Optimize Your Site: Tips From Testing to Landing Page Conversion
At a presentation I gave at the recent Online Media, Marketing & Advertising Conference in New York, I offered several tips and insight on Web site testing strategies and landing page optimization. First, here are the top three common mistakes search marketers make when dealing with a mature search campaign:
1. You rest on your laurels and don’t think to improve. Marketers periodically need to reassess and re-evaluate the specific keywords they’re bidding on, as well as the creative (ad versions) that are shown to make sure they’re still performing up to snuff. Keep in mind that other competing advertisers may update and refresh their marketing efforts and their Web sites. So in many respects, if you’re just keeping things the same, you’re falling behind.
2. If you don’t perform any Web site testing, you aren’t optimizing and increasing conversion rates (and thus, ROI) while keeping your search engine marketing (SEM) spend the same. Since many keywords drive traffic to landing pages, the return of an SEM campaign can nearly always be improved by “doing better” with the traffic that’s already there rather than merely sending more traffic to the site. This is the essence of landing page optimization — take your SEM audience and do a better job messaging, persuading and convincing it to delve deeper into your site. Don’t pour more water into the funnel; make the bottom of the funnel wider.
3. You don’t customize or target your landing pages (or site) based on SEM terms. By not doing this, your site can appear less relevant to visitors who have come via a specific search engine query. As a result, a greater number of “bounces” occur. A bounce is a visitor who hits the landing page, stays for a few seconds, then hits the back button to return to the search engine page — effectively a totally wasted paid click.