I have a client whose stated goal is to increase the conversion rate for his pay-per-click ad. His PPC ad already shows up on the first SERP (search engine results page) for a keyword phrase that is highly relevant for his profession. His competitor’s web sites are largely unremarkable and his site has much greater visual appeal.
So why isn’t he converting traffic into leads and clients?
Pay-per-click advertising can be an extremely effective tool for lead generation or sales conversion. Research shows, however, that few people even scroll “below the fold” on the first SERP. Even fewer click to secondary SERPs and beyond. If you’re using a PPC ad and you don’t show up on the first SERP, you’re not likely to pay much because you’ll get very few clicks.
How to Start
You begin PPC with search engine optimization (SEO)—associating the right keyword phrases with your ad. That’s the trick to showing up on the first SERP. Unless you’re targeting the right keyword phrases, people searching for what you sell won’t find you.
SEO requires research in the keyword tools and a review of what your competitors are doing. You can do this on your own but if you’re not trained in SEO and don’t have experience with it, you’re shooting in the dark. Hire a professional and save some money in the long run.
My client has good keywords for his ad but PPC management is not just about getting people to click your ad. That helps Google more than it helps him. It costs him money every time someone clicks his ad, whether they subsequently become a client or not.
The secret to PPC marketing and getting conversions is the content on the landing page. Some web sites create a custom landing page for their PPC ad but this isn’t absolutely necessary.
What is necessary is that you follow these rules for the landing page:
- The search terms the searcher used must appear on the page.
- The copy on the page much be relevant to what the searcher is searching for.
- The copy on the page must be compelling and written for human consumption.
You can do an exercise right now and search on any term you like. Click on any of the PPC ads that appear in your SERP. Look at the landing page. Is it clean, concise, and relevant to what you searched for? Does it make you want to contact the company? Is it just confusing and entirely irrelevant to your search term?
If you want to write superior copy for the web and get PPC conversions, study some of those pages and see what works and what doesn’t.
Now I have to go talk to my client about all this.