When driving visitors to a specific landing page of your website, it is important to ensure that the landing page is clean and professional looking, with clear and concise calls to action. You will want to make the most out of the landing page, which is especially true when there is a Pay per Click initiative in place. In other words, why spend advertising dollars to send traffic to a page that does not effectively encourage your visitors to complete some sort of actionable step?
So, what types of steps or action items should your landing page encompass? Below are a few that – in my opinion — every landing page ought to have.
Your landing pages are a very important part of your online marketing mix. Make the most out of them!
Picture this scenario…
You enter a Sporting Goods Store and ask an associate where you can find the camping equipment section. You are in need of a tent for your upcoming camping trip, plus you’re in a big hurry. It’s your lunch break and you only have a short window of time before you are due back at work. You are there to find your tent, quickly buy it and get back to the office. The associate directs you all the way to the back of the store and to the far right. You follow the instructions and arrive at the destination you were just sent to. You look around for camping equipment, only to find nothing close to that. Instead, you see golf clubs, golf bags, putters, etc. Confused and agitated you scan the store for a sales associate to help you find what you are actually looking for, but sadly no one is around to assist you and the store is so big, you literally have no clue where to go. Tick tock, tick tock goes your watch; a clear reminder that you are in a hurry. Finally, you let out a disappointed sigh and walk out of the store without making a purchase.
This above scenario, while obviously hypothetical, is very similar to what happens far too often in the online world. If I had a dime for every time I click on a pay per click ad and get directed to a page that is completely irrelevant, I’d be rich. Well, maybe not rich, but I’d have a whole lot of dimes. The bottom line is this…shame on you if you are spending good money on pay per click traffic, yet sending potential shoppers to irrelevant pages. If my search query is campaign equipment, the ad I then click on should absolutely be just that.
Some retailers prefer to send everyone to their home page, no matter what their search query, which is essentially like making your visitors conduct their search all over again. Why would you do that? You want it to be a “win win” experience. In other words, a win for you; you captured the visitor’s attention to get him to click on your ad in the first place; a win for the visitor, since he was sent to the appropriate page he was searching for. Everyone’s happy and there is a much more likely chance of this visitor converting into a sale if you make the process a seamless one.
If you think it makes little to no difference where you send your paid visitors to, I encourage you to run a test utilizing different landing pages. The outcomes should speak for themselves.
Landing pages are often underrated by companies who can’t fathom the idea that their website isn’t perfect. However, landing pages are meant to compliment websites, not insult them. In fact, if a company’s website was built with a sound strategy, many of the pages on that website will make great landing pages.
According to Wikipedia, a landing page “is the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search-engine result link.” The issue that arises with many companies is that they direct visitors to the wrong landing page, because they don’t have a specific landing page to correspond with an ad or they feel that a general landing page will do the job. Let’s look at it another way. What if you bought a plane ticket to Hawaii, your bags are packed and you board the plane looking forward to sunshine, beaches and surf waves. When the plane lands, to your dismay you find that you are in Nebraska. They have sunshine, but they’re missing beaches and surf. This is the way many visitors feel when they click on an ad only to find the landing page has nothing to do with the ad that they just clicked. Landing pages have to be specific, but they also have to coincide with the ad that a person clicks on. Don’t tell them Hawaii and send them to Arizona.
Another important reason to have a landing page is to get a visitor to complete a desired action. Sometimes a company has a landing page that has the correct information, but lacks a call to action. The visitor gets informed, but they can’t sign-up or buy a product. An example would be a visitor seeing an ad that offers 20% off their blender purchase, if they sign-up for e-mail blasts. The visitor clicks the ad, lands on a product page about the blender, reads the information and decides they like the blender. Unfortunately, as they scan the page, scroll up and down and right to left they can’t seem to find where they sign-up for the e-mail blast to receive 20% off. They check one or two more pages of the website, hoping to find the offer, and then leave in frustration. How could this have been prevented? If the company was willing to tweak the blender product page, they could have put a noticeable button or link that said click here to sign-up for e-mail blasts and receive 20% off. The other option would be to create a landing page specific to that offer. Either way the visitor needs to be able to complete the desired action requested in the ad without being hindered.
Landing pages are very valuable; however they have to be used correctly to maximize results. A landing page must direct a visitor to information that accurately corresponds with an ad’s offer and it must clearly show the customer how to complete a desired action. If the pages within a company’s website offer the above, then they are set to get started. However, if a company is missing any of the above, it would behoove them to add landing pages or tweak the pages of their website.