If you’ve been around the AdWords world for a while, you’ve probably heard about the importance of having strong campaigns, quality keywords, and strong ad copy. Perhaps you’ve spent time developing in-depth negative keywords lists and carefully strategized your keyword match types. But that’s not enough.
Even if you’ve hammered down the perfect AdWords campaign, that’s only the first part of the equation. The landing page where your ad directs the prospective customer is perhaps equally crucial. Why?
Your landing page is your customer’s second impression of you. You gave them their first impression when they saw your ad – hopefully relevant, well-written and eye-catching. That first impression intrigued them enough to click on your ad to check out if you’re the real deal.
Now they’re on your website, and one of two things could happen.
- They leave your website without becoming a conversion.
- They become a conversion.
(A conversion is something that is of value to you, i.e. a lead form filled out, a phone call, etc.)
While you can’t exert mind-control or force your customer to become a conversion, you can do quite a lot to encourage them in that direction. Remember, they clicked on your ad because they believe that you may have what they are looking for to solve their problem.
Your website’s job is to prove it to them.
Now, this is more complex than just offering a service. Say your potential customers needs an injury lawyer. It is not enough for your website to tell them that you are, in fact, an injury lawyer. They already assumed as much because you advertised on their search!
All customers are looking for 2 things in your website.
First and foremost, they want verification that you are the right kind of business – legitimate, trustworthy, credible, experienced. They want to know that you aren’t going to rip them off.
Secondarily, they want verification that you can help them with their particular problem. They don’t want to know that you work with personal injury law in general; they want to know that you can help them with their trucking accident.
The majority of the time, high bounce rates result from a lack of the first, rather than the second. Many websites are old, poorly designed & formatted, load slowly, or have rampant spelling and grammar errors. (No joke – we saw a lawyer website this week that had the word “law” misspelled as “alw” – in his logo!)
Spelling errors and poor formatting tend to communicate a lack of competence, credibility and trustworthiness. Fair or not, people will project the quality of your website onto your business. You don’t want people to hit the back button as fast as they can – you already spent the money to get them there when they clicked your ads!
Even if you’re not a web developer and writing is not your forte, it is worth it to find or hire the talent you need, even if that means hiring a freelancer. Get a designer to create a decent website for you or an editor to read through all your pages and make sure everything is spelled right. If you know what you want your website to look like, but you aren’t a web developer, consider using Instapage as a quick and easy-to-use landing page design tool for folks who don’t have coding skills. We love it.
On the other end of the spectrum, we have seen businesses who develop websites so snazzy the websites looks fake. Kind of like a sleazy, overdressed salesman – their smile may appear to be perfect, but their teeth are just a shade too white, and they’re just a little too smooth. It seems like they’re hiding something.
Avoid giving this impression with your website by showing pictures of your real people and employees to prove it’s you, not fancy-stock-photo-#874. Prove that you are a real company with real customers, real reviews and real employees, not some scammer in his basement with killer design skills. Linking to outside sources can boost your site with additional credibility, sources like your social media pages, your profile on the Better Business Bureau, independent review sites, and local news stories that feature your business.
Remember, you want people to trust you enough to call in and give you their personal information, which can include financial information, legal information, social security numbers, and home addresses, among other things. It’s a big risk. So be straightforward. Generate trust with honesty. That’s far more important than fancy images and expensive design that undercut your authenticity as a real business.
After you have ensured that your landing pages fulfill criteria #1, be sure to fulfill #2 while you’re at it. Make sure your landing pages are highly relevant to the ad they link from. If someone searched piano moving services, take them to a page specifically for piano moving, not a generic home page.
At the end of the day, if you can build trust in your audience, and you show them you have what they need for a good price, your website will fulfill its purpose and you will get far more leads.
If you truly cannot get a decent website up and running, consider a call-only campaign.