ExactDrive_Advertising_PlatformAccording to the National Office of Statistics, in 2014, 38 million adults (76%) in Great Britain accessed the Internet every day (21 million more than in 2006, when directly comparable records began). So making a splash online and advertising in the digital arena is a business no-brainer.

Unlike traditional advertising channels, online advertising is less expensive, far faster to market and easy to measure. But without the right tools, it can be a minefield and tricky to keep a lid on your budget. So if you want the best return for your advertising budget you need to utilize some of the online tools that can gauge how effective and wide-reaching your online advertising is.

In no particular order, here’s what ExactDrive recommends to ensure that your business, products and/or services are seen by the right people:

1. Get found with the Google AdWords tool.

google adwords keyword planner tool

If you’ve got an online advertising campaign, you need to be on top of how keywords work. Google’s AdWords tool is a great resource for discovering keywords in your industry, but be aware that this tool tends to recommend broad keywords (known as ‘head’ keywords) that are more expensive and less effective. It’s important to remember that you aren’t necessarily looking for the highest-traffic keywords; you’re looking for the words that your customers use to look for you.

So, keep an eye out for what’s known as ‘long tail keywords’. These are the longer, more specific keywords that, when added together, make up the majority of search-driven traffic.

2. Get tracking with Google Analytics.

The best thing about online advertising is that you get the chance to track everything. Google Analytics is an absolute must when it comes to online media buying. It’s free and really easy to install.

Once you’ve got it set up, you should take a look at Google Analytics Custom Campaigns. With these options you can create a customized URL for each ad that will help you see overall performance for all of your advertising. Using Google Analytics in this way will give you a single dashboard for comparing all of your advertising campaigns.

3. Generate a funnel report with KISSmetrics.

kissmetrics dashboard conversions

Straightforward click and traffic volumes can’t always give you the full picture, but KISSmetrics allows you to create a funnel report for your ads. So, not only will you be able to see the amount of traffic that you received from the ad, but you’ll also be able to see how many of the clicks converted into a genuine lead, a purchase, or even a long-term subscriber.

While you may get fewer clicks with certain types of ads, if theyre more likely to convert to sales, they just might be worth your while.

4. Create effective landing pages.

landing-page-anatomy_

When you set up an online ad campaign it’s important to send visitors who click on your ads to a unique page on your website, rather than your homepage. Landing pages allow you to customize your message for incoming visitors. So you can continue the message that you started with your ads and push visitors toward specific things, such as downloading a free ebook. Your normal website navigation could be a distraction.

Landing pages also make tracking your visits very easy and it works really well when you combine this strategy with KISSmetrics – you can quickly gain a lot of information about how to reach and sell to your new visitors. You can create a single landing page for an entire ad campaign, or create a specific landing page for each keyword that you purchase.

5. Use ExactDrive’s ad platform.

ExactDrive_create_a_campaign

Warning: you are losing money if you’re not using ExactDrive’s ad platform.

Yeah, we know we’re blowing our own trumpet, but let’s face it, our ad platform is pretty neat. In a nutshell, by virtue of our powerful self-service ad platform and our managed services team, we’ll make it easier for you to create dynamic, targeted and memorable ad campaigns. We do this, in part, by putting you in control, then by addressing strategy, technology, planning and insight issues for you.

Topics: Online Advertising, display advertising, Advertising Strategy, Online Media Buying

Tim Nichols

Written by Tim Nichols

Tim Nichols is a founding partner at ExactDrive, a digital media buying agency with white label, reseller and managed service options available. ExactDrive plans, manages, and optimizes online advertising campaigns with the objective of delivering measurable value and empowering clients to find precisely targeted audiences. ExactDrive has offices in Minneapolis, MN and Milwaukee, WI.

Tim Nichols is also a contributing author on Forbes.com.