A good landing page is absolutely essential to get positive leads & conversions from your PPC Campaign. When a searcher searches for a particular phrase, the search engine automatically tries to return the most relevant result. For instance, if a user searches for “waterproof camera” – instead of taking him to the Home page of a website that consist of a variety of cameras, it tries to list all the pages that have information/products specific to the searcher’s query – “waterproof camera”.
Thus the organic search result by default provides a good user experience, however when it comes to PPC it’s a totally a different story. The advertiser decides where he wants the visitor to land after they click on a particular ad which is often referred to as a landing page.
It is very important for an advertiser to create a landing page that are both relevant & convincing enough for a user to take an action. Below I’m sharing some effective tips that you can use to create a better landing page:
1. Use Separate Landing Pages for Different types of Keywords: Instead of creating one single landing page for all your keywords & ad groups, you should try different landing pages for different types of keywords. For example, when a user is searching for a phrase like “Night vision Binocular Review”, it should be considered as a research/content query. So on such cases the landing page should have more editorial content that can help the user with their decision-making purpose. The landing page may also contain comparison of different night vision binoculars, user reviews etc.
However when a user is searching for a phrase like “Buy Bushnell 7X50 Binocular”, It should be considered as a transactional query. The user has already made a decision about which brand and type of Binocular to buy. So instead of sending them to a generic binocular landing page, they should be sent directly to a landing page that can specially address his particular search term.
2. Don’t ask for too much Information: No one likes to give away too much information when they come to your website to download a free report, get a demo of your product or sign up for a free trial etc. If you want the visitors to try your product without any obligation, you should ask for as minimal information as possible. Initially, you may just take their name and email address for a way to contact them in future to build a relationship. Gradually over a period of time, you may slowly get more information & feedback from them. Every extra field in your landing page will reduce your conversion rate, so be careful about what you ask for.
3. Your First Impression is often The Last Impression: In PPC, the initial impression that your site will give your visitor is very important. When a visitor scans your landing page, he will decide in just a few seconds whether he would stay or leave your site. You may ask a friend to give you feedback on your landing page’s design & layout. Pay particular attention to the following:
- Does your site looks too complex to a first time visitor?
- Does the design look professional?
- Does your landing page look the same on different browsers?
- Are there any obvious spelling/grammatical errors in your landing page?
- Does your headline and the overall content appeals to your buyer?
4. Have Multiple Calls to Action: Not every visitor will read everything that you have put up in your landing page. People usually like to scan through a page to quickly reach the part that gives them a particular interest. So instead of putting your call to action at the end, you should try to have multiple calls to action on different parts of your landing page.
Usually direct messages are very effective in the body of your landing page. However at times they can be a turnoff when used inside a call to action. In some cases it has been seen that words like “Buy,” “Add to Cart” or “Subscribe” often has lower conversion rates when compared to a slightly different version like “Try it Now”, “Try it Free”, “Download Now”. These softer calls encourages a buyer to take an immediate action but in a risk free way. Thus even some slight change of words can end up improving your conversion rate by a big margin.
5. Give Users Control: Don’t try to take control of your visitor’s mouse, keyboard or speakers when he lands on your page. Nobody likes to be controlled when they are browsing the web. If you irritate the user in any way, he is likely to move away from your page and never come back. So you are better off without the talking ‘sales assistant’ that automatically starts talking when a user lands on your page. It may look impressive at first but it can be really annoying for the users. If you don’t want to get rid of it, you may want to set it in such a way so that it doesn’t start immediately after a visitor enters your page. Maybe you can let the visitor manually choose whether he would want to start it or you may pre-program it to start at X seconds.
For certain products & services, you may also want to let users control the delivery and presentation of your product. Instead of listing every bit of information in one single page, you may want to create multiple pages that a user can navigate through to know more about your product or service. This will give the user more freedom and control over how he wants the information to be presented to him. For example, typically you may have been highlighting the ‘features’ & ‘benefits’ of your product at the top of your landing page, where as the customer is probably more concerned about the handling & safety issues. So having a multi-page landing page with proper internal navigation system will enable the user to jump to their desired place and take the appropriate action afterwards.
6. Use Graphics Wisely: Use of graphics such as pictures, videos or even sounds has become a common practice when creating a landing page. Graphics are usually the very first thing that draws the eye. So you really need to use them sensibly so that they don’t distract your visitors from the actual offer. If you are using videos in your landing page make sure it can be viewed in most of the computers without having to install any additional software or plug-in. Also take into consideration the length & quality of the video so that it can be streamed quickly even on a computer that has slower internet connectivity. You may also want to make some of your graphics clickable as some people like to do that to get more info about the product.
8. Keep things Simple and Tidy: Make sure your content is scan-able and easy to read. Offer proper value propositions to your prospective buyers that pay off the question in their minds, which is: “Why should I take the action you want me to take?” Use headings, subheadings, bolded text to highlight the important areas of your landing page. Instead of cramping everything together use bullets and leave plenty of white spaces in your page. Use short paragraphs to break down a story into smaller chunks so that it can be easily digested.
9. Say, “Thank You”: After a visitor converts and becomes your customer you should thank them by taking them to a thank you or order confirmation page. This stage is very important to track the conversion. Plus, it’s also a very great way to extend your relationship by making another offer, promoting your blog, asking for feedback regarding the order process, or even running a survey / poll etc. It has been seen in the past that a lot of the visitors are willing to share additional information once they become your customer.
Test Different Versions of Your Landing Page: There is no right or wrong when it comes to making a landing page. Every single change in your landing page may or may not bring success to your campaign. Thus you really need to try and test all the different aspects and let your visitors decide with their actions which works and which doesn’t. Some of the most important things that you may want to test are: headline, your offer, calls to action, graphic elements, the submit button, form length, the length of your copy etc. One simple way is to use Google Website Optimizer to test different headlines, copy and graphics. Find the best combination that brings you the most conversion.
Saad Kamal writes about Search Industry News, Social Media & Online Marketing for Small businesses and other daily tech news in his Search Marketing blog. Contact Saad via Email or Twitter for more information.