Believe it or not, display advertising still can be an effective customer acquisition and retention tactic for online marketers. Here are three tips that can help drive conversions through effective display advertising and sound website optimization strategies.
1. Be consistent. The first step to maximizing conversions from display advertising is to give your customers a consistent brand experience from the ad to the landing page. For example, after a customer visits your website from a banner ad, the landing page they see should contain the same message and overall look and feel as the ad that triggered them to click in the first place. And if a visitor clicks on a display ad from their smartphone, make sure they are directed to a version of the landing page that is optimized for mobile.
You also can make a measurable impact on conversions by integrating effective retargeting practices. When a visitor leaves your website without converting and falls into your retargeting program, close the loop by reinforcing the products in the display ads on subsequent website visits. By maintaining a consistent brand and product experience throughout, you will remind them of their initial intent and increase the likelihood of conversion.
2. Use context to deliver on-site relevance. When a potential customer arrives at your website from a display ad, it is important to use what you know about that particular customer to deliver them a more relevant experience with your brand. In addition to basic information you know about the customer based on the ad they clicked on, there are a number of other ways for you to use your knowledge about them to increase relevance throughout their entire visit.
Not only do you know the specific offer the customer clicked on, but you know other information such as their location, whether they are a new or returning visitor, as well as behaviors you can identify during the browsing session as they click from page to page.
These intelligent targeting methods can help you determine which products or messages to emphasize on the landing page and beyond. For example, first-time visitors should be presented with your top selling products, while returning customers who are more familiar with your band should see new arrivals. More specifically, a footwear brand should display hiking boots to visitors from a region like Colorado and open-toe options to visitors from Miami.
By using what you know about the customer to increase relevance, you will create a more positive website experience that will help boost conversions.
3. Know where they're coming from. You should also use the source of the customer's visit to your advantage. For example, what does it tell you if a customer originally saw your display ad on Facebook? When the customer's referral source is a site with social features, you should accentuate your brand's social capabilities. One way to do this is by offering social interaction widgets like commenting or the ability to review a product, which allows the customer to interact with your community more easily. The customer will not only feel more connected with their social network, but also more connected to your brand.
Another opportunity to use a referral source to your advantage is when a customer is coming from a niche blog or specialty site; for instance, a running enthusiast website. By understanding what the customer is passionate about, you also know more about what they are looking to buy. Adding product badges that point to your most popular or best-selling running items will help grab the attention of the running aficionado. And once you have their attention, a purchase is just a click away.
Boost Your Business
Ensuring message consistency from your display ad to the landing page will improve your business by increasing your relevance to the customer and improving conversions in the process.
But don't stop there. You should constantly be looking for ways to use all the information you have about the customer - what products they are looking for, their physical location, whether they are a new or returning visitor, the referral source, etc. - to deliver a more relevant online experience. This will increase the likelihood that the customer will buy from you on their current visit, and will also lead to deeper brand loyalty - which ultimately means a higher lifetime value of the customer.
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Nathan Richter advises top enterprise clients including Best Buy, QVC, Urban Outfitters, Sports Authority, and PETCO on website optimization. A veteran of digital marketing and online retailing, Richter has extensive hands-on experience helping enterprise clients implement successful multichannel marketing campaigns. Richter has directed online marketing and site optimization programs for David’s Bridal, QVC, The Franklin Mint, and dELiA's.
December 12, 2013
1:00pm ET / 10:00am PT