in a cost-effective way. If you’re already getting organic traffic and you want to get started with paid ads, this post is for you.
Now, I have to give credit where credit is due. Although the presentation and specifics are mine, the basic idea for this post came from Shawn Twing (I wish I thought of this myself.)
Where We Generally Start
When starting with paid traffic, we generally imagine that we should be sending cold traffic from either Facebook or Google Ads to an offer. In order to keep the traffic targeted, we focus on either the right keywords or interest targeting. This does tend to work when running Google search ads and less so for Facebook.
It works for Google Ads because people who are searching Google using keywords that have obvious commercial intent are looking to buy products. For instance, if someone is searching for ‘skincare products’ they are likely looking to buy something.
With this strategy, the more focused the keywords, the better the results. For instance ‘skincare products’ does have some commercial intent, however, ‘face moisturizer for dry skin’ is far more targeted. Especially if you are selling a moisturizer that is specifically formulated for dry skin.
The reason it doesn’t work as well for Facebook is that people are not searching for products when they are on Facebook. I mean can you imagine someone who is wholly engrossed in watching cat videos suddenly pull themselves away to look at your offer?
Now, focusing on targeting is certainly thinking in the right direction, you can still do better than that.
Although this approach isn’t wrong, if you’re more strategic, you should be getting better leads, more sales all at a lower cost.
Remarketing – How to Engage with a Pre-Qualified Audience
When you create remarketing campaigns, you present ads to people who have already shown interest in your brand by visiting your website.
There is no question that in most cases this audience will outstrip search campaigns. The reason is a search campaign is sending cold traffic to an offer. This means the traffic may never have interacted with your brand in the past. As a result, they have no relationship with you.
There is simply no trust built up between you and this audience. Now, if you are selling a low ticket item, perhaps your audience is willing to forgo the trust factor and make a convenient purchase.
However, if you’re selling a high ticket item, you are going to have to do a lot to get them to part with their hard-earned money.
On the other hand, if your audience has already interacted with your site, you already have a relationship with them. This means you are presenting your ads to warm traffic. Warm traffic is far easier to convert than cold traffic.
But before whipping your credit card out, in order to really get the most out of your remarketing, I have to first explain one thing.
Some website visitors are more likely to convert than others.
Start by Segmenting Your Remarketing Audiences
If you want to get the most bang for your advertising buck, you should always send ads to your most qualified traffic. This means you should advertise to people who are only one step away from buying something.
Think about this…
Who do you think is more likely to convert?
- Someone who has engaged with your best blog post?
- Someone who abandoned their online cart?
If you answered that the cart abandoner is more likely to convert, you’re absolutely right. Someone who loaded their cart up with whatever you have to offer but didn’t pull the trigger is far more likely to convert.
The reason is simple. A blog post reader is a completely different type of consumer. A blog post reader is looking for information, they are not looking for products. They might be interested in buying something down the line, but at this point, they are not likely to buy. To get them to convert will take more effort on your part.
In fact, some blog readers are looking to solve their problem without investing their hard-earned money.
Cart abandoners on the other hand are people who have clearly shown their interest in a purchase.
This means the best place to spend your advertising dollars is in your cart abandoners. If you are not running an eCommerce site, this might be people who visited your pricing page.
If you are not sure what page to target, try to work out the last place a consumer would go in the process of making a purchase.
What you will then do is create an audience either in Facebook or Google Ads based on people who have visited this page.
To do this in Google Ads, first, click the Tools & Settings button at the top of the page. See the screenshot below:
On Facebook go to Business Tools, go to Audiences, and choose Create Custom Audience. Once there, click Website.
Once there you choose People Who Visited Specific Pages and enter the URLs of the pages whose visitors you want to target.
Unfortunately, what can potentially hinder this strategy is if your sales pages don’t get enough SEO traffic. In a case like that, you might need to add other pages that have commercial intent to the audience. This will have a diluting effect, but, as long as these pages have commercial intent you will still get the benefits of your most engaged audience.
Once you’ve maxed out this audience, if you have more money in your budget, you can then work your way up the funnel. In other words, send ads to the next segment of your audience who are another step away from converting, perhaps blog post readers.
This way you know your most engaged audience is covered. If you have any budget left over, you can spend it on an audience that is slightly less likely to convert. You should then systematically work your way up the funnel.
Now the question is what should you include in your ads?
Figure Out What Your Offer Should Be
Once you have an audience segment you think was close to making a purchase but chose not to, you have to try to figure out why they didn’t buy.
For instance, if they filled a cart and then didn’t go through with the order, it’s likely that something stopped them mid purchase. If you’re able to figure out what stopped them, perhaps you can create an ad that deals with their concern.
For instance, if you think price is holding them back from making a purchase, offer them a discount. If you think a complicated checkout process is holding them back from buying, try to deal with that by making it easy to get in touch with customer service.
Once you feel you’ve figured out what’s stopping your audience from buying, you can test different offers.
In case you were wondering…
There are a number of ways to figure out what is holding back a sale. Here are some ways you could try to figure it out.
Look through the Eyes of Your Buyer
The first thing to do is to literally go through the process of making a purchase on your website.
Try to find a product. Is it easy or is navigation a nightmare? Once you’ve found a product, try to make a purchase. Is it a smooth process, or is it painfully complicated?
Does the site inspire confidence or does it look spammy?
You’ll be surprised by what you find. What you might notice is something broken, or you might notice that you have a cart that is insanely complicated. If you can’t simply make changes to your site to fix these issues, you can set up ads to deal with this.
Take a Survey
One of the simplest ways to figure out what is stopping potential buyers from buying is to simply ask them. Now, the best way to do this is by speaking face to face with actual clients. Especially if the lifetime value of a client is high. If however, you are selling low ticket items, you can simply run a survey on your site.
You can do this with services like Lucky Orange or Hotjar. Simply run a survey asking potential buyers if there is anything stopping them from buying today. Surveys like these can supply you with valuable information that can really move the needle on your marketing.
Start at the Bottom and Work Your Way Up
Let’s step back and look at the big picture.
As I’ve covered in this post, the most effective way to save your ad revenue is through effective targeting. In other words, if you want to sell burgers, find a hungry crowd. This should always be your go-to strategy. But not only that, you should be looking for a crowd who have shown an interest in your brand. Remarketing is the simplest answer to this.
Since this crowd consists of people who have been on your site and have chosen not to make a purchase, try to figure out what is getting in the way of a sale and get your ad to speak to that problem.
Now before I leave you, I have to qualify, this is a great strategy. Will it work for your business? I have no idea. Like with everything you read on the internet, test it out.