Do you know where your PPC customers are being sent? Here’s some PPC advice.
4 Common Landing Page Pitfalls
Let’s say you’re creating a new paid search campaign. You’ve done keyword research, formed tightly knit ad groups, and written flawless ad copy that even Don Draper from Mad Men would praise. You’re ready to launch your campaign, but you may have missed a vital part of the thought process: where are you sending your potential customers after they click?
Below are 4 common landing page pitfalls, and what you can do today to fix them.
Problem 1: Your Landing Page Is Too General
If you’ve been in the PPC game for a while, you probably know that using your home page as a catch-all landing page isn’t the best strategy to maximize conversions for your website. However, even pages you think are relevant may still be too general to entice your visitors to make a purchase. Let’s say you’re selling camping supplies online and you have a campaign focused on tents, with ad groups built around specific sizes of tents. If someone searches for “3 person tents”, you’ll ideally want to send them to a landing page where all of your 3 person tents are located. What would be less ideal is sending them to a page that has all of your tents (1 person, 6 person, dome tent, cabin tent), because the more your visitors have to sift through a bunch of products to find what they’re searching for, the greater the chances are that they’ll get frustrated and look elsewhere. The worst scenario in this case (besides using the home page) would be a landing page that included tents as well as other camping gear like sleeping bags, backpacks, and flashlights. When a visitor comes to a page like this, they’re instantly thinking “where is my 3 person tent?!”
The Fix: When selecting a landing page, think about searcher intent. If they’re looking for cold weather tents, send them to the page that best represents this product type. If your ad groups contain keywords around too many product types (e.g., 3 person tents, blue tents, domed tents) you may need to realign your ad group structure to tighten up your themes. Another solution is to set different destination URLs for each individual keyword, but this can be time consuming. The best option is always the page that best represents the original search term.
Problem 2: Your Landing Page Is Too Specific
Unlike the example above, sometimes advertisers choose a landing page that’s too specific for the products they’re hawking. Let’s stay with our “3 person tent” example. If the searcher is taken to the landing page of your two best-selling 3 person tents, that may be too narrow a selection for them to find what they’re looking for. Remember, specific is good, but you should always show the maximum number of products that fit into the original search criteria. More selection means more chances that the visitor will find exactly what they’re looking for.
The Fix: Align landing pages with the types of keywords you’re targeting. If you’re targeting brand name tents, send searches to a braded landing page. If you’re targeting product types, send them to a page with the maximum number of products within that type. And lastly, if you’re targeting specific products, send searchers directly to those product pages, or pages with the least amount of other products that would interfere with them identifying and purchasing the product they’re searching for. If you’re finding that your ad groups target multiple types of brands and products, it may be best to form new, more tightly themed groups.
Problem 3: The Action Isn’t Obvious
Have you ever been to a website where you’re unsure how to add an item to your cart? Or maybe you can’t figure out how to find a product in a different color? If you’re an online advertiser, the landing pages you send visitors to should always have a clear action associated with them. In the case of our camping supplies website (and online retail in general), you’ll want use landing pages where the obvious action is to purchase the item or add it to a cart. The culprits here are usually product information or review pages. If someone searches for a 3 person tent and you send them to an informational page that lists everything you need to know about tents, you probably won’t capture the one action you want the searcher to make: a purchase.
The Fix: Make sure the action you want your visitors to take is easily identifiable and executable on your landing pages. Even if you think informational or review pages could be relevant, remember: you want visitors that are ready to make a purchase, not ones who are still in the research and information-gathering phase. Choose landing pages that allow visitors to quickly and easily make their purchase.
Problem 4: Multiple Candidates
What if you have multiple landing page possibilities for the same product? Well, when it comes to ads, we always recommend running A/B tests to find which copy most successfully attracts and converts customers. Surprise surprise, the same principle can be applied to landing pages.
The Fix: If you have multiple landing pages that could be good candidates for a specific ad group, you should absolutely be doing A/B testing. It’s extremely important to find which landing page(s) will garner the most purchases so you can maximize your online advertising efforts. Even if you find that landing page X has a 5% higher conversion rate than landing page Y, that’s a huge difference that could amount to significantly more revenue. Then, think if you tested different landing pages for all of your campaigns. The results could be powerful.
When selecting a landing page, always think about searcher intent. Put yourself in the shoes of the searcher and you will have the best perspective on what’s valuable to them versus what isn’t. Remember that to maximize conversions you generally want to create the shortest path possible from first click to checkout, and the action on the page (add to cart, etc.) should always be obvious and easily executable. Lastly, remember to test your landing pages to make sure you’re using the best ones in order to maximize your paid search traffic and therefore, revenue.