Picture this: your ads are approved, they are spending budget, and all is seemingly going well! Your company (or your clients) have noticed valuable ROI and the campaigns are making the phones ring. 1 month goes by, then 2, and then 3. All of a sudden you stop noticing the results you had in the beginning. What gives?
Even PPC professionals with substantial advertising experience can encounter the problem of ad fatigue. Ad fatigue is the bane of many PPC campaigns that have been running for a reasonable period of time and it can be very detrimental to your campaign’s ongoing performance. It is not a result of poor targeting or even poor copywriting, but rather the length at which the ads have been running. In this article we will outline the characteristics of ad-fatigue, why it occurs, and most importantly what you can do about it.
What is Ad Fatigue?
Ad fatigue is characterized by a decline in CTR after your ads have been running for a while, following initial campaign success. Essentially, the same users are repeatedly exposed to the same ad and become bored or irritated by them. Ad fatigue is a challenge to your campaigns because, instead of enticing people further down the conversion funnel, the ads begin to have no effect, or worse repel people.
The Difference Between Ad Fatigue and Banner Blindness
Ad fatigue is regularly confused with the phenomenon of banner blindness but they are in fact unique issues with different causes. While banner blindness and ad fatigue do share some similar features, having beautiful ads and improving ad relevance is usually not sufficient to tackle ad fatigue. Banner blindness can occur for a user seeing an ad for the first time. When banner blindness occurs, it can be because the web page visitor is looking for something specific and doesn’t want to get distracted by an ad. Even though the contents in the banner section of a webpage might not contain an ad, they’re still liable to be ignored. Banner blindness is due to wilful ignorance (i.e they don’t want to get distracted) versus simply overlooking an ad due to how many times it has come up for them.
Techniques to Tackle the Fatigue
Have you ever had the experience where you just want to read your favorite newspaper online or log into online banking and the same annoying ads are there? That is ad fatigue in action. Ad fatigue is common with keyword and with displays ads, as you are targeting specific placements or people by interest. This creates an environment where an audience pool is likely to see an ad multiple times because it appears repeatedly on a site they visit because they fit the targeted niche. Although ad fatigue can be a challenge, advertisers can overcome the problem with some savvy and diligent management. There are several simple methods advertisers can use for tackling ad fatigue. These are some of our favorites:
- Regular ad variation
- Shake up your collateral
- Consider retiring ol’ reliable
- Continue to run market research
When setting up any PPC campaign you should always have a collection of varied ads, whether it’s on the display network, search or remarketing. This helps you to test which ads work best with your target audience.
That is why we recommend doing frequent A/B tests. Even if you have conducted multiple A/B split tests and found an ad format that was producing great results, it is still a good idea to try new formats if CTR begins to drop. Research shows time and again that campaign performance will decrease if you fail to update your creatives. Note to self, keep them fresh! This applies to both the content and the imagery.
Retire Ol’ Reliable
Sometimes even the best racehorses cannot keep running. If an ad has served its purpose, consider turning it off, even for a few months. It’s always better to keep a particular ad on ice if it tapers off in performance and bring it back during more critical months, like the holidays.
Sometimes numbers speak for themselves. Pro tools such as SEM Rush give you an inside look into how your keywords are performing, and the general volume of search traffic. Just like fashion trends, certain terms may fall out of favor, and your ads should reflect that.
On top of that, looking into how your competitors market themselves on the Google Network can give you insight into consumer trends, or new CTAs that may make your ads pop. Keeping your eyes peeled and being a savvy marketer pays off in the end.
Want to get a head start on your PPC performance? MSB specializes in Google, Facebook, and Instagram paid marketing and we are ready and willing to bring you up to speed in todays fast-paced internet world.
Alternatively, do you feel that your ads aren’t getting the attention they deserve? Let us give it our critical eye and boost you into the stratosphere. Call for your free consultation today: 562-631-7888.