There are many ways to increase conversion of your paid search campaigns. On a general level, it starts with the keywords, moves to the ad title and copy, and on to the landing page (the page at which your traffic arrives).
I won't go into all those details here (that's for another post), but did want to give a hint on one strategy that may help increase conversion of your paid search campaigns. This strategy serves a dual purpose and can subsequently flow over to converting visitors on your site that use your site search form as well.
Relevancy is Key
It has long been proven that when a user searches a specific term and sees a listing with that exact search term in the title, they are more likely to click through to the listing. The term used to associate the two is called relevancy.
Relevancy in paid search (especially Google) helps achieve a number of important things.
1) The more relevant your ad is in relation to the keywords you are bidding on, and in relation to the landing page your visitors end up on, the higher your quality score. The higher your quality score goes, the higher you will appear in the paid search listings and the less you will pay for that listing.
Higher quality scores in Google can actually have you paying less than the ad which appears in the spot below yours. In other words, you could have a number one position in the paid search listings and actually be paying less (and in some cases quite a bit less) than those positioned below you. That's relevancy at work.
2) The second thing relevancy does is help create an association between your ad and the product / landing page the visitor arrives on. This association often times creates higher sales conversion.
What Happens After you get the Click?
Once you get the click, you now need to convert that visitor into a sale. A targeted landing page can help achieve this.
Following the initial search rules above for getting the increased click-through relevancy, you can increase your chances of getting the "action" (sale) by increasing relevancy on the landing page as well. You can achieve this by inserting the keyword searched on, or a portion of the keyword, into the headline of the page the user lands on.
Ideally, if you're running an e-commerce business and the search term is "blue widget", you would be directing that traffic to the specific product page for your blue widget. That product page should already have the keyword listed in its headline (i.e. the name of the product itself).
Likewise, if you offer multiple blue widgets, the best option would be to send traffic to each individual page based on the ad presented. This can be time - consuming, but in the end it will be worth it.
However, what if you offer multiple blue widgets in various styles, are short on time and want to capture broad traffic looking for "blue widgets" in general? Or what if a visitor arrives at your site and uses your search form to look for "blue widgets"?
I have seen a number of cases where the headline of the search results page simply says "Advanced Search" or "Search Results". This does nothing for the initial relevancy factor.
How can we change that? Simply replace the "Advanced Search" or "Search Results" title with the actual keyword(s) entered into the search form.
Increasing the relevancy factor of on-site search provides a dual opportunity to increase conversion from both site search as well as paid search.
For those who do not have the time to set up individual paid search campaigns that target individual product - specific landing pages, adding relevancy to your on-site search results gives you an opportunity to still increase conversion on a broad scale, using a one landing page focused on a single line of similar products.
Killing Two Birds With One Stone
Increasing the relevancy factor of on-site search provides increased conversion opportunity for users searching your site. We can use these new "more relevant by association" search results page as a landing page to send paid search traffic. Although not perfect, it can provide a quick targeted landing page of relevant products when you are short on time and a single item is not the main target.
How can we do this? Going back to the blue widget example presented earlier we can do the following:
Perform a search on your own site for "blue widgets". Now, copy the URL from the address bar and use that URL as the destination URL for your paid search campaign, which targets blue widgets on a general level. Now, you have created a landing page of targeted search results for the blue widget products you offer and increased the relevancy factor by including the searched keyword in the title.
Once again, I must stress that the best method would be to spend the upfront time required to create individual ad groups targeting each product. However, the approach outlined here will give you a better chance at increasing conversion from paid search than you would have if you simply sent that traffic to any old page on your site.
Eric Leuenberger is an ecommerce conversion expert and author of a leading Ecommerce Optimization blog (www.zencartoptimization.com). He coaches etailers, wholesalers, distributors and manufacturers how to increase their website sales through skillfully crafted online search advertising, targeted market strategies and website sales strategies. He can be contacted at 1-877-481-2323, or visit www.enhancedconcepts.com for more information.
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