Why Your Landing Pages May Be Ruining Your Google Ads/Adwords Efforts

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Google Ads are a great way to increase impressions for your business and they can play a critical role in your lead generation strategy and sales. Specifically for small businesses, Google Ads are a great way to drive more business, as there is no minimum investment with Google Ads, and you only pay for Ads when you see results from them.

But there’s one question we get from our clients a lot: “I’m getting great impressions and traffic from my ads, but why is no one converting?”

The truth is that even creating a great Google Ads campaign with all of the right keywords, and clear call-to-action (CTA) compelling people to go to your site is not enough. If users land on a page or website that doesn’t follow Internet or Google best practices, it can foil any potential for conversion.

For example, we’ve had a few clients whose Google ads were performing very well, however, when they were confused as to why the ads were not converting. After taking a look at their website and landing pages, we saw that the pages were not optimized for their goals. There was no consistent, attractive design nor was there even a CTA directing them where to go next.

Here is the advice we give to our clients with this issue to ensure your Google Ads efforts don’t go to waste:

Google Ads are a small piece of the greater puzzle

While we highly recommend investing in Google Ads for your business, at the same time, it’s important to understand that Google Ads are not going to do all of the work for you. If your ads lead to an outdated website that doesn’t continue to engage users, it’s much less likely that the efforts of your ads will lead to a conversion.

In fact, the landing page experience of your Ads is important to your overall ads quality score—the factors Google takes into account when deciding how high to rank your ads (or whether to display your ads at all). Google’s algorithm will crawl the landing page connected to the ad, looking at things like relevancy, legal terms of use included, etc. You can read more about how Google factors in landing pages here.

Think of Google Ads as playing a small (but important) part of someone’s overall experience with your business—a first contact if you will. To keep someone engaged, your overall online experience, specifically your website, is a large part of the conversion process and thus needs to be thought about carefully.

Create a Great Landing Page

Don’t have the resources to hire a developer and completely redo your website from the ground up? No problem, and we’re not saying that’s what you need to do in order to get people to convert.

What’s important is the page your Google Ads lead people to. Where does that link take them? Is this a relevant page for your business? Is it related to the ad? Does it clearly state what the next step is, or does it have a “contact us” or “buy now” button?

Look at the landing page from the user’s perspective and also think of what your own expectations are when you look for a good or service online. Would YOU buy your own product or service once you’ve landed on that page?

You can learn more about understanding landing pages here.

The Landing Page Experience

To sum up what we’ve just said, “Your landing page and the ad connected to it should be optimized and relevant to each other” according to Google Ads Help.

So what exactly makes a great landing page? We break down here items that should be included in your Google Ads/Adwords landing pages followed by an example of what a good landing page looks like. A good landing page includes:

  • SEO optimization: The page has a meta description, HTML title, h1, h2, other tags and image alt text tags. We can help with SEO optimization at an affordable cost here.
  • Quality copy: The H1 headline should use the same keywords as your Google Ads (be sure to match your ad text and keywords closely).
  • A supportive tagline: A best practice here is to make the user’s search query part of the headline or sub-headline.
  • Lists: This should be the benefits of your good/service in addition to the features offered.
  • Details: The page should provide relevant, useful and original information.
  • Symbols and buttons: This includes trust items like badges and testimonials and social media buttons to give the user other ways to interact with your brand.
  • A call-to-action (CTA): Perhaps the most important on this list, if your page does not have a clear CTA (preferably in the form of a button) you’re missing an opportunity here for people to convert.
  • Limited links: Your links should provide only the necessities. Don’t try to fit multiple different CTAs within one landing page, or else this could confuse your visitors and cause them to bounce (aka leave the page without converting). You should provide the link to make an order, to contact the business, and a link back to the homepage, but not much else.
  • A lead capture form: Form fields will vary depending on the offer your page is promoting, but be sure to include this if you want to capture the emails of people interested in your brand or product.
  • High-quality, relevant images: Images provide a visual clue about the message of your landing page to users. Mixing in images with page text will make the page much more attractive.
  • Information: Ensure that your contact details are easy to find and that your company’s registered address is placed at the bottom of the page.
  • Legal documentation: Make sure you have terms of use and privacy policy links in your footer. While this isn’t the most fun part of a landing page, it is very necessary to include for your business and Ads ranking.
  • Page speed: Your landing page needs to have a fast page load time—especially for SEO. Make sure to reduce rendering blocking scripts and extras, and reduce the size and number of heavy images on the page.
  • NO pop-ups: The goal is to build trust here, and pop-ups are not the best way to do this.

Also, in this day and age, it kinda goes without saying, but you should have NO flash on your web pages.

What Needs to Be on Your Landing Page

Here is a great example of a compelling landing page from Wordstream that meets the criteria mentioned in the last section:

A Wordstream Landing Page

The landing page above is:

  • Simple and easy to read: The page gives enough information so the user wants to know more without overwhelming them with information.
  • Has a clear message: This page compels users to download their guide with CTA buttons in two different places.
  • Contains a brief description: There is a bulleted list detailing what users will receive when they download the guide.
  • It is responsive: This page will fit in any format whether that be mobile, desktop or tablet.
  • Includes important information: These are testimonials, the company address and privacy policy at the bottom as well as a list of badges and partners to emphasize their legitimacy.

We wrote this article because this is a real-life problem we’ve been seeing with our Google Ads clients on a regular basis, and if you are experiencing similar issues, this post is a great starting point from which to improve your overall online experience.

At Zima Media, we’ve worked with thousands of small business clients all over the globe covering hundreds of different industries. If you’d like to enlist our data-driven Google Ads services or optimize your web pages using our SEO services, we can help you make improvements at a low cost that will bring you more online visibility.

You can also contact us if you have further questions/inquiries.

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