3 Reasons You Need a Landing Page Strategy to Succeed with Online Ads

Posted by Rob Cooper | Posted in Advice, Landing Pages, SEO, Tips and Tricks | Posted on Mar 20, 2013

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Working with clients of all sizes, I’m regularly asked “Why wouldn’t I just point my Google/Facebook/Linkedin ads to my product page?”

My answer is always the same: “You might succeed to a certain level, but ALL the most successful advertisers leverage landing pages, and you should, too.”

There are three main reasons landing pages are necessary to reach your full potential…

Testing and Indexing
The beauty of online advertising combined with landing pages is how easy it is to test different offers, benefits, copy, and images to maximize the response after someone clicks through on your ad. A streamlined landing page makes it a snap to launch and test multiple variations. However, this means that at any given time you might have multiple different versions of a page, most of which will eventually be deleted.

With this in mind, you want to make sure that you set these pages up so that they are not “indexed” by Google. Otherwise, this may lead to a real mess in Google search results. There may also be results which point to pages which no longer exist. Using a simple “no-index” tag (or using the no-index setting in your landing page software) makes this very easily accomplished.

Matching of Features to Visitors
A product page must address all the different facets of your offering. For instance, let’s suppose you have a cloud-based file storage program with 10 or 15 different features, such as uploading to social media accounts, online storage, file conversion, file compression, etc.

There’s typically no way you can have a single product page or section that gives prominence to all of these features.

However, working in tandem with Google Adwords, you can take your visitors to the exact feature that someone is interested in. For instance, if someone is Googling “online file conversion tools” your ad can take them to a landing page where that specific feature is the most prominent thing on the page. Likewise, if someone Googles “online file compression” you’ll take them to a landing page which focuses on exactly that!

It’s not hard to see how using this strategy will dramatically increase the likelihood that a visitor will become a buyer! Plus, there’s no limit to the number of features you can highlight for people searching matching keywords if you use a simple-to-modify landing page template.

Matching of Demographic Interests
Let’s imagine that you have a product that fulfills needs for dramatically different demographic profiles. In this case, it might be something like an affordable waterproof camera that has broad appeal.

Now, let’s see how this might work if you’re advertising the camera on Facebook. You might target (separately) college-aged students, parents with young kids, and adventurous travelers.

It goes without saying that each group will be waaay more responsive to a different experience when they arrive at your site. For instance:

    -The college-aged students might respond well to a high-energy page featuring others their age and would probably react well to some “edgy” messaging.

    -The parents with kids would likely respond well to a page showing how they might capture the memories of their kids learning to swim, at the beach, etc.

    -The adventurous travelers would likely respond better to beach, snorkeling, and diving scenes from exotic locales.

Nobody would argue that you can do a good job appealing to all those three groups on a single product page. In fact, it’s likely, in this case, that the “parents” messaging would actually repel the college-age demographic, and vice versa.

Being “different things to different people” through multiple landing pages is a task that becomes extremely straightforward when you match your demographic targeting with a meaningful landing page strategy.

With the tools now available to make landing pages easily accessible to even the smallest of companies, what’s keeping you from kicking off your own landing page strategy?

About the Author

Rob Cooper is our guest blogger for this post. He lives in Victoria, BC and has been working internationally in Web Marketing for 12 years, the last 6 running PlusROI.com.

‘Not Provided’ Google Keywords

Posted by Justin Rondeau | Posted in Opinion, PPC, SEM, SEO | Posted on Dec 06, 2011

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Let’s Complicate SEM Even Further

What percentage of your traffic is 'Not Provided'?

I know that I am a little behind the ball on this update, but after researching what/why there is a section for ‘Not Provided’ keywords in my Google Analytics, I am extremely frustrated. Google announced this change to their analytics feature back in October (Read the full article here), and it seems like something that has gone unnoticed by much of the blogosphere and Twittosphere.

Google is the leader in Search Engine Marketing, both in paid advertisements and SEO. Google has also been a huge advocate of privacy on the web. It is no secret that companies would have data about the traffic that comes to their website. This data is general and does not focus on an actual individual, sure you get demographic information, device used, operating system, keyword that caused the click to your website, and a whole bunch of other data that is relevant to your SEM efforts. You never got the search data of an individual user such as all the search queries by any given user that visits your website.

In an attempt to promote security, Google made it so any click by a logged in Google user does not send the individual keyword that lead to that click. Though you still get the information of the user’s visit, i.e. that user is counted as a visitor via Search Engines, you do not get the most important information – the search term that brought them to your website.

This adds a huge grey area in SEM, and undermines a lot of rationale for your company’s SEO efforts. With Google continually making it easier to be a logged in user via Gmail and Goolge+, companies are losing transparency in search. I completely understand privacy, but in my honest opinion there are other motives for this change. The other motive is for companies to adopt an Adwords campaign that is seemingly immune to this ‘Not Provided’ issue. If you haven’t been paying attention to this issue I would recommend looking further into this, here is a good read I found on practical ecommerce and some more discussion in this infographic.

Here are just a few ways this update will hinder your SEM efforts:

Less accurate view of how many visits were generated by target keywords

This is a pretty straightforward repercussion of this change. You get the data of how many people are visiting your site, but without any data of how they got there. This is simply unacceptable, and data like this is really not all that helpful. Personally, I think industries in the Social space, e.g., Social CRMs & Social Metrics Tools, will feel this change a lot.

Our Social Page Builder tool is searched by many people who are very involved in social media. Many of these peopel will have a Google+ account and are likely logged into Google when they are searching. Since the keyword data is not passed on in Google Analytics we see that people are visiting our site from search engines, but we will never know what 22% of our visitors clicked to reach our website .

Unclear picture of your SEM ROI & ROE

Simply put:  You no longer  get an accurate portrayal of whether the money or time spent is actually worthwhile.

Efforts to accurately target/test new key phrases are completely undermined

After adding this it seems as though it is a subset of the major problem outlined above. Whether you are analyzing a current campaign or are working on a new project, you cannot test accurately. Ambiguity is a huge problem for SEM, by adding this new layer of ambiguity, Google is making it increasingly more difficult for companies to be found online.

What do you think of the addition of ‘Not Provided’ keywords?