Where to spend your digital marketing dollars – website or digital ads?

Ads vs website

As business owners, we need to make tough decisions about where to spend our money to benefit the business the most. And every dollar matters. 

We’ve worked with companies in many industries, with various budgets, and stages of digital advertising. But most all have the same conclusion: they want to land more customers through digital marketing. That’s why they hire folks like us. 

During conversations with clients, the question of where to spend money always comes up. Should it be invested in a new website? Or, can it be used to buy more digital ads? A lot of times, for a customer, they don’t have funds to pour into each tactic. But when we’re asked, we advise the client to pick one over the other.

What comes first – the website or the digital ads?

Advertising agencies will tell you to start with digital ads. 

Website developers will advocate for the website. 

But at FGM Internet Marketing, we develop websites and create digital ad campaigns for our clients. With more than a decade in digital marketing, we’ve seen the results of what each can do for a business. Our opinion is that your website should be working at its absolute best before spending money on digital ads to drive traffic to your site.


Because if you spend marketing dollars on digital ads that send lots of traffic to your website but your website is not ready to capture or nurture those prospects and turn them into leads, then you are wasting time and money. 

This funnel shows how digital ads should play into getting more leads and sales for your business. If any part of this funnel breaks, you are not maximizing your marketing budget. Ads may be driving prospective customers to your site. But if your site is not designed well, or your landing pages confuse visitors, they’ll bounce as quickly as they arrived on the page.

digital ads and website funnel

How your website may be failing your business

Let’s look at some examples of how your website may be sabotaging your digital ad spend.

Your website doesn’t work well on all devices – laptop, mobile, and tablet. 

People who click on your ad on a mobile phone land on a website that doesn’t work for them, so they leave and do not engage with your business. 

You still spent money on the click, but this person would never take the next step because you didn’t invest in making sure your website was truly responsive on all devices.

Your website doesn’t sell your business or product. 

When we say “sell,” we mean the imagery and copy on your website doesn’t do a good job of convincing the website user to buy your product or service. 

Lackluster copywriting won’t energize or inspire the user, nor set you apart from your competitors. Poor photography or videography will make your business look dated or amateur. 

There are too many competitors out there to be satisfied with being a wallflower.

Your website doesn’t have a strong call-to-action. 

Hundreds of visitors are coming to your website from digital ads out on the Internet. 

But once they land on your website, do they know what to do next? 

Far too often we see digital ads that land on the homepage of a website, which is a page that serves many purposes – most importantly, introducing someone to your business, what you sell, and how to contact you. 

But what does the visitor do next? 

Should they “Buy Now” by going to your online store? Should they call a phone number or fill in an appointment request form? 

It’s up to you, along with your digital marketing team, to determine what the desired action is and then make that action obvious to the website user. 

At FGM Internet Marketing, we accomplish this by creating landing pages for your digital ads so that the creative and messaging used in the digital ads connect seamlessly with the landing page. Then the user will know exactly what the next action is in order to do business with you.

Your website isn’t capturing essential user information to improve your digital ad campaigns. 

A smart, strategic digital marketing plan uses all data available to improve your digital marketing campaigns and maximize your marketing budget. 

We think it’s essential that your digital marketing team looks at both digital ad campaign metrics AND website analytics to make incremental improvements to both the website and digital ads. 

Digital ad metrics will tell you how many impressions, clicks, and engagement your ads got, but your website analytics will tell you what these users did when they landed on your website. 

Did they look at a page for two seconds and leave? Did they purchase something right away? Did they come back to the website after a few days to do more research? 

We can also use website data to create retargeted digital marketing ads that are served to people who have visited your website in the past 30 days. This type of strategy is effective only if you have a digital marketing team (like FGM Internet Marketing) that takes a holistic approach to your online presence and is always evaluating and optimizing both the digital ads and the website.

Ready for a holistic approach to your digital marketing and website?

If you’ve fallen into any of the above traps, or are convinced of the importance of having a holistic approach to your organization’s digital marketing, FGM Internet Marketing is ready to be your digital marketing team. 

Connect with us through our contact us page. We also share digital marketing best practice and tips on our social media accounts: Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram.

Ads vs website