After performing a recent search online, I started to realize one of my major pet peeves with the Internet, search engines and especially those advertising online: the relevancy of advertisements and the content for which they lead us to. Working on the sponsored search pay-per-click side of search engine marketing, I run into this type of situation all too often. A user performs a search for a specific item, “buy sky blue widget”, to fit their application and the search engine serves up all sponsored ads relevant to the users search criteria. From here the user selects the number 1 sponsored result that reads:
Sky Blue Widgets
Save on large selection
of widgets. Free Shipping.
From this sponsored ad, the user is directed to a landing page for WidgetSaver.com’s nice selection of green widgets. Although it’s a nice landing page that features excellent pictures and descriptions of widgets, along with a strong call to action, including free shipping on any order, the advertiser failed to direct the user to a landing page that is relevant to the exact search query. The end result: User clicks back button on the browser and WidgetSaver.com loses a sale from their own ignorance.
Let this be a lesson learned. As an advertiser, never assume your generic landing page or “one size fits all” product page is good enough to use on every sponsored search ad. A web page that converts well for “general widgets” may not convert well for “sky blue widgets”. Provide the user with what they want: a landing page that supports the user’s search query and the ad creative.