Why we love PPC landing pages…

Posted by in Pay Per Click (PPC), Search Marketing (SEO) on October 30th, 2007 0 Comments

How to improve your PPC campaigns using landing pages.

Are you struggling to convert visitors from your [tag]PPC [/tag]campaigns? Are you looking at ways in which you can increase conversion rates and sales? If you are then hopefully this article will set you on the right track.

With pay per click marketing now a key part of many search engine marketer’s promotional mix we have seen a dramatic rise in competition for the top sponsored slots in the search engines. This has resulted in higher bid prices meaning us marketers now have to work doubly as hard to ensure the campaigns we run are still generating a positive return on investment.

125588728 568ae1f0b4 m Why we love PPC landing pages…
Via Flickr

So what can we do to try and make the most form each visitor we drive to our site. The answer lies in creating highly targeted [tag]landing pages[/tag].Is there a difference between writing a landing page and any other web site page? Yes and no. But mainly, yes.
You still have to work within the fundamentals of good web page layout and copywriting. And you still have to recognise the differences between writing for paper and writing for a website visitor. However, there are some important differences to consider when it comes to writing a landing page.

You know what you want your visitors to do

For many of our web pages we are writing text to help people find what they want, either on that page or a different one. This may involve writing careful descriptions, using images and providing descriptive links to help our visitor move forward to the right page.

In other words, a lot of the time the pages we are writing are not the final destination pages for many of our visitors. So we deliberately help them leave the page, pointing them in the right direction. This is often referred to as a ‘click path’ and we often think about the various click paths a user may want to take before designing our site.

With a landing page, everything changes. When a visitor hits your landing page, you know what you want them to do and you don’t want them leaving that page until they have decided to make that purchase, sign up for an e-newsletter, download a white paper, or, whatever else it is you want them to do.

Now you’re in the realm of direct response marketing

A landing page is a direct marketing piece, pure and simple. You have attracted someone to that page via a sponsored link from a PPC campaign. You know what keyword they will have typed in to arrive at your site so now all you have to do is help them achieve their goal, by giving them the information or product they are looking for. If you do this, then you’re more likely to convert that visitor. If you don’t then they simply hit their back button and return to the search results to view your competitors offering.

When direct marketing with a landing page, remember these points.

- It’s about the copy, the words. It’s the text that will bring you success or failure.

- Simple Design? The purpose of the design is to support and showcase the text. If you want results, your visitors must read the text. This influences your choices of colours, your use of images, the layout on the page and where to place the call to action.

- Shall I include lots of navigation links? No thank you. On a regular web page, there are plenty of links to make it easy for people to move around and find what they want. On a landing page, there is only one link you want people to click on, and that’s the one that is going to get the result you both want. You don’t really want them to navigate away from that page until they have acted or else they may get distracted. You want to give them just the one way forward. In some cases it may be practical to guide them through to other highly targeted pages where you may have supporting material that can motivate them to act, but in general it is best to keep the page focused on getting the user to fulfil your goal, and that goal, if you have done your homework will be the same goal for your visitor.

- Shall I offer multiple choices? Not if you can help it. If you have three or four things to sell or promote, create separate campaigns and separate landing pages. Too many choices on a single page dilutes attention and reduces response rates.

Like I said above, keep it focused and simple. Too many choices can often overwhelm visitors.

Concluding thoughts

Many large and small sized companies struggle with creating landing pages that are unashamedly built to maximise conversion rates. Perhaps they don’t have the skills in-house to write and design these types of pages. Perhaps they feel uncomfortable about ‘direct marketing’ through their site pages. But whatever the reason, it’s the companies that have the will and the resources to build high-converting landing pages that will come out the winners and build a highly profitable paid search channel.

pixel Why we love PPC landing pages…