Why Would I Send Someone to a Landing Page from a Paid Search Ad?

The concept of a landing page is unique to the world of online marketing. In traditional marketing (broadcast and print ads), you’re putting an identity and message out there for general consumption by whoever sees it. In online marketing, it’s possible to segment based on many different variables, and that’s where landing pages come in.

On a paid search ad, you have the option to choose exactly where the user lands. Many new to the process simply point the viewer to the home page. However, this can be a short-sighted decision. Home pages are often fairly general and loaded with information. This may not necessarily fall in line with a paid search ad, which only has a few characters to get its message across. If the ad is used specifically for a promotion, then landing it on the home page may send the viewer to a site that isn’t in sync with the promotion — and that moment of “What’s going on?” hesitation can be the difference between retention and losing the viewer.

The other added benefit to a landing page is that it allows for distinct metrics. If the paid search ads point just to the home page, the numbers can get muddied about its effectiveness. A landing page provides a clean entry point with distinct traffic options based on links in the copy for better insight as to its success.

Because of this, landing pages should be used on almost all paid search campaigns, but particularly so if the campaign is built around a particular product, service, promotion, or message. Otherwise, your viewer may encounter that split-second of indecision, and in the Internet world, that means they’re as good as gone.