Many paid search advertisers send visitors to landing pages that sell specific products and/or services. Landing pages are not the only option available to PPC advertisers – there are many more things paid search advertisers can do in order to generate leads, sales or just plain old allow people/prospects/visitors to obtain basic information about businesses.

In this article, I’ll discuss alternative options for landing pages such as Google maps/Google Places listings, using phone numbers in paid search advertising, and strategies involving the Apple App store and Amazon.com.

Google Maps/Google Places

Using a Google Places listings is a good strategy to encourage walk-in traffic or to encourage people to connect offline with a company. It tends to work very well for local businesses like restaurants, family doctors, chiropractors, brick and mortar stores with numerous locations, etc. — basically any business that wants to drive traffic to a specific store location.

In PPC advertising, Google Places and PPC ads are synced using location extensions.

In the campaign level settings tab, advertisers have the option to choose “display Google Places information”. Advertisers also have the option to manually input business address information.

Here’s an example of a location extension in a PPC ad:

Using Google Places is a good strategy as visitors are able to get an overview of businesses at a quick glance. It’s a good idea to spend time optimizing Google Places listings not only for PPC but because ads appear in organic searches too.

A well-optimized Google places listings should display the following information: hours of operation, price range (if applicable), photos, videos, product offerings, coupons, reviews, ratings, etc.

Here’s an example of a Google Places page from Glowbal Grill & Satay Bar in Vancouver, BC:

Phone Numbers In Paid Search Ads

By adding a phone number to PPC ads, you can save a visitor skip the step of going to your site especially if they already know they want to connect with your business, get additional information, make an appointment, etc. In PPC advertising, this is done via the call extension.

With call extensions, advertisers can either use a company business number or a Google forwarding phone number – Google will dynamically generate unique phone numbers per ad group and calls are routed to your business number.

Note: Click charges apply to visitors that click phone numbers using a mobile device. The calls will cost $1 USD per call for other types of calls to the Google numbers.

Here’s an example of what a call extension looks like in a PPC ad:

Call Analytics

It’s worth noting there are several places in the Google interface advertisers can get information on incoming phone calls:

  1. To see number of calls received, segment by “click type” at the ad group or keyword level.
  2. For more detailed reports, go to the “dimensions” tab and select “view” then “call details”.

Here, you can see the following call details:

  • Call start time
  • Call end time
  • Call status (missed or received)
  • Caller area code
  • Call type

Note: addresses and phone number work well together in PPC ads, so consider using both together in your paid search advertising.

App Store

Another strategy is to try sending advertisers directly to the iPhone app store. With this, advertisers can encourage people to buy an app or download a free app (which is hopefully tied to a monetization plan or upsell strategy).

An example is the Talking Tom app. For an extra 0.99 cents, you can get no advertising and 4 extra Talking Tom animations.

PPC advertising tip: Obviously, when targeting iPhone users, you’ll want to segment the iPhone and ensure other smart phone devices are not selected in the settings tab.

Amazon.com

Another strategy is to drive traffic to Amazon.com. This tends to work well in several specific instances.

In one case, an electronics retailer drove paid search advertising to the Amazon site instead of their site. They wanted to create an image of a “hot” product so that distributors would be convinced to stock the electronics in different places (different channels). Using Amazon also works well for authors who want to make their books look “hot” and encourage sales.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Paid Search Column

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About The Author: was recently voted the 2013 Most influential SEM. She is the Vice President of Online Marketing Strategy at Page Zero Media where she focuses on search engine marketing strategy, landing page optimization (LPO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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