Local businesses need to build a strong online presence if they want to attract customers. At a basic level, this means optimizing reviews, business listings and social media.
One of the secondary, but equally important strategies. is landing page optimization for online ads. Most businesses we work with are losing customers on a daily basis because their website is missing critical components. If you are spending more than $300 a month on Facebook or Google ads, then this is the one area where you can make a huge improvement. Likely save thousands over the course of the year.
Page Optimization and Advertising
We have a customer that wants fast growth. The owner wants to be the best service his local area. Not #5. Not #2. They want to be the best, so they have increased their ad budget to gain as much exposure as possible. This is good plan, but we explained to them that simply increasing ad spend isn’t ideal.
Let’s say you are spending a $1000 a month in Google Ads and getting 200 customers to your website at $5 a click. So you increase your ad budget to $2000 a month. It is very unlikely that you get 200 more customers. Ad performance is not linear on Google or Facebook. If you want more customers, then you have to outbid other advertisers. And if you are bidding against any national companies or franchises with huge ad budgets, those bids can get extremely high. More likely your cost per click will go to $7-$10 so you will only end up with 100-150 more customers by doubling ad spend.
Now let’s consider website landing page optimization. A lot of businesses send all of their ad traffic to their home page, which is a mistake. You should be building landing pages that are designed to get visitors to execute a call to action (call, text, fill outform, chat). You should be providing a relevant page that is correlated with keywords or ad copy. Look at this image below.
hen you search for Siding installation this ad comes up. It’s a small ad, with no extensions and sends the visitor to a home page. When you get to the home page you see no call to action, limited copy above the fold and generally the website is about roofing. Not about siding installation which was the keyword they bid on. Ad dollars are wasted on this set up.
Landing Page for Ads
Someone that randomly comes to your home page can come from any variety of sources. Search, social media, listings, referrals are the most popular.. While it’s important to have good, compelling copy, home pages are designed with broad information about your business. This is especially true when you offer a wide variety of products or services. Usually home pages are going to have more information than an ad landing page. So if your call to action is at the bottom of the page, you likely lose customers who get tired of trying to scroll through the content.
A few minor adjustments to your landing page can make a big difference. Here are the basics of optimization:
- Content has to match the keywords or ad copy.
- The call to action has to be clear and easy.
- Reduce or eliminate external links.
- Needs to include an offer (discount, free gift, etc.)
In Adwords, this the cost of a bid is dependent on the quality score of the landing page. The quality score on Adwords is directly tied to the relevance of the landing page. In Facebook, you get a relevance score which works in similar way.
As an example, let’s say you provide roofing and siding services. If you bid on the words “install siding” but send someone to a homepage that mostly mentions roofing services, you will get a low quality score. Users will not find what they are looking for. But if you send them to a page about siding installation with an offer for free gutter covers (everyone hates cleaning leaves) and add simple quote form, then your visitor is more likely to complete the call to action.
The Impact of an Optimized Page
Earlier I explained about our client that wants to be #1. When we recommended 3 new landing pages, targeted ads, full website tracking, adding an offer and optimizing the website, they were hesitant. It sounded like a lot of work. We increased ad budget as their request. I warned them that cost per click and cost per lead would go up. And it did. We ran ads for about 45 days while and eventually convinced them to go ahead with our strategy.
During this time, we were getting about 6 leads over a 30 day period. Last week we implemented the new pages, added better Google Analytics tracking, created goals, changed forms and changed out over 30 different ads.
In the first 7 days, the website produced 18 leads. Our cost per click went from $3.85 to .$3.06 for our largest Adwords Ad group. Cost per lead went from $180 to $33. The very first day we ran this ad, our client got a lead from a commercial business that has the potential to send ROI on this campaign to the moon.
The image above shows total traffic. It went from under 1% conversion rate to 4.03%. The goals include form submissions or email/phone links through Analytics goals. In this case 14 of 18 were forms, which is a higher quality lead. The interesting thing is that we haven’t even started optimizing the campaign. When we get the tracking results we can start isolating keywords, adjusting bids and continue to reduce the cost per lead.
Results of Advertising Web Page Improvements
For this client, we expect to get 70-100 leads per month on the same ad budget. That’s an increase up from 5 leads per month, a 15x – 20x improvement. My best estimate is that it will take somewhere around 11 days for our client to get a positive ROI. So, this Friday.
These are really good results and not every business would have this kind of success. But its a current, real example of how much improvement you can get from ad landing page optimization.
If you increased leads per month from 10 to 15 on a $300 a month budget, then would have a moderate 50% (not 1500%) increase in conversion rate. Cost per conversion would go from $30 to $20. On $300 a month budget, your previous $300 would have produced 120 leads over a 12 month period for $3600. After increasing conversion rate, it would only cost $2400 to get 120 leads. So $1200 savings. And this is not a big budget. A fairly simple optimization should cost less than $1000.
Google and Facebook Ads
Both Google and Facebook like to mention how easy it is to set up advertising. They are right. It is easy. Even without knowing anything about advertising, someone can have an ad up and running in about 20 minutes. One of the major draws towards online advertising is that you don’t need a huge budget and you don’t need a big ad agency to set up the campaign.
But most people don’t realize that there hundreds of areas within these platforms that can help you improve results. From ad targeting, affinities, review integration, ad extensions, negative keywords and the big one: landing page optimization. If you haven’t optimized those areas, you are turning away a lot of potential customers and its costing a lot in the long run.
If you or your team run online ads, then I would recommend spending some time optimizing those pages and campaigns. If you are busy, like most business owners, then get in touch with us. We can provide an honest assessment of your online presence and current advertising campaigns to see how much room you have for improvement. We don’t take on new clients unless we believe we can make significant gains.