Many websites rely on selling online ad space in order to turn a profit. Some will invest in a Google’s AdSense campaign, while others sell ad space for related companies. Many site owners, myself included, have invested thousands of dollars in display advertising in order to build online brand awareness, or maybe even take a more direct marketing approach with it to promote a white paper or webinar. And while paid advertising has its place in a broader online marketing campaign and can be incredibly effective (I’ve had display ads on sites where the conversion rate was 20-30%!), as a whole I find the practice to be just okay.
One particular experience soured my whole opinion of display advertising, but it got me thinking—in the world of online advertising, the website selling ad space should always be focused on helping their advertiser’s campaign succeed. That should be their #1 goal. The more return an advertiser sees for their investment, the longer they will advertise on that site and the more money they will spend to do it. The site selling ad space needs to recognize that their advertisers are their clients and deserve great customer service! For many sites, if their advertising revenue were to dry up they wouldn’t be able to keep their doors open for very long.
Here are 4 ways websites can lose online advertisers:
1. Doesn’t stay in touch with their advertisers.
What’s the point of an ad rep if they never check in with their advertisers? We don’t need to have daily calls discussing the progress of my campaign, but a monthly phone call would be great! Let’s discuss how things are performing, if there are any emerging trends we can capitalize on or what tweaks I might need to make to my ads to improve my conversion rate. Don’t just send me an invoice each month!
2. Isn’t being proactive.
If my ads aren’t performing well on your site, I want to know about it. Don’t make me chase you down each month in order to get the details. If a new opportunity emerges that you think I should take advantage of, call me and let’s discuss it! If we are several months into the campaign and things don’t seem to be working let’s come up with some ideas for improvement. Don’t let me be surprised 6 months down the road and I’m still waiting for a qualified lead to come down the pipeline from my ads on your site.
3. Changes the direction of the site without a heads-up.
I once bought ads on an industry website that decided to move to a more “expert” level a few months after my campaign started. While I can understand why they wanted to take their site in a new direction, my ads were no longer appropriate for their site. I wasn’t targeting other SEO experts; I was targeting marketing managers and website owners with limited SEO knowledge. My online advertising campaign was going to be wasted on that site’s new audience, but since I had signed a yearlong contract I was stuck. You don’t want to alienate your existing advertisers when trying to take your website to the next leve
4. No value add.
Maybe I can contribute a guest post to the site’s blog or be interviewed by one of your writers. Maybe you place my company’s ad in one of your newsletters one month to help stimulate activity. These little value ad activities help remind me that what I am doing is valuable in the long run and will help grow my business. Plus, it builds good will with your advertisers.