Articles in the Techniques & Strategies Category

Learn how to improve your digital marketing campaigns, drive more traffic to your website and increase conversions with favorite techniques and strategies of our SEM professionals. Create targeted ads, find your core audience, improve conversions and drive up ROI. Let our SEM experts show you how.

October 28 2013

3 Common Paid Search Landing Page Mistakes

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A common practice for businesses that are utilizing paid search is to create landing pages specific for the content they are trying to engage searchers for. This is beneficial because it allows a business to focus on conversions instead of just having an information page.

Here are 3 common mistakes that businesses make when creating landing pages:

  1. Hidden or unclear call to action: When creating a landing page, it is very important for the searcher to understand why you would want them to click on the ad to land on your page. Once on that page, the action mentioned within the ad copy should be a prominent focus of that page in order to entice the searcher to continue through the funnel and convert. If the user is confused on the next step, they will typically leave the page immediately and select another result from the search engine results page.
  2. Most important information below the fold: When someone is searching the web for something specific, they have a very small attention span. If they do land on your website, they will typically make a decision to stay or leave within 3 seconds. Knowing this, it is crucial to put your best foot forward and have the most compelling information on the top of the page. If the searcher must scroll in order to get to the heart of what the page is about, you will lose them more often than not.
  3. Form/Conversion process too long: This step is probably the most common issue of them all. For ecommerce businesses, you want to make sure you don’t have a long tedious shopping process in order to check out with a product. If the user feels that steps are unnecessary, they are likely to move on to another site that is less arduous. For lead generation websites, the conversion process needs to be clear and easy to navigate through. You want to get enough information to understand what a searcher is interested in so someone from your team can follow up with the appropriate response.

The three mistakes mentioned above are just a few of many common errors. When creating a landing page, a great idea would be to show the page to someone unfamiliar with the website (or business) and see if they are able to navigate and understand what the page content is about. As they work with the website, see if they are able to identify what next steps they should take. This is helpful to see how others will view your site and give you a good indication prior to launch. Once you’ve launched a new landing page, it’s important to track the results of the page and test different variations in order to improve conversion rates.

By implementing these steps, you should be able to run a much more successful paid search campaign using landing pages.

September 30 2013

5 Tips For Designing a High Converting PPC Landing Page

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Have you ever thought about the mass amounts of web traffic that click on one of your PPC ads, view the landing page, then quickly click away before you could even realize how much money was just wasted? With average conversion rates hovering somewhere in the 3% to 5% range, a lot of your advertising dollars are not yielding a return. Every click is valuable, and increasing your conversion rates by only a few percentage points can translate into incredible things for the return on your campaigns. To help you capture more conversions here are 5 tips for creating better performing landing pages.

1. Use Directional Cues

Directional cues on landing pages are like road maps for our eyes. They can direct our focus to important info on the page, and more importantly the conversion point (lead form, buy now button, etc). Often times marketers place so much content, images, and widgets on a landing page that it can be easy for the design to lose visual focus on the conversion point. Using directional cues helps point a visitor’s attention where you want it to go. Many times this comes in the form of arrows (or hands such as in the example below) pointing towards the conversion point.

2. Place The Conversion Point Above The Fold of The Page

Once a visitor has clicked on your ad, and has come to your page, you’ve got very little time to capture & pique their attention. With only a couple seconds to do this before they’ll lose interest and click away, it’s very important to place the most important/eye catching info along with conversion point above the fold on the page. If visitors have to scroll down on your page to see the lead form or download button, then it’s possible they may not see it at all.

3. Include Ad Message Continuity

The idea here is simple. If you’re advertising a free software trial in your PPC ad, then the messaging on the landing page should very clearly reinforce the free trial software offer. That’s likely a large reason they clicked on your ad in the first place. If a visitor hits your landing page and expects a different experience than what you’re providing them on the page, then it’s very likely they’ll lose interest and hit the back button. The example below does a great job of clearly reinforcing the value proposition from their PPC ad.

4. Clearly Tell Visitors What You Want Them To Do

You can build a landing page with incredible graphics, helpful info, and a sleek design, but if they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do when they’re on the page, then you’ve likely wasted your advertising dollars to get them there. If you want visitors to pick up the phone and give you a call, then including large “Call Now” text at the top of the page will help ensure they know how to get in touch with you. If you want them to sign up for a free trial as in the example below, then placing text at the top of the form both reinforces the value of why they should convert, and also clearly instructs the visitor on what to do next. Landing pages that communicate clearly, and specifically what they want visitors to do are the ones with the highest conversion rates.

5. Test!

And finally, testing your landing pages is the only way to discover how to create the best landing page for your audience. The testing opportunities are limitless. You could implement an A/B test to determine whether a multi-page website, or a single page experience converts better. Or, you could go more granular and test variations of headlines, different types of imagery, form layouts, and so much more. There are also software packages that can help save you a lot of time with the testing process. Simply doing a search for “landing page testing software” will yield you lots of options.

March 2 2012

Use the Ad Preview Tool to Find Your PPC Ads

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Don’t search for your pay-per-click (PPC) ads on Google and Bing — you may be hurting your keyword click-through-rate (CTR), or even worse, your entire campaign’s performance. While it is understandable to want to see what your PPC ads look like on the search engine results page (SERP), what your ad position is, and even what your competition is doing, many do not know that doing so may weaken their campaign performance.

Every time your ad is shown, both your keyword and ad receive an impression, and although you may not be clicking on your ad — to save yourself that cost-per-click (CPC) — you are hurting your CTR because the ad is shown, but not clicked on. The search engines will think that your ad is not relevant to the search query if its CTR is lower than other ads, and your ad may not be shown as often as it should. In addition, a low CTR can lead to a low quality score, which in turn will lead to a higher average CPC.

What is the solution? Both Google and Bing provide Ad Preview Tools for advertisers to utilize in order to see their PPC ads. The Google Ad Preview Tool works even without having an AdWords account; however, the Microsoft adCenter Preview Tool requires the advertiser to access the tool through the Tools tab within their interface. On the Tools page, select Ad Preview Tool. Next, type a keyword in the keyword box and click the Preview Ads button to see your result on a Bing search results page.

Using an Ad Preview Tool will not affect your PPC campaign performance and will enable you to get a better picture of how your ads will appear on a SERP. The Google Ad Preview Tool allows you to select your location and language as well as device and Google domain. Happy ad searching!

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