If your absolute bottom line is to retrieve a rewarding ROI from your marketing spend, then you no doubt want to explore every step of your online sales funnel to maximise sales. The biggest potential for growth for many online websites is traffic generation, followed by the conversion of that traffic into later stages of the funnel.
One of the key stages of conversion where you can make the most out of your PPC spend is the creation of a well designed landing page. There are many factors that contribute to a high converting landing page (see 10 Ways to Design a Landing Page that Sells), but one of the most overlooked factors that can bleed your campaign budget dry is the inconsistent messaging between your PPC ad and your landing page. Rather than funneling traffic down to your sales, your landing page may be preventing your paid traffic from progressing further. Or even drive them away with confusion. Think of your funnel with big holes in the ‘Interest (CTR)’ section, and then think of your PPC budget flowing out of those holes instead of flowing back down to your sales.
Let’s use the example of a user looking to buy red high heels. She (an easy assumption here I hope!) is already aware of red high heels from other sources and is ready to search online to research and compare prices. She may use a brand in this example, but for the purpose of applying this logic to a general product or service – she opts for the keyword “red high heels”. She is specific in her search and expects the results to cater to her specific needs. However, you’re a shoe outlet with thousands of items in stock – from red high heels to size 15 gumboots and direct all your traffic to a generic landing page, like your homepage. The user then has to take additional measures to search your site for red high heels or take the easier option of conducting another search on your competitors site to get EXACTLY what she wants.
We can see some AdWords examples for this keyword as illustrated below. The highlighted areas show ads optimised for the keyword “red high heels”:
Any matching keywords in your ad will be highlighted in bold text, which is beneficial to users who scan results. Consistent messaging for your keyword will help drive traffic from the ‘awareness’ phase down to the ‘interest’ phase. To further help plug the holes in your funnel, you want to reiterate that your page has everything about the keyword that the searcher needs and also reflect this in the destination’s content. This welcomes users from the ‘interest’ phase down into the ‘consideration’ phase – and one step away from making a transaction.
Likewise with banner ads, you want your banner image and messaging to reflect the keyword, as well as the landing page. For example:
Keeping the design and messaging consistent will minimise the loss of users exiting your sales funnel in the awareness and interest phase. Once this drives them into ‘consideration’, it is then up to your sales process to be optimised to make the most out of your budget.
To optimise your landing page for consistency, here is a quick checklist to consult before you name your price:
AdWords Landing Page Optimisation Checklist
Double check that banner ads matches the given landing page using the new Ad Review controls in AdSense
The greatest thing about having optimised ads is that Google AdWords will reward you with a high Quality Score, resulting in a lower cost-per-click (CPC) rate, lower first page bid estimate and higher ad position.
To make the most out of your spend, you may also be interested in reading Kat’s last post on making your PPC ad attractive and effective and our earlier post on 5 Mistakes that are Ruining Your Campaign.