Have you ever thought about the mass amounts of web traffic that click on one of your PPC ads, view the landing page, then quickly click away before you could even realize how much money was just wasted? With average conversion rates hovering somewhere in the 3% to 5% range, a lot of your advertising dollars are not yielding a return. Every click is valuable, and increasing your conversion rates by only a few percentage points can translate into incredible things for the return on your campaigns. To help you capture more conversions here are 5 tips for creating better performing landing pages.
1. Use Directional Cues
Directional cues on landing pages are like road maps for our eyes. They can direct our focus to important info on the page, and more importantly the conversion point (lead form, buy now button, etc). Often times marketers place so much content, images, and widgets on a landing page that it can be easy for the design to lose visual focus on the conversion point. Using directional cues helps point a visitor’s attention where you want it to go. Many times this comes in the form of arrows (or hands such as in the example below) pointing towards the conversion point.
2. Place The Conversion Point Above The Fold of The Page
Once a visitor has clicked on your ad, and has come to your page, you’ve got very little time to capture & pique their attention. With only a couple seconds to do this before they’ll lose interest and click away, it’s very important to place the most important/eye catching info along with conversion point above the fold on the page. If visitors have to scroll down on your page to see the lead form or download button, then it’s possible they may not see it at all.
3. Include Ad Message Continuity
The idea here is simple. If you’re advertising a free software trial in your PPC ad, then the messaging on the landing page should very clearly reinforce the free trial software offer. That’s likely a large reason they clicked on your ad in the first place. If a visitor hits your landing page and expects a different experience than what you’re providing them on the page, then it’s very likely they’ll lose interest and hit the back button. The example below does a great job of clearly reinforcing the value proposition from their PPC ad.
4. Clearly Tell Visitors What You Want Them To Do
You can build a landing page with incredible graphics, helpful info, and a sleek design, but if they’re not sure what they’re supposed to do when they’re on the page, then you’ve likely wasted your advertising dollars to get them there. If you want visitors to pick up the phone and give you a call, then including large “Call Now” text at the top of the page will help ensure they know how to get in touch with you. If you want them to sign up for a free trial as in the example below, then placing text at the top of the form both reinforces the value of why they should convert, and also clearly instructs the visitor on what to do next. Landing pages that communicate clearly, and specifically what they want visitors to do are the ones with the highest conversion rates.
And finally, testing your landing pages is the only way to discover how to create the best landing page for your audience. The testing opportunities are limitless. You could implement an A/B test to determine whether a multi-page website, or a single page experience converts better. Or, you could go more granular and test variations of headlines, different types of imagery, form layouts, and so much more. There are also software packages that can help save you a lot of time with the testing process. Simply doing a search for “landing page testing software” will yield you lots of options.
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.