For online marketers of all types, the great thing about the digital revolution is we can now track everything… absolutely everything. So, as an online advertiser, or a website publisher with so much information at your fingertips, how do you decide the most important metrics to track? With hundreds of different KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) offered by digital campaigns, focusing on the right ones for your company is important, and it all starts with understanding your goal.

Understanding Your Goal: The First Step for Online Advertisers

Usually, online advertisers start with one of two basic goals for a campaign: awareness or conversions. Having an unclear goal opens the potential for paying attention to the wrong metrics, and that doesn’t get you anywhere. For example, advertisers might be focusing too much on number of impressions or CTR (Click Through Rate) when all that matters the them is the actual page depth.

If the goal of your campaign is to increase brand awareness, impressions are important, but if you are trying to sell a specific product, or encourage download of a specific premium content asset, impressions are not as important as cost per acquisition. Every campaign should start with a well-defined goal that includes consideration of the planned spend as compared to the potential reward.

What Metrics Exist for Online Marketers?

Examples of metrics to track in your online advertising campaign include:

As an online advertiser, you have a lot of choices about what to track, but the key is to make sure what you are tracking relates to the goal of your campaign. If the two don’t match up, you are comparing apples to oranges, and if you’re not tracking anything at all, you are throwing money in the trash. The moral of the story? Track it or trash it!

Most of the metrics for online advertising come from either your own website analytics (usually Google Analytics), and from your online advertising platform. A good online ad network should be able to talk you through exactly how to measure the success of your campaign. With average 10:1 returns on good online advertising campaigns, it’s still a worthy endeavor. Make sure you track the metrics to back up your investment in online ads.


Any advertiser setting out to get more clients or customers online wants to know which online ads perform best, and why. We’ll look at the major strengths of the basic types of online ads, but hold your horses for just a sec! Before any advertiser is ready to create a specific plan for online advertising, there are a few important issues to consider.

What’s Your Online Advertising Goal?
First, think about your goal. Where is your ad sending people? What is your landing page? If you don’t know, you’re not ready for online advertising. You have to know where you want your traffic to go, and what your goal is once they reach your page. Are you trying to sell a product or service? Generate a lead? Share your brand personality to generate warm fuzzies (aka. brand awareness)? Develop an audience for your website and content?

What Kind of Online Ads Should You Consider?
There are several different ways you can go when making your online advertising plan. Let’s explore the three main categories of online ads.




Still looking for answers? We’re happy to help.



If you’ve decided to launch an online advertising campaign, congratulations! You’ll be joining the hordes of other businesses who spend over $40 billion annually. And if you’re like most advertisers, you’re hoping to get a positive (and hopefully very large) ROI on that spend.

Of course, before you start advertising—whether pay per click (PPC) or display advertising—you’ll need to know how much you’re going to spend. And as it turns out, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution to determining your budget.


When setting up a new PPC advertising campaign—whether it’s Search or Contextual Advertising—choosing the right keywords is crucial to your success. It’s important to find not only the kinds of audiences most interested in your products or services, but also enough of them to grow your business successfully.


Internet ad revenues hit a historic high last year, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau, with 5.3 trillion display ads served to U.S. consumers. Despite this, click-through rates (CTR) for banner ads have been declining consistently. Every year, advertisers spend billions on ads that consumers never see. No matter who your audience is, chances are they are so used to being inundated with ads online, they barely notice them at all. It’s called “banner blindness”—and yes, it can happen to your customers.

The banner advertising space is more competitive than ever, and that means advertisers must make every effort to make their ads stand out. But that means more than just designing engaging ads or having a great pitch—it’s also about placement strategy and context. After all, you have to stand out from something, don’t you? (more…)

At, we naturally believe in the power of online advertising. But we also believe in honesty. Unfortunately, in this industry the two are not always synonymous.

In its 2013 report “Busting Bad Advertising Practices,” Google revealed that it removed 350 million ads in 2013 due to harmful or deceptive messaging. Meanwhile, as native ads gain popularity for their ability to disguise themselves as editorial content, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is warning advertisers that running misleading ads could cost them.

Consumers today are increasingly skeptical about marketing claims of all kinds, and this is a primary challenge that all online advertisers face. (more…)

Imagine this: you manage your company’s PPC (pay per click) ad account, but are working with a severely limited budget. It might be discouraging or even intimidating to make tough advertising decisions when you know you’re not reaching your total potential audience.

For many of you reading this, you don’t have to imagine. We understand the struggle, and have worked with a number of clients in similar positions. While it can be tough at first, there are ways to optimize your campaigns through smart decision making and clever targeting. And all without breaking the bank. (more…)

According to a recent ThinkVine survey, over 50 percent of marketing executives plan to invest more in digital advertising than in traditional advertising over the next two years. If your small business doesn’t have a digital ad strategy, it’s well past time you got one.

But let’s say you do. Are you making marketing mistakes that are undermining your online advertising efforts? From over-stimulating customers to forgetting about mobile, here are the five most common digital marketing mistakes small businesses make. (more…)

Marketing ain’t what it used to be. Brands are no longer expected to simply sell their product or services. It’s all about long-term brand strategy now, and building a successful brand requires hitting several different conversion points by encouraging a diverse set of desired user actions.

In online advertising, a conversion isn’t exactly synonymous with  a “sell”. Any number of desired user actions stemming from your pay per click ads can contribute to greater overall brand awareness and loyalty that will sell your product in the long run. (more…)

One might say that any form of marketing is inherently “contextual”: Any ad, delivered online or off, is contained within some kind of environment. A standard pay per click ad gets displayed on a search result page. In the real world, a billboard sits along a stretch of highway, which is set in a community, which is set in a larger geographic region, all with distinct consumer preferences. All of these different contexts can have an impact on the effectiveness of an ad, to varying degrees.


If you run a startup or a small business, you probably know that effective online advertising can be crucial for your growth strategy. But in the midst of handling everything else to keep your business running, it can be very challenging to make your ads profitable. The numbers don’t lie: a study last year showed that small businesses waste an average of 25% of their online advertising budget because they aren’t effectively managing their campaigns.

Let’s be honest—there’s a science behind what makes pay per click (PPC) advertising work, and learning it all by yourself might not be your biggest priority or interest. But there are some basics that will help you get a competitive and even profitable ad campaign running. Here are 7 of our favorites: (more…)

2014 looks to be a big year for online advertising growth, both in the CPC and CPM price markets. A indicates that 85% of online marketers will increase their focus on improving online advertising conversion; 59% will look to work with a new advertising network; and 52% will spend more of their budgets on display networks.

Companies seeking an increased return from their online advertising efforts are now turning to digital ad agencies or network to get the most bang for their buck. Why? Because with an ever-growing list of advertising options, it can be cumbersome to deal with each one, let alone optimize the various campaigns. And a knowledgeable, experienced advertising account manager (or management system) can be the tipping point for reaching ROI goals. (more…)

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