The other day I was doing some test searches (a regular activity when you’re trying to keep tabs on how Google is tweaking ads, testing betas, etc.) and came across an ad that had the display URL of plus.google.com. Here is a screenshot:
Initially I thought that Google was throwing that into the listing to promote their new Google+ Local Pages but the spelling error in the headline (spelling errors are far too common unfortunately) makes me think it’s actually an advertiser using their Google+ page as a landing page. But it got me thinking. How would a Google+ page do as a landing page? What problems might you run into?
Google+ Pages as Landing Pages
First off, let’s look at the landing page (I just had to click through. I’m sorry advertiser):
As you can see this is just a simple Google+ page for some executive suites in Flagstaff. It has an address, a phone number, hours and a quote from the owner telling why they’re good offices. Add in the map and it has the vital pieces of information, but it falls short in a couple areas:
- Poor targeting – I’m searching from Utah. Why the hell would I want an executive office in Flagstaff, AZ? The search query was “shared office space”.
- No reviews – If you’re going to send traffic to a Google+ page, at least put in the effort to have some positive reviews and leverage social proof.
- Weak design – I love Google, but you can put together a more professional and credible landing page with WordPress and a couple free plugins.
Verdict: In this case, I think using a Google+ page as a landing page was a little premature. With a more robust Google+ page I could see this working much better, but right now it seems less effective.
P.S. If more than one advertiser tries this tactic, only 1 could show on a specific search since they use the same root-level display URL. So if this becomes common practice I wouldn’t be surprised to see Google provide a loophole in the policy for it (that’s how much they love their baby Google+ these days)