I was recently working on a project to optimize a landing page that was targeted at paid traffic. The test results didn’t reveal anything of much interest however I was able to uncover a hidden gem in the data.
By segmenting, by channel, the path behavior of visitors hitting the paid landing page, I discovered a large percentage of current members were coming back to the site from paid search.
Using Omniture Discover, I applied a simple segment that included visits where the campaign tracking code contained the word ‘ppc’.
I then applied this segment to a Next Page Flow report. Note, the intended call to action is “Register”.
Quickly, I noticed this odd behavior pattern. This page is targeted at non-members, why are so many members coming back to the site from paid search?
Have you ever watched your mom use the Internet? I have something I call the “Mom Principle”. When my mom wants to visit a website that she knows the URL for, she does this:
In fact, she is not alone, I have seen many MANY people use Google search as their own personal address bar. Could it be possible that visitors to this site are using the Mom Principle to access the site? The data suggests this may very well be the case.
We have already converted this visitor to a member, yet the better we are at keeping them around, the more expensive they become. Let’s suppose they come back to the site 5 times a week. Chances are good that they are taking the same steps to get to the site every time, search Google, click first link they see, which in this case is a paid link. Ouch!
What can we do about it?
Perhaps we can test different copy on paid and natural links. Differentiate paid links, by making a stronger call to register for the site, from natural links that could ask current members to log in.
Change User Behavior
We could detect current members coming to our site from paid search and offer them advice on how to easily access our site, perhaps offering them a link to create a bookmark.
These are just some simple ideas I came up with between eating some pasta and playing Super Mario Bros. with my son, I’m sure you can come up with many more ideas to address the problem (if you come up with some good ones, please do share). However, any amount that we can move the needle will result in cost savings for the company.
It’s getting dark outside, do you know what your paid traffic is doing?