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Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

| ‎20-08-2013 04:12 PM

Hi everyone,

 

Please welcome Camilo from Royal Resorts Caribbean the latest applicant from our Boost Your AdWords Account: Crowdsourcing Solutions for the Back-to-School Season series. Camilo is the Digital Marketer and Social Media Strategist for the company.

 

Business information: Royal Resorts Caribbean is an international resort/vacation club company with three properties in the Caribbean: St. Maarten, Curacao & Aruba. Currently, they are focusing their PPC efforts on the St Maarten Resort, which is Simpson Bay Resort & Marina. For Camilo’s business, they are looking for conversions in the form of reservations through their online booking engine.

 

URL:www.royalresortscaribbean.com

 

2013-08-20_16-11-25.jpg

 

AdWords account: Camilo is currently running two campaigns — one search and one display. The Display Network campaign is relatively new, while the search campaign has been active for months.  Camilo recently did some optimization work on the search campaign; he reduced keywords, organized his ad groups, and added negative keywords. Thus far, he’s seen a boost in some keywords’ Quality Scores and in the CTR (in some cases, increasing CTR from 1% to 10%). Since the Display Network campaign is newer, Camilo isn’t able to draw many conclusions as to how it’s working thus far.

 

What Camilo’s business needs help with:

 

The metrics within the account look good (good Quality Score, good CTR), but the clicks aren’t translating into bookings. Camilo is tracking conversions with Google Analytics, and he’s noticing that the online bookings aren’t coming from his ad landing pages. All bookings are coming through the resort’s main websites.

 

Here are some of the ad landing pages. Any idea why his conversions aren’t happening on these pages? Or how to increase conversions, in general?

Leave your ideas for Camilo as a comment below!

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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

Reply to CocoP
| ‎21-08-2013 01:24 AM
I suspect that the reason that all bookings come from the main websites is because the tags are being lost.

The booking engine is on a different domain with a different GA account. Thus all traffic that goes to that site to complete a booking will simply be tracked as a referral from the first domain regardless of the original traffic source.

You will need to get cross domain tracking in place to hold on to the tags as the visitor moves from the landing pages into the booking engine.

So conversions may well be happening - and anything else we might suggest at this point would be speculation....
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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

Reply to stickleback
| ‎21-08-2013 07:03 AM
Thanks for the feedback, Steve!

Whenever someone does a search from a landing page, it takes them to the booking engine passing over a hidden PHP variable indicating the affiliate code of the landing page. Each landing page has its own affiliate code, and on the bookings report there are 3 instances of landing page affiliate codes registered.

Having said that, I will certainly look into what you mention.

Thanks again and best regards ,
Camilo
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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

Reply to Camilo Olea
| ‎21-08-2013 07:24 AM

HI 

@Camilo Olea 

While i agree with steve that you have a problem in crosssdomain traciking and it needs to be looked at and for this you should refer to this article

But the bigger challenge you have is you have diffrent analytics codes on landing page and on secure booking page

your landing page has analytics code for account UA-20989684-1 while your secure booking page has analytics code for account UA-41863237-1.

Cross domain tracking will only work if you have same analytics codes on both domains.

 

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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

Reply to Camilo Olea
| ‎21-08-2013 07:30 AM
Hi Camilo, Have you tried looking at your conversion data in Analytics by segments? Are they new or returning visitors? What keywords did they come in on? Are you running on those same keywords? Have you also looked in Analytics at the Multi-Channel Funnels? There might be conversions happening from PPC, but might not be last click.

I guess I'm just trying to figure out why your traffic coming from your homepage is different from your PPC landing pages. Once we figure out why that traffic is different, we can work on improving your PPC.
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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

Reply to Joe R
| ‎21-08-2013 08:01 AM
Thanks for the additional feedback, Nik & Joe.

I appreciate all the analytics info and will look into it, but as I mentioned, we are doing a tracking by inserting a hidden PHP variable in each landing page booking engine interface; so that when the user is taken to the main booking website, the variable persists and if the booking is made it will be attributed to the referring landing page. This is working correctly, as proved by the couple of landing page conversions we have in our bookings report.

I've heard that it is "normal" in the travel business to have low conversion rates for online bookings via landing pages; apparently people prefer to book by calling. Does anyone here has experience in the travel industry that could confirm or deny this?

Thanks,
Camilo
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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

Reply to Joe R
| ‎21-08-2013 08:19 AM

I want to focus on the content; since I am a great fan of travel  / hotels / airlines' websites...I can spend hours comparing the layout; content, site structure and online booking systems ...

 

  • You have too much text: add more pictures; users want to see (in pictures!)  the rooms, the neighborhood, the seashore; the lobby,  the gym, the bar, the night life, marine activities...
  • Add reviews!!  I  noticed that you are ranked 3 out of 6 among  resorts in St Maarten-St Martin; Only one landing  page clearly shows Tripadvisor's reviews. (Though, you do need to work on the ranking ... This is the #1 website users check for leisure activities / vacations.)
  • The website itself is much better (in my view ) in design and content, than the landing pages. I would direct the users to the website.
  • I tried to book a suite: I was shown all available  suites s in small pics. I bounced! This is not appealing. The user wants to see nice pics of the suites and amenities included. Did you think about   extra amenities   as a promotion (free wifi? Free gym access?, ....) - Travelers like that...
  •  

-Moshe

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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

[ Edited ]
Reply to CocoP
| ‎21-08-2013 08:21 AM
Last edited 21-08-2013 08:25 AM by Adrian B

I would invest 2-300 $ in a separate android phone + a 32 Gb microSD card and a number dedicated to your adwords landing pages . I would download a free software for automatic call recording for all calls and download the phone call log as an excel table weekly to measure calls in Excel ( no. of calls, duration).  This is how you can track phone conversions quick and easy. 

 

Also try in your Display Campaign to use something that not many competitors would : targeting gmail with keywords , there are 2 placements described here :

 

https://support.google.com/adwords/answer/2404243?hl=en

 

mail.google.com::Inbox,Top center

 

and 

 

mail.google.com

 

Target for common expressions used by travel agencies in offers + words for your location.

 

[Later edit] Subscribe to your competitor's newsletters with a secondary address just to see what offers they send via email to learn from them. Use the keywords from your competitors newsletters as keywords in your gmail campaign.

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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

Reply to MosheTLV
| ‎21-08-2013 08:26 AM
0
Thank you so much, Moshe! We're already working on the pictures part; we'll be adding "prettyphoto" galleries both in the landing pages and the booking engine.

Any other observations are greatly appreciated, thanks! :smileyhappy:
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Re: Boost Your AdWords Account: Finding effective landing pages

Reply to CocoP
| ‎21-08-2013 08:27 AM

Hi Camilo, can I ask what conversion rates you are seeing through AdWords, (assuming you're seeing some!).

 

In terms of the landing pages/booking issue, I wonder if there's a time element here.  With something like a holiday - potentially quite an expensive one - I'd expect your visitors to need more than one visit to make their minds up and possibly quite some time as well.  They may, for example, decide in December they'd like a Caribbean holiday and find your site but they may not make a final decision until much later, February or March, possibly after many visits to your site.


I think this explains the flaw in your passed variable idea.  Unless I'm mistaken, this method will only work if someone clicks an Ad, lands on your specific landing page then directly goes to complete a booking.  If, as I suspect, many of your visitors are taking 2 or more visits to complete a booking and if, as is often the case, those later visits are not through Ads but through an organic search (because they already know your name/site) or through a bookmark, the passed variable idea won't be attributing that booking to AdWords because these later visits will be landing on your main site.

 

As a comparison, one of my clients sells high value, low volume items and the path to final conversion is often more than 3 separate visits and it's not uncommon to find the path longer than 5 visits, including multiple Ad clicks, organic searches and direct visits in that path.

 

As has already been suggested by Joe, I would look closely at your Multi-Channel Funnels reports both in Analytics and AdWords to get an idea of how your visitor paths go.  I think it is very unlikely you'll be getting many people booking after only a single click on your Ad.

 

I would strongly recommend you find some way to insert the Google Conversion code into your booking confirmation.  It's so important it's worth switching your booking engine provider for.  You cannot make good, solid decisions about AdWords spend unless you can accurately track your conversions.

 

With this said, even if you place the code on your booking engine, you should remain aware that AdWords only tracks conversions for 30 days since the last click so if the path to conversion is long and the latter clicks are all organic or direct, you may still "lose" some conversions.

 

Jon

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