New Pages for PPC Search Landing Pages
Most marketers want to get the most out of both organic
and paid search. Existing sites are getting more attention
as marketers make sites search-engine-friendly (or even
search-engine-maximized) as well as user-friendly. Any
search engine marketer can tell you SEO (define) requires
compromise in areas such as layout and copy length,
style, and flow.
Yet, marketers recognize such a compromise can result
in a great experience for spiders and users alike. After
taking into account a site's search-engine-friendliness
and adapting copy and design, you may have made compromises
in user-friendliness and conversion. These compromises
may yield thousands of new, targeted visitors to your
site. The navigational structure helps both search engine
spiders and human visitors understand the breadth of
your site's offerings. A bit of conversion loss as part
of SEO efforts is generally OK.
Paid search marketing campaigns provide something SEO
doesn't: complete user experience control. When you
pay for clicks, your ability to afford high positions
is directly related to your ability to meet marketing
objectives with each and every inbound clickstream.
Those objectives usually include a basket of conversion
behaviors, including lead generation, purchase, and
site immersion (to indicate early-stage, research-related
buying behavior). The least desirable behavior is clicking
the back button.
Pay-per-click (PPC) search's control is a gift. By not
exercising that control, you hand it to your competition.
Below, 10 reasons your existing Web site may be completely
wrong for your PPC search landing pages:
Call to action. Landing pages for visitors with specific
needs (as articulated by their search queries) require
specific calls to action. Regular site pages don't carry
strong call-to-action messages because they aren't appropriate
for general visitors.
Copy. Regular site pages have more copy than you want
to show paid search visitors. You need a tight correlation
between the specific search and the landing page copy
to engage potential customer.
Navigation. Regular site pages generally have full-site
navigation, which can distract paid search visitors.
Less is often more when it comes to navigational clutter.
You already know exactly what every paid search visitor
seeks; additional navigation can distract the visitor
from your message and her mission.
Animation. Flash, illustrations, and other animation
are a significant part of the user experience for paid
search visitors. These elements aren't present on your
Personalization. You know more about paid search visitors.
Personalize their experience! Many automated personalization
engines and methods don't play well with search engine
spiders and may be disabled as part of organic SEO efforts.
In paid search, personalization takes on a whole new
meaning, including treating returning customers differently
from new prospects.
Merchandising. A retail store is merchandised based
on geography, neighborhood, and season. Route paid search
traffic to pages designed to take advantage of different
Offer testing. It's much easier to test an offer when
you know what makes the traffic unique. You need a control
to test, and paid search provides it.
Microsites. Sometimes you need an entirely new look,
structure, and flow for paid search visitors. A microsite
is your best route.
Domain name. If you don't have a branded domain, a new
keyword-packed domain coupled with a microsite may provide
far better impression-to-click conversion at the ad
level. Particularly in Google, this results in a higher
AdRank and more efficiency. When you don't have a brand,
a descriptive URL may more readily catch searchers'
Ambiguity. Some keywords fit your target market but
not your landing pages. A new landing page, separate
from your current site, can help test, improve efficiency,
and offer new opportunities.
If you didn't set aside a separate budget or additional
internal resources to take your site beyond what's necessary
for organic SEO, look closer and imagine the characteristics
of the perfect landing page for each power keyword in
your campaign. If those landing pages don't exist, create