The #1 Mistake Paid Ad Marketers Make

The #1 Mistake Most Marketers Make When Running Paid Ads

Your ability to track conversions is one of the most important foundational pieces of knowledge you can have in the world of paid advertising. 

Biggest Mistake Marketers Make With Paid Ads

The number one mistake we see marketers make across all advertising networks is incomplete or non-existent conversion tracking. Google and Facebook are the closest things to artificial intelligence that humanity has publicly accessible to us. They are trillion dollar machine learning mechanisms. Believe it or not, they’re working towards trying to accomplish your goal!

We want to make sure you have the principles that help you contend with any ad network regardless of what new ad networks pop up or what changes are made.

If all we do is teach you how to push the buttons and build the specific conversion actions inside of a certain ad network…that’s going to be antiquated information the second we publish this video.

Key Terms For Running Paid Traffic

Every landing page on your site should have a specific goal. What do you want each page to accomplish? This is true even if you’re not running paid ads.

On most pages, you should have a primary call to action. The primary call to action is the thing you want your potential customers to do. It is your conversion action. So the primary call to action is the same as the conversion action.

From a content marketing perspective, the call to action is the thing you want your customers to do. From a paid traffic perspective, the conversion action is the way you track it. 


Call to action: Sign up for a free action plan

Conversion action: Fill out the contact form

A transitional call to action requires a smaller commitment from your customer. If the primary call to action requires a lot of time or money from your customer, include a transitional call to action. I would add these to the more important pages in your sales funnel.

A lead magnet is a great way to capture the lead and makes a solid transitional call to action. 

With a primary call to action and a transitional call to action on the page, you have the opportunity to capture the most traffic. And identifying those conversion actions helps tell the search engines what kind of traffic you want.

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Examples Of Primary Conversion Actions

Different users engage in different ways. 

  • Some people want to chat. 
  • Some people want to call. 
  • Some people want to fill out a form. 
  • Some people love quizzes or surveys. 

Everyone will engage in different ways. It’s up to you to figure out what your target audience wants. It won’t always be just one thing, so offer a few different ways for people to take that next step.

Pro Tip

ALWAYS direct conversions to a custom thank you page. (More on that in just a moment…)

Form Submissions

If you don’t have forms on your site you should. These are one of my favorite ways to engage users because it allows you to capture the most information. But you have to be careful. Keep forms short in the beginning. Only ask for the absolute amount of information you need for them to convert.

  • Name
  • Email
  • Phone

Asking for the phone number keeps lead quality high. If you only ask for only the email address, you might end up chasing phantom leads. 

According to HubSpot, every field you add to a contact form decreases the conversion rate by 11%. So start by running paid ads to a short form.

Also, avoid using captcha codes. They frustrate users. If you get lots of spam leads, add it. But wait until you have data to back up that decision.

If you’re using a CRM (Hint: you should be), use embedded CRM forms whenever possible. If you use integrations, they’re more likely to break.

Pro Tip

If you get an insane amount of leads that aren’t qualified, add form fields to the contact form to help qualify them.


If your primary conversion action is a tour or demo, remember these three things:

1. Have consistent availability

2. Meet your customer where they are

3. Have a very clear offer

If you don’t have availability, don’t offer a tour or demo. You should have at least two slots available every day if this is going to be your primary conversion action. This makes it easier to meet the customer’s needs. 

Also, when it comes to having a tour or demo, the offer should be very clear. Will the tour be virtual or in person? Is there something the customer must do before they show up? How long will it take? Do they need to be in front of a computer?

For appointments, you need to collect the phone number so you can follow-up. You also need the email address so you can send the confirmation email for them to add the event to their calendar.

Phone Calls

When you use a phone number on your website, it needs to be visible. We like to put it in the header, in the top right. That’s where most people go for contact information. But don’t use a button or an image, use text. The click to call button works great on mobile, but not desktop. And when you use an image, you can’t use call-tracking software.

Why should you use call tracking software? When a call takes place, the software can tell you:

  • Where the call came from
  • Whether it was answered
  • How long the call lasted

And, it can record the call. With all that information, you can weed out the poor quality leads and define what a high-quality lead looks like.

Pro Tip

Use call tracking software to track, record, and score your calls. 

If you’re in the Saas or eCom space, you may not want to take phone calls. I get it. Not every business does. But in many cases, this puts you at a disadvantage.

When in doubt, check your competitors. If they’re taking phone calls, you should too.

Then, make sure you answer the phone. We had a client who didn’t answer 30% of the calls we generated for them! They kept wanting more traffic, but their entire sales process was broken. They didn’t need more traffic, they needed to pick up the phone!

When it comes to tracking conversions, make sure you only track quality calls as leads. If you’re using Google’s threshold rule for call tracking, but it doesn’t match how you score a quality lead, Google will get a false positive and start sending you MORE poor quality leads.

Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are solid predictive indicators of intent. What is a lead magnet? A Lead Magnet is a nearly irresistible offer made in exchange for a customer’s email address and/or other valuable marketing information.

A lead magnet gives people who aren’t ready to convert an opportunity to engage with you. The point of the lead magnet is to build relationships and start conversations. So give massive value up front. Nothing is more frustrating than getting excited about a lead magnet, downloading it, and finding out that it sucks. 

Finally, make sure not to let the lead magnet outshine the core offer. I like to put them at the bottom of the page or have a pop-up.

How To Avoid Wasting Ad Money

The entire network of paid advertising platforms want you to win. How do you help them help you? How do you tell Google, Bing, Yahoo!, Facebook, etc. your goal?

Tell them what conversion event you want. If your strategy isn’t properly outlined or you’ve missed the technical implementation, then you’re sending these super smart, trillion dollar machines a false positive. What happens then? They fly off in the wrong direction with your ad money!

Your conversion strategy is critically important. The technical implementation of your conversion events is critically important.

Want to become a traffic master? Click here to find out how!

NOTE: This content came directory from DigitalMarketer’s Paid Traffic Mastery Certification.

Kasim Aslam

Kasim Aslam

Kasim Aslam is the founder and CEO of Solutions 8, one of the world’s top ranked Google Ads agencies. Recipient of the Arizona Interactive Marketing Association’s 2017 TIM Award for Person of the Year, Kasim was also named one of the Top 50 Digital Marketing Thought Leaders in the United States by The University of Missouri in 2020. Kasim was hand-selected as the Traffic Coach for’s ELITE coaching program by their executive team. He is also the co-host of the long-running podcast, Perpetual Traffic. His book, The 7 Critical Principles of Effective Digital Marketing, was featured as one of the Top 100 Digital Marketing Books of All Time by Book Authority. Kasim helped launch the National Association of Child Helplines (NAACH) and worked with the United States Army, Intel, as well as a Gates Foundation-funded nonprofit, a 54,000 member PPO, the largest privately owned bank in the United States, and an Academy Award-contending documentary. He lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife and two sons.

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