Now that the summer is over, lots of our clients are stepping up their marketing activity once again, and with all of the recent changes to SEO, we are seeing AdWords becoming more popular as a method to get websites found on page one of Google.

Now if you read our blog on Monday you’ll know that you need to spend some time looking at your AdWords account anyway (if you missed that blog just click here), but here’s what else you need to consider…

Firstly, when someone clicks your advert what page do they land on?  Let’s use the example of an Italian Restaurant. There are four potential types of landing page that could be used.

The normal home page of the main restaurant website

This will provide information on the restaurant plus show the navigation links to menus, the location of the restaurant and contact details, which is OK – and it would leave the restaurant being able to measure the number of clicks to the site, but not able to assess whether that customer then went on to take a further action (known as a conversion – i.e. make a reservation).

A specific page on the main restaurant website

The next option could be to direct the click to a specific page on the main website – for example the menus page – so that the customer can see whether their favourite dish is on the menu.

Again the restaurant would be able to measure the number of clicks to that page, but still unable to know if the click resulted in a conversion, unless you put a funnel in your analytics to a specific goal.

A bespoke landing page

Typically these don’t contain navigation links to the main website – they are ‘stand alone’ pages built on a sub-domain where the customer is encouraged to take further action – so this could be a page that promotes a “money off” voucher. The customer is asked to provide their email address and a voucher is then emailed back.

Now the restaurant can measure the number of clicks AND the number of conversions (as they will be able to see how many email addresses have been collected).

If using this option you should make sure that the landing page is not visible from any other source (hence not connected to the main website and usually built on a sub-domain), otherwise the ROI from the AdWords campaign cannot be properly measured.

However as this is a stand alone page the customer would not be able to access the rest of the information they might want (such as the menus…)

A bespoke micro-site

Micro-sites are ultimately a combination of a landing page and other information that could be found on the main website… so the voucher offer would still be present but so would additional pages that could provide the menus and location maps etc. These additional pages could simply be a duplication of the pages on the main website.

To do this properly you’d need to make sure that the duplicated pages on the micro-site aren’t indexed (as Google hates duplicate content), but a good web developer will make sure this is all part of the service they offer.

This last option allows the restaurant to access far more detailed information, as in addition to being able to measure the number of clicks and the number of conversions, analytics will also show popular pages, the amount of time spend on the site and all of the other valuable detail that should be measured, enabling the restaurant to tweak and improve the campaign on an ongoing basis.

Which option is right for your business? Well hopefully the restaurant analogy helps point you in the right direction, but as ever if you need some advice just contact the team at JCK Marketing.