How Search Marketers Can Use Landing Page Testing to Influence Offline Ad Campaigns

Search marketers deal with landing pages everyday in their work, but not all landing pages are created for paid search campaigns. Many landing pages, or sometimes entire sites are created for offline advertising on television, radio, and magazine ads.

Should these landing pages be tested as well? I talked to Google Website Optimizer’s Tom Leung to get his thoughts on how testing can influence offline campaigns.

Leung said there are two ways that tools like Website Optimizer can be used in offline campaigns:

  1. As already mentioned, to test landing pages created for traffic coming in from offline ad campaigns.
  2. Using paid search or display ad campaigns to make informed decisions on creatives designed for offline ad campaigns.

The second point really got my attention. Leung expanded by saying that SEM’s can use landing page testing as a “bargaining chip to get a seat at the table with other marketers in your organization.”

This information gained from testing is highly useful to marketers planning offline campaigns. As a search marketer, you can use testing and analytics tools to be the one in their department or agency who knows the most about a target audience. That knowledge is highly useful to your colleagues, and can help you work more as an integrated team.

Even though offline and online campaigns can generate interest from consumers with different expectations, at the very least, testing can rule out things that don’t work. An image, text, or highlighted feature that just doesn’t resonate can be discovered through landing page testing. Marketers can test these factors in a paid search or other online ad test, and use the results to develop creatives for offline ads.

Online ad tests can also be used in advance of an offline-to-web ad campaign.

For offline traffic driven to landing pages, you can use those preliminary tests to narrow down the number of landing page options for the initial traffic driven from the offline ad. When the offline traffic begins to arrive (and you’re expecting enough traffic to run a test), you can test the first visitors. You don’t want to test more than 1 page per 100 conversions. Multivariate testing should generally be reserved for large, national campaigns.

WiderFunnel Marketing used Website Optimizer for Tourism BC’s TV-to-Web ad campaign for According to a published case study, the campaign targeted the Los Angeles and San Francisco markets. Tourism BC experienced a 52% conversion rate (filling out a web form), up 7% from the previous year.

Even though search marketing has been gaining ground for years, SEMs still may find themselves struggling to lend their insight to traditional marketing methods that have been around for decades. Landing page testing is not just a must for SEMs in their own work but can be a strength to participate in the greater strategy at hand.

What do you think about landing page testing and integrating marketing campaigns? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

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