January 4, 2018 | Sarah Danks

…Or Does It?

As a consumer looking for products on search engines, I expect to type in a query and get a good SERP with lots of relevant choices.

As a search marketer it’s my job to make sure the aforementioned happens. Well, I can’t do anything about the REST of the SERP, but if I’m serving up an ad I want to make damn sure it fits the query. That’s the first step.

The next step is, of course, making sure the ad copy matches the user’s query. And the final — and most important — step is ensuring the landing page to which I’m sending said user answers their question and gets them to take action.

Unfortunately, lots of marketers just don’t get it. Still! You’d think in 2015 2016 2017 2018 businesses would be savvy enough to serve up relevant PPC ads…

…but sadly that’s not always the case.

The other day I was looking for latex-free yoga pants (long story) and was excited upon getting this SERP full of results! And then I took a closer look and realized none of the PPC ads on this page should be here:

google serp latex free yoga pants

Okay, okay, so it’s a WEIRD search term. And, according to The Keyword Planner, “no one” but me is searching for it:

latex free yoga pants keyword tool

…that being said, let’s remove the ever-so-abnormal “latex-free” portion of that search, since it’s a relatively new (evidently) concept so a lot of these marketers won’t have realized they need to add latex to their negative keyword lists.

So, let’s re-work our search and see how the next batch of marketers measures up. Searching now for “yoga pants:”

yoga pants ppc ads

So, out of three possibilities, how many of them ACTUALLY contain copy that talks about yoga pants? The first ad. The only thing I can say about ads #2 and #3 are: they happen to mention “yoga pants” in the ad titles, but that’s where the match-up ends.

What? Where’s the carry-through to getting me to click?

Let’s check out the rest of the ads on that SERP:

yoga pants side ads


Okay, so the majority of the ads here are at least talking about yoga pants, which is a step up from the top 3 ads. However, I’m not blown away by any of these — except for maybe LuluLemon’s ad copy, which is relevant and cute.

So, of course, I clicked…aaaaaaand found this:

lululemon landing page for yoga pants

No. No no NO! Don’t talk about yoga pants and get me to click by mentioning your yoga pants are “downward dog approved” and then send me to THIS landing page. Guess what I clicked on from here? You guessed it:

lululemon back button

The dreaded “back” button.

Okay. So which other ads are interesting enough to click upon? Well, just to see what Walmart has to offer (I don’t shop there but I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt), I clicked their ad. And found myself here:

walmart yoga pants landing page

Angry buzzer sound. You lose. Back button (again).

Let’s forget for a moment that all these ads are going to website pages (instead of customized standalone landing pages built specifically for converting paid traffic). Can’t we find any better pages to send these ads to? Guys?

And, if said pages don’t exist on your site, should you be advertising yoga pants at all? I.e., if the keyword you’re bidding on is “yoga pants,” and your ad talks about yoga pants, but the best landing page you can send me to is “apparel pants,” I’d say don’t waste your money on pay-per-click traffic.

And, speaking of ad copy, let’s maybe work backward from your (website) landing page. Take REI’s page, for example:

rei yoga pants landing page

Holy Hannah! Look at all the OPTIONS. I was blown away when I landed on this page, mainly because their ad copy was so blah blah. Let’s consider their ad again:

rei yoga pants ppc ad

They mention yoga pants in the ad title, but then in the copy we see “yoga clothing,” and free shipping. Okay, I get it. But when you see the myriad types of yoga pants they actually have to offer on their landing page, it leaves you wondering — is this the best ad copy someone could come up with?

And, even if they wrote several iterations of ad copy, is this REALLY the version that won out for success?

Just on a whim, I thought I’d maybe try to whip up an ad copy example for this page, and off the top of my head I came up with:

rei ppc ad copy sample

Is it earth-shattering? Of course not. Does it accurately represent what someone will find on the attached landing page? Better than the existing ad copy, anyway. Of course, if I were in charge of this account I’d write several options for this and then test to see which copy provided the best ROI. But that’s a separate topic.

They even mention on the page itself orders could be received by Christmas day (although as of the writing/publishing of this post the deadline is Christmas past). That would be something I’d definitely mention in PPC copy! But, be careful with that, because as soon as the deadline you’re working toward is over, your ad copy has to change.

PPC Marketers: Give Them a Good Experience. Nay, Great Even!

I’m not trying to pick on any of these companies, but I am trying to point out that whoever’s doing their PPC management needs to re-think their strategy. As a user, I expect that when I type in a query, I’m going to be reading ad copy that directly pertains to my search.

And, once you’ve gotten me to click with your great ad copy, I fully expect to have that experience continue and land upon a page that’s going to solve the problem I was searching in the first place.

Is that too much to ask???

Pay-per-click marketing isn’t just about great keywords. It’s not just about writing great ad copy. And, it’s not just about choosing — or, more appropriately, building — a great landing page. Rather, PPC is a combination of all of those things, which add up to a great experience.

I’ll put my money where my mouth is and show y’all how we do it here at ThinkSEM for our pay-per-click experience.

Keyword query + ad copy —

child custody lawyer keyword plus ad copy

— + landing page: —

child custody landing page

= great experience. How do we know it’s great? Well, the users seem to think so, since this entire experience converts around 30%.

Attention PPC Marketers

The point of all this? Make sure you’re giving your visitors a great PPC experience! A successful paid search campaign combines the right keywords, effective ad copy, and a custom landing page focused on getting your traffic to take action…

…while also keeping the messaging consistent throughout all these pieces so as not to lose the traffic you’ve just paid for.

Giving your visitors a great experience is paramount to your pay-per-click campaign’s success. Don’t be one of “those” marketers that worries only about the clicks!

As a PPC marketer, how’s YOUR experience measure up?




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