When paid search visitors reach your landing page, how confident are they in what they find? If you’re sending many different types of searchers to the same catch-all page, chances are you’re confusing all of them.
While it takes a bit more effort to create different landing pages for each type of searcher, the payoff is a natural flow of conversation within the searchers head that starts with the keywords he or she types in, to the eventual page their eyes take in. Below, we discuss how laser targeted landing pages can be used to maximize the effectiveness of any search marketing campaign.
Forget About Your Homepage
Okay, this might be a bit of an exaggeration. There are some limited cases when it is appropriate to send paid traffic to your homepage, such as when a searcher is looking for your exact brand name. However for the majority of your targeted keywords, relying heavily on your homepage to convert traffic is a lazy tactic that has the potential to negatively influence your campaign performance.
You might wonder why this is, and the answer lies in the expectations of the searcher. As billionaire Ted Denslow from the hit comedy Baseketball once reminded us, “People today have attention spans that can only be measured in nanoseconds!” In PPC, this is even more true, since the click of a button can take a visitor right back out to Google and far away from your website if they do not instantly find what they were searching for.
By its nature, a homepage is a broad overview of your company with innumerable links and buttons that lead to such wildly divergent places as your contact page, sales copy, social media, Board of Directors, etc. Clearly this is no place for a searcher with a specific goal in mind.
Create a Different Landing Page For Each Keyword
If you’re not going to be sending traffic to your homepage, where should you be sending it? To achieve maximum conversion power, you should create a custom landing page for every keyword you bid on.
You read that right, every keyword deserves its own landing page. This also means that each keyword should have its own ad group and accompanying ad. Organizing your campaigns this way takes a greater upfront effort, but it is the only way to achieve complete search congruency, the natural language flow from SERP to landing page which we explore in a bit.
Now, before you panic and begin hiring every design freelancer on the web, understand that these pages can actually be quite similar. In fact, SpeedPPC makes it fast and easy to make the two necessary landing page tweaks without having to tap out your design resources. These are discussed below.
The Landing Page’s Header
The first landing page variable that requires attention is the top header. The header of the landing page you send a searcher to should contain an exact copy of the title of the adword they clicked. For maximum effect, this should also be as close as possible to the verbatim keyword the visitor Googled.
This strategy serves an important purpose in search congruency; namely recognition of relevance. Using the searcher’s own language as the header of your page communicates to them that they have found answer they were looking for. In their mind, the search has concluded and there is no obvious reason to instantly back out and look for another result.
The Landing Page’s Sales Copy
The second important variable that should be customized for each of your landing pages is the language of the sales copy. This can be quite obvious when you are changing landing pages between products (i.e. a person searching for “Ray-Ban Sunglasses” should clearly see a completely different sales message the person searching for “Leather Boots”), but it becomes a nuanced skill when tweaking for different key phrases of the same product (such as “White Ray-Ban Shades” and “Buy Ray-Ban Shades”.)
A good rule of thumb is to continue the conversation you started in the body text of the ad. In the latter case discussed above, you might be tempted to send both searchers to the same landing page that displays all the Ray-Ban sunglasses you sell and hope they find what they are looking for. However, to achieve maximum search congruency, you should send each of the two searchers to slightly different pages whose sales copy focuses strictly on their narrow intention. SpeedPPC makes it easy to develop a template landing page with customizable variables that can be quickly manipulated by keyword.
Tweaking The Display URL
So, now you’ve got each of your keywords in its own ad group, and each ad group has its own unique ad, and each ad leads to its own custom landing page. Are you done making your campaign congruent?
Not without making sure your display URLs reflect the custom nature of the landing page. A common and effective strategy is to use the same base domain with the main product or intention of the keyword the user searched for tacked on the end after a forward slash. Just like this:
This simple trick is the last step in total search congruency. Taking the time to customize the display URL of every one of your ads reinforces to the searcher that they are going to be taking to the most relevant website possible for their search.