Yet Another Easy Way to Save Money in Adwords

OK, so everyone knows how valuable constant and never ending improvement is.  And when it comes to Adwords, MOST advertisers aggressively split test their highest traffic groups.

The result is (hopefully) an upwards evolving click through rate associated with a continued creeping in of new and/or better benefits, or better language the primary benefits offered by the Adwords ads, at least until you reach a point of diminishing returns and it becomes difficult to raise your CTR any higher (usually because you’ve hit on an ad which convinces most of the qualified people you COULD get to click to do so).

With me so far?  It’s all good.

Now, here’s what hardly anyone does, … and by hardly anyone I mean, like, almost no one.

  • In the 20% of adgroups responsible for 80% of your traffic, you should NEVER let your split tests grow your Click Through Rate without making a corresponding change to your landing pages. (This implies, of course, that each of these top 20% adgroups will need their own landing page!)

Let’s think about this in plain English first.  Suppose you’ve got an ad like:

Natural Migraine Relief
A Fast and Effective Migraine
Treatment You Can Take Tonight!

And this ad links to a landing page with a headline that says “Finally, a Fast and Effective, Natural Migraine Treatment You Can Take for Relief Tonight”. Furthermore, because the headline on the landing page is CONGRUOUS with ALL the benefits promised in the ads, conversion is likelydecent.

If the above were an opt in play, I’d venture to guess we’d see about 3% click through (keyword = “migraine relief”) and a 20% conversion.

So far so good right?  (I haven’t said anything you don’t already know).

But here’s what happens in most people’s accounts when they start split testing…

They improve the CTR of the ad BY CHANGING THE BENEFITS AND LANGUAGE, but they then make NO corresponding changes in the landing page.   So they run a split test in Adwords and find something like this (same keyword):

Natural Migraine Relief
A Fast and Effective Migraine
Treatment You Can Take Tonight!

CTR = 3% (original ad)

Herbal Migraine Relief
Safely Kill Your Migraine with
All Natural Herbs Tonight!

CTR = 4.7% (test ad)

Now this would be a VERY positive test except for one thing… they neglect to change the landing page.  And so the user clicks on the winning ad with the expectation of finding out how to “Kill” their migraine with “All Natural Herbs”, but finds something only about 70% congruous with this (same as before “”Finally, a Fast and Effective, Natural Migraine Treatment You Can Take for Relief Tonight”)

They think “wait a minute, where’s all that stuff about ‘killing’ and ‘herbs’?

And as a result, conversion goes DOWN.  Oh sure, they still get SOME conversion because the landing page still talks about an effective, natural treatment for migraines, and ultimately that’s what the user was looking for… but we’ve eliminated all of the intelligence we’ve gotten from the split test result by refusing to use the LANGUAGE AND BENEFITS we’ve learned take priority for this audience.

Something like this most often happens:



You wind up erasing at least part of the gains you make in CTR with a corresponding decrease in CONVERSION by letting the split test erode CONGRUITY.  (And sometimes it does more than partially erode the gain, it down right decimates it, or puts you in a worse position than you were to begin with)

This is the answer to the seemingly impossible “AdWords Catch 22”  where it seems like every gain in CTR is offset by a corresponding loss in conversion.

Moreover, when you DO obsessively address congruity between ad and landing page (at least in the 20% of adgroups responsible for 80% of your traffic) you’ll find it’s much easier to make the SALE, not just get the opt in.

That’s because keeping congruous landing pages is the exception, not the rule in Adwords.  Don’t believe me?  Go check out a dozen Adwords landing pages in your market and compare them carefully to the exact promise of the ads that took you there.

Do you see the opportunity?

Short story?

  • Link your top adgroups to their own landing pages
  • As you make split testing gains, try changing the landing pages to match the evolving promise in the adwords winning ads

Get rewarded with all those blessings conferred on advertisers able to garner high CTR and CONVERSIONS… an evolving dominance of your particular corner of the internet.

Hope it helps,

Dr G 🙂

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