We spend so much time optimizing our Adwords campaigns, to filter out the searches we do not need, ensure our ads are well-positioned and don’t cost the earth. This is perhaps where more optimization goes in as this is where we can actively see the cash draining out of our budget.
There is also a tendency to think that once we have gotten the customer to click through to our website, then the battle is won. Nothing can be further from the truth. If we use the analogy of a brick-and-mortar business, when people have visited our website through our Adwords ad, they have only just walked through the door having seen a particularly flashy billboard offering them an enticing offer. We must now convert this passing visitor into a paying customer.
The landing page is the first real impression your potential customers will get of your business, and it will be a lasting one. We must ensure that they continue on the shopping journey, making it as simple as possible and one that doesn’t spook them into leaving and choosing a competitor.
Adwords landing pages can have much more freedom than pages on your website, as typically you can forgo much of the optimization you do on your main site to appease search engines. If you choose to have distinct pages which are separate from your main site and tailored to your Adwords campaigns, then you can optimize your text and images for human eyes only.
This can also be a peril, as custom designing your landing pages can lead to coding errors and lax CSS design. If you drastically change your Adwords landing pages from your main site design, then remember to test them all using a range of common browsers. Ensure that everything looks perfect on all of the main browsers your customers may use. Also, if your custom pages will ultimately bring your visitors to a payment page that is part of your main site, then ensure this transition is relatively transparent, so you do not risk a feeling of disjoint. The transition should be smooth.
Your overall landing page design should include at least a version of your general branding – if your site and brand is in navy blue then include this as part of your landing pages. Your landing pages should when possible be a mini-version of your main site, ramped up to sell the product on offer in a succinct manner.
Claire Jarrett runs Marketing By Web, who offer Google AdWords Management.