Out of all of the cool tools and services Google offers, I love the Google Earth feature. As a subscriber to surfing magazines and an avid surfer myself, it amazes me to see how surfers are using the search tool. The ultimate accomplishment for a surfer is to surf a perfect wave that no one else has surfed before. Hence, the epic success of the classic surf film ‘The Endless Summer’ released in 1966.

Surfers are using the Google Earth tool to find nooks and crannies around the world that are pumping with great waves that have never been ridden. After a few calls to round up a crew, a last minute booking of plane tickets, and a usually long desolate car ride later, surfers find the ultimate reward to their search efforts: empty, perfect waves.

Surfers work hard to get to a surf destination they find on Google Earth. That’s fine. Their lives are so peachy; they don’t mind spending what seems like an endless journey to receive their reward. And believe me, the journey is worth it.

But when most of us use search engines, we’re not chasing waves. Whether it’s for research or a pair of Nikes, we want answers fast and we don’t want to travel the world to find what we’re searching for.

For instance, I badly need some new sneakers, so let’s say I am searching for “Cool Discount Nike Sneakers”. By starting my journey and typing that into a search engine, I will most definitely find tons of ads that say exactly that: “Discount Nikes – Click me! Click me!”

As I click on a PPC ad or some display link that was promising me the coolest Nikes at the best price, the excitement of the journey begins to build. But, unfortunately, I have ended up at a landing page that is down right depressing because one of the following scenarios appears:

  • No cool Nikes, and no sign of discounts
  • A page with discounted Adidas (Adidas?! Is this the 80’s!)
  • Some Nikes, but no reference to a discount

Total let down. After clicking on the ad I thought my journey was going to be rewarded, but my journey was a failure all because of this mismatched landing experience.

Imagine how a surfer would feel if they crossed the world to find that the spot they searched out was a lake. They would be devastated. All of that work for nothing!

Delivering on an ad promise is critical, but it’s also important to make the landing page experience memorable. Boring waves aren’t going to warrant a second surfing trip, and a boring landing page isn’t going to be easy to remember.

There are plenty of best practices and amazing technology, like LiveBall, on the post-click side that makes it easy for marketers to serve up great landing experiences. Imagine your prospects are these surfers on a journey to find your product or service. Don’t let them down!

This is a guest post by ion’s very own Asa Hochhauser who loves to surf and loves to talk to companies about their landing pages. It all comes together out on the ocean….