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When running any paid search campaign one of the key factors to ensure its success is the careful investigation and optimisation of where you are sending your traffic. Your landing pages.
A landing page can make a huge difference to a campaigns performance. See the chart below where conversion rates increased by over 700% by introducing a simple page with a few key design and content elements that both build confidence with the visitor and prompt immediate action.
A persuasive, good value and unique selling proposition should be the first thing that greets your visitors; this of course should be tailored to remain as close and relevant to your ad or ad-text as possible. Try to keep it short and the offering very easy to understand and don’t forget to trial a few variations.
Explain clearly what you expect your visitors to do on the page; it can also be a good idea to show the next steps after they perform the action so it is easy to comprehend for your visitor why and how they should enquire / purchase. Creating a sense of urgency or a limited time offer can help. If you are offering a service, consider having an offer for your custom just for placing the enquiry (the basic one is ‘free quote’ but the more imaginative the better, ‘free t-shirt’, ‘%10 off online enquiries’, ‘Free Guide To XYZ’, ‘In home demo’).
Keep a good portion of your sales content above the fold (the part of your landing page shown without scrolling). Try and maintain a clear visual path to the desired action, use arrows, hand drawn notes, coloured buttons and almost any trick your designer can use to bring your visitors attention to the ultimate goal, usually an enquiry form.
Use a great looking banner or video of your product / service and try and include it being put to actual use. Photos of people usually work great, especially if you have a celebrity or similar authoritative figure in your market.
Other people’s experience with your product / service will re-assure your visitors. It can also be a good way of adding content on how your product / service can be used and show some solution based sales content. Try to include a portrait photo of the person providing the testimonial to add even more trust. Remember from the above point ‘Design’ that people naturally look towards faces.
If you have any press snippets, industry reviews, client logos and case studies try to include them on the landing page, but keep it short to not bog your visitor down with too much detail.
Testing and optimising landing pages is quite a simple concept, run two variations against each other until a clear winner emerges. Rinse and repeat.
Here is a pro-tip specific to people using landing pages for their Google AdWords campaigns. If you have segmented out your campaign properly, (see how to structure an adwords campaign) then you can run an AdWords experiment testing multiple page variations (on different URLS) against each other to find out how each landing page performs based on your campaign structure. Does one design work better in rural suburbs over cities? Does one variation emerge as a champion on your broad match campaigns? What about your search network and mobile campaigns?
What you may find is that there are clear favourites for each segment in your campaign, and an overall winner may never emerge, but a clear winner for each sector is found.
If you are not using a landing page for your PPC campaigns and you run a service based business, I strongly recommend you try one. I ensure you that when executed properly you will see a significant improvement in your lead generation efforts.
Have you had experience with introducing landing pages to your campaigns? How did it go? Let me know in the comments below.
Posted on December 12, 2012 by Phillip Wendell
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