If you're spending money on a Google AdWords (pay-per-click) campaign, it's because you care about results.
You don't just want to watch your money spiral down the drain -- you want a return on your investment. You want MORE BUSINESS.
To accomplish that, you need to know and understand the key components of a successful AdWords campaign.
Yes, you have to display a killer ad. That ad must be well-designed and use compelling and clever content. But what happens when someone sees your awesome ad and is moved to click on it?
I'll tell you what happens: They go to a magical place called your Landing Page. Allow me to be frank for a minute: If your landing page sucks, fuhgeddaboutit. You're wasting your money. You won't get conversions, your ad position will suffer, and your campaign will be all for naught.
Thanks a lot, Frank. (Actually it's Tyler, but whatever.)
I'm going to tell you how to create a great landing page that will tie your AdWords campaign up in a badass bow and get you real results. But first, a little knowledge.
Understanding Ad Rank
Ad Rank is the position of your ad on Google search results pages. You want a high position so your ad is seen by as many people as possible. To optimize ad rank, you have to have a good Quality Score. Quality Score is calculated based on several factors, including:
- Expected CTR (click-through rate) of your ad
- Ad relevance
- Landing Page experience
- Ad formats
Google defines landing page experience as:
how well your website gives people who click your ads exactly what they’re looking for -- quickly and effortlessly.
Your landing page has a direct and profound impact on your ad rank. You simply cannot afford to have a crappy landing page. Practically speaking -- if your ad isn't strategically designed and relevant to the ad a user just clicked on, it won't lead to a conversion. Instead, the user will click away and find something that better meets his or her needs.
How Great Landing Pages Can Make Your AdWords Campaign Explode
Here are a few tips, courtesy of ourselves and Google, for optimizing your landing page experience:
1. Send users to a landing page that reflects the ad they clicked on.
The landing page is devoted to -- and ONLY to -- the ad it's linked with.
If someone clicks an ad for hockey sticks, don't take them to a page listing all types of hockey equipment. Take them to a page specifically devoted to hockey sticks. Otherwise, they're likely to click away from the page quickly because it's not relevant to the ad they clicked.
If, on the other hand, they clicked a more general ad -- say, on the best hockey equipment -- then you don't want to direct them to a landing page devoted only to hockey sticks. In this instance, you're better off sending them to a more general selection of hockey equipment.
Also, use the same keywords and phrases contained in the ad to maintain consistency and cohesiveness.
2. Don't make people think too hard.
Navigating your landing page should be a very easy, pleasant process. Make sure your design is clean and aesthetically pleasing, and your messaging is clear. Be transparent about your business and what you offer. Organize the page well so that users know exactly what to do. Have a compelling CTA (call to action) and keep the most important information "above the fold" (that means it's visible without having to scroll down). Make contact information readily available.
Don't use pop-ups or other features that interfere with a user's navigation. Make sure the page loads quickly -- there's not much more frustrating than going to a page that takes forever to load.
3. Make the landing page mobile-friendly.
There's been a massive shift in the way people go online.
The desktop has all but been replaced by the handheld device, the mouse by the finger swipe.
If someone clicks your ad and reaches your landing page, that landing page needs to be designed for viewing and navigating from mobile devices. Otherwise, you could be losing valuable customers.