Spot On, Targeted Landing Pages
Pay per click (PPC) campaigns or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can be a simple and cost effective way to get traffic to your website and drive conversions online. It is also a great way to supplement your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign because you can bid for better placement on search engines while you tweak your website to optimize organic search engine placement.
When working a PPC campaign, a lot of attention is placed on the bidding and ad copy. This is important, but could be a great deal of work without results if your landing pages– the page the ad links to– are not up to snuff. The landing page is important because it needs to fully support the needs of the users who have been captured with your powerful and persuasive ad.
The landing page needs to be optimized for two big reasons:
- So your ad performs better with less money spent.
- So you capture your target market and push them in to the sales funnel towards conversion.
A strong component in the success of your PPC ads is the Quality Score (QS) for your keywords. The keywords help to determine what kind of search queries the ad shows up in. There is a kind of symphony that happens when the keywords used match the words used in the ad and the content on the landing page. As your quality score goes up for keywords, your bid price goes down, and your ad placement will go up. This rewards target marketing and penalizes those trying to cast a wider net.
Fundamentally, a PPC ad, in just three brief lines, should address a want or need with a strong headline, then offer a solution, and outline the benefits of the solution. The landing page should address everything outlined in the ad quickly and succinctly.
The user should learn more about the product and have a way to purchase or contact (depending on what conversion you seek) right there on the same page. Don’t make the user search for more information, the service described in the ad, and for the sake of all that is holy, don’t make them hunt for a “buy now,” “contact us” or a phone number. Your ad and landing page, working together from a messaging and content perspective, will save you money and give you better results.
Tantamount to the ad performance is the sales performance. A well-thought design and content strategy can increase the likelihood of converting traffic to sales. A landing page specifically geared towards the ads that you are running works best.
For example, talking up the “Jumping to Conclusions” board game in an ad that pushes users to the home page of a toy store runs the risk of losing the customer. Don’t make them explore the website navigation to get to the product they seek. You are basically shooting a high-level target marketing campaign in the foot by doing this. Casual shoppers will peruse, shoppers on a quest will feel tricked or let down if they don’t get what they want in one click, thus bouncing away from your site and moving elsewhere.
Instead, the user should come directly to the “Jumping to Conclusions” board game detail page. This page should show the product with several great images, give a detailed description of the game and a quick way to convert with pricing and checkout buttons clearly labeled and easy to find.
Take it a step further and add testimonials, awards, video reviews and demos, user reviews and ratings, social sharing functionality, and finally, add suggestions for complementary products in a clean and non-intrusive manner to work in the “up-sell.” Amazon does this well. This optimized landing page would have everything the consumer needs to do research, answer questions, review the product, and buy it quickly with no usability obstacles keeping them from conversions.
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