An effective ad draws clicks, but that’s not the end-all-be-all of PPC marketing. What you’re really concerned about is conversions. The conversion begins at your ad, and ends at your landing page.
The key to conversions (by key, I mean that an ad with a relevant landing page can perform 2 to 5 times better than an ad pointing to a generic landing page) is relevance. I’ll give you a bad example to demonstrate:
I search magnavox TV and am presented with this ad in the top position:
When I click on the ad, I’m presented with a landing page that has absolutely nothing to do with Magnavox TVs. It’s basically AOL Shopping’s top level of their electronics section. If the ad manager would point this ad to the relevant Magnavox section, they would see conversion rates easily triple.
Imagine a door-to-door salesman that starts with a beginning line of, “Hi Ma’am, are you having a hard time getting tough stains out of your carpet? We have just the solution. An industry leader since 1975, we offer a powerful, organic, environmentally-friendly carpet cleaner that will get the job done. Just spray, and walk away. May I come in to give you a demonstration?” His offer is enticing and the lady lets him in. As soon as he enters, he sits down on the sofa with a blank look on his face. The lady then has to explain to him what she’s looking for before he’s able to show her what he has to offer…
You see where I’m going with this? People are impatient on the internet. If they click, they’re expecting something on the other side that will solve whatever problem they’re currently having. If they “let you in” only to find that they’re going to have to do a lot more clicking and searching to actually find what they’re looking for…they’re just going to hit the dreaded back button.
One client that we worked with was sending every PPC visitor to the main home page. We tweaked the home page, where we could dynamically feed the headline through the URL and saw conversions go from 1.8% to 4.5%. On those 20% of your keywords that are bringing so much of your traffic, it will literally pay you many times over to serve up specific, targeted landing pages so you can give your visitors exactly what they’re looking for.
The key is to offer relevance from the initial search, clear on through the conversion process (remember, a conversion may not just be a sale).
- User searches: “personal budget” as their keyword phrase
- User sees an ad with “personal budget” in the headline (and perhaps in the description, or even in the destination URL as yourdomain.com/personal-budget, you would obviously test these things)
- User clicks on the ad (because the ad is talking about what they’re searching for) and sees a landing page with a headline, “Your Personal Budget Struggles are Over”
Not only will the CTR from 1 to 2 be higher here, but the conversion rate where you’re actually making the sale will be much higher as well. From the same keyword search you’re getting more traffic that is also converting at a higher than normal rate!