Avinash Kaushik gave a fantastic keynote at SES New York this morning. An hour and fifteen minutes packed full of advice, examples, and hilariously passionate language and anecdotes. If ever you have the chance to hear him speak: go and listen.
While others will surely blog on the many, many topics he covered — from micro-conversions (track them!) to attribution formulas (make it unique to your business!) — I want to quickly share the culminating piece of advice he had as the last point of his presentation: build tightly matched landing pages for your search ads.
In classic Avinash style, he made his point by demonstration.
He did a search for “wireless printers” (on Bing, no less) and clicked, one-at-a-time, on the different ads that came up.
HP had a massive Flash page that took 10 seconds to load and then left the user with a pointing finger to try to navigate different elaborate images — none of which talked about wireless printers.
Best Buy took you to a page that talked about digital cameras.
AT&T took you to a page that talked about wireless phones.
Office Depot took you to a page that offered ink and toner supplies.
…and so on.
Now, you could argue that some of these are PPC bid management problems as much as landing page problems — and that’s true. But Avinash’s point was that the two are bound to each other, heart and soul: a person does a search for something, they expect the ads to be relevant, and they expect the landing page to be relevant.
When that doesn’t happen — which is, unfortunately, a lot of the time — it’s a FAIL.
Avinash came right out and said, “If you’re selling a product that’s $200, such as a wireless printer, there’s absolutely no reason why you shouldn’t have a specific landing page tailored exactly for your ‘wireless printers’ ad.”
You give the respondent the exact information that they want. You can measure performance directly and accurately. You can test different alternatives and run controlled experiments.
That is the driving vision of great post-click marketing.