What is a Landing Page? Google AdWords Tip

A landing page is an important feature of any online marketing campaign, and this includes a Google AdWords campaign. A landing page is a web page designed to be the first page a site visitor sees when they come to a website through an promotional link or URL — whether that link is a Google AdWords text ad on a search engine results page, or a link in an email newsletter, or a special web address that appears in a direct mail piece or other print adverstisement, or whatever.

Google AdWords ad landing pageWeb marketers use landing pages because, when used correctly, they dramatically increase the likelihood that a site visitor will “convert”, or take the desired action on a website. Not all landing pages are created equal. The most effective landing page provides — as much as possible — exactly what the visitor is looking for when they go to the site from an advertisement or promotional link.

The key to a successful landing page is the fit between the language and feel of the ad or promotion — the way it “positions” or represents a product or service — and the language and feel of the landing page. This is where traditional ad copywriting skills come in handy. Do you want to attract someone who is looking for general information, or someone who is ready to buy now? That sort of thing.

In a Google AdWords campaign, your first task is picking keywords that make your ad appear on a search engine results page. Picking keywords is a topic for another post. Your second task is to create one or more text ads. Doing these two things, and giving Google your contact information and a credit card number, is all you need to do to start giving Google your money and waiting for the visitors to begin pouring into your site. Unfortunately, it is not often this easy — at least not the “pouring into your site” part.

Give some thought to what someone who clicks on an ad headline expects to see when they come to your website. The real key is to find ad language that appeals to the right kind of site visitor or prospect. It should be tied directly to the keywords that you are choosing. Here’s an example. Consider the following two searches:

“wordpress business websites”

“wordpress business website”

They differ by one letter, and yet the difference is huge.

Someone searching for “wordpress business websites” is, more than likely, looking for general information about business websites created using WordPress. Someone searching for “wordpress business website” is, more than likely — and because there is no such thing as “The one and only WordPress Business Website.com” — looking for a company or web developer that can build a business website powered by WordPress software. Which one of the two is more interested in purchasing a website?

If I want to use AdWords to sell business websites powered by WordPress, I will get better results showing my ads to people who search for “wordpress business website” than to those who search for “wordpress business websites”. And my landing page should be tailored to someone who is looking for a web design company or web developer, not to someone who wants to read about the different uses of WordPress.

The beauty of Google AdWords and Google Anaytics is that they can be integrated — so that they work together to track the effectiveness of every ad and every landing page you use — and you can test to confirm beyond a doubt that differences in the effectiveness of keywords, ads and landing pages exist. This is literally information you can take to the bank.

Comments: 8

8 comments

And once you hit that “sweet spot,” where AdWords advertising dollars spent are outpaced by revenue generated by the campaign, you are literally golden.

You are right that the most effective landing page gives the visitor exactly what he or she is looking for, but you can’t do that by putting as much information as possible on a landing page. When you distract users with too much content and copy, you put the burden on them to do the work. Just because someone clicked on a banner or ad, it doesn’t mean they are willing to invest the time it takes to read and navigate a landing page full of content, links, and information. Instead of taking the “kitchen sink” approach to landing pages, we send visitors to simple multistep landing experiences that give respondents a few simple choices to make based on who they are and what they are looking for, and each subsequent page they land on gives them more information that is relevant to them. Overall, we are able to give the visitor exactly what he or she is looking for, but by sending them through a very simple, linear landing experience, instead of a one-stop-shop type of landing page. If you have time, check out our blog at http://www.nomorelandingpages.com to learn more. 🙂

Creating a good/optimized landing page can make the difference between the success and the failure of PPC campaign. We find that most landing pages convert less than 5% of their traffic into actual clients or prospects. That has been acceptable since traffic did not cost as much. But with rising PPC costs, there is a lot more focus on conversion rate. One of the approaches we followed is creating optimized landing pages is starting with creating customer personas which the copy and the design of the page will cater to. At the end, we do see landing pages with conversion rates between 10 to 15%.

A conversion rate of 10% to 15% is excellent, Khalid, as you know. The idea of creating customer personas is also excellent. It’s something we do, as well.

What I try to stress to my clients is that content on a website, whether it is on a landing page or any other page, is not about making the visitor do anything. The point is authenticity. Do everything you can to help the visitor understand what you are really offering. Once they understand, they can decide for themselves if they need your product or service.

Make an effort to define an ideal customer profile (or profiles). This is the “persona”. Help the site visitor (or in the case of AdWords, the person reading your AdWords ad) figure out whether she matches that persona or not. Let those who don’t need your product or service eliminate themselves, so you don’t have to spend time helping them figure this out.

So glad I found this article. I read so many adsense related article, but none of them are saying the importance of keyword optimization. From now on, the minor S plural letter won’t look the same anymore for me.

Not only will a tailored landing page boost your ROI, but it will also increase your quality score. Adwords examines the landing page for keyword relevance. Creating a tailored landing page increases relevance, and thefreo increase the quality score.

Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I
need some guidance from an established blog.
Is it tough to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty fast. I’m thinking about setting up my own but I’m not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Thank you

Mark McLaren

Oct 25, 2012

8:07 PM

@Gwen – Head over to http://wordpress.com and create a blog for free. You’ll find tutorials and resources there to get you started. If you have any intention of keeping the first blog you create (you can create as many as you want), then I strongly recommend that you register a domain name and use that for your site from the beginning. http://en.support.wordpress.com/domains/register-domain/

Leave a Comment