Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Advanced Landing Page Strategies for Higher Pay Per Click Conversions Webinar Summary

Not a bad little webinar. Ion Interactive is promoting a tool to make it easy to create and test Landing Pages. Briefly, a Landing Page is the page that a web visitor sees after clicking on a Pay Per Click ad.

The essential premise of the webinar is that most PPC campaigns are flawed because more often than not, the landing page of a PPC ad is the home page of the web site. This is a horrible idea (except for a specific search for a company's brand, ie Joe's Plumbing Service Burlington Vermont - they are specifically looking for this company.)

The question is why is the home page most likely a bad landing page. When running any PPC campaign, there are 3 elements: the keyword that was used to search, the Advertisement that is displayed, and the Landing Page where the visitor ends up. Creating a cohesive strategy to guide the web visitor to what they want is how PPC advertising works.

The unique angle of this webinar is using their analogy of the Ad as the "promise" and rehashing an old Seth Godin gorilla/banana analogy. Once your ad is displayed, the copy is the promise you are making to a web visitor. The landing page must match the promise made by the ad. Make your landing page as specific and easy as possible to take action from.

If a gorilla is searching for bananas, the keyword, ad copy, and landing page should all offer bananas and nothing else. If someone is looking for an air conditioning unit, your ad copy and landing page should promote air conditioning units (not your home page selling your overall HVAC service, or air conditioning repair, or solar panels...but only air conditioning units).

Ideally, the "promise" of the ad is associated with a call to action that delivers on that promise. "The 6 critical decisions to make when considering a new air conditioner" with an offer for a free estimate for example.

Overall process for a solid PPC campaign:
  • write ad copy that creates a solid "promise" that will appeal to whatever keyword was searched
  • create a landing page that delivers on that promise
  • offer very targeted and few click paths (hence, never use the home page where all of your standard navigation just gets in the way)
  • make sure that the promise is connected to a very specific call to action
  • test different keyword, ad copy, and landing pages to maximize conversions
  • measure the results and test again
Good advice for any small or medium sized business that is involved in a Pay Per Click marketing campaign. If you are outsourcing your PPC work, use this list to ensure that your current firm is maximizing the return on your investment.