First of all, Happy New Year to everyone. I was going to do a post this week just wishing everyone a Happy New Year, but thought I might as well give you something to help you too. Next week, in honor of the NFL Playoffs, I’m going to do a post on SEM Playoffs, with important factors in organic search. Since organic will get all the attention next week, this week I wanted to help some people with some basics with PPC.
In recent months, I have had a number of clients come to me with problems with their Google Adwords campaigns. In many cases, they had campaigns that worked well for a long time, and suddenly just weren’t performing. In most of these cases, I found that they just weren’t following the basic fundamentals with their landing pages. Many of these practices have been in place for years at highly competitive national retail sites, but often visitors were more patient with smaller businesses. I feel that in the past six months, even small businesses need these basics to be successful and each of these are fairly obvious, but many business owners don’t follow it.
1. Your Landing Page Should Be Specific To Your Search Term: I see so many businesses just send all of their ads to their home page. This simply won’t work any more. Your searchers have short attention spans and they want to see what they were looking for. If you didn’t find a service important enough to invest in having a page on your site devoted to it, you probably shouldn’t be advertising that service anyway. Make sure you send your searchers to the specific service they were searching for. Don’t make them to find it once they get to your site. They won’t. They will just leave. A year ago, they may have done the work, but they won’t any more.
2. Your Landing Page Needs an Obvious Call To Action: This seems straightforward, but is one of the biggest mistakes I see. I ask a client what they want a customer to do when they get to the site. They will say buy my product or sign up for the newsletter or even just call us and then they won’t make it clear how to do that on the site itself. If you want someone to buy something, you need a big “buy now” button that is clear on how to buy it. If you want them to call you, you need to make that number clear and obvious on the page, and should even tell them to call you. Make it clear that this is the way to take that next step. If you want them to sign up for your newsletter, you need to ask them, and be obvious about it. There are too m any pages out there with just a description of the service and then the standard contact info in small letters on the bottom of the page or in the upper corner. Make it clear or you will lose them.
3. Make Your Landing Page Attractive: Include images and have white space so it isn’t cluttered with so much information that it is intimidating. You can have clear links to more detailed product descriptions or service explanations, but on the landing page, hit the basics, make it attractive and make it clear. No rambling tiny text that looks like a school book.
4. Make Your Page Mobile Friendly: I’ve been harping on this for months for SEO too. If the page is ugly to users on tablets and phones, they are going to leave. If your site is bad for mobile users, you are wasting money on all of those clicks. I’ve had some tell me that it isn’t mobile friendly, but you can get to the links if you pinch, etc. If you are making the user do the work that you should have done, you will lose them. Make your landing page look good on mobile.
I don’t want to overload you with too much information and there are a lot of sites out there specifically about landing pages and studies to improve landing page performance, but I see so many businesses not following these absolute basics that I wanted to get it up there so that you don’t make the same mistakes in 2015.