If your business is new to placing paid ads online, it’s easy to quickly feel lost and even frustrated if the results you were hoping for aren’t rolling in right away. But where are those ads taking the person who clicks it?
You may already know that 97% of consumers use the internet when researching local products or services, but business owners and the folks creating ads often forget that the people who are searching and clicking on search engine results are hunting.
And you don’t mess with a hunter.
Empower them to be able to follow the correct trail that leads them directly to whatever they’re trying to track down. The big news here is that your home page is not where they want to be – so stop sending them there. The fact that most Pay Per Click (PPC) ads still direct visitors to a home page instead of a landing page is a significant problem.
This is a huge PPC no-no.
Your Home Page is Not a Landing Page
Never lead your paid visitors to your homepage. Ever. This will confuse them about why they are here and probably cause them to leave your site. It’s ultimately a waste of money for you.
Why? Your time and money should be spent placing ads that will direct people to a specific landing page that has a clear and natural “next step” in order for them to convert from a site visitor into a lead. Home pages on your website have far too many options available – there are too many actions they can take. Even something as seemingly inconspicuous as a navigation on the page people land on from an ad will have a disastrous effect on how well visitors convert to a lead (if they convert at all). And, 64.6% of people click on Google Ads when they are looking to buy an item online - proving that paid ads can be very successful for advertisers when used properly.
When there is more than one action for the visitor to take, the end result is typically that they take no action at all. Remember: they’re hunting. Don’t send them on a wild goose chase. Give them a real trail they can follow easily.
So What is a Landing Page?
When a visitor clicks on an ad, they’re taken to a landing page — a web page with the sole purpose to entice people into taking a specific action. It could be the most powerful weapon in your marketing arsenal. Your landing page should be optimized to ensure that your ad campaign won’t get lost in the sea of ads. Your ad and supporting landing page should lead visitors on the path of least resistance. Make it easy for them to become your customer.
If you're enrolled in Tier 2 or higher of the Dealer Enablement Marketing Program, we will create these landing pages for you with the primary goal to turn visitors into leads. If you're not in this program, you can talk with your web developer about creating a landing page template that follows the basic landing page best practices outlined below.
Here’s What You Should Have on your Landing Page
Okay, so now you know you shouldn’t set up ads that point people to a home page on your site – that’s going to be any page on your site with a full navigation and footer. To optimize your page, ensure that your headline and content contain the keywords a person is likely to search for in order to see your ad. A good landing page should have the following components:
- Make it mobile friendly – 95% of smartphone users use their phone to search local info.
- Nothing to distract the visitor. This means no navigation and no outbound links.
- A single, focused topic – this should be your keyword(s).
- It has a clear headline that quickly explains the value of the service (with the keywords included).
- The copy is presented in neat bullet points.
- Local SEO details (name + address in footer, city or area referenced in the landing page copy)
- A submission form to collect visitor data (name, email, city, etc.).
- There are a clear call-to-action button and directions in the copy of the page directing people to it.
- Strong, relevant graphics or videos that help to get your message across.
- The landing page should contextually deliver exactly what the ad promised.
- “Social proof” if you have any – like current client logos, testimonials, or screenshots of praise.
Perhaps most importantly, the landing page needs to be directly relevant to the ad they clicked on initially. For example, if someone clicks on an ad to get a checklist on fiberglass pool maintenance, a landing page that explains the benefits of a fiberglass pool over another type is going to make them click away.
People will naturally respond to your offer if it is directly related to what they clicked on. They will also naturally not respond if your page is not related to the ad.
Check out my free 9-Point PPC Landing Page Checklist to make sure you're covering all the bases.
- People searching for answers online are hunters who are only interested in the easiest, most streamlined path to what they are ultimately seeking.
- Find out which ads are currently pointing to a generic page on your site and then make sure they point to a landing page instead.
- Simplify your landing pages to include only content relevant to the ad associated with it.
- Ensure people on your landing page have only one action to take, and that it’s laid out crystal clear.
- Make it as easy as possible for visitors to give you their information so that in return they can get what they came there for in the first place.
Over to you! How are your ads currently set up? Are they pointing to a landing page that is optimized for conversions or to some other page on your site? How have your results been since making the switch?