The world of online advertising can be a very complex and technical place. It’s something you need to approach with caution, rather than dive in head first and try to wing it. A lot can go wrong, which will end up costing your business loads of money.

Let’s take a look at the whole concept of online advertising first. You pay for ads to give your business more of the limelight and try to be seen by more people. As a result, you could see immediate increases in your web traffic and lead generation, causing you to boost sales in the process. There are plenty of success stories from small companies that invested in online advertising and grew quite substantially in a short space of time.

Unfortunately, this is what tempts people into making mistakes. They want to see the benefits of online advertising, but they don’t know the right approach. So, they spend money on lots of different ads, to no avail, bankrupting their business.

If you’re new to the big bad world of online advertising, then please take a moment to read this fairly short article. Pay close attention, as I’m about to show you all the things you shouldn’t do when trying to make use of online ads.

Don’t expect unrealistic results

When people see how effective online advertising can be, it’s natural for them to expect the same sort of results from their campaign. Consequently, they might set unreachable targets for all of their ads. They want to increase their web traffic by a certain percentage or put a stupidly high figure on the number of leads they want to generate after paying for the campaign.

This does two things; one, it leaves you disappointed when you fail to reach these unrealistic targets and goals. Two, it causes you to overstretch in an effort to reach them. You try too much, pay for too many ads, and your campaign just fails.

Instead, you need to set attainable goals. Focus on making short strides rather than trying to leap from A to B. By setting realistic goals there’s more chance you’ll reach them, and less chance you’ll overstretch your resources and empty your marketing budget.

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Don’t forget to manage your campaign

Anyone who has ever run an online advertising campaign will probably think it’s easy. It’s just a case of bidding on ads, and then that’s it, right? Your ads get displayed, and people click on them.

In reality, this is only a fraction of what actually happens. Bidding on your ads is in itself a very tricky task. But, you can make life easier for yourself with something like the doubleclick bid manager to keep track of everything. That’s the main thing people forget to do when they rush into a campaign; they forget to manage it. If you do this, you will have no idea how your bids are doing or how efficient your campaign actually is.

What you should do is manage your campaign closely. Track your bids to see how they’re performing so you can compare certain keywords you might have bid on. If one keyword is doing very badly, you can scrap it and stop wasting money. But managing your ads also helps you gain an insight into your target audience. You’ll see the type of person that clicks on your ads, helping you restructure the rest of your marketing campaign to appeal to them.

There’s a lot to gain from managing your campaign, and you can’t afford to forget this!

Don’t neglect the importance of visuals

It amazes me how many people neglect the visual elements of their ads. We’ve all seen a typical online ad while we’re surfing the web. But, how many of you have ever clicked on one?

It tends to be rare, as we don’t like clicking on any old ad. The ones we click on will usually entice us with something special in the visuals. They’ll look eye-catching and display certain information that hooks us in and makes us want to click the ad. If you neglect the importance of how your ad looks, then you won’t see any results from it. People will just gloss over it, and it will get hardly any clicks.

What you need to do is design the perfect online ad. This has to draw the user’s attention, so use colors that do that. The focal point of the ad needs to be eye-catching too. It should be the main reason you’ve created the ad.

If you’re advertising a sale on your website, then the focal point should be the words ‘Sale’ in capitals. Let people know how much they can save too, as this draws them in further. Or, the main image should be a product you sell, to try and grab user’s attention and make them want to click the ad. The bottom line is that the visual appearance of your ads can’t go neglected, so make sure you put a lot of effort into designing them.

Don’t forget about landing pages

There are many types of online advertising you can pursue. Whether you’re going for online search or online social advertising, one thing remains the same. You absolutely cannot forget about landing pages. These are the pages people land on after clicking your ad. Good ones will keep people on your site, while bad ones will make them leave.

Landing pages are so important for converting clicks into something more meaningful. You can persuade people to buy the product you advertised with a good landing page. Equally, you can make them want to click off your site. The amount of time you spend designing your ads should be equalled by the time spent designing your landing pages. They’ll help convert your clicks, which is how you truly benefit from online advertising.

Hopefully, this guide has given you some advice on what not to do when running an online advertising campaign. Make no mistake about it, when run correctly, an online ad campaign can bring in some amazing results, in a very short period.