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Beyond Clicks and Calls: Make Your Digital Ads Accountable


Jody Nelson has seen advertising evolve before her eyes. As a top print and digital senior account manager for 18 years, she saw customer usage shift from print ads to Internet marketing. She also witnessed another significant change: the ability to measure digital ads’ success by the number of appointments set, clients retained or services sold. The “old way” to measure digital ads’ success was to look at the number of clicks or calls generated. But Hoglund Advertising & Analytics (HAA) has developed an innovative way to help clients see the return on their digital advertising investment by way of measuring revenues generated. Jody says, “It’s a game changer.”

After selling Yellow Pages ads for years, Jody started selling digital ads when they were relatively new. She received her Google AdWords certificate in 2006. Then in 2015, she started working for HAA. She had seen something in HAA’s approach she knew clients would value for their business.

She has this advice for companies who are looking for a digital advertising agency:.

1. Look for more than calls and clicks. You don’t have to measure the effectiveness of your ads by how many people click on the ads or call. Not all calls or clicks end up being a client who purchases. Look for an agency that can tell you how many appointments or sales your digital ads have brought you. “In our campaigns, we measure appointments or sales.”

2. Look for an agency that will offer exclusivity in a geographic area. Jody explains, “As an advertising agency, you want your client’s ads to appear at the top on a mobile search. So how can you work with two clients in the same field in the same geographic area? You can’t make a company successful if you’re also working for their competition.”

3. Look for an agency that spends time on your keywords. Know exactly what you’re getting. Find out how frequently a company monitors – and adjusts – its clients’ keyword lists. “We constantly track keywords for clients and clean them up.”

4. Look for an agency that will show you your Google dashboard. Some companies have their own dashboard showing calls and clicks. Ask, do they know every click is valid? Google AdWords tries to screen out invalid clicks. Look for a company that will at least show you screenshots of your own campaigns from Google AdWords.

5. If you’re having a website built, look for an agency that will allow you to own your site and its URL and content. You should be given the opportunity for your company to make changes to your site on your own, without asking permission.

6. Look for an agency that offers transparency. Jody explains, “With the Internet, how do you know who to trust? As Rob Hoglund says, it’s the Wild West out there. With our programs, people trust us because we’re transparent. We show them reports and we immediately contact our clients when we recognize issues in their sales flow – we’re very hands-on.”

She explains further, “We don’t guarantee that a program is going to work. Some geographic areas aren’t going to be good for AdWords. But we’ll give them the best program out there. We’ll know within one to three months if it’s the right fit.”

Knowing how many appointments or sales your digital ads are bringing in – and being able to see detailed analytics – is absolutely critical to determining the return on your digital advertising investment. Anything less than that, such as counting clicks and calls, is futile at best.

Wondering if HAA’s method would be a good fit for your business? Jody is happy to discuss fact-driven digital marketing further. You can reach her at 612.483.0600 or