We talk to dozens of people every week about their digital marketing strategy, and one of the most common questions from someone just dipping their toes into digital marketing is – how do I know if my ads are really working? There are a few simple ways to check, but before that, you need to have some basic points sorted.

What are your ads for?

The first thing is really easy, just sit down and think – what are these ads actually trying to achieve? Are you selling handmade products online – are you trying to target people who would be interested in those products to get them to buy online? If so, you want your end result to be Conversions on your website (which are purchases in this case).

If your business is a painting and decorating firm, you’ll likely be looking for people planning upcoming projects or people needing some emergency/last-minute work done on their property. So is your ad covering those needs, and does it bring them through to a website that is very clear on what you do, why people should trust you and how to get in touch? If so you are likely looking to get Leads out of this ad, either through people calling you, chatting to you via live chat, using an enquiry form, emailing you etc.

It seems too simple but this is the first step in making a successful campaign – figuring out your end goal.

How do you find the results?

Most people find it’s not an issue with what they want the ad to do, but they can’t actually figure out the results. This might be down to a little lack of knowledge of how to check within google analytics (which if so make sure to check for any upcoming free webinars on google analytics to get you started – or read our blog posts on the subject) or that google analytics isn’t installed. If it’s the latter, we would recommend you stop reading this article, go away and take 5 minutes to create an analytics account and email the code it gives you to your developer (then come back and finish this!) It is essential for digital marketing work to progress that you see what happens on google analytics.

Or, you might have google analytics and can’t see any evidence of your campaigns on Google or Facebook/Instagram. If so, make sure in google analytics you have linked your analytics account to your google ads account (takes about 30 seconds to do, and there are loads of support articles online to tell you where to go).

For Facebook and Instagram ads, you are likely missing the tracking code that tells Google analytics the name of the campaign. Go to the ad you want to check and edit it. Scroll down to the bottom of the ad creation screen and go into URL parameters. And click the link below it to create your tracking code. Put Social in medium and source and then in name give it a recognisable name (and put FB at the end to easily find facebook campaigns in analytics) and then save/publish your changes.

Neither of these fixes will backdate the data so you will only see information on Google ads and Facebook/Instagram ads going forward so make sure to do this asap.

What do the results mean?

Getting to the results is only half of the problem, understanding them is another. Going back to if you are a business selling online, this is usually a bit more simple – did that campaign make you money? Did it make enough money to cover the cost of the ad? Did it make enough money to cover the cost of the ad and then actually make a profit? This is the best place to start, if the answer to them all is yes then you’ve got a successful campaign! If not don’t worry – you have a jumping-off point and a better grasp on what doesn’t work.

There are many other factors to consider as well. Is the bounce rate higher than 50% – if so people are more likely to leave your website than go to another page from that campaign. Why is that, do you need to change the website or change the audience for the ad?

If you don’t sell online, you need to look at stats like the bounce rate and also whether they’ve become a lead through a call/enquiry etc. Tracking calls online might be a bit difficult so make sure you’re tracking when someone submits a chat or fills in an enquiry form. Use goals on google analytics to check these. Are you making enough enquiries for the cost of the ad? How much is the cost per click? How much is the cost per lead? Is there a particular ad or keyword that is driving more enquiries? Delve into these common questions to find if the campaign is worth it.

If you aren’t getting the results you want from your campaigns, or can’t figure out how to get to or how to understand the results – book in a FREE 121 digital marketing session with the team and we’ll help you go over any issues and formulate a digital marketing strategy to carry forward. Or if you’re short on time and resources, contact us about our Total Digital Marketing package.