If your digital marketing campaigns aren’t giving you the results you want, don’t be too quick to blame your banner, retargeted display ad, paid search ad or email message.
Look one step down the line instead, to the landing page you set up for everyone who clicks on your link. Does it pay off what you promised or match the criteria you used to design your campaign? If it doesn’t, a lot of potential customers will get lost along the way.
I’m not just talking about ads that strand prospects on your homepage and force them to root around for what they wanted, although that’s certainly a common problem.
Here are three scenarios I’ve encountered recently:
“One Size Fits All”: Here, the offer on the page doesn’t reflect the unique value proposition promised in the ad or email. This can happen if you use a common landing page for a series of email messages or display ads with different calls to action or PPC banners optimized for different sets of search terms.
You’ll likely attract a large population of visitors whose interests don’t match up with the content on the landing page, which results in a large bounce rate off the page
“These Are Not the Droids You Seek”: The content on the page doesn’t reflect your search keywords, whether they’re paid or organic.
If you optimize a paid search ad to rank high when customers type in “Cuisinart replacement work bowl,” Then send them directly to a page which features this product – don’t be tempted to send them to a general landing page where they then have to search for the product.
“Take It or Leave It”: The page doesn’t give your prospects anything else to do if they don’t want to act on your offer.
Not everyone who searches for something is ready to act. Many are just researching prices, models and features, or they’re just curious to see what’s out there. This is particularly so with email – where you’re pushing a promotion to them rather than them searching. So understand that they may not be in a position to act as they weren’t actively searching for this solution/product.
A “buy now” landing page doesn’t give them the information they want, so they’ll be more likely to bounce away fast. If you’re wondering why you have a high page bounce rate, maybe that’s the reason why.
Alignment: It Isn’t Just for Cars
How can an otherwise well-designed landing page end up being a dead end? Maybe one member of your creative team worked on your ads or emails, and someone else did the landing page, but nobody lined up the two side by side to see whether the ad and the landing page are aligned.
Aligning your landing pages with your ads is one of the most crucial steps in your creative workflow.
If you use Pay-Per-Click ads to drive customer acquisition and you have a landing page disconnect, you risk wasting a big chunk of your ad budget on leads that go nowhere, not to mention the lost customers and then you may possibly have to pay again for that same lead at a later time.
Plus, misleading or confusing landing pages make landing pages make you look untrustworthy – not the best impression you want to make, especially on first-time visitors!
How to Make Better Connections
Luckily, it’s not hard to make sure your offers align with your landing page. Here are three suggestions:
1. Use keywords and other written copy on your landing page that repeat or echo the terms in your banner, display ad, text message, email newsletter or banner ad.
Let’s say you use a Pay-Per-Click ad to drive email subscriptions (separate from links you add to your email messages or to trans-promo messages for customers who aren’t in your email database yet.
Your ad should not map to your standard opt-in page, because you probably will be talking to people who are not already familiar with your company or website.
2. Create a unique landing page for each ad instead of repurposing one landing page for all of your test ads or all the ads in a particular campaign.
You probably use different copy, keywords or images from one ad to the next; so, you’ll probably attract prospects with different needs and interests. Aligning each ad with its own landing page reduces your disconnection potential.
3. Offer multiple opportunities to connect on each landing page to appeal to people who don’t find what they want in your main offer.
No matter how well you structure your ad and landing page, not everyone who comes to your page from your text ad, paid link or email is going to snap on your offer. But they don’t have to leave empty-handed.
Add value-driven content, such as links to more product information, related or similar products, articles, contact information or a benefit-drive invitation to join your email program. Not only does this help you connect and increases the chance that they’ll convert the next time they come to your website, but you are also making the most of your budget, so you aren’t paying yet again for them to find you You now can be there in their inbox ready and waiting for when they’re ready!
One last tip: Add a quality-assurance step to your workflow process to double-check the language in the ad against the copy on your landing page, along with proofreading copy, making sure you have the correct images and – the final, absolutely most critical step – making sure the link actually works.