The problem with running good ads for bad websites


The job of a good AdWords ad is to “win the click”

Google AdWords drives targeted traffic to your website, so let’s start with what makes a good ad.

The Ad Copy should be relevant to the carefully selected target keywords and include messages to attract attention, so that the person searching Google:

  • knows that the ad relates to what he/she was searching for
  • wants to click on the ad and find out more.

The Ad Copy can also “plant the seed” for the action that you want people to take once they visit your website. For example, by including “buy online, save 10%” in the ad copy, people clicking on the ad are already aware of how much they can save if they buy online. Which can make them more likely to act.

When AdWords ads are doing their job well, they are attracting well targeted, quality clicks.

The job of a good business website is to get people to convert

Once people visit your website, the website needs to win the conversion, which might be signing up for your e-Newsletter, submitting an online enquiry, completing a purchase or another important action.

If the website is bad, the conversion is less likely to happen. In the worst cases, conversions are non-existent.

Which means that if you’re running AdWords ads you’ve spent money getting people to your website but you aren’t getting a return on your advertising investment.

What makes a website bad?

A few things that spring to mind in terms of bad websites are:

  • Being hard to navigate
  • Having an outdated design
  • Small, hard to read fonts
  • Using garish colours
  • It’s difficult to tell what the business does
  • Overly complicated check-out or sign-up process
  • The “Search” field doesn’t work
  • Links are broken
  • Important information like Contact Details or Product Pricing is hard to find or non-existent
  • The copy is boring and wasn’t written for the web.

For AdWords, a bad website is also one that isn’t relevant to the keywords and ad copy used in the AdWords campaign.

Test an AdWords campaign to find out how well the visitors convert

There are different levels of “bad” for websites. For example:

  • The website might have some or all of the things mentioned above.
  • It might look awesome, but be let down by the copy.
  • The copy might be awesome but be let down by the design.

You also need to take your competitors websites into consideration.

It’s really easy for people click on several ads in quick succession to see what’s available and then go back to the website that appealed to them the most.

Even though at first glance the website might seem OK, if your website is just OK and your competitors websites are awesome, then relatively speaking your website doesn’t cut it in the fast moving web world.

Another consideration is that although your website may have been good a few years ago, if your new and/or existing competitors now have awesome new websites, then relatively speaking, your website isn’t as good as it used to be. And because more and more people are searching using mobile devices, to compete in today’s market your website needs to be mobile optimised.

Are you getting plenty of website visitors but no results?

No sales. No sign ups. No enquiries. No sharing of your content on social media.

You can also do the old tried and tested “ask a friend” what they think of your website. But if they’re not in your target audience, or they don’t feel they can’t be completely honest, you’re no better off.

Another option is to check your website analytics tool, like Google Analytics.

Once your AdWords and Analytics accounts are linked, you can see exactly how the AdWords traffic performs once people arrive at your website.

You’ll probably see that some people Bounce, which is pretty normal for AdWords in my experience (and a Bounce is not always bad, for example if someone visits your website to find your phone number and finds it easily on the home page). But some people should stick around and get engaged. Depending upon the product or service you offer, it might take a few visits before they convert, but ideally you want new visitors to view several pages and spend at least a minute or two looking around.

If your website is the issue, there’s plenty of changes that can be made to improve your results. Get in touch today to find out about our web design services.