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Increase the ROI of pay per click advertising campaigns with custom landing pages

Spend $1.00 in marketing and generate $2.00 in sales.

The goal of any pay per click advertising campaign is to generate traffic to your site and get your visitors to take action; to buy from you, to generate more page views, register for your newsletter, or request information about a future purchase. Once they've clicked on your listing, you've made an investment. Relevant landing pages are critical if you expect to see a return on your investment.

Don't direct everyone to your homepage.

Would you patronize a store if the clerk escorted you to the front entrance every time you asked about a particular product? No, of course not, if they escorted you to the door you'd probably just leave and move on to the next store.

Make it easy to buy.

Think of your listings on Overture, Google AdWords and other pay per click advertising campaigns as the initial store clerk contact. The customer is actively window-shopping as they scroll through the search results. When they see your search engine listing for a whoopee cushion, they expect to land on your whoopee cushion product page and find more information about your whoopee cushions. If you direct them to your homepage (the front door of your store) with no information that relates to your listing your visitor will probably just leave. There needs to be a clear, relevant path from your search listing to the landing page to the checkout process.

Make it easy to browse.

Chances are your keyword selection will include both general and specific keywords. In addition to the keyword whoopee cushion you may choose to buy the keyword "gag gifts" which may describe a whole category of products offered on your site. Your landing page for gag gifts should provide you visitor with not just a whoopee cushion product description but a brief overview of a selection of other gag gifts.

Change with the seasons.

As the seasons change so will the keywords people use to search the web. December will see a surge in Chanukah, Christmas and gift searches in general, October will bring out the ghouls, and February will bring out the romantics looking for flowers, chocolates, and other romantic items. Your keyword marketing campaign needs to adapt to the changes and your landing pages need to reflect your new keywords.

If you are really ambitious....

Test different landing pages with the same keywords. Does one page layout work better than another? Does the content of the landing page affect conversion rates? (Hint - Yes! It does) Does one call to action work better than another? It is better for your landing page to provide information on only one product or present a number of options?

Last but not least, you need to measure your results.

The amount of testing you can do is limited only by your time and ambition. If you are going ot use pay per click advertising, you need to keep testing and keep refining your keywords and landing pages. You'll need to setup a way to measure the results of your testing. Be sure to check out the articles on ROI tracking and web site analytics as well as the section devoted to web analytics vendors, tools and reviews.

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