PPC management can seem daunting at time. There are countless levers that can be pulled to change an aspect of an account to adjust it as you see fit. To experienced advertisers this is essential in order to have the type of control over an account that many of us enjoy. However to new advertisers it often feels like trying to learn to golf in that as soon as you fix one component of your game, another seems to go wrong. From choosing the right campaign types to creating tightly knit ad groups along with relevant ad copy; there are many steps along the road to PPC success. The frustrating part is making sure that all of the steps are done the right way, because a single chink in the armor can make all the difference between success and failure. You can do everything right but if you send traffic to a terrible landing page, all of your efforts may have been wasted. Below I want to outline some essential components of landing page success.
One of the most important messages I’ve learned in regards to landing pages, as well as web design in general, comes from a book by Steve Krug. The title “Don’t Make Me Think”, is also the message he intends for good, user friendly web design. The book is a great read and the simplified message of creating webpages that are intuitive and easy for a visitor to navigate is extremely important. When it comes to a landing page, Krug’s concept “Don’t Make Me Think” is even more important. Landing pages are pages different from your main site that are designed to streamline your marketing message and guide a visitor to take a desired action. That being said there is no room on a landing page for extraneous distractions, links to irrelevant areas, or anything other than the minimum that is necessary to allow visitors to convert as simply as possible, without lacking the information they need to take the next step.
Key Components of a Landing Page
If someone clicks on your ad and becomes confused by the page they are taken to, you have made a mistake. Landing pages should clearly highlight the features of your product or service and the visitor should immediately be able to begin making decisions based on these features. People don’t want to come to a home page and then have to find their way around the site to find what they thought they were clicking on by clicking your ad. They want to click on an ad about Umbrellas and find out details about said umbrellas. They do not want to be taken to the homepage that is a detailed biography of the umbrella company’s story (if they do want this, that’s what sitelinks are for).
Landing pages should provide clear benefits to the visitors. If people are guided by rational self interest, then your landing page needs to extrapolate the benefits that your product or service provides. What is unique about your product/service? Why will they benefit by not leaving this page to go shop around other sites but instead be so compelled by your landing page messaging that they stay and convert right then and there.
Often times online people don’t read things as much as they skim them. If your headline is bland or non-descriptive, there is a good chance people will lose interest and bounce immediately. Combat this by catching their interest immediately with a strong headline that stands out from the rest of your copy.
Form + Call Tracking
How are you going to measure a conversion? If it is a phone call, their should be a phone number. That phone number should also be clickable for mobile visitors. You will need to sign up for a call tracking service like CallRail in order to bridge the gap between PPC and offline conversions such as phone calls. If you are not seeking calls but instead count conversions as form completions than you need to have a form. Request as little information as necessary. People are much less likely to convert if you ask for their first, middle, and last name plus date of birth, address and contact information than if you ask for a name and phone number and follow up promptly with a call. Another option is to provide a lead capture mechanism by giving something to the user. This can be a free trial or sample or something as simple as a monthly newsletter.
Anyone can claim they are the best but a strong landing page offers proof of why it’s product/service is worth the visitors time. This can come in the form of reviews or testimonials from happy customers. It can be a case study of a recent success story or a portfolio of your previous work. There are limitless options here but make sure your page demonstrates your value and leaves no doubt in a visitors mind.
Your landing page should include strong messaging about what your offer is and why it benefits them. Whether this offer is a free trial, a guarantee of some sort, or just your outstanding value proposition, make sure that you provide some compelling reason for them to choose you over the competition.
Call to Action
You can have all of the other components above, but if you don’t include a call to action to encourage the visitor to take the next step you will likely lose a lot of potential conversions. Providing you have included the other components above in a simple and streamlined manner, the visitor is likely looking for how they can proceed from here. Without it people may be confused on what their next step is.
Make converting from your landing page as easy as possible on your visitors and you will be amazed at the resulting increase in conversions.