The Adwords Landing Page: The Biggest Reason You’re Losing Money On AdWords

The Adwords Landing Page

What is a Google AdWords Landing Page and why should you care?

Well, an AdWords Landing Page is the page your visitor sees immediately after they click your advert, and you should care because most of you are getting it very wrong.

The Landing Page is one of the most critical elements that you must get right when building your campaigns and ironically it’s the one most businesses are missing.

In this article I’ll focus on adverts related to service based businesses. However, if you accept what I offer here then the principle can be applied across the board to pretty much every business.

How To Create A Highly Optimised Landing Page For AdWords

Click Here to download the FREE AdWords Landing Page Guide

Here’s some background

About 12 months ago I did some web work for a small construction company here in Dublin, Ireland. After building their website and carrying out some basic SEO research I found that there was a big opportunity they could exploit.

I was looking at organic results specifically, but as I researched I began to see a trend within the paid results that mirrored the organic results for their chosen keywords.

Their competition were making some fundamental errors that meant my client, with a little work on their content, and by running a few ad campaigns, had a real opportunity to dominate their niche.

The area of the construction industry I was looking at was attic conversions. A small niche but one that is popular with home owners seeking to create more space.

I subsequently looked at ads for plumbing, electrical, roofing and other construction and service based niches and I found a similar trend.

Every trade I looked at seemed to be missing an optimised Landing Page.

The Landing Page Problem

I found that most of the businesses I looked at had this gaping landing page hole in their lead generation net. There were other issues, but in most cases this was the biggest problem.

Here’s why this is a problem…

When you create an ad campaign in AdWords, you set about providing a route for potential buyers to a relevant product or service page on your site where they can purchase right away or make contact with you.

You are essentially creating a marketing funnel.

If you do not provide a clear and concise funnel to your product or service sales page for your prospect, they will likely experience what is known as cognitive dissonance and they will hit the back button.

In my research, the adverts brought me to landing pages that bore no relevance to the search query I used. And often, the advert itself bore little relevance either.

This lack of fluency is getting you and most other advertisers lots of back button clicks and every time a visitor hits the back button you lose money.

Regardless of what PPC you are paying, those back button clicks will chew up your budget in no time.

The truth is, the quality of landing pages that not only tradesmen, but other businesses in general are using with their AdWords campaigns is so below par it’s not funny.

Most businesses who are actually getting getting leads via AdWords and are converting them is not because they don’t have a landing page problem, but rather that they are the best of a very bad lot.

By virtue of the fact most businesses are making the same mistakes, all you need is a little time spent correcting the basic errors and you can blow your competition completely out of the water.

Repetition and Consistency

Cognitive dissonance is caused by a lack of fluency in our marketing material and where there is lack of fluency we lose sales. In very simple terms what we are talking about here is inconsistency.

There needs to consistency in every element of your Adwords campaign in order to keep potential clients tuned in, engaged and ultimately hit that call now button.

That is assuming you have a “Call Now” button…. most don’t.

Studies have shown that humans are attracted to things that they can easily process, and tend to avoid new things or things that take them off track.

As such, if you don’t repeat a relevant and consistent message throughout each element of your campaign it’s likely you will lose leads and put a significant hole in your Adwords budget.

Let’s Have A Look At An Example of How Wrong It Can Get;

For the purpose of this article I’m taking a look at roofing contractors in Dublin. Any one of these guys who happens to catch wind of this piece and makes the changes I’ll suggest will be head and shoulders ahead of the competition.

All going well they’ll reduce their monthly AdWords costs too. So no offence intended guys alright!

The Searcher; I’ve got a leaking flat roof, it’s been raining hard, my office is destroyed with water, the ceiling is falling down and I need someone fast. With that in mind, how much time do you think I have to peruse your site and dig through tons of information to decide if you are suitable, find your number and call you? This job could be €300-400 for a quick repair, and a couple of grand for the full job. So with that in mind let’s look at who get’s the phone call

Here’s the search I did

Roofing Repairs Dublin Google Search

There are four results in the search with search term “roofing repairs dublin city”.

Before we look at each of the results returned let’s analyse the intent of a searcher who might use this term. A couple of things become obvious from the words used and how they are put together.

  1. I need a roof repaired
  2. I’m in Dublin City

It can be said that my intent is strong. I need a roofer in Dublin City to repair my roof right away. I’m not looking for DIY instructions for repairing a roof myself.

I’m not looking for felt or bitumen or roofing tools either. I might shop around for 20 mins but you can safely assume that if someone carries out a search like this then they are in decision making mode.

So with that let’s see how many of these guys meet my need.

Google Adwords tells me that at the time of writing I’ll pay €5.60 per click for search term “roofing repairs dublin” so assuming the results used broad match, which is very likely considering the level of sophistication and quality of the adverts in the results, I’ll assume they will pay similar to appear for my search term.

Result #1 Rathcoole Roofing

These guys have put themselves out of the running right away despite bidding highest for this keyword term. Here’s where Rathcoole Roofing Gets it wrong;

  • They’ve bid on a keyword that includes Dublin City and yet their Ad copy doesn’t mention it. What’s worse is they’ve said they serve Rathcoole and not Dublin City.
  • Their URL says nothing about Roofing Repairs, or Dublin City.
  • Their sub headline doesn’t mention either roofing repairs or Dublin City.
  • Their Ad extensions mention Emergency Repairs but by this stage I’m already gone to option #2.

There is loads wrong with this advert even before we get to the landing page. Chances are this advert won’t perform very well. However, amongst such poor competition it just might do ok.

Let’s look at their AdWords Landing Page

Ok, so these guys are obviously roofers and probably can repair my roof but I’m working way to hard to figure that out. Their landing page does a really poor job at convincing me to go with them.

Rathcoole Roofing Adwords Landing Page

Even if I clicked on this ad result it’s unlikely I’d stick around this site, for a number of reasons. Let’s take a look at what’s wrong with this page

  1. There is no headline that refers to my search term.
  2. There is no reference to Dublin City
  3. There is a reference to Emergency Repairs but it’s buried in the main menu and requires me to click through to find out if they can help me. I’m now working way too hard.
  4. There is no call-to-action
  5. There is no phone number above the fold
  6. Phone numbers were not click-to-call
  7. There is no contact form to get in touch
  8. There is way too much information on the page for it to be helpful to me.

The only thing Rathcoole Roofing had going for it was the site was responsive to mobile screen size.

I’m outta here.

Result #2 Four Seasons Roofing

First up I’m questioning whether or not this is a genuine company or just a Golden Pages lead generator. But maybe that’s my technical side talking, anyway it doesn’t look right to me given it’s on a Golden Pages subdomain.

Maybe they’ve just built their site with Golden Pages, I don’t know how that arrangement might work. Anyway, let’s look at their Advert;

  1. Their advert headline reflects the search term for the most part. My only issue is the Golden Pages bit, what’s that about?
  2. Their url mentions Roofing Repairs but doesn’t mention Dublin in the copy. Not the end of the world, but it can help to reinforce their suitability if they did so.
  3. They use those nasty words that every desperate tradesman uses “no job too big or too small”. Lose that phrase, it’s cheap and it never helps you win a worthwhile job imo.
  4. The Advert mentions they are in Dublin 3. In the company of other poor search results it just might get my click.

It’s good to mention that a searcher’s evaluation period is seconds and fractions of seconds. People are not hanging around to get to know you better. They need to act quickly.

They know exactly what they are looking for and they are scanning the search results for the right provider. If you don’t meet their criteria you won’t get the click.

Let’s take a look at their AdWords Landing Page

Bottom line here is I have nothing really good to say about this website at all. It’s everything that’s wrong with Irish business web presence right now.

In a recent article by TRA Professional Tax Advisors & Accountants, they reported that 37% of Irish businesses don’t have a website and 57% who are online are not optimised for mobile.

This website falls into those stats.

Four Seasons Roofing Webpage

  1. The web page is really shitty – built for pence by Golden Pages with a hefty price tag I expect.
  2. The page is way too busy and I need to work to find out if they are a viable option.
  3. There is contact information on there but none of these were click to call.
  4. Their website was not responsive to mobile screen sizes.
  5. There is no clear call to action
  6. There is no headline that reflects my search term
  7. There is no contact form to get in touch
  8. They reference Emergency Service on the page but like the previous result, their landing page is not a landing page.

If I could offer Four Seasons Roofing some advice it would be to get away from shitty services like Golden Pages and build your own site on WordPress ASAP!

Result #3 Alter-Rain Roofing & Restoration

This advert is so poor. I hope nobody is being paid to create this kind of poor show. This one has a real problem but let’s take a look at the advert first.

  1. The advert headline mentions Dublin. Good start, but it really doesn’t do the business because it doesn’t manage to communicate much else.
  2. Again here, the url doesn’t reflect my search term whatsoever.
  3. The advert body copy mentions repair but tells me they are cheap.
  4. There’s no mention of them covering Dublin City.
  5. They say I can get a free quote but tell me, why is that of benefit to me?

A really poor effort at creating an advert.

Let’s take a look at their AdWords Landing Page

The biggest issue for Alter-Rain Roofing & Restoration is the link used in their advert is broken. Google AdWords will see the domain is correct so they won’t see the problem.

But when I click in the advert it goes to a dead page. This advert is providing Alter-Rain Roofing & Restoration with 0% ROI. Bad buzz!

So I clicked through to their home page and it’s a modern site, responsive and looks ok, but there are still significant problems with it which I’m not getting into here.

Alter-Rain Roofing & Restoration

Result #4 John Featherston Roofing

John Fetherston Roofing is a very well known and trusted roofing company in Ireland but even so, they are getting some of the lead generation basics wrong.

They are doing a better job than the others here (not too difficult), but they need to fix the following in their advert copy;

  1. They mention Dublin but not Dublin City
  2. They don’t mention Roofing Repairs. If they are going to bid on the keyword “roofing repairs dublin city” then they need to reference that in the advert.
  3. They don’t reference the search term in the url
  4. They talk about roofing installation in the advert body but not repairs and nothing about Dublin

If they don’t do repairs then fine, don’t bid on the keyword. They are spending money needlessly by doing so. At this stage I’m probably not going to click on the advert anyway.

Let’s take a look at their AdWords Landing Page

Assuming they do want leads for roof repairs (and they’ve merely failed to add negative keywords to their campaigns, or they are using broad match), their landing page could be way better than it is.

It’s better than the others but not by much.

 John Fetherston Roofing

Here’s what’s wrong with this landing page;

  1. There is no headline that reflects my search term
  2. There is no subhead to reinforce my search
  3. There is no contact form to get in touch
  4. There is too much information on the page for me to easily find what I need
  5. There is no clear call-to-action
  6. There is no reference to repairs or Dublin city
  7. The website is responsive! That’s good.
  8. The phone number is click to call. That’s good too.

John Featherston is well known as I said, and probably trusted by many. However, others don’t know who they are and therefore their name means little.

They simply have to create viable landing pages that reflect the search intent of the visitor. If they don’t they’ll continue to lose money on bad clicks.

Here’s An Example of How Your Landing Page Should Look

Landing page types vary depending on the business you are in and the product or service you offer, so what I outline below is not a one size fits all.

It will however fit most service based businesses. I built this page very easily with a WordPress plugin called Thrive Themes and you can do it too.

Once you have a WordPress website built and your theme installed, then you’ll need to purchase a Thrive Themes licence, install the plugin and start building your highly optimised landing pages like this one.

Building a site on WordPress is something you can easily do for yourself, but it’s not for everyone. If you need assistance building your WordPress site get in touch and we can do it for you.

Roof Repairs Dublin Adwords Landing Page Screenshot

An optimised landing page needs to focus your visitors attention on one or possibly two options. That’s it, no more. The more options you include, the more confusion and friction you create.

In this example I’ve offered visitors two options to make contact;

  1. Book A Service Now (Click-to-call buttons repeated top and bottom of page)
  2. Request A Call Back

Features of a good AdWords Landing Page for service based businesses

  • No sidebar
  • No main menu
  • No footer
  • Page is mobile responsive
  • Plenty of white space used
  • Repeats the search term used by the visitor in the headline
  • Offers a guarantee
  • Offers testimonials

Here’s the elements that your AdWords Landing Page needs to have

  • Your company logo
  • A bold and prominent headline
  • A reinforcing sub headline
  • A clear and direct call-to-action
  • A headline, subhead, and CTA that reflect the user search intent
  • Click-To-Call buttons included
  • Additional contact form (Optional)
  • Your guarantee
  • Client testimonials

A good AdWords Landing Page that works for your service business may include, but is certainly not limited to the above elements.

As such you’ll need to examine who it is you are looking for and what it is you want them to do when they click on your advert and visit your website.

Click Here to download the FREE AdWords Landing Page Guide

In Conclusion

The name of the Search Engine Marketing game is clicks, and not just any old clicks, you want those clicks to be highly targeted and have as high a conversion rate as possible.

This becomes most prevalent where you have a high degree of competition in your market. For example you’ll pay €12.67 CPC locally for “home insurance ireland” keyword.

For roofers willing to pay almost €6 CPC bad clicks can mount into a significant cost. Now, you don’t mind that if you are getting 3x or 4x return on your ad spend.

But if you’re getting 1:1 or less then that’s killing your business.

Landing Pages are merely one element that you need to get right in the Google AdWords game if you want it to work for you. If you’re being challenged beyond your comfort zone and you’re not making a good return, then get in touch and my associates and I can do it for you.

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  • Инна Туник

    I tried a few services from your list and after being less than satisfied with either the results or price, I continued my search and found ( )