Whether managing just one search engine marketing account or many, one thing that is certainly always recommended are custom landing pages.
A landing page or lead capture page is where one is directed once they have clicked on a search ad.
Custom landing pages are always recommended and you should do whatever you can to make them available. The reasons they are so important starts with goals and conversions. Custom landing pages convert better than website pages, messaging can be more direct and controlled than website pages, they help out your paid ads by boosting quality score, and they are easier to test and optimize than a website page. The landing page will usually display sales copy that is an extension of what has been written or read in the ad copy. Depending on the goal, most marketing professionals choose to use a website homepage, ‘contact us’ page, product detail page, email capture page, pretty much whatever is available to then without going that extra step of developing a custom landing page. Most common reasons a client or search manager will go the direction of using the website vs. a landing page for search ads usually are not enough resources (developers), not enough money in the budget, not enough time, not enough communication and strategy.
With that in mind, below I have included 12 landing page recommendations for your enjoyment!
LANDING PAGE RECOMMENDATIONS:
1) Deliver relevance
If visitors to your landing pages have clicked through from your ad, then they will have a specific goal in mind, so you need to convince them that your landing page is relevant to the goal. Give the visitor clear headlines to show that a page is relevant and encourage them to scan down the page. Make relevant messages easy to read. This means nice clear, large fonts.
2) Make sure your page is logical
Your landing page should tie up with the ad that sent customers there in the first place, so if you have enticed visitors to your site in with an ad for a specific product then they should be seeing a picture of the product together with a clear call to action, rather than a generic category page.
3) Give detail for decision making
You need to give customers enough detail on the landing page so that they can make an informed decision about whether to purchase the product / service or not.
4) Assist users with their purchase or sign-up
The next step the visitor needs to take to sign up or purchase should be made clear to them on the landing page. Every extra step taken to complete a transaction will reduce the response. If they have to go to another page to complete a purchase, then include multiple calls to action to leave them in no doubt where to click. If a multiple pages is necessary, draw people in with easier questions upfront.
5) Keep the number of steps and effort in mind
Content should fit on one page that doesn’t require any scrolling, but a longer page may be necessary to be able to contain all the information. Provide just enough information, while ensuring that information and calls to action are placed above the fold.
Graphics should be consistent with the campaign and appealing to users.
7) Consider menu options
Removing menu options can increase conversion rates since users have a smaller choice of where to click. One option is to limit the menu to top level options only.
8) Consider ‘flow’ in design
For landing pages, a controlled, fixed design will often work best and is most common.
9) SEO and Analytics
If your PPC strategy is linked to an offline campaign then make sure it matches the brand that people will search for in response to your ads. Set up tracking, and conversion code for optimization.
10) Provide options
You may have created the perfect landing page, but some people will still not respond, so give them options. Provide a clear phone number, email form or live chat option in case they prefer to purchase in this way, and links.
11) Review Review Review
Landing pages should be tested frequently to see if improvements can be made to increase conversion rates. The only way to be sure of what works for your audience and your market is to conduct structured tests such as usability studies, A/B testing or MVT testing.
12) Take down old landing pages
Some landing pages are used for short term campaigns, and links to these should be removed so customers don’t see out of date offers. Using a custom 404 error page is a good way to manage this problem.
Holidays are coming up, make sure your landing pages are good to go!