What Does Design Have to Do With PPC? Everything, Actually!

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My mother is an excellent cook. Not only is she good at it, but it’s her all-time favorite pastime. And since my brother and I are such wonderful children, we let her indulge her passion by allowing her to do the majority of the holiday meal cooking—seriously, she enjoys it! This means that my only cooking responsibility at our holiday meals is to make our special family-recipe green bean casserole with pearl onions.

So, last Christmas I decided to use jarred pearl onions—hey, they were already peeled and cooked for me!—rather than taking the extra hour to boil and peel fresh ones. What can I say, I’m efficient like that! But in the end, the casserole didn’t turn out nearly as tasty with the jarred onions, my family disowned me for being lazy, and Santa skipped over our house.

My lesson learned here? Quality is everything and it doesn’t pay to cut corners.

So what does my holiday cooking experience have to do with design and its relation to PPC? Well, a PPC campaign is comprised of many different ingredients—just the same way a recipe is—and design is a key ingredient in determining the success or failure of your campaign. According to Marketing Sherpa, as many as 50 percent of visitors leave a page within 0-8 seconds after a brief glance, while some marketing experts claim the percentage to be as high as 80 percent. Given the fact that 0-8 seconds isn’t enough time to read the copy on the page, the conclusion here is that their decision to stay or leave is first based on design.

Let’s say that you are searching for holiday recipe books, and you come across this sponsored ad:

Obviously, the above ad was Photoshopped—and anyone claiming to offer advice on how to plan, prep and cook an eight course meal in under 2 hours is just preying on the gullible or over-hopeful—but there are a handful of elements that I would expect to see and read if I were to actually click through the ad:

  1. The offer and claim from the PPC ad clearly stated on a clean, professionally designed landing page—no clutter. Pretty web pages and well written copy lend credibility, especially when selling a product or service.
  2. A clean, sharp looking image of the actual book cover.
  3. The retail price of the book, clearly displayed. And, in this case, the price of the book calculated at 50% off, also clearly displayed.
  4. A distinct and clearly displayed call to action in the form of a click through button. Ideally, the 50% price discount will be automatically calculated into the shopping cart upon clicking through the button. If the shopping cart doesn’t automatically reflect the discount, the coupon code for the offer should be distinctly displayed within the vicinity of the call to action button.
  5. Clearly displayed contact information or options—don’t make yourself scarce to your potential customers. A telephone number located somewhere in the header is your best bet for those customers who either aren’t comfortable with shopping online or are seeking addtional answers about the product or service offered.
  6. If you’re going to use stock photography for an added element of style, make sure the image is absolutely relevant to your product, service or offer.
  7. Positive consumer testimonials can’t hurt, either.

With all of the online marketing options available today—from SEO to PPC to Social Media—choosing how to effectively market your product or service online is a big decision. Regardless of which marketing medium(s) you choose, be sure that once your potential customers arrive at your conversion point, you are able to offer them a clean, organized and aesthetically pleasing design. This will result in more clicks, conversions and sales.

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