Last week, I looked at how pay-per-click - [PPC] platforms such as Google AdWords offer businesses fantastic opportunities to effectively target online customers searching for their services. This week offers some more advice on this important topic.
4. Landing pages
Targeting keywords effectively and writing compelling ads are two obvious ways to put an AdWords campaign in the best position to succeed. But don't forget to consider the 'landing page' you point your ads to as well.
Just as it sounds, the landing page is the page on which someone who clicks on your ad 'lands'. And one of the big mistakes people make is to use their home page as their landing page.
Consider this: if you were in a supermarket and told someone you wanted to buy some milk, you'd be pretty hacked off if they took you all the way back to the store entrance, and told you that as well as milk, they also stock fruit, veg, meat, pasta, etc. Or if they pointed you off in the direction of cheese -- which might be in the same 'Dairy' category as milk -- but is still not what you actually asked for.
The same is true in AdWords. If someone has typed in a specific keyword, then clicked on your ad, they will expect you to take them to a page which answers the question they have asked you.
They don't want to be taken to an irrelevant page, or to your home page. And by sending them there, you run the massive risk that they won't bother to navigate their own way to what they're after; they'll simply hit the back button and click on another ad, which actually does give them what they're looking for.
5. Analyse This
Knowledge is power, so make sure you install an analytics package on your web pages. Google Analytics is a free piece of code -- and once it's on your pages, it lets you see exactly how people are getting to your site, how they're interacting with it and whether they're 'converting' once they're there.
Whether you want people to buy, enquire, sign up or download, make sure you also have analytics on a 'Thank you' page, so you can see how many of the PPC visitors are actually completing the action you want them to.
Analytics packages will also give you information you can feed back into your campaign to make it more effective. For example it will show you what times of the day or week most people are coming to your site -- and, more importantly, when they are converting (i.e. buying, signing up, etc). So you may see that people arrive at your site throughout the week, but the vast majority of them actually convert at the weekend. Which would suggest you should allocate more of your budget to Saturday and Sunday in order to maximise the return you get on your spend.
6. Final Word
If in doubt -- get an agency like Reload Digital on board to help you. Yes, it'll cost you a bit in management fees. But this outlay could be far less than the money you might waste running an ineffective campaign on your own.
Cara Whitehouse is Head of UK & Europe at Reload Digital, a leading UK Search Engine Optimisation, Search Engine Marketing and Online Strategy company. Visit: www.reloaddigital.co.uk