Using AdWords? Your Landing Page and Visitor Expectations

SEO versus PPC

According to marketing giant Marketro, 44% of B2B companies miss out on half (50%) of their potential sales from their Pay-Per-Click (PPC) ad campaigns.


Because they send prospects to their home page rather than to a tightly-targeted landing page that ties in with the paid search ad prospects are clicking on.

Most people search online for solutions to a problem. If you provide a possible solution in your AdWords Pay-Per-Click ad and match that to the page your prospect lands on when he clicks, you put yourself in a stronger position to convert the sale.

Think about it. If your prospect has just clicked on an ad for a juicer, do you take her to a home page that sells vitamins but with no noticeable information on the juicer? Only if you want a confused visitor. And confused visitors don’t buy, they hit the “back” button.

However, if you send her to a specific page about that juicer, sharing all the health benefits of juicing and finishing with a “click here to order” button, your chances of selling that juicer to that visitor go through the roof. That’s the power of a specific match.

Ad relevance + good landing page = higher conversion rate.

Not only can you get a higher conversion rate so you make more money, but Google recognizes when your ad matches your page and makes your ad more prominent. This means more people will see it. When more people see it, you’ll get more clicks. And every click is the chance to make the sale.

Conversely, Google penalizes you when your landing page doesn’t match your ad by giving you a “low quality score.” As a result, your ad isn’t shown as often as you’d like and you ultimately pay more per click.

As a web writer, you know it’s Marketing 101 to have your ad match what your prospect sees when they click through. If your prospect sees your ad, clicks through, and lands on a home page with no call-to-action, that click is wasted.

The Mechanics of a Well-Performing Pay-Per-Click (PPC) Ad

You can run an effective Pay-Per-Click campaign by following a simple, three-step formula:

  1. Use specific keyword terms
  2. Focus on ONE product or service
  3. Direct people to a related landing page

Keyword Terms: If you’re using the wrong keyword terms, you run the risk of not reaching the right audience. If you’re not sure what I mean by using “wrong” keyword terms, or how to choose “good” ones, here’s an article on using keywords to boost your website rankings. (

Be specific with your keyword terms. If your audience is looking for men’s dance shoes in chocolate brown, don’t offer “dance shoes” as your keyword term as you’ll get everyone looking for dance shoes. Instead, use “Brown men’s dance shoes” as your keyword term. Then, take your visitors directly to your page with men’s brown dance shoes. Don’t make your visitors search for what they’re looking for — get it in front of them as quickly and as obviously as possible.

Focus on ONE product or service per ad: If your client’s product is software as a service (SaaS) that targets Universities, pro sports, and sales professionals, these are three different audiences. Your marketing strategy calls for three different landing pages and multiple PPC ad campaigns targeting each. The increase in conversions will more than make up for any costs or effort involved in creating these separate pages.

Direct People to a Targeted Landing Page: Leading people through the sales process is crucial. As explained, when a visitor clicks on your ad, it’s imperative that the page he lands on contains the information he expects. And, you must give him an obvious call-to-action on the page.

Improve Your PPC Ad Campaign Performance With Google Feedback

Pay-Per-Click (PPC) can you give you feedback virtually right away so you’ll know within hours if your ad and landing page are working. Plus, you can run multiple campaigns at once, which lets you know which one is performing better than the others.

These days, Google gives you some direction for improving your ad score. The ranking is based on:

  1. Expected Click-Through-Rate — This is based on past ad performance with a certain keyword.
  2. Ad Relevance — Like it sounds, this is based on the relevance of your keyword to the ad. If you use something only slightly related such as “shoes” when you’re selling dance shoes, your ad isn’t as relevant. A person looking for dance shoes looks for “dance shoes,” not “shoes.”
  3. Landing Page Experience — When your prospect clicks to your site, do they stick around and see what you have to offer or do you have a high “bounce rate,” meaning they’re hitting the back button as fast as possible?

Google gives you a ranking of Below Average, Average, and Above Average for each to guide you as you make adjustments. And remember, the advantage of the Internet is the ease of testing as you make the changes, allowing you to make steady improvements, quickly.

By selecting targeted keywords, focusing on one product or service, and directing prospects to a corresponding landing page, you’ll increase the conversion of prospects to buyers. The easier and faster it is for visitors to find what they’re searching for, the more frequently they’ll click the order button.

What’s been your success with AdWords? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.


Jen Phillips April

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