Are People Clicking on Your Pay-Per-Click Ads and Leaving?

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What is a landing page and who ever heard of a microsite? Well, if you’re running Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising or are about to, you should be able to answer those questions. One of the advantages of running PPC ads is that you can target your ads to specific customers. You can select the geographic area where you want your ads to appear and even target specific demographics. When you write your ad title and copy, you can carefully select targeted keywords and bid on keywords based on buyer-intent. So, why would you send someone who clicks on your ad to your home page or some other page that currently exists on your site? If you’re investing money into pay-per-click advertising, why not take it one step further and create a customized landing page for each ad campaign?

In my previous post, I talked about PPC advertising campaigns that I ran for a product that targeted a very specific niche target market – virtual tour photographers. Actually, I was able to refine that niche market even further and segment it into two specific types of customers. One customer was the professional photographer who already owned a DSLR (digital-single-lens-reflex) camera and was looking for a new service to add to an existing photography business. The other customer was the amateur photographer who wanted to start a home-based photography business.

Different Customers = Different Ads = Different Landing Pages

I was targeting two entirely different customers with different product bundles. The customer needs and product benefits were unique to each group. I set up two specific Google AdWord campaigns and created two different landing pages. Each landing page actually brought the website visitor to a new “home page” in a sub-directory of my main website. The professional photographer who clicked on an ad that targeted professional photographers landed on a page that they could identify with. Conversely, the amateur photographer landed on a different page that was tailored specifically for their needs.

Landing Page Targeted to Professional Photographers

  • I created a sub-directory in my domain called photog.
  • I created a new index page in this sub-directory to be my home page/landing page for my PPC ads that targeted professional photographers.
  • The title of my new index page was “Photographers Make Money with Panoramic Photography”.
  • When someone clicked on my PPC ads that targeted professional photographers, they landed on a page that included copy that closely matched the text in my ad. The entire copy that I used on this page targeted professional photographers.

Landing Page targeted to Digital SLR Camera Owners

  • I created a sub-directory in my domain called camera.
  • I created a new index page in this sub-directory to be my home page/landing page for my PPC ads that targeted digital SLR camera owners.
  • The title of my new index page was “Make Money with Your Digital SLR Camera”.
  • When someone clicked on my PPC ads that targeted digital SLR camera owners, they landed on this page.
  • The content that they saw included copy that closely matched the text in my ad. The entire copy that I used on this page targeted digital SLR camera owners.


What looks simply like landing pages are actually microsites. Each page contains everything I need to convert a website visitor into a customer. Neither of these pages contain a navigation menu. Additional pages with more information are available by clicking on graphics or links that open new pages. There’s access to a contact-us page, sample tours and (on the microsite for DSLR camera owners) access to sample website templates for a photography business. Each page has a buy-now button where the visitor can select from one of two bundled packages and make their purchase.

Questions? Comments? How have you used PPC ads for yourself or your clients? Are you using PPC advertising as a marketing channel for your eCommerce website? As always, I’d love to hear from you.

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Author: Sherryl Perry

Welcome! If you're looking for help building an Internet presence that fits your needs and works for you, you're in the right place. I blog common sense articles about WordPress, social media and SEO. My goal is to help small business owners and entrepreneurs understand their core business. Together, we can develop and implement business strategies that make sense to you.

47 thoughts on “Are People Clicking on Your Pay-Per-Click Ads and Leaving?”

  1. Great. Creating different landing pages with a different ads to a different customers, that sounds really great to me. I never try pay per click ads but I already have a plan to implement it. This is good.

  2. This is an excellent example of targeting your customers. I honestly mean this. And you’ve explained it perfectly! I agree that landing pages are not the hottest topic but they should get more attention. Good job!

  3. Creating a different landing page for our PPC ads is indeed very true. I mean how can we convince book buyer to buy our books when the page we show are for cameras.

    1. So true John! If someone is interested enough to click on your PPC ad, you better make sure they instantly recognize that what they want is there. Otherwise, they’re gone and you’ve just paid for a click that didn’t end in the results you were looking for. It’s basic but a lot of people miss this one. Thanks for commenting. 🙂
      Sherryl Perry recently posted..Ambassador of Buzz -Social Networking Done RightMy Profile

  4. Most of time people makes this mistake and after that they said we are not getting any exposure from PPC.So I think you have written very well about this issue and I hope it ll help for all webmasters or website owners.I am agree we should always use different landing pages in our PPC ads.

    1. When you first start using PPC, it’s easy to think that PPC advertising in general won’t work for you. A tell-tale sign that your ad may be the problem is when you’re getting a 100% bounce rate. By customizing your landing page for a specific ad, your website visitor will get the feeling that they’re “in the right place” when they land there and hopefully will stick around your site long enough to complete your call to action.

  5. “You have a genuinely fascinating blog. As well quite a few blogs that I see now don’t actually present something that I am serious about, but I am definately interested in this 1. Just believed that I’d pass that message on. ”

    my website is Kids Karaoke Machines. Also welcome you!

  6. I think after SEO and use other techniques We have a one option to increase our site traffic and that is only PPC.But some is often people click the ads and leave.This is really a painful.So I think you have very well written article on this topic and after read this topic all webmaster ll know what is the reason behind that.
    I ll recommend this article to all of my friends so that they can also have a look on this great blog post.

  7. I certainly like your post because it is very informative and the facts that are imparted is something different in Pay-Per-Click advertising. Thank you very much that I learned a lot. Keep going! 🙂

  8. This is a great article and I found it very helpful. Target customers are so so important and knowing who your target is is of the utmost importance. Thank you for the information. You make it very easy to understand and accessible to everyone.

  9. Most people use Google paj per click ads, but Google pays less. Ads on my blog are well positioned, and my blog has a large number of visits but Google sends me just cheap ads. So now I’m looking for another provider.

  10. Expertise shown in your article, you are really noted some of the good points that we mistakes while PPC advertising. I am agree that taking consumer attention towards an separate landing page is quite helpful in more selling. I find it very helpful.

    1. Christine, Thanks for joining the conversation. I’m glad you found my article helpful. Landing pages really help to keep your website visitors from “bouncing” immediately off your page.

  11. To build different landing pages for different customers, you should first identify the different types of customers that you get. Keep in mind that Business to Business customers are very different from Business to Consumer customers. B2B customers tend to do a thorough research before they make a purchase, so you need to include product reviews and testimonials for them. Whereas B2C customers make decisions quickly, so offer freebies, discounts and vouchers for them to purchase NOW.

    1. Absolutely! You make good points. It’s so important to understand your target customer and never forget who they are. Sometimes, I see sites where the copy is about the company and not the customer and I wonder how long anyone actually stays on that page. It’s all about what’s-in-it-for-me where the “me” is your customer/client. Thanks for drooping by!

  12. I have a few websites and I have yet to employ a PPC campaign. I think there are numerous other ways to drive traffic to your website outside of PPC. However, lately I have been definitely intrigued by the idea of it, just need to make the numbers work in my favor!
    Thanks for the info-

    1. Well, John, the good news is that you set your budget. Although Google AdWords is the most popular PPC advertising program, I usually recommend starting with Bing or Yahoo at first. I believe Yahoo is offering a $100 credit to new advertisers. Keywords are usually cheaper on those 2 sites too. You might be pleasantly surprised with the results.

  13. Thanks for the tweet Rick! I appreciate it.

    You make some great observations. Stripped down micro-sites are great for small niches. Some people love lots of info but most people seem to want to get in and out quickly. Not using a navigation menu might seem a little odd at first but they can be really effective.

  14. These are really nice landing pages, Sherryl. You could certainly use these for more than PPC: Comments, Twitter, Facebook… You’re right, the Home page isn’t always your most profitable landing.

    You make a good point about using a sub-directory (or even a sub-domain). Name it with keywords, and there’s not necessarily any reason to buy additional domains for various niches.

    If people *were* curious about your main domain they would see a very well managed site, where you could have links to all of your other niche pages micro-sites.

    I also like the idea of keeping all the links to additional pages away from a formal menu–lots of additional information on a “one page” format, but not like many of these high-pressure, one page things you see everywhere with only one link–the Buy Button.

    Great post. I tweeted it 🙂


  15. Hi Sherryl:

    I saw your site for the first time. I was pleased to read the post about PPC and Landing page.
    It is a well written post and very informative. Lately there was so much talk about squeeze page that I forgot all about landing page. Can we use Landing page for list building too.
    I think so, I have a feeling few years back landing page was in use for list building.
    I am pleased to see your site. keep up with your work

    Fran Aslam

    1. Thanks for dropping by Fran. I have not used landing pages for list building but I can’t imagine why it wouldn’t work. My next endeavor is to use them for affiliate marketing. If you try them out, please stop by and let us know how they work for you.

  16. Clever idea to make someone clicking on your ad end up on your home page, Sherryl. I love that idea!

    1. Catarina, Sending someone to your home page will work well if you’re introducing them to your blog in general. Someone who is marketing a specific product to a specific target customer, would benefit from creating a new targeted landing page and direct them to that.

  17. Excellent article explaining the impact a great landing page has on conversions. Nice job!

  18. A “microsite” sounds like a bug that I need to be bitten by so I can be a top sales person! Another VERY helpful post in your series Sherryl. Thank you!!

    1. LOL – That’s pretty funny Keyuri. I’m thinking about wrapping up this series on PPC advertising with possibly one more post. If you (or anyone else) has questions or ideas about what I can add to this topic, just let me know.

    1. Susan, The call-to-action for these Google AdWord campaigns was to call our 800# or chat live. In spite of the fact that we offered a buy-now button, fax, mail and email options, the truth of the matter is that this business was a consultative-sale. So, although I could share statistics on refining my keywords to reflect buyer intent (my 100% bounce rate dropped to 50% and less), I don’t have actual numbers that correlate these campaigns to conversion numbers.

  19. Sherryl, I am loving this mutual admiration society :). I hear you when you talk about time – believe me! I kid you not, a friend of mine just called and I answered the phone “is this Clone Central”?

    Besides work stuff, I am what I have heard referred to as the “sandwich” generation – never heard that term before but now that I have – I agree. I have parents and children to be there for – and I am stuck in the middle trying to find time to get my work done too. Let’s not even talk about actually doing something fun right? The only way my boyfriend can get me off this darn computer is by taking me away – which he does – often LOL

    You know where to find me when you are ready (or not ready but want to anyway) get your posts into a video/ppt format. I will help however I can.
    Julie Weishaar recently posted..Social Media Marketing is a Waste of Time for Professional Services FirmsMy Profile

  20. Thank you SO much Sherryl. Your post is so clear and easy to understand that even I can understand it LOL It is like a tutorial on how to make the most of your PPC campaign and I, for one, am very grateful. You really have a knack for explaining what might otherwise be something very confusing in a simple, clear-cut, easy-to-follow, step-by-step procedure. May I suggest you package this as a tutorial and make it available for others to use in whatever manner you decide?
    Julie Weishaar recently posted..Social Media Marketing is a Waste of Time for Professional Services FirmsMy Profile

    1. Julie, I actually have you to thank for inspiring me to write these posts on PPC. I should probably take these posts and package it as a free e-book or possibly a value-add product. I definitely will use them as a foundation for the classes that I’m teaching this fall. Thanks for the suggestion. As I just mentioned to Paul, if I could only find the time to do everything I’d like to!

  21. I can see you’ve been doing a bit of self education Sherryl. I can also see that it’s paying off;)

    Very nice job laying out in simple and easy to understand terms how to funnel your PPC traffic. What you just provided is plenty of impetous for folks to get out there and get started with combining affiliate promotions and PPC. Have you considered that as well?

    1. Paul,
      Thanks for the kind words. I’ve received a couple of emails letting me know that these posts have been helpful and I know of at least a couple of people who are ready to run PPC ads.

      I learned about PPC advertising almost 2 years ago and now I’m taking Corbett Barr’s course on affiliate marketing I’m definitely anxious to combine affiliate promotions with PPC ads. Now, if I only I could learn how to get more hours out of a day.

      1. Very cool Sherryl. Combining Affiliate Marketing and PPC ads are a great way for folks without a product or service to get in the game as well.

  22. This actually makes a lot of sense. Creating different landing pages for different campaigns, I can see, will definitely make a person stay on to read your content after having clicked your PPC ad. This will not only increase site traffic but also lead conversion into sales. Thanks for this great post. 🙂

    1. You’re welcome. They say you have 3-seconds to catch the attention of your website visitors. I think it’s even less when they come from a PPC ad. If they don’t see what they expect to see, they’re off to the next ad in a heartbeat.

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