This post examines a common mistake franchisors make with their paid advertising campaigns - dropping ad clickers on a bad landing page. Don't worry, we also explore how to fix it.
There's no worse ad experience than clicking through on a promising ad and arriving somewhere unhelpful. This could be a website's homepage, a page unrelated to the ad itself, or simply a very poorly designed landing page.
This post will take a closer look at how to improve your PPC conversion rates by providing a positive landing page experience to your visitors.
Defining the connection between franchise pay per click campaigns and landing pages
So, what does this issue of meeting expectations have to do with your franchise PPC strategy?
Think about it from the prospect’s perspective:
You’re searching for franchising opportunities in the restaurant industry and stumble upon a paid ad listing for a downloadable white paper detailing a company’s franchising opportunity in depth.
Intrigued and wanting to investigate further, you click through but end up on an entirely different page than what the listing described. Instead of a free white paper, you found yourself on a “Get Started” page for people who want to schedule a call to speak with the sales team.
Frustrated and unable to navigate to other pages on the site, you simply abandon the page and move on to other opportunities. After all, if they can’t get their website working, why bother, right?
For franchise companies with poorly optimized landing pages, this probably happens more frequently than you think.
Serious buyers engage with your PPC ads and reach your site, but leave when the landing page the ad drops them on doesn't match what the ad was about.
Franchise prospects aren’t going to waste their time on a website that doesn’t give them what they’re looking for.
Using “Conversion Coupling” to stand out among competitors
If you’ve been losing out on new leads as competing companies emerge in your industry, optimizing your PPC ads and landing pages to work better with one another is an easy way to get an advantage online where most companies aren’t paying attention to it at all.
The big goal here is to match the message of your PPC ads to the message and content of your landing pages.
This is sometimes referred to as “conversion coupling.”
The best way to illustrate the significance of bonding the source of your prospects’ clicks with an example:
Don't do this: Boxing lessons
Here, I ran a search with a pretty broad keyword term, “Boxing lessons.”
The very first ad on the pages of search results wasn’t exactly tied to my keyword. Although kickboxing contains the word “boxing,” the two have some pretty significant differences. Still, I clicked through to see what the YMCA is offering anyway.
Although I landed here, this isn’t much of a landing page at all.
Not only do I have to locate a tiny registration button up in the navigation bar to actually take action here, there’s no mention of kickboxing classes anywhere on the page. The ad names kickboxing specifically and indicates this is the place to register for classes online, but it dropped me on a general information page with no clear way to do that. Expectations shattered.
What's missing from this landing page?
- The biggest red flag: the page doesn't match the offer.
- It doesn't follow landing page best practices by allowing the visitor to click anywhere throughout the site.
- It doesn't include a form, forcing visitors to explore the site rather than take quick action right on the page.
Do this instead: Yoga classes
Here’s an ad that appeared in the sidebar of my search results that laid out the opportunity pretty clearly given the tiny amount of page real estate the ad has to work with.
Where does it take me?
This is a real landing page. It’s a standalone page that doesn’t let me move elsewhere on the website and gives me a short rundown of what I’m getting in exchange for my email address. It also features a video which is just about everyone’s favorite way to consume information online these days.
This landing page is simple and straightforward, and more importantly delivers on the ad’s promise of letting you sign up without jumping through hoops on the website.
Here's a quick list of all the positive aspects this page has going on:
- The offer clearly matches the ad.
- It drops me right where I need to be to sign up.
- It provides enough information for me to get a taste of the program through video.
- The format is simple and easy to read.
- I'm not able to explore the site. The clear next step is obviously to sign up for the free trial
What’s the takeaway?
The point here is short and simple: Landing pages that are categorized and linked to relevant ads stretch your franchise PPC campaigns much further than they would be otherwise.
As Iain Dooley, author of “Your First Three Months on AdWords,” says, “ When we direct people to category specific landing pages, we easily see 2x -3x increases in conversion rate.”
While ad layout and landing page design are crucial, making sure you’re delivering on the expectations your PPC ads are establishing is the first step to seeing success with your ad campaigns.