6 Quick Tips for Smarter Online Advertising

Thinking about advertising your small business on sites like Facebook or LinkedIn, but don’t know where to start? Start here!

You don’t have to be a big business with a huge budget to use advertising to draw in new clients and customers. However, you do have to be smart about the advertising choices you make. Working with a limited budget is no excuse to launch a crummy ad campaign.

These six quick tips can help you maximize your advertising dollar.

Have a Compelling Message

Get to the point immediately. You don’t have the luxury of wasting time with frivolous words, so write a clear and concise call to action. For instance, LinkedIn limits you to a 25-character title and a 75-character message. That’s not much space to convince your audience to click through to your site. Virginia Nussey suggests making sure your call to action is simple, obvious, tailored and persuasive.

Limit Your Audience

You might be tempted to set your ads to display to anyone and everyone, but limiting your pay-per-click ad audience can save you money. Because you pay for each click, it’s smart to filter out clicks that aren’t likely to generate business. Set your ads to display only to those within your company’s target demographic.

Match Ad Text & Landing Pages

Linking to your company’s home page from your advertisement is rarely a smart move. If you’ve written a compelling ad that entices someone to purchase your product or service, for heaven’s sake, take them to the sales page! You may even want create new landing pages specifically for your ad campaigns.

Check Your Results

If your ad has been running for six months and you’ve never received a single click, it’s time to try something different. Use the analytical tools in your advertising account dashboard to track your ad campaign’s success. Remember that ads are like toddlers; they should never be left unattended.

Use Relevant Images

Facebook and LinkedIn allow you to select a small image to go with your ad text. Use professional images and logos on each and every ad campaign. Grainy photos, photos taken with cell phones, and photos taken in poor light will give your advertising audience the wrong impression. For some pointers on selecting great images, you might want to check out this article on Search Influence.

Run & Test Multiple Campaigns

Sometimes the best way to develop good ads is to turn your campaign into a Battle of the Ads. Create and track results for several different campaigns. Use your performance stats to determine which ads are generating the most leads and clicks, and then try to repeat or improve your success on new campaigns. At the same time, remove less effective ads from the rotation to ensure you are getting the most from your advertising dollar.

Now It’s Your Turn

  • Do you advertise your small business online? What has been your overall experience?
  • What advice would you give to someone starting out for the first time?
  • Are you not sold on online advertising? Why have you decided not to use it?

Image credit: moodyddd

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Emily Suess
Emily Suess is a full-time technical marketing writer in the software industry and a part-time freelance copywriter. To learn more about marketing your small business online, check out her copywriting blog, Say It With Me.


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  1. dave

    Good list. I find that traditional banner and display ads dont really work anymore. Even any ads that appear in the right rail of sites are ignored. Non-traditional more content looking ads are taking share now. You’ve seen these from larger providers like Facebook, Adblade, Linkedin etc. I think the display banner has seen its peak.

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  6. You have hit the nail on the head, You have to experiment and see what works for your website. These are very important for online advertising, they are the basis that are used by the Search engines to understand your page. Also for other advertisers I have another tip, http://www.boostasite.com is a useful tool for any webmaster, I have been using it to market my new search engine business.

  7. Great article. Thank you for sharing. Some really useful tips here. I’ve found that most of my clients have, like mentioned above, had to experiment with which ads are actually reaching their target audiences. So using Google Analytics, or similar software, to analyze page visits is definitely key. Logic does take some part in this, but for some smaller businesses who are not that internet savvy these kinds of tips are really invaluable.

    Being a professional graphic designer for over 10 years, I’ve seen over and over again what a huge difference it makes getting professional designs for Logos, Brands and Advertisements makes in client’s return on investment.

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