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Anyone keeping track should know that Google isn’t afraid to shutter a beloved service or tool at their whim. We’re all still mourning the loss of Google Reader, but Eric Siu from Entrepeneur says we should also be gearing up to lose the popular Google Adwords External Keyword Research Tool.

The free tool for Adwords is commonly used by site owners to dig up statistics on keyword search volume, estimated traffic volume, and average cost per click, but the most loved capability was the determining which specific keywords a site owner should targer with their future optimization strategies and PPC campaigns.

Google hasn’t announced anything yet, so there isn’t a confirmed shutdown date or any known information, but rumors suggest it could happen anytime. Google has implied the Adwords tool will be combined into a new program referred to as the Keyword Planner, but it won’t necessarily be the same.

The External Keyword Research Tool essentially contained an assortment of disjointed workflows which gave the site owner a little freedom as to how they use the tool, but the Keyword Planner has one explicit purpose – helping advertisers set up their new PPC ad groups and campaigns as quickly as possible. But, the Keyword Planner doesn’t include ad share statistics or local search trends.

If the External Keyword Research Tool is at all a part of your PPC or SEO campaigns, you should likely begin getting to know the Keyword Planner now. You’ll have to eventually.

You can do a lot of different things with landing pages, be it selling something, encouraging visitors to subscribe to a newsletter, or trying to get people to sign a petition. No matter which of these goals you have, you are ultimately trying to get visitors to perform an action.

Making a great landing page seems like it should be easy, but it is more complex than you may think. This leads to poor sales because a landing page is only working if it is getting people to convert.

With that in mind, let’s examine the most common problems with landing pages.

  1. Mismatching Text Ad Copy and Landing Page Headline – There are numerous reasons you should make sure your Google AdWords text ads match your landing page headline. For users, the text ad creates an expectation, and you don’t want to confuse your visitors or make them feel mislead. The quality of your landing page also decides cost-per-click in AdWords, so if you raise your quality score, you will lower your cost-per-click.
  2. Poor Grammar and Misspelled Words – Throwing up a quick landing page is always a terrible idea because it leads to a ton of smaller problems. One of those is bad spelling and grammar. This is one of those mistakes that just shouldn’t be allowed to happen. Your visitors will take any reason you give them to not convert, and this one is a big reason to leave.
  3. No Trust Signals – To get visitors to convert, you have to establish trust. You can build this into your landing page in just a few ways. If you establish your brand’s popularity, people will view it as credible. You can also present your 3rd party certifications with organizations like Verisign or the Better Business Bureau. You can also establish trust by making positive mentions of your brand in the press easily available on the landing page.
  4. Lack of Good Call-to-Actions – You’re call to actions are important to help make people convert. They should also be compelling, with practical language, and solid, consistent design. You should also keep it short, between 90 and 150 characters. You need to make it clear what you want the visitor to do, but short enough to keep their attention.
  5. Poor Quality Videos or Images – Videos on your landing page can help boost conversion rates by about 80%. Images don’t raise conversions that much, but they still have their own positive effect on visitor activity. This doesn’t mean you can just toss up any image or video you want however. Poor quality images or videos will actually lower conversion rates rather than improve them.

Eric Siu from Unbounce has even more common mistakes, but these will help get you started with making sure users are converting. Remember, if users aren’t converting, your landing page has problems.