Here at Web-Op we have many conversations about improving landing pages for different campaigns we are managing. There is nothing we love more than seeing conversion rates increase. We often discuss the design, call to action, and message of the page. We review the page to ensure the message has clarity, rewrite the copy to focus on benefits rather than features, and add security registrations to make visitors feel nice and safe. Often, however, the real culprit for low conversion rates is lack of scent.
The ad a visitor clicks on needs to smell like the landing page you direct them to. Lack of scent can create confused visitors – and confused visitors rarely do what we want them to do.
So what makes good scent?
- Ad copy needs to match the landing page copy. Try to have the main heading of the page as close to the main heading of the ad as possible. The rest of the copy of the landing page should focus on a single purpose: the message of the ad copy.
- Ad design needs to match the design of the page.
If your ad copy and design match up you are maintaining scent.
Now, I know what you are thinking. “I have a lot of different ads in my campaign.” You have a couple of options here. You can create a new page for each ad or you can create one page that shows different messages for each ad by loading content dynamically using a PHP query string.
Here is a little piece of code Ryan Underdown has used recently to capture the right headline.
This will work with a url like www.website.com/?headline=This+Is+A+Headline
$headline = $_GET[“headline”];
$headline = str_replace(‘+’, ‘ ‘, $headline);
So if you are trying to increase conversion rate make sure you maintain scent.
The latest AdWords data from Mountain View seems to point to disturbing fact that Google is fudging cost/conversion stats.
Adwords replied to the apparent distortion by saying that it “actually doesn’t count cost generated by clicks where we can’t track the cookies”.
Still could trusting Google AdWord’s “Cost/Conv” could be costing you…definitely something worth looking into.
PPC, short for pay per click, is an advertising model used to direct traffic to websites. Advertisers pay the website owner when the ad is clicked. Utilizing PPC advertising gives website owners the opportunity to turn an immediate profit from search engine traffic.
So how does this work? Using tool like Google Adwords or Microsoft AdCenter, advertisers can create ads and bid on keywords that they want their ad to appear on. With Google, each time a visitor searches for a term, an invisible auction takes place on their servers which weighs the advertiser’s maximum bid for the term against their ad’s quality score. The winning advertiser gets their ad to appear above the organic listings and is only charged if that visitor clicks on the ad.
Managing your own PPC can be risky, and can end up costing you lots of hard-earned cash if you do not manage it effectively. There are a few important skills necessary to get your PPC right. First of all, you must choose the right selection of keywords. The key factor in this is to find the right words that will actually convert into sales, and which will just bring browsers who simply click and do not buy. It is also imperative to make specific landing pages for your keywords. With Google, they will offer more inexpensive cost per click for sites with more relevance to the search term. With a keyword-specific landing page, you can answer the searcher’s questions more effectively and have a much greater chance of converting that visitor into a customer. Keyword landing pages generally turn more visitors into buyer, leads, or subscribers, than your site’s home page.
Need help with your PPC campaign? Contact Web-Op!
For a while now webmasters have wondered why PPC spending generally mirrored a slight bump in rankings. Mounting evidence suggests Google is following closely the visitors to your site (think google toolbar, google analytics, doubleclick etc). As a result, buying traffic via pay per click can have an impact on organic rankings albeit indirectly.
PPC spending generally mirrors a slight bump in rankings
Over the years I’ve read countless webmasterworld/digital point threads questioning whether buying adwords contributed to organic search engine ranking success. I was skeptical that Google would so blatantly provide a pay for play way for website owners to buy their way to the top. Indeed it would be a disservice to their clients if their was a direct correlation between the two as smaller, interesting competitors in the search space would be crowded out by multinational corporations. An indirect, traffic-related metric however makes sense to this SEO as organic traffic is at least as good an indicator of noteworthiness as an editorially given third-party link. So is Google juicing adwords advertisers?
In November of 2008, QuadsZilla of SeoBlackHat stumbled onto an interesting correlation between bounce rate and Google traffic. In January of this year Rae Hoffman (aka sugarrae) wrote an interesting case study that confirms something most of us in the search game have believed for a while: Google is paying attention to traffic as a trust factor. This should come as no surprise to search engine marketers. Google rose to prominence by incorporating third party links into its algorithm. With the recent threat posed by sites like twitter and friendfeed – and their ability to shake up the interwebs with the stream of real time data provided by their userbase – it has become necessary for Google to augment their algorithm.
Relying solely on links is what causes Google to be monolithic and slow in noticing new trends. Indexing the web every second isn’t feasible – despite Larry Page’s recent musings. Traffic on the other hand is extremely easy for Google to gauge. Google can track visitors from a variety of platforms: Google Analytics, the Google Toolbar, DoubleClick, Adwords and more. While Google doesn’t have much in terms of real time offerings at the moment – it does have the tools in place to utilize traffic volume as a component of their search engine algorithm. Don’t believe me? Try buying keywords to pages that have a decent bounce rate, time on site etc. Follow your keyword rankings and find out for your self.
(PS After reading this think how using a 3rd party hosted ppc management company like Reach Local becomes less and less attractive as Google pays more and more attention to traffic)