The cost of Google’s Pay Per Click (PPC) advertising is rising fast as more companies, pest control firms in particular, move dollars away from the Yellow Pages and onto the Internet. Meanwhile, consumers are relying on search engines to recommend to them the best pest control companies when they have a pest problem. This means customers need to be able to find you easily.
There is a huge opportunity for PCOs to improve and optimize their Google PPC advertising without spending any additional money — but it’s important to avoid a handful of major pitfalls that could make a big difference.
The Wrong Page. A landing page is the webpage you see after clicking on an ad. Directing users to a poor landing page is a common mistake many account managers make when creating their PPC ads. A lot of times, either their website is not robust enough for the specific queries their consumer base types into Google, or they’re just not directing them to the most suitable page on the website. Here are a few examples:
- Let’s say the search query typed into Google is “bed bug treatment.” The user clicks on the ad and is brought to the homepage of a pest control website. A better landing page for the user would be a page specifically mentioning bed bugs and heat treatment, since the user has indicated they’re interested in learning more about that treatment in particular.
- This time, let’s say the search query is “stink bug control.” The user clicks on the ad and is brought to a landing page about residential pest control. Though that page is not a terrible choice, the user is better off landing somewhere specifically about stink bugs and how to eliminate them.
Bringing users to the most suitable pages on your website, based on their queries, will increase the percentage of customers calling your firm to do business. You’ll also reduce the amount of people leaving your website due to usability issues or the inability to find the content they were looking for.
Guaranteed? If a user clicks on an ad that reads, “100% Bed Bug Elimination…Guaranteed!” they would likely expect to land on a page explaining how a firm’s bed bug treatment might accomplish such a claim. Making enticing offers and unique guarantees in your ads will lead to a lot of wasteful spending and very few customers if the website does not support the ad copy. Some examples:
- “We’re A+ BBB Rated!” The landing page needs to correctly and prominently display your BBB rating. Since anybody can just stick an image on their website, you should also link to your BBB page so the user can verify the claim.
- “Free Inspections.” The landing page ought to explain these free inspections and what the customer can expect during the inspection process.
Tricking the customer into clicking on your ad without actually delivering on your promise makes you look like a liar. Instead, build trust with your audience by delivering on the promises of your ads with the right content on your landing page.
Primitive Tactics. One of the great things about Google is the variety of free tools the firm offers all advertisers. One tool in particular, which can be used to enhance your ads’ prominence and size, is ad extensions. One ad extension, called a “location extension,” leverages your location and address by listing it below the ad. Another extension called “site links” may increase the size of your ads 30 to 40 percent by adding links to other related pages of your website. These tactics can have a major impact on the account’s performance and the overall number of leads to your business.
Another tactic is to separate mobile traffic from computer traffic. Google treats queries from these devices differently, with a different number of ad positions on the top and side of the page. To ensure your ads are always at the top of the page, it’s best to set up your account in a way in which you can see the average positions of your ads on each device separately. Separating traffic in this way also allows you to take advantage of a third ad extension called “call extensions,” which allows you to list a phone number of your choosing along with the ad — this allows the user to bypass the landing page and call you directly upon clicking the ad.
In addition to improving ad performance and increasing the volume of traffic coming to your website, what if you also could double the conversion rate simply by delivering better landing pages? For example, if you were converting website visitors into callers at a rate of 10 percent and improved that to 20 percent by correcting some of your PPC advertising, you would essentially double the number of leads and cut the cost of each lead in half. What would that do for your business?
The author is a New Jersey-based search consultant for A Second Opinion, where he provides Pay Per Click solutions for small businesses around the country. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.