We have all heard the clichÃ©’s by now: perception is reality or you only get one chance to make a good first impression. In my opinion, clichÃ©s become just, that because they are so true. When it comes to search engine marketing, these clichÃ©s apply across the board. If you build a nice looking site, have great search engine rankings in both the natural and paid listings, then you can position your business no matter how small, as the big player in the market because perception is reality. If you are managing a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) campaign and drive traffic to a poor landing page with no relevancy, little or no content and no action items for the visitor, most likely they will bounce from that page. You only get one chance to make a good first impression with that visitor, so make sure it is engaging and memorable.
Next time you are developing an online strategy for marketing your business, think about those concepts. In the online arena, you do not have to be intimidated by the 800 lb gorilla in your industry. In fact, some of those large, “well established” companies make the biggest mistakes in online marketing. They may have the huge TV budget and the 50,000 square foot showroom, 20 VP’s and 1000 sales people…but in online marketing, and PPC campaigns in particular, every business is fighting for the same limited space. If you build it they will come is a great line from the movie Field of Dreams, but in online marketing that is not true. In reality, if you build it and build it well, make sure you drive relevant traffic to your site and you can compete with any other business online.
In addition, be sure to think about what “face” you want to put on when a visitor arrives, because as I mentioned, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Your landing page should be relevant to the keywords you used in the ads that generated that visitor. Make sure the page loads quickly, has optimized, keyword rich content, and most importantly a clear call to action. This is your chance to make a good first impression, so don’t blow it by haphazardly choosing a landing page with a poor design, slow load time, and no calls to action. The downside could be huge if you don’t make a good first impression with your landing page. For years to come those previous visitors may be searching online and possibly pass you by, because their impression of your business was uninspiring.