E-Commerce Link The Other Half of the Equation
A lack of continuity between ad and landing page content leads to unsatisfactory or misleading product presentation, user confusion and missed sales opportunities. Far too often, users are taken to:
- A search results page with many small thumbnails, where nothing stands out, merchandising is non-existent, and branding is weak at best. This approach especially is common across all forms of advertising, from search terms to e-mail campaigns.
- A product detail page for a single product--usually too narrow and focused relative to the user's intent. Often, the product only vaguely is tied to the link source.
- A product category page. This may or may not be specific enough to the customer's needs, but it almost certainly will not be tied closely enough to make a satisfying impression.
- A homepage. This still is more common than most marketers would like to admit.
Where's My Suit?
Your landing pages must support the promise you make in your ad. While doing research for this article, I went to Google and typed "men's suits." I clicked on a paid listing for a major department store that read simply "suits." The image that greeted me was a close-up of a lawn with "super weekend SALE" emblazoned across it. My first reaction was that I had inadvertently clicked on the wrong link, followed closely by frustration. "Where's my suit?"
As it turned out, I had been taken to the advertiser's homepage. There were no visible links for suits of any kind, and although I'm sure its suits were in there somewhere, I would have been back at Google in a flash to find another store if I actually was shopping.
Think about this in relation to customer segments. Individuals who click on that ad have defined themselves as being in the "men's suit-buying" segment. You would never target your teenage segment with a catalog designed for the 50-plus crowd, so don't provide your self-defined men's suit buyer with a landing page that looks like you're pushing lawn furniture.