How to Improve Conversion of Your Online Ads


From pay-per-click advertising to display ads, all online advertising is a micro-yes, a step in the process to the ultimate conversion.

To help you improve conversion of this micro-yes, Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director, MECLABS, created the MECLABS Online Ad Sequence based on online advertising experimentation for both B2B and consumer marketers.

How can you improve conversion of your online ads? Focus on the three factors identified in the sequence:



Let me explain the elements in the sequence in a little further detail.


Effectiveness of the ad

This isn’t an equation to be solved. This is a heuristic, or thought tool (kind of like checklist) to guide your thinking as you look to optimize your online advertising.

The more you improve the elements to the right of the equation side, the more you will be able to increase the effectiveness of your ad.


Attract attention

However, all of those factors are not equal. The 2 in front of “at” indicated that attracting attention is twice as important as the other elements in improving performance of your ad.

Online advertising must compete – both with the content on the page (which is the reason customers are on the page to begin with) – and with other advertising.

When you’re creating an online ad, ask yourself, “What is so compelling to the potential customer that it will pull their interest away from the content they intended to engage with?”


Put this idea into action

You can attract attention with a compelling headline, striking visuals, etc.

Another way you can attract attention is with retargeting, to ensure the online ad ties into the potential customer’s motivation.

To get ideas for your own online ads, you can read more about how CafePress used retargeting to attract attention and drove 3% to 7% in incremental topline revenue.



Generate interest

Once you have that attention, you must turn attention into interest.

To use a strained analogy – if you see an attractive man or woman on the sidewalk and scream out, “Hey!” to grab their attention, you better have a pretty good follow up once they turn around to generate interest in you … or you will lose the conversion.

“Attention is momentary. Interest is prolonged and often progressive. Any good screenplay writer understands this. Any good novel writer understands this, and good marketers need to understand that the ad has to move from attention,” said Flint McGlaughlin, Managing Director and CEO, MECLABS, in Banner Ad Design: The 3 key banner objectives that drove a 285% lift.


Put this idea into action

You can watch the MarketingExperiments Web clinic on banner ads to learn how to create a value proposition for your banner ads to generate interest.



Ask for the Click

Online advertising is a heavily direct response medium. This is why many ads are sold on a per-click basis.

it’s much like stopping the man or woman on the sidewalk who has caught your eye, without a strong call-to-action you won’t achieve your ultimate objective – you have to ask for that phone number just like you have to ask prospects to “learn more” or “shop now.”

Essentially, what’s the next step in the process? Once you have generated interest, you have created some amount of curiosity in the prospect.

What clear wording can you include to let them know they can relieve that curiosity with the click while not asking the prospect for too much, too soon? Whether your goal is lead capture or an ecommerce sale, you need to understand the best way to get the prospect from the ad to the next conversion goal.

To do that, you have to understand where they are in the buyer’s journey and what matters to the customer most at this point in that journey.


Put this idea into action

In this video – Lead Capture: How a health care company increased demand for services 300% – Jon Ciampi explains how behavioral psychology helped his team generate a 14,000% increase in clickthrough rate for branded ads (no, that is not a typo).


You might also like

Display Advertising: 4 common mistakes marketers make with banner ads [More from the blogs]

Sales Call Optimization: How to get more prospects on the phone with a banner [More from the blogs]

Content Marketing: Videos attract 300% more traffic and nurture leads [How-to article]

Marketing Research Chart: What information do marketers ask for on list registration forms? [MarketingSherpa Chart]

MarketingExperiments Methodology [Learn more about our heuristics and research]

You might also like
1 Comment
  1. Mike Sireci says

    Great article! I will surely share this with friends!

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.