Maximize Your Ad Spend ROI with Post-Click Optimization

Maximize Your Ad Spend ROI with Post-Click Optimization

Last updated on by Fahad Muhammad in AdWords Advertising, Conversion Optimization


There are a lot of requirements you must pass to have your ad published on search engines and social media networks. This is precisely why marketers give a lot of importance to creating optimized ads – making use of actionable copy and ad extensions to add that extra bit of detail that’ll persuade visitors to click.

Creating the perfect ad is hard work:

It’s pretty common to find an ad like the second one in your SERP:

post-click optimization robohead-search-result

The ad has all the psychological bells and whistles needed for the click. There’s a mention of a 60-Day Guarantee, the tool is proclaimed to be surprisingly affordable and has excellent 24/7 service. Clicking the ad seems only natural with everything that is listed.

This is the Robohead landing page where the ad directs visitors to post-click:

post-click optimization robohead-landing-page

And this is where things start to go wrong.

The search engine query that prompted the ad included the keywords (phrases) ‘task management’ and ‘SMBs.’ The ad headline included the phrase ‘Task Mgmt, ’ and the ad copy proclaims that the ‘tool is built for the type of work you do’ which the visitor naturally assumed meant small business tasks.

However, the page the visitor is directed to post-click has no mention of both the keywords that made them click the ad in the first place. Plus, the list of ‘Happy Clients’ includes brands such as Sega, National Geographic, Honda and Cisco which are far from being SMBs.

post-click optimization robohead-customer-badges

What happens next is a no-brainer, the visitor bounces.

The average bounce rate of landing pages is 70-80%.

The main reason for this alarmingly high landing page bounce rate is an absence of post-click optimization.

Creating an optimized ad is important, yes, but the ad click is not the only thing that’s important. To get conversions, you need to work on post-click optimization just as hard as the pre-click optimization.

What is Post-Click Optimization?

Post-click optimization refers to the process of optimizing the components of your post-click marketing. (i.e., The landing pages visitors land on after they click an online ad or an email link.)

To ensure you properly optimize the post-click marketing experience for visitors let’s divide the experience into two phases:

  1. Post Ad Landing Page Phase: This phase includes the dedicated page visitors land on after they click your ad. The purpose of this step is to reassure the visitor they’ve landed in the right place and persuade them to click the CTA/convert for your offer.
  2. Thank You Page Phase: This phase of post-click marketing includes a “Thank You” page/email. The purpose of this phase is to validate the visitors’ visit, nurture a relationship with and increase the chances of retention.

Optimizing both these phases of the visitor journey encourages post-click engagement which in turn can increase conversions.

The Post Ad Landing Page Phase Optimization

This phase begins immediately after visitors click an ad or a link that takes them to a landing page. The purpose of this phase is two fold:

  1. Reassure visitors they’ve come to the right place from the ad click.
  2. Persuade them to click the CTA button and convert (With the help of the combination of landing page elements and design)

Visitors who consciously click an ad are optimistic because they believe they’re about to find the answer to their query or receive a solution to their problem.

Landing pages that are relevant to the ad keep visitors’ hope alive and the likelihood that they’ll click the CTA button click increases. When landing pages fail to form a connection with the ad, they also fail to form a connection with the visitor.

How do you ensure that your landing page is relevant to the ad or link that directed visitors to the page? The answer to this question is quite simple really: by ensuring message match.

What is Message Match?

Message match is the process of matching the content of an ad to the content of a landing page so that the message is reinforced in the mind of the prospect, and they know it’s relevant.

When your ad and landing page have message match, the visitor is reassured that they’ve come to the page they intended. Then the first phase is achieved. You’ll want to be sure you factor in user intent when creating ads and connect them to relevant landing pages.

We’ve already looked at the RoboHead example where message match was absent. The ad headline and copy didn’t correspond to the landing page headline and copy.

In contrast, let’s look at Tableau’s ad and landing page that do maintain message match.

post-click optimization tableau ad

Here’s the landing page the visitor is directed to after the click:

post-click optimization Tableau landing page

The landing page has the same headline and image as the ad, so the visitor knows that they arrived where they intended.

Pardot’s ad and corresponding landing page also have the same headline, ensuring message match:

post-click optimization pardot ad

post-click optimization robohead-customer-badges

However, to maintain message match, it is not necessary to use the same image in both your ad and landing page.

You just need to ensure that the message in the ad and page are portraying are the same, and make use of the same keywords in your ad copy and landing page headline and copy.

For example, the Net Results weekly workshop ad copy talks about building a recurring revenue business:

post-click optimization net results

The landing page headline includes the same message of building a recurring revenue but adds detail by adding the amount and time period:

post-click optimization net-results-landing-page

Message match is not only restricted to an ad and landing page, but it should also exist between a marketing email and its corresponding landing page.

This is what Marketing Prof’s does with their marketing email that talks about going Pro:

post-click optimization marketing-profs-email

The landing page headline and copy also talk about going pro and establish message match:

post-click optimization marketing-profs-landing-page

Once message match has reassured visitors they’ve come to the right place, the optimization of landing page elements and design need to persuade visitors to convert.

We’ve talked at length about optimization of landing page elements in our landing page guide.

Here’s a short recap of the elements your optimized landing page must have to persuade visitors to convert:

Testing is also an important part of optimizing the post ad landing page phase.

You can conduct A/B tests to compare two versions of your landing page and see which one performs better. You should also use Heat Maps to collect data on visitor behavior on your landing pages to conduct better informed A/B tests.

When your landing has message match and the aforementioned optimized elements, you’ll be more successful in getting the click and moving the visitor on to the next phase of your post-click marketing: the “Thank You page” phase.

Optimizing the Thank You Page

It’s easy to lose sight of the big picture when you get a conversion.

By all means, rejoice and throw your ceremonial conversion hats in the air, however, don’t forget that the visitor journey doesn’t end with the post ad landing page CTA button click.

In fact, the opportunity for nurturing and retaining the visitor who’s converted has just begun if you properly optimize your Thank You pages and emails.

What is a Thank You page?

The Thank You page is exactly what its name suggests; it’s a page that offers a note of thanks to visitors after they click the landing page CTA button. A thank you; email serves the same purpose as the Thank You page.

A typical Thank You page consists of a thank you message for a visitor who has just converted. The purpose of the Thank You page is to validate the visitor’s click and nurture a relationship with them.

When you sign-up on Copy Hackers’ Tutorial Tuesday landing page showcased below:

post-click optimization TT

This is the page the visitor comes to after they click the CTA button:

post-click optimization TT post click

The headline ‘Webinar Registration Approved’ is appropriate, but it doesn’t give visitors that warm and fuzzy feeling they need to have to know that they’ve just made a good decision. There’s a description of the webinar, and an option to cancel the registration, but, there’s no thank you note, no personalized copy that could cultivate a relationship with the visitor.

They do try to make up for that fact with this Thank You email, but it feels a little too late:

post-click optimization TT Thank you

What we have here is a missed conversion opportunity.

An optimized Thank You page, and email doesn’t let conversion opportunities go by because it incorporates the following elements:

Here’s what happens when you sign-up to watch Instapage’s webinar:

post-click optimization Instapage-webinar-page

This is the Thank You page the visitor lands on after filling out the form:

post-click optimization Instapage-thank-you-page

The headline validates the click. Also, the page copy gives the visitor the option to sign-up for the other three webinars in the series, nurturing the visitor into extending their relationship with the brand.

The thank you email maintains the same tone, which adds to the offer’s credibility:

post-click optimization instapage-thank-you-email

Post-Click Optimization Increases Conversions

Your visitor embarks on a journey as soon they click your ad.

How far the visitor will go in their journey depends on how you optimize your post-click marketing components. Maintaining message match between your ad and landing page reassures visitors that they’ve made a good decision by clicking your ad and optimized elements on that page ensure they fill the form and click the CTA button.

An optimized thank you page endorses the visitor’s purchase and nurtures a relationship with them that helps with retention.

Don’t let potential visitors walk away by not optimizing your post-click journey – use optimized landing pages and Thank You pages to move your visitors down your marketing funnel.

Create professional optimized landing pages at scale with the Instapage 100% customizable landing pages builder and ensure you post-click marketing never fails to impress.

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