In 1841, P.T. Barnum opened his famous American Museum in New York. According to Wikipedia, the museum: “…offered both strange, and educational attractions.”
Some of the fascinating items included General Tom Thumb, a 25-inch tall dwarf, the Fiji Mermaid, and Josephine Boideschene, the bearded woman, who had grown a two-inch beard by the time she was 8 years old.
Barnum, being a business man, noticed museum goers were lingering for too long at his exhibits. He needed quicker customer turn around. But instead of being the bad guy and shooing away visitors who overstayed their welcome, he posted a sign that said “this way to the Egress.”
People followed the signs to what they thought was a fascinating exhibit. “What could this Egress be?”
When they finally got to the Egress, they found themselves outside the museum. They didn’t learn until too late that “Egress” was another word for exit. Not quite what they were expecting!
Are you sending your customers to the “Egress”?
Thousands of AdWords customers today are sending their customers to the egress – but not deliberately like P.T. Barnum. They’re using their pay per click ads to send people to websites and landing pages that make people want to egress the heck out of there.
Just like Barnum’s museum customers, you may be sending your potential customers to what seems to them to be a fascinating destination. Your online ads promise new weight loss strategies, personal success courses, an eBook on how to win the social media game, or a beautiful new cell phone cover for the iPhone 5.
But when they click on your ad, they find something that has nothing to do with the fascinating thing you were promising in your ad. Confused, they click and look around…for a few seconds, and then they give up, hitting the back button to egress from your website.
Unlike Barnum, you don’t want your customers to find the egress – you want them to stick around to buy your product or sign up for your newsletter so you can sell them something later.
How do you make sure you get good results from your pay per click ads after they click through to your website? How can you ensure you’re not showing your customers the egress?
Here are Five Tips to Drive Sales from your PPC Ads
1. Send them to a Landing Page
When your customers click on your ad, it’s because they are looking for the precise item or piece of information you described to them in the ad.
But when you send them to your home page, you lose them.
Home pages typically have very little reference to the original ad that brought them there, since they’re designed as a general overview of your business. They’re built to appeal to potential customers, job seekers, investors and casual browsers, not shoppers who click on ads.
Google has built-in enforcement mechanisms to drive this point home.Quality Score was developed to ensure ad quality. Google’s Quality Score grades an ad on its relevance. If Google determines that the landing page or website your ad points to does not fulfill the promise of the ad, it will give your ad a lower Quality Score than an ad that points to a landing page that more closely fulfills the promise of the ad.
Sending people to your home page gives your ad a lower Quality Score, because it’s not relevant. It will be presented less often to searchers entering your preferred search term in the Google search field. If you want to read more about how to get a good SEO position, check this post!
2. Your Page Title should Match the Ad Headline
Bryan Eisenberg, expert in the online conversion field, discusses the importance of scent to describe web searchers looking for solutions to their problems on the web. They describe web searchers behaving very much like dogs who are on the trail of a scent.
A dog will follow a scent along the ground, but they sometimes hit a dead end. The scent ends, so they retrace their steps to find the scent again and search for a more fruitful outcome.
Web surfers are also following a scent. They’re looking for a solution to a problem. In this case the scent is the search terms you’ve used for your ad. When they click on your ad, they will either continue the scent or reach a dead end.
A dead end means your visitors hit the back button to retrace their steps so they can find a more relevant solution to whatever problem they’re trying to solve.
Because web surfers are constantly moving, they need to see a very obvious connection between your landing page and your ad’s headline. If the title of your landing page doesn’t exactly mirror your ad’s headline, your visitors will quickly hit the back button.
This is true even if your page title closely resembles the ad headline. Why wouldn’t web surfers stay a few seconds longer to read your headline and discover that what you’re selling is exactly what they’re offering?
Because web surfers are constantly moving and make quick glances around the page. If they don’t see what they’re looking for immediately, they move on
That’s why your page title has to exactly match your ad’s headline.
Let me give you an example.
If your ad’s headline is: “Adidas Predator LZ,” your landing page cannot be titled “Adidas Soccer Cleats.” Your landing page title needs to be “Adidas Predator LZ.”
3. Provide a unique landing page for each variation of ad
You may have just one variation of your PPC ad, but that’s very rare. Most pay per click campaigns consist of dozens, or even hundreds of versions of your ad, each with a different headline, body copy and call-to-action.
This is because you’re constantly looking for the best performing ad, as well as your need to appeal to different variations of keywords and keyword combinations.
For each ad I recommend creating a unique landing page.
This may sound like overkill, but as I described in number 2 above, your landing page’s title should exactly match your ad’s headline. If you have 15 different ads with 15 different headlines running at the same time, then create 15 different landing pages.
I hope I’m driving home the point that your landing page needs to mirror the promise of the original ad!
4. Provide them with a great landing page experience
Is it enough to provide your visitors a landing page that’s specific to your ad, with a title that mirrors your ad’s headline? Not quite. You could still lose them when they read the rest of the page.
Google provides very precise guidelines for how to build an online advertisement. These guidelines force you to write ads that are “relevant, clear, accurate and descriptive of the products or services offered.”
Every aspect of your landing page must provide relevant information that informs your customers about what you’re selling. Here are a few tips to make your landing page experience more relevant, clear and accurate: Show your product – don’t just describe it. Images are a great way to engage your landing page visitors and demonstrate to them what your product looks like and can do for them. Don’t forget to add captions to your images – Google likes captions!
- Use lots of sub-headlines with relevant descriptions, so those visitors who like to scan instead of read can get a good idea about what you’re selling. Use <h2> or <h3> tags for your sub-headlines instead of just bolded text – this tells Google your ad is on the right track.
- Make sure your page loads quickly. Your visitors will lose patience if it takes 8 seconds to load, and Google will penalize you with a lower quality score.
- Provide a clear call-to-action – a prominent “buy now” button, a subscription form, an “add to shopping cart” icon. A note about forms: keep it simple. If you’re looking for subscribers to your newsletter or hoping to drive downloads to a free report, don’t ask for too much information. To learn more about how to make effective Call To Action buttons check out this post here!
- Use testimonials whenever you can. Shoppers are naturally skeptical when they come to your landing page – give them proof that others have used and enjoyed the wonderful benefits of your product. To make your testimonials good, show the images of the people reviewing your product. To make them awesome, provide videos of people raving about your product.
For more information on optimizing landing page experience, visit the “Understanding landing page experience” article by Google.
5. Set up Sales Tracking
Many online advertisers make the mistake of measuring just the click-through rate of their pay per click ad. That is important: you want your ad to be as effective as possible in attracting clicks.
However, you want your ad to attract the right kind of clicks. You pay for clicks (hence the name “pay per click”) – why not pay for the right clicks?
Set up a system to track how effectively you’re driving sales. Brian Massey, in his book “Your Customer Creation Equation,”, says to set up “Funnels” and “Tripwires.”
The sales funnel for your pay per click ad is simply the path your visitor takes, from the time she sees your ad, clicks on it, reads the copy on your landing page, fills out a subscription form or adds a product to a shopping cart, and finally checks out and reaches your “thank you” page.
Setting up the “Tripwire” is the way to measure the effectiveness of your funnel. Massey says the “thank you” page should be your tripwire. When your visitors finally reach your “thank you” page (this page can only be reached after completing a sign-up form or purchasing a product), then your visitors have set off the tripwire.
You can use Google Analytics to measure your AdWords visitor’s path the whole way, from clicking the ad all the way through to the “thank you” page.
Keep your goal in Mind
Your Google AdWords landing page is the key to effective pay per click advertising. But your goal is not to generate as many clicks on your ad as possible. Your goal is not to get as many people reading the content on your landing page as possible.
Your goal is to generate sales. Always keep sales in mind when designing your landing page.
I recommend re-evaluating your AdWords campaign to determine whether your landing pages are driving the right people from your ad through to your form or shopping cart, and eventually past the tripwire, your “thank you” page.
For more information on how Lander can help you create landing pages that will increase the sales rate of your AdWords campaign, click here and make your first experience with Lander for free!
This article originally appeared on Lander Blog and has been republished with permission.