Is your ad really underperforming?

The internet has created the seeming need for instant gratification. This is even true in advertising, where companies will quickly consider a particular ad campaign to be useless if it does not deliver results right away. As fast as the internet moves, there are factors that can come into play in determining the success or failure of your ad. Here are five things you should consider before you decide that an ad you is not working as it should.

1. What was the purpose of your ad?

The general feeling among many businesses is that an ad can only be considered successful if it brings about a boost in sales. That is true if increasing sales was your goal going in. What if the goal of the ad was simply to drive more people to the front page of your site? Think about what you are trying to achieve with the particular ad and make sure corresponding metrics are being analyzed to determine its success.

2. Is the ad server performing properly?

Ad servers generally provide you with all the data you need to measure the performance of an ad. That said, there are times when ad implementation and technical issues can cause your numbers to be skewed. A discrepancy between 3% to 5% is often acceptable when dealing with different ad systems. If your ad seems to be performing particularly poorly, double-check that the ad server is gathering data correctly, maybe by looking at the performance of other similar ads during the same time frame, before you pull the plug on an ad that took some effort to put together.

3. Are you targeting the right audience?

There is always the possibility that your ad is perfect, but the people that it is reaching are not interested in it. If the wrong audience is viewing your ad it stands to reason that the click-through rate will be well below what you had hoped for. Therefore, it is important to set the right targeting values in the ad server and make sure it is shown on websites with the correct demographics.

4. Does your target audience know what to do?

If the ad server is working correctly and your ad is being seen by the people that you are targeting, then you have to ask yourself what else could be wrong. One of the most common errors made is to not include a call-to-action within the ad. A phrase as simple as “Click here for more information,” may be all that is needed. You need to let your target audience know exactly what it is that you expect them to do with the ad they are viewing.

5. Have you given the ad enough time to work?

This question brings us back to the need for instant gratification. There are advertisers who will pull their ad after just an hour or so. It is unlikely that an ad can work that quickly, especially when you consider that many people need to see it a couple of times before feeling the need to act. You need to give your ad at least 24 hours to take hold, at which point you can start to look at the other items mentioned in this list.
August 06, 2014


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