As PPC account managers, we have a multitude of levers to pull, and that is an understatement. Ideally, when a new client comes on board, we have full control over everything — from account creation to ad text and all the way to the final stop (maybe): the landing page. Where, hopefully, users complete an action. Unfortunately, the SEM world isn’t always so simple and situations arise when a client will take certain levers away or limit our ability to pull them. Today I’ll cover one such common scenario.
Client: Drive leads please
Manager: We have some recommendations for landing page and/or website changes to help boost conversion rate.
Client: We have limitations and/or we like our website just fine. It’s quite stylish and, dare I say, a feast for the eyes.
I’ve experienced the above on a fairly regular basis. Obviously, we want full control. Though sometimes it’s not realistic. Here are some ways to boost conversion rate from inside your AdWords account without changing landing pages.
- Qualify users through ad copy: Limit your clicks to people who are most interested in your products or services. For example if you’re selling grass-fed beef patties in bulk, include all qualifiers including: “grass fed,” “bulk” and any other relevant buzzwords. You may lose some general traffic and hurt CTR a bit, but your ads will appeal even more to the niche target audience. Ad extensions can also be used in the same fashion. This method is especially useful when targeting broader keywords that apply across many products, services or industries.
- Effective call to action: It’s important to have an effective call to action, but even more, that this is a call to action that makes sense with the landing page. Don’t tell users to “Call Now” and send them to a page with no phone number. Users don’t want to search like it's a national treasure. If there is a free demo on the only landing page you can use, advertise for free demos ya dummy! Even if it means using a seemingly generic CTA like “Contact Us,” if it means avoiding user confusion and abandonment, use it. Provide the user with a roadmap to converting in your ad.
- Make up for your landing page: Does your landing page help your business seem credible? Sort of, you say? Well, make your sell time count then. Mentioning awards, credentials, experience or industry-specific lingo in your ads can improve your credibility with a user before he ever sees your sorry excuse for a landing page. Give him the real scoop beforehand and encourage him to convert.
To be perfectly clear, the above tactics represent a less-than-perfect situation and in no way replace good, old-fashioned landing page conversion rate optimization. Rather, they should provide you with optimization options within the parameters of the AdWords interface.