Over the years with many an algorithm update, Google has refined SERPs to give searchers just the information they're looking for. But this post isn’t about them,
No, as the title announces, this post is about Microsoft. Specifically, I’m referencing a pay-per-click ad that I came upon a few weeks ago that didn’t exactly deliver what I was expecting.
Recently I Googled the term you see in the search box below and clicked on the circled the link.
Perfect! A free CRM! Google has helped me once again - or so I thought.
Clicking the link brought me to the Microsoft Dynamics page. Maybe the “Free CRM for small business” is around here somewhere...
But a Ctrl+F search revealed...drum roll please…
That the word “free” only appeared on the page one time! And it wasn’t followed by “CRM for small business.”
And the pricing page? Well...there’s also no mention of “free.”
I was obviously confused and felt somewhat misled. My time was wasted on an offer I couldn’t find from clicking on the ad. (Although I did find that Microsoft offers a free trial of their CRM, something that wasn’t mentioned in the ad, the landing page, or the pricing page.)
So what’s the moral of this story? Well, there’s three lessons that come to mind that you can apply to your own Adwords-created PPC campaigns to make sure you provide a quality experience to anyone that clicks.
1. Be Relevant
This is not just a suggestion; it’s one of Google’s editorial guidelines. Under “Examples of what’s not allowed,” Unclear Relevance is it’s own category.
If you take a quick look at the first screencap, it’s safe to say that that Microsoft’s ad text is disconnected from the ad title and that the landing page was not relevant to the promotion. Drilling down further into the rules confirms again that the landing page must be relevant.
Neglecting relevance means your ads might fail to attract users, they won’t know what they’re getting, or in my case, they’ll fail to get what was promised.
2. Keep User Experience in Mind
When you’re creating a PPC ad, view the entire process from the user’s point-of-view. (This is also called user experience optimization or UEO.) You can do this by asking yourself a few questions along the way:
Is the headline specific and interesting?
Does the text support it?
Is the ad language conversational and free of spelling, grammar, and capitalization errors?
Is it informational and clear?
Does the landing page offer what the title says will be offered?
Does your site in itself provide a quality user experience?
3. Gimmicks Don’t Work
In the age of digital marketing, trust with your prospects, leads, and customers is slowly built through useful content and open communication. Don’t throw that away on trying to get a few extra clicks. People will tune you out and move on.
You don’t need to overthink creating a killer PPC ad or campaign. Staying relevant, thinking of your users, and shunning gimmicks will steer you toward writing convincing copy that leads people to useful landing pages that perform based on their own merit. That focus on quality will make your campaigns become a meaningful contribution for your marketing, a helpful resource for your users, and a way to avoid ever “Microsofting” your visitors.