Bait and switch—we all know of this infamous technique, and have maybe even experienced it.
Say, for example, you see a newspaper advertisement for a $300/month payment on a car you’ve been considering. You know this price is a great deal, as you’ve been doing your research, and feel the average price range should be around $500/month. So immediately after viewing the ad, you head down to the dealership. Ten version of the car you’re seeking are sitting on the lot. Yet when you enter the showroom and ask the salesperson about the advertised $300/month price, you’ve informed that particular car has already been sold. (But while you’re here, why not test drive one of the others?) Yes, the old bait and switch. But this seemingly old technique is still alive and well in a new form—PPC ad copy to landing page transfer.
Not sure what I’m talking about? Let’s take a look at an example. In the picture below, notice that the Google ad (the company name has been smudged for protection) states, “up to 75% off on top brands.”
And when the ad is clicked and the visitor is transferred? Well, the advertised 75% savings are nowhere to be seen.
If I were to hunt around on the website, I may be able to turn up the advertised 75% off. But if I’m a typical internet searcher, I’m going to bounce out of your website the moment I do not see what I expect to find. And I immediately expect to find what you advertised.
Let’s take a look at another example. Notice that this ad states that I can get local, long distance, and international plans for $45.
“$35 for a local, long distance, and international plan? Great!”
After clicking on the ad, though, there is not a single mention of a plan starting at $35. An even worse search engine marketing sin is that there’s not a a call-to-action on the page that would allow a visitor to convert into a lead or buy a product. They baited visitors by advertising prices starting at $35, but you’ll have to explore to find that plan. In the meantime, though, why not take a look at all their calling features?
What these advertisers, and others out there doing the same, have to understand is that continuity is a must. If you’re showing ads that contain a reference, make sure that reference is readily visible on the landing page when a visitor clicks through. The visitor is then immediately seeing what he/she is looking for, and this will help the conversion process, as it builds credibility. If there is no continuity, there is no better way to waste your advertising money, as visitors that land on the page will be suspicious and leave your website.