Finding the correct sites that reach the audience you are looking to target is the first step in formalizing a solid online marketing campaign, but there are many factors that will play into the success of your campaign including:
- Is the creative clean and concise?
- Does the creative work well within the color scheme and layout of the site?
- Does the creative speak directly to the audience visiting the site?
- Is there a clear call to action?
- Are the landing pages optimized not only for retention, but customized to the campaign for optimal performance?
However, one important area that should not be overlooked is the placement of the ad. Google has put out a heat map study on ad placement and their performance. The colors fade from dark orange (strongest performance) to light yellow (weakest performance). All other things being equal, ads located above the fold tend to perform better than those below the fold. Ads placed near rich content and navigational aids usually do well because users are focused on those areas of a page.
Another point to take into consideration is that Click Through Rate (CTR) is only part of the overall benchmark to take into consideration. A great performing ad may have an above average CTR, but a below average conversion rate thereby producing a substandard return on investment. Making sure that tracking is implemented throughout the entire visitor session is the only way to ensure that your campaign is giving you the best ROI. It's necessary to follow your visitor from the very first impression to the click to the conversion and ultimately to a post sale customer retention management solution in order to know how well your campaign is truly doing. Testing multiple creatives with variant ad copy and utilizing customized landing pages should always be implemented to get the most out of your online advertising campaign, but starting with the right sites and positions is a great place to start.