How to do radio ads for a website: Basic setup. Or: Why you have to do AdWords if you do radio Ads

Just a few weeks ago we started with radio ads for our website is about party travel to Croatia. We basically offer information about a party beach Zrce in Croatia and sell party travel packages (including busses, apartments, festival tickets, … ) to mostly 20something year old people.

That’s Zrce. If you want to party open air in Croatia for 3 months in a row… here you go

The business started with digital distribution only. We use or at least tested all digital ad formats i can think of. We do facebook ads, Instagram ads, AdWords, LinkdIn ads … There is in addition SEO, snapchat, WhatsApp-support and of course the website … But at some point, if your business get more and more a local business, you want to try some old-school, offline stuff to promote your service.

This spring we choose radio ads + cooperation with a radio broadcasting company.

So the basic question was:

How to do radio ads for a website?

(This will guide you through our ideas and setup).

Most of the time people are doing something else while listening to the radio. You drive to work by car, you take a shower, you work… in most radio listening situations you can easy get distracted. People won’t remember your domain. If your not a big brand they will probably forget your brands name, too.

In our case the first idea was to mention in the radio. But if you just listen you don’t even know how to write it. Is it Srce, Srsche, Zirche, Zrche, Zrce (that’s correct) … whatever … no chance.

Thus we need a brand name and catchy domain for the campaign.

We choose / (which is translated something like festival island). Should be easier to remember and to spell correct.

The domain setup

We use 3 domains:

  1. Thats the main page + the place where people will buy stuff and get additional information. But its hard to spell.
  2. This one is redirected to a special landingpage on with 301 + a parameter to track it. There are some other domains like or which are also redirected
If the landingpage looks like that the user entered or
  1. Adwords domain

Radio Ads + AdWords setup

This is basically because you cannot expect that people remember your domain if the hear it on the radio.

I added to AdWords some keywords which sound similar to the brand mention in the radio. Something like “festival island”, “festivals island”, “island festival”. Most of them i added with broad match modifier. I added the radio stations name and some keywords about the locations in Croatia in general to these Ads.

After a view days i checked the search terms in AdWords and saw that most people somehow remember the “festival” and “insel”. The interesting thing is that a lot of people remember everything the full domain name but they search for “festivalinsel de” or “festival insel de”. So i currently pay 0,24€ for everyone, who’s not able to type a dot but type space. :-(

Currently additionally to the direct traffic from the domain (people who made it to type in the full domain) there is 10% AdWords traffic from people who just missed to type a dot, but knew the full domain name.

1. Learning: Do Ads for your full domain name (without a dot)

I created a special ad for these people, which uses the full domain name (with dot) in the title of the Ad.

.de domain in the title but links to the .eu domain (.eu Domain is used for AdWords)

The second thing you have to think about is people, who don’t remember the brand or domain name but something else mentioned in the radio ad. I built a AdWords campaign for unique combinations of keywords which were mentioned in the radio ad. I also recommend to use radio brand + most of the interesting keywords in ad. People will probably remember that there was an interesting ad about party in Croatia on the radio, and than search for “party in croatia” + radio channels name

Keyword setup with radio stations name

2. Learning: Do Ads for everything unique or important in the spoken text of the radio ads + radio channels name combinations

These ads are also not expensive. Maybe you have to get permission from the radio stations to your there channel name for the targeting.

In our case they are less important than the first group. I guess that’s a good, because more people can remember something form the brand domain than searching for something else mentioned in the ad.

If you want AdWords just to get most of the traffic, which was somehow triggered by the radio ad your done. If you go for random terms like “party Croatia” you get of course more traffic, but the traffic was not triggered by radio ads in most cases.

In my setup i just go for search traffic. I don’t want to push something with display ads within this campaign. This one is just to maximize the traffic pushed by radio ads.

3. Learning: My suggestion would be to separate the AdWords campaigns which are used to get pure radio ad driven traffic from the other campaigns.

To track radio ads is still hard but if you mix keywords up and ad some random terms your tracking data will be even worst.

Most radio stations are broadcasting just in specific local regions. I setup these regions in AdWords.

Regions of the radio station

I checked Google Analytics of traffic (that’s the redirected traffic) for region and city. In most cases the regional targeting seems to be correct. There may be some people listening to web radio outside of the regional targeting, but in our case thats negligible

4. Learning: Regional targeting makes sense. Get the transmission area from the radio station and set it up in AdWords.

What do you think about the setup? Anything missing?

How do you setup radio Ads?

I know you want some performance data and more information… Stay tuned there will probably be a second story.