7 tips for ppc landing page optimization for food and beverage brands

Hi. We're in West Texas. West Texas was actually in Central Texas. It's the town of West. I'm in Central Texas in West.

I just got off the phone with a client who's having issues with their vendor who takes care of advertising, and particularly landing pages. So the challenge is this, their landing pages just are not producing sales. And so, we sat on the phone as I'm driving down here, I sat on the phone with him we kinda walked through a lot of the things that need to be changed about their landing pages in order to make them more compelling and hopefully to help them perform better. And I'd be interested to ask or to find out from folks that do this for a living, whether or not I'm barking up the right tree. Now, I'll be the first one to say, and I already did it, I already said, this is not my area of expertise, but doing online marketing for 20 years, if I don't pick up on the periphery on different skill sets for different disciplines, then I'm just not paying attention, right?

So I've worked with a lot of amazing kind of advertising pay-per-click folks. These are the things that I've talked to with this client about, some of the things that they need to improve upon on their landing pages, and I figured I'd go ahead and drop a video really quick, 'cause I think that we had a good conversation, and the ideas that we came up with sound solid to me. But again, I would love for the folks that do PPC, and do online advertising, to correct me because I'm learning. I mean, I've been doing this for over 20 years, but man, you never ever, ever stop learning about stuff and it always gets me excited whenever someone asks me to do something where I don't have a particular skill set and I'm kind of tested to kind of walk through a problem with them and help them solve it. So the task, the ask of this vendor or this client for me was, what ideas would I have for them to improve upon their landing pages?

So these are some of the things that I went through with them. Hopefully, maybe these might be things that you can look at your landing pages and see whether or not you're doing well or poorly in these areas, and you can make improvements.

1

When I look at their landing pages their copy tends to be very passive and I recognize this because I spend much of my time as a marketer, not marketing to people, which is completely counter-intuitive. But my game is almost always the long game. So whenever I'm working with a vendor in this situation, the goal that I have on the team is to grow deep roots in the communities and to grow deep relationships with people organically.

Now, the role for someone who's doing advertising on the team, and I'll say also that on this team from the SEO perspective, my role also is to build and grow deep roots inside the Google search database, so that we are findable in search when people are looking for us at any point in the sales funnel. Now, the pay-per-click team has got the exact opposite. Their task is to find people and immediately grab their attention and get them to click to act upon something and hopefully to drive sales almost immediately, right? We know that doesn't happen, right? Now, we're shooting for maybe 8% conversion on people that click on ads. 2%-3% would be fine, 8%. These guys are performing well below 1%. The first thing that I saw when I looked at the landing pages, this client, is that all of the content is informational and it is extremely passive. There's no aggressive call to action. There's no pressure being applied in the copy to the person reading it that would force them to feel like they have to be compelled to act in any way, right? And so, the number one thing that I recommended to them, that I would recommend to you to look at your landing pages on are, make sure that you have action-oriented copy. Action-oriented copy is written in a way that makes readers feel like they have to do something, and it may even create a sense of discomfort, right?

But the point there is that you want people to be compelled to do something based upon what they're reading. So that's number one, is that I looked at this, the copy's fairly passive. There's buttons that say, "Click here to buy." But that's not action-oriented copy in the way that I'm talking. You need to apply pressure to the reader to make them feel like if they don't do something that they're gonna miss out on something.

2

Now, one other thing that I noticed, and I've always dreamed of being a designer, as in like a graphic designer, it would be amazing if I had created a career in motion graphics and stuff, but I just didn't have the patience to learn it. It's something that I regret all the time, and it's something that I pretend like I do all the time. But because I have an affinity, and I like looking at stuff that's related to graphic design and stuff like that, I do notice some best practices, and when it comes to... I'm pulling over 'cause I see a nice police officer up on the road up here, parked sideways pointing a laser speed gun at people, a laser speed detector at people. Why, he is full-on parked sideways. He is not kidding around. Oh, it's empty. Nice job. It wasn't even a... Well, it was a real police Suburban, but they've got it parked empty just to do what I did, which is to slow people down. That's hilarious. So boy, it slowed me down like 15 miles an hour.

So one thing that I noticed when I look at landing pages and I look at areas and sales pieces, whether or not people use contrasting colors. Contrasting colors are an amazing tool to use in order to grab people's attention, make their eyeballs move from one place on a page to another, right? And in this situation, the client, the landing page looked beautiful. The colors for the brand were all placed nicely, from what I can tell, but then the call to action button was the same color as the brand colors, which means that, because the rest of the page was using those same colors, that that call to action just kind of like was invisible on the page almost.

3

Third thing that I noticed was the landing pages were built into the regular framework of the website. So you go and you drive someone to this landing page, and there's 45 other links around this landing page for people to be able to take off from it if they're not interested in what you got going on. Huge mistake. And again, these are things that I might be embarrassing myself because this might be stuff that is like "Duh Gio, that's Pay-per-click 101" but we've got an agency who is working with a brand who is not doing this stuff, and it's stuff that I look at and I'm like, as Pay-per-click people and tell me in the comments as someone who's an expert in pay-per-click do you all still not force people into pages that are a dead end that don't allow them to do anything but the one single action that you want them to do. It seems like that would be a pretty common sensical, I Love that word, I know it's totally made up but it makes sense to me, But I know that going and giving people an out, giving them all these pathways to leave the page, to explore is completely counter-intuitive to running an ad paying to have someone click on a link and bring them to a page on your website and then not capturing them and forcing them to do something within that page without giving them a way out of it.

And making them make that one decision that you're gonna give them or just leave the site. Just good gravy good golly Almighty please. And again, tell me I'm an idiot in the comments. I'll probably even get at least one person that tells me, I'm an idiot in the comments now, but I mean if that doesn't, that just seems like that would make sense. And I know we did that back in the day. Do we not do that anymore? I don't know.

4

Okay, so one other thing, number four that I've noticed on the page for this client is they have a... I think what they've done is they've taken this concept of creating these really long emails that are completely text-based, that are really broken, up into small chunks of texts that are easily readable. And you'll read three, four, or five really short in most cases, one sentence paragraphs and then there'll be a boom like a single button that's a call to action And then you move down some more four or five really short paragraphs and boom, you have an opportunity for one click for a call to action, they've built these landing pages that way. And I don't get that. And again, pay-per-click people correct me here, that seems dumb to me. And so there's no imagery, there's no video.

For this brand. We've got really nice photography, we've got good testimonials for the brand, from real life customers. So it seems to me like it would be a great place on a landing page For someone to be able to see a video of someone who's a real customer talking about giving a testimonial about what they liked about the product. And we've got these videos out there available. It seems like you would use imagery to let people know what the brand looks like and to convey lifestyle and kinda set the stage in these people's minds eye so that whenever they're looking, not looking at our stuff, they can kinda remember what this brand is about. These guys don't seem to think that that's important. So we've got a web page that is a landing page wrapped around a regular website that's only text in the middle with calls to action down the page. I don't know, should I do pay-per-click for... Is... Certainly there are people doing pay-per-click that know how important design is and trying to get people to convert. In this case, I don't see it, unless I've just caught them and I wanna be fair unless I've caught them just kind of in the middle of running an experiment where they're kind of doing testing.

But based upon what the client said, this is the way they build landing pages. So maybe that's not the case. I don't know that is really weird to me. It's really odd.

5

Okay, so the next thing that I noticed on this page was we have got a point on the page where people can fill in information in order to be entered into getting a newsletter, which, I'm not sure how enticing it is for you to have people fill out something in order to get spam. I think you need to be a little bit more, put more meat on the bone than just, "Hey, get our newsletter." The thing that's weird about this form is that it is asking for first name Last name, Email address. Okay, that's fair, but then we're asking for a phone number, For physical address, like a mailing address, and we're requiring this stuff on this form and then we're asking optionally for social media accounts. The form looks absolutely ridiculous. It's embarrassing how ridiculous this thing looks. And so the next thing that I counseled the client on was if you're asking people for a newsletter, granted you might wanna personalize it. So I would say fine, ask for the first name, and last name and then email address and then cut it out.

You're done. The client was a little bit surprised by the fact that I was saying to ask for less information and I had to kinda walk him through the whole problem of you're... Number one, you're offering something to somebody that nobody wants, nobody wants corporate email from a brand that offers them nothing but discounts on products. I mean some people probably do, but most people don't. So number one, the idea of the newsletter that doesn't provide information or education or some kind of value outside of pitches to buy product is in my mind, a show stopper. But then to sit there and ask for, require, not ask for require a phone number and physical address when you're sending them an e-mail is asinine. And I asked the client. I was... We got to a point in this conversation when I started picking all this stuff apart that it was hard for me to not chuckle at some of this stuff, because I'm off doing... Inorganically I'm doing my stuff, I'm not paying attention to what they're doing on the pay-per-click side. And I almost felt like I needed to apologize to them for not watching what the other vendors were doing because that's ridiculous. I think that that's a pretty easy one for me to safe about counseling them on that.

If you're in pay-per-click and it's best practice to try to squeeze as much information right off the bat out of somebody on a landing page, let me know. I'm always here to learn, right. So tell me again that I'm wrong in that, and that people are finding great success in trying to get all that information out of people on a landing page from an ad. I don't get it.

6

Those first few things that I mentioned are pay-per-click specific kind of things that I've noticed, or the landing page specific things that I noticed that really stood out. Now, this next one, I think what's happened is I think that the vendor has again messed, kind of gotten discombobulated with different practices on different platforms, and they're trying to apply the email kind of tower email text-based email, and they're trying to test it or trying to use it for in a landing page context. And so when I look at the page that this client's got, you head to the page, you've got the navigation, you've got all these different ways that people can get distracted. But then even in the text on the landing page itself, they kind of go through the brand story a little bit.

They've got a section where they talk about trying to educate the consumer. This is an area that is... I don't know if you wanna say... It's misunderstood. I mean, there's a lot of mystery around an ingredient in this product. So the landing page itself is... You've got this challenge of an ingredient that does require on some level that there's some education happening for the consumer. I don't know that this landing page is the place to do that because someone has already seen the ad, and because of what I've read the ad say, they've already confirmed in a way that they know about the product, and its... I mean the ad is very specific. It's an ad to buy. I think that it's safe for us to assume that the consumer clicking on the ad has already been vetted as somebody who knows what the product and the ingredients are.

Pay-per-click people, correct me if I'm wrong here, but when the ad says, "Boom! Come over here and buy this thing," and we know how limiting, how constricted you are with a Google ad, when it says come buy this thing, when someone clicks on the ad should you first walk them through a brand story? And then walk them through a small explanation as to why the brand, or why the product or the ingredient is good and beneficial, and then get to the sell? The sell's copy? Or should you just boom! Hit em with the sell's copy. Educate me. Cause if I'm wrong on that, cause my philosophy there is get to the point, keep it simple. It's a landing page. I'm getting excited here. When someone clicks because you told them that you can go and buy something, then when they click on that link, let them buy it. So that's all. I'm all worked up now.

7

Then lastly, one thing that was weird to me and this is kind of marketing in general is that the client wasn't aware of whether or not the vendor had been testing different things, like different fonts, different colors, different imagery, different copy. They had no idea if they were testing different ad copy against the same landing page, or using the same ad in Google and sending them to different landing pages. Different extensions on the ads. This is all stuff that I've... I'm making the video, so I'm comfortable enough talking about it, but that's why I'm being so upfront about the fact that acknowledging that I don't do pay-per-click, right. I don't know this stuff, but I know enough to make what I see here make me confused about the approach these folks are taking.

I think this video is less about me teaching somebody something that I know, and it's more about me putting this out there after this interesting conversation I've had with this brand, with this client of mine, and asking for some insight from y'all. So what I'm doing here is in this video, I'm saying hey, you experts out there or people that aren't experts who just kind of are listening to what I'm explaining I'm looking for some insight here. Tell me what you think cause I'm kind of... I don't know if this is fair or not, but I'm using the YouTube platform as a way for me to get more information to then go back to my clients and say these are the things that a consensus of people that I trust, I can look in to figure out whether you people leaving comments should know what you're talking about or not but people that I trust at least know more than I do, say about these different topics, right.

Anyway, the testing. This is... I mean, I know the answer to this. Of course people that do pay-per-click are doing testing. I guess my question is, is should the vendor be aware of those tests, and should the vendor be informed of what the tests say? I could... I can't imagine that this vendor for this client is not doing AB testing. If they're not, holy cow. I guess my bigger question is, is the testing as pay-per-click experts, the testing that's going on that you do on the counts, do you share those results with your clients, or do you just implement changes as you go just based upon the results and then that just never comes up? I don't know.

This is a weird video. Everything about it's weird. I'm driving the van. I love the van, by the way. Holy cow. Recently got my wife a new car, and this has been the family van for 10 years. My kids grew up in this van. It's a Honda Odyssey. Man, this thing is nice. I think I'm gonna start driving the van. I'll pull the seats out. I mean, the seats are in here now, but man. As a photographer, as a videographer having this ride, I mean it's like I'm driving around in a La-Z-Boy for Heaven's sakes. This is amazing. It's so comfortable, it's so smooth. It's got so much power. Man. This is what happens when you become middle aged. Man, a van is awesome all of a sudden. I'll still drive the 4-Runner. The 4-Runner needs a lot of work, though. We were thinking about selling the van here, but I am less and less convinced that we're going to. I think we're gonna be a family that has an extra car. I can't imagine selling this thing. I think I'm gonna drive this until the wheels fall off. I love this thing. It's so comfortable. Leather seats. Vans are awesome.

Okay, I think that does it. I really am seriously looking for your feedback on this. Mainly to kind of help my client out. But I really am interested in wondering, you know I'm just curious as whether or not my thinking is in line with best practices for people that do pay-per-click, or if I'm just completely full of it. I don't know. Anyway, Austin is about 10 minutes down the road here, so I'm gonna sign off now. I honestly, seriously, actually, legitimately appreciate you watching my videos. I need more subscribers, though. It's weird how this has worked out on YouTube. I can get tons of views compared to what I thought I was gonna get, but I hardly have any subscribers right now. I don't know... I don't know what's going on with that. But anyway, thank you very much for watching. I certainly do appreciate. Leave a comment. Tell me how dumb or how smart I am, and we'll catch you in the next video. See you later.

That's a really nice rest stop. I feel like I was... I was just at a rest stop. I started making this video at the last rest stop. Did it take me that long to make this?