You know your customers are online, and that’s why search engine optimization and PPCPay-per-click ads incur charges whenever users click on them, and their cost is determined during a bidding process. In Google Adwords, for example, these ads show up when users search for relevant keyword phrases. make sense. Websites that speak directly to your customers’ needs gain more business and make more money.
But how do you make sure your online efforts are worth it, especially the ones you pay for every time a user clicks? Recently, one of the most effective methods we have found is to create unique landing pagesAlso known as an entry page, this is the first page a user visits on a site. Often, these are built specifically for ad campaigns. for your paid AdwordsGoogle’s paid ads program for display and PPC (pay per click) advertising. campaigns.
Why Do High-quality Landing Pages Make Sense?
There’s a big difference between customers who click on organicThis number reflects the position in which a given site shows up in search engine results without paying. A ranking of 2, for example, would mean that the site is the second non-paid hyperlink listed in the search results. links and those who click on ads. Organic clicks are often information-driven, meaning those visitors are still at the research stage. These clicks can help your business by improving brand recognition and credibility, and they’re vital at the beginning of the buying cycle.
On the other hand, clicks on paid ads come from visitors who are closer to making a purchase.
These prospects already know exactly what they want, and they’re going to follow the path of least resistance. Earning their clicks means more conversionsWhen a visitor does what you want them to on your page, that’s a conversion. You can set any conversion goal, but common ones are phone calls, form submittal, newsletter signups and purchases., more calls and more money for your bottom line.
How Do We Know?
For one growing auto shop client in Texas, using a high-quality landing page for PPC campaigns resulted in a 61 percent increase in clicks. For a similar repair shops, we found that simply directing users to a specific landing page meant an increase in clicks between 90 and 150 percent.
Part of the reason for increased clicks has to do with where the ads showed up. For our clients, ads that were connected to unique landing pages showed up higher on the paid ad section of the search engine results page, and many got into the top position.
Lower Advertising Costs
Despite these gains in clicks and visibility, the cost for each click (CPC) went down by up to 15 percent for these clients. Why wouldn’t you want to get more business while spending less on advertising?
Here’s an example of one campaign’s decreasing costs in just ten days:
What Makes a Good Landing Page?
Like everything in the digital age, optimizing your landing pages takes research, guesswork, and testing. In fact, you’ll probably need multiple rounds of that process. That said, our in-house PPC experts have tested and developed some guidelines that seem to work almost universally. We started with advice from Google and then set up campaigns, revisited them and made adjustments depending on the results.
Here’s a rundown of our top strategies:
Start With Great Branding and Design
When customers are ready to buy, they’re going to make quick decisions based on emotion, aesthetics and brand recognition. For this reason, we make sure the branding and design of our unique landing pages match the rest of the client’s branding and design.
We take extra care to make every landing page beautiful and compelling. If they are anything less than purely professional, ready-to-buy customers will click away in a second. Your cost for that ad will have been wasted.
Here’s an example of a beautiful landing page from one of the services we occasionally use, Smartsheet:
Put Calls to Action Above the Fold
Once your visitors know they have found what they want, make it easy for them to take the next step. We always put compelling calls to action upfront so customers never have to scroll to find them, whether they visit from their phone or their desktop.
For our auto shop examples, this meant a prominent click-to-call box in bright yellow. Next to that is a simple contact form, offering an element of choice to empower the customer but nevertheless getting them to do what we want.
Use (the Right Amount of) Excellent Content
When customers scroll down just a little, they see coupons. We have found this to be a great way to answer client’s secondary question: How much does it cost? Even further down, we included copy about the available car alignment services chock-full of compelling copy. We were sure to include information that:
- Adds credibility by mentioning technician certifications
- Assures the customer that the process was easy
- Provides information on the value of proper alignment
It’s worth noting that our landing pages are intentionally succinct and simple compared to the pages we create for organic clicks.
Think of it like In-N-Out. The thriving restaurant often has a line out the door, but the menu only offers three options: cheese burgers, double-double burgers and hamburgers. The fewer choices, the more quickly customers decide. And the more money they spend.
Simplicity is vital. When their wallets are out, don’t let them get distracted.
Should You Build Landing Pages Yourself?
We think almost any landing page is better than just sending prospects to your homepage. However getting it right means doing a lot of research upfront, spending time to create and compose a high-quality page and revisiting your campaigns often to make adjustments. Even then, it takes experience to get the most out of every click. In the long run, it might be best to spend a little now for expert help so you can save down the road.