When a Client’s Website is Sabotaging Their PPC Success (And What One Agency Did About It)

Digital marketing agency Webistry helped the fine folk at a local dentist office (pictured above) secure 400% more conversions by convincing them to not send PPC traffic to their website…

As the Search or Acquisition Marketer at a digital agency, many obstacles can stand in the way of getting your clients more conversions. Maybe your copy isn’t quite capturing the offering’s unique value? Maybe you’re seeing diminishing returns optimizing in AdWords?

Or maybe it’s your client who is standing in the way of their own success. More specifically, it could be their website sabotaging paid advertising efforts.

Stefano Apostolakos of Montreal-based Digital Agency Webistry experienced this first hand when consulting for a local dental clinic, Centre Dentaire Les Cours. His client, Co-Owner Alex Aoun, had just invested a ton of money into their new website, and he was amped to start sending paid traffic to it so they could book more appointments via email and phone.

Thing is, the traffic they were sending to the dental office’s newly minted website just wasn’t converting. 💸  Stefano explains:

We were running paid ads for multiple dental services all leading to the same generic page within [the client’s] site with poor performance: [we saw] conversion rates under 1% combined for forms and phone calls.

Based on industry averages for pages in the health vertical, this was pretty low (the median conversion rate for landing pages in this industry is 2.8%) — and Stefano knew the agency could bring in better returns if they focused on the post-click experience.

Psst. See what conversion rates typically look like for landing pages in the health industry (and several other industries) in the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark report.

Thus began Stefano’s journey toward convincing Alex to bypass the fancy new website altogether and instead send their PPC traffic to dedicated landing pages for each campaign.

The new plan to direct ad traffic to landing pages increased the dental clinic’s conversion rate from under 1% to upwards of 5%, but it also brought them:

  • A better Quality Score
  • A drop in Cost Per Click
  • An increase in impression share
  • A better night’s sleep, probably

Here’s exactly how Webistry did it (and how your agency can too).

The first hurdle: Convincing your client their website isn’t making the cut

Stefano’s dentistry client Alex had just spent big money on a website he was proud of. It had modern design and listed all of the dentistry’s specialized services in great detail: dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, whitening, emergency services and more:

The site was beautiful (which is sometimes half the battle), but paid traffic from ads to the generic services page just wasn’t converting. Stefano suspected that it was because prospects who were clicking on specific search terms were getting confused after being sent to a generic, catch-all page.

He knew that a more targeted approach to his client’s PPC campaigns was the answer. But when he suggested building a page per dental service (one for whitening, one for emergency, one for dentures), the client pushed back — and to be fair, Stefano understood why:

He’d just dropped a ton of cash on a new website, why would he need to invest even more money in something new?

Stefano convinced his client to hop on the phone. He wanted to explain exactly why he thought landing pages were the smartest thing his client could invest in next. He focused in on two main concepts:

  • Stefano explained that if prospects click on an ad for teeth whitening but land on a generic services page with wisdom teeth extraction listed at the top, this causes cognitive dissonance — and this confusion makes prospects bounce.

    People who search for and then click on an ad with “teeth whitening” in the headline expect to land on a page with “teeth whitening” in the headline.

  • Second, Stefano explained the importance of attention ratio. If prospects click on an ad for teeth whitening but land on a page with a ton of external links, they can easily lose sight of the action they were trying to complete — booking an appointment, for example.

    If the client continued to send traffic to the generic website, there’s a chance prospects could get distracted with the Facebook icon in the sidebar, click through and see a competitor’s display ad in their feed (you can kiss that lead goodbye!).

    Landing pages, on the other hand, narrow a visitor’s focus and get more people to follow through with the intended call to action.

With this, the client was sold on running a test — a proof of concept of sorts. And they weren’t disappointed:

After sending traffic to landing pages we created from Unbounce templates, we immediately saw a lift in conversions from 0.8% [on the client’s previous site] to 1.6%.

This gave the client the confidence to let Stefano double down on their PPC ad to landing page strategy.

The real game changer: Dedicated pages for each offer

Once Stefano had buy-in from his client, he set out to create hyper-targeted landing pages for every single service offered by his dentistry client — from Invisalign to emergency services to root canals.

Now, if a prospect searches and clicks on a text ad for “laser teeth whitening”…

…they land on a page that addresses their search intent and reinforces they’ve made “a good click”:

Click to view full-length landing page.

Similarly, if prospects click an ad for “emergency services”…

Translation: “Emergency dentist in Montreal – Do your teeth hurt? Get a same-day appointment, Monday through Friday. All types of emergencies accepted.”

…they’ll land on a page with a headline that matches the ad’s copy:

Translation: “Do your teeth hurt? Wait no longer! No matter what your emergency is, we can help you out right in downtown Montreal.” Click for full-length landing page.

The branding of these landing pages matches that of the client’s website, and the extra real estate afforded by a full, dedicated landing page also gives Stefano and his client more room to:

  1. Educate clients about their services: For example, their whitening landing page compares the four different whitening procedures in depth: the prices, duration of each treatment and even which is most popular. This is key information some prospects will need before booking a procedure.
  2. Build trust: Stefano has found that showing the team (the dentists, the specialists, the hygienists and even the receptionists) humanizes the services offered by the dental clinic and helps to build credibility.

Overall, Webistry created a better experience for his dentistry client’s prospects and allowed them to find exactly what they were searching for. In turn, this brings Stefano’s client better results for their PPC campaigns:

Now that we’ve built custom, unique pages per campaign (per service type), conversion rates are in the 5%+ range (combined forms and phone calls).

Stefano has created campaigns and dedicated landing pages for several of his client’s services: dental implants, wisdom teeth extraction, whitening, emergency services and more. His highest-converting campaign landing page for Centre Dentaire Les Cours — for the emergency services page — converts at 12.37%.

Not too shabby.

Bonus: Keep delighting your prospects by increasing conversions month after month

This strategy brought Stefano’s client a better conversion rate along with many other gains: a better Quality Score, a drop in Cost Per Click and a better impression share. Getting his client clicks at under a dollar is a big deal when the customer lifetime value of a dental clinic is pretty darn high. 💪

As an added bonus, using dedicated landing pages makes A/B testing campaigns a breeze. This means that Stefano and his agency can continue to improve his client’s conversion rates month over month.

This makes Stefano’s agency services indispensable to his client and makes them more likely to keep doing business with Webistry. Here’s how Stefano’s client, the clinic’s Co-Owner Alex Aoun, put it:

There’s no better feeling than realizing your receptionist is too busy to handle the increase in phone calls and email inquiries. When you need to hire a second receptionist to keep up, you know you have a good problem on your hands!

Pretty sweet if you ask me — so sweet it’s makin’ my tooth hurt.

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