You're spending money on Google AdWords. Searchers see your ad and click.
Google instantly charges you a few dollars.
The visitor is delivered to your site.
In many cases, the visitor takes a quick look around, usually looking only at the landing page, and—in the blink of an eye—leaves your site.
You just paid for a visit that lasted six seconds?
What's the deal?
The visitor wants what you're offering, or he or she wouldn't have been searching in the first place: the visitor needs help. Why did the visitor leave after just a few seconds?
Here's why the visitor left: the visitor feels like he or she landed in the wrong place. The visitor feels like you weren't expecting him or her. The visitor doesn't feel welcome.
It's kind of like when a guy walks into the women's restroom by accident: he quickly realizes he's in the wrong spot and bolts for the door. Boom—he's gone.
Your visitors need to feel expected. They need to feel welcome. They need to feel like they've walked in the right door and that they're where they're supposed to be.
The big mistakes that law firms typically make are as follows:
First, the landing page doesn't match up with the ad. For instance, the ad is about divorce, and the landing page is about the law firm. There's no reference to the problem the visitor was seeking to solve.
Second, the landing page is the law firm home page. There's nothing special to attract visitors' attention. They thought you were expecting them when they saw your ad, but your home page makes them feel like you didn't realize they were coming. They're not sure they're in the right place.
Finally, the landing page is about a variety of issues (family law, estate planning, criminal law, etc.). Visitors wonder whether you want to help them or just anybody who wanders along. Now they're not sure whether they clicked on the right ad.
Here's the deal: when they click on your ad, they get delivered to your page. Think of that page as you standing in the foyer being welcoming. You need to be expecting them, welcoming them, offering them a drink, and showing them to a nice place to sit down and talk. The page is your proxy, and it needs to be as welcoming as you would be if you could meet all of your site visitors in person.
They see the ad about divorce. Click. The landing page is about divorce. In fact, it uses the same headline as the ad. It immediately offers the help they're seeking. They feel like you understand why they clicked on that ad in the first place. You're offering them exactly what they expected to get when they clicked on the ad. There's tight integration between the ad and the landing page.
Match the ad content to the landing page. That might require building a multitude of landing pages. Address the problem that you claim to solve in the ad. Make each link in the process feel seamless with a tight connection between steps.
When visitors find what they expect to find—when you exhibit an awareness of what they were thinking when they clicked—they'll stick around. They'll explore your site and take action to move forward. Give them what they expect, and they'll do what you need them to do.