Including today there are 19 more shopping days before Christmas. By now you probably have all your ads out there doing their job; the only thing left to do is help the customers as they walk into your store and use your website.
Handling the in-store customers should be second nature for any retail employee; otherwise that employee wouldn't be on a selling floor. The typical salesperson will greet a customer as they walk into the store and attend to their needs. Customers will probably ask for a specific item if they were drawn to your store by a specific ad. Customer service and salesmanship will come into play as you show the item and appeal to their emotions to make the sale.
Naturally with online advertising you are inviting customers to visit your website rather than your store. In this scenario you don't have the direct customer interaction to show them the item they are looking for; instead you need to show the customer exactly why they visited your website. You do that by tuning your landing pages to match your ads.
As I describe the following examples, I'll refer to "online ads" in general terms rather than specifics. These ads refer to a wide array of online ads including Google AdWords, website banner ads, Facebook ads, pay per click campaigns, blogging ads, community websites, and email newsletters.
Here's how you match your online ads to your website pages...
First, understand that all online ads must have a hyperlink that leads the customer to a page on your website. That page does not have to be your home page; it can be any page. This hyperlinked page is called the "landing page" for your ad.
Customers are always attracted to headlines and photographs. If your online ad says 20% off a purchase then the landing page of your website must also state 20% off your purchase. If the ad shows a pair of garnet earrings, then the landing page must also show that same pair of earrings.
You can hide the landing pages in your website so it will only be seen by people clicking the ads. Make sure you keep those landing pages updated for however often you update your online ads.
Your website doesn't have the ability to ask someone how they are and what they are looking for; but if your ad says 20% off then you know that they expect to see items on sale for 20% off or more. If your ad showed garnet earrings then your landing page must provide that immediate connection by showing the same pair of earrings. To generate a greater interest in your offer, you should also show a different but still identifiable photo of those same earrings instead of a repeat of one they saw in the online ad.
You can't afford to confuse your customer. If your ad says "20% off" you should not say "Save $20 on your $100 purchase," even though it's the same thing. If your online ad shows a sapphire ring, then don't land the customer on a page that shows a general product catalog, or worse, an out of context emerald ring. It's like they asked to see bridal and you took out the watches.
Online customers don't have the ability to ask you directly, and they also won't bother digging through your website in hopes to find those items on sales for 20% off or for those specific earrings. They would sooner leave.
Without getting into additional devilish details, those are the basics of how you need to match your online ads with your landing pages. Each ad with a unique selling proposition should have a unique landing page showing the same or similar headlines.