How To Convert The Search

How do you dramatically increase the effectiveness of your search engine marketing without even logging in to AdWords? You do it by developing, testing and refining landing pages and by deep- linking your campaigns. One important aspect that is often over looked in a search engine marketing campaign is where the traffic is being sent. Seems simple--but by focusing on this aspect of the campaign, you can gain a competitive advantage and increase results.

Just as an example, I recently took over management of an established AdWords campaign spending >$100,000 pa. By the application of "Landing Page Design 101," the conversion rate went from 2.8 percent to 3.7 percent--effectively producing an extra $37,000 worth of results.

There are two main approaches I would like to discuss in this article; the first is deep-linking and how this impacts conversion and site design. The second is the single landing page approach.

The beauty with search engine marketing is that visitors are pre-qualified--they are only visiting your site due to the fact that they entered a specific relevant search term. It is therefore a big no-no to just dump them on the home page! Studies have shown that if visitors are delivered directly to the product or service they were searching for, there is a much higher conversion rate compared to the homepage or even relevant category pages as the entry point.



So either link each keyword to a product page or use your internal site search engine to execute a search based on the visitor's search term. You can either upload your keywords with individual URLs, or you can use the {keyword} variable in your AdWords link to dynamically insert the relevant keyword into your landing page URL. The only important factor to pay attention to is how your product page works as an entry point to the site and does it include all the required elements to allow the visitor to make a purchasing decision?

The second approach is the single landing page approach and is more focused around single product sites or membership acquisition. There are three main decisions a visitor makes during the conversion process, and there are simple rules that help get them past each decision point.

1) Should I Stay or Should I Go? (You have 1-8 seconds to make an impression)

Short, Easy-To-Complete Registration Forms

Relevant & Targeted Headline

Specific Graphic (Product, Selling Points, Offer)

Clear & Concise Copy

Simple & Clear Layout

Professional Design

2) Do I Want It?


Rich Media Information (Video, Demo, Screen Shots)


Client List (Logos)

What's the Competition Offering?

Supporting Information

3) OK, I Want It!

No Broken Links

Shopping Cart Works

Minimize Required Fields

Clear Shipping and Pricing information

Links To Supporting Information (About Us)

Privacy Statement (Why you are collecting required information like e-mail)

Full Contact Options ( E-mail / Form, Live Chat, Phone,Post)

Physical Address

Security Logos

If you are feeling really motivated, I would recommend a hybrid solution of the two methods above, where a landing page is designed with a dynamic content area, which is filled with content relevant to the visitors' search term. This allows you to refine your landing page elements without redesigning your site's search results and product pages every five minutes.

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