Pay per click ads and their landing pages are a lot like runways. Let’s say a user (plane) searches online for coffee beans (destination). A PPC ad appears and the user clicks, initiating take-off. Where they arrive next is the landing page (runway).
Now if a runway has too much clutter, or isn't where the plane was supposed to be directed to, the plane won't land there. The same applies to your visitor. When you create your landing page, you want to make sure they land on your “runway.”
By following these tips on landing page optimization, you can improve your odds for conversion (and a successful landing).
1. Have a Goal
Sure you want to turn those clicks into conversions, but what is the goal for your landing page? Perhaps you’re looking to boost your newsletter subscriptions or increase the downloads of your ebook. Maybe you’re looking for feedback about your current products or services.
Whatever your goal is, be sure it’s clear and defined. It will make it easier to craft content that matches the intent.
2. Deliver What You Promise
Imagine you’re searching for airline tickets while planning your next trip to the Caribbean. You see an ad that promises the lowest fares, so naturally, you click on that ad in hopes of booking a cheap plane ticket. All of the sudden, you’re taken to a landing page titled, “Top 10 Caribbean Destinations.”
Well, that’s great and all, but you really wanted to book a flight, not see destination options. Feeling duped, you exit the page. If this switch bait scenario describes your landing page, it’s time rethink your strategy.
Remember your landing page needs to deliver what the PPC ad promises.
3. Capture Their Attention
Once you have your visitor’s attention, keep it with compelling language, video, or images. Research shows that images are most effective at grabbing a viewer’s attention.
Related Post: How to Reel in Leads With Your Landing Pages
Here, I search “Rental cars in St. Maarten” and click on a Hertz ad. Notice the graphics and the colors on their landing page. Although the couple leisurely strolling down a beach has nothing to do with cars, it’s relevant to the destination and instantly catches my attention.
Since visual appeal can be assessed within just 50 milliseconds, visitors have a small time frame to form an opinion about your web page – so make it good. A first impression is everything, and if you can appeal to your visitors in under 50 milliseconds, you might just have a winning landing page.
4. Entice With a Strong Call-to-Action (CTA)
Once you’ve hooked your visitor, entice them to fill out your form by having a strong call-to-action (CTA). Take a look at the following CTA from Huemor.
You’re given two options here: do not press or launch. It’s enticing and grabs your attention, and from personal experience, this CTA definitely makes you want to take the plunge and hit the launch button – who wouldn’t?
CTA’s are everywhere, and the most effective ones make it difficult to say no like this one from Netflix.
Netflix draws the visitor in by promising they can watch anywhere, plus gives them the security of knowing they can cancel anytime. They also give the visitor the option to join free for a month, and who can resist a one-month trial of thousands of movies and TV shows?
5. Keep It Fast and Simple
Now of course a compelling landing page and enticing CTA means nothing if your page loads slow. Did you know your landing page has only two seconds to convince a visitor to stay? So, make sure your page loads quickly.
Also keep text concise and stick to Plain English so it’s easy to comprehend. Visitors don’t want to spend time reading a block of text or trying to figure out what a word means. Keep it simple, or risk them leaving your page.
6. Optimize for Mobile Devices
Not only do you need a solid desktop version, but your landing page needs to be mobile friendly, too. Fun fact: nearly 60% of searches come from mobile devices. So, make sure yours is optimized for smartphones and tablets.
Let’s say you’re on your smartphone and have a craving for a burger. You click on Red Robin’s ad and are taken to this landing page.
Clearly, it’s optimized for mobile. It fits the screen and text is reduced to only the key info needed. All you need to do is pop in your zip code, or city and state and click “Yummm Me!” Easy enough, and visitors will appreciate the simplicity.
7. Track and Evaluate Your Performance
Once you’ve created your landing pages, make sure to track and evaluate their performance. Landing pages aren’t a ‘set it and forget it.’ Tracking and evaluating the performance of your campaign will help you get familiar with what works for you and what doesn’t.
Related Post: 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid in Your PPC Campaign
61% of ad spend goes towards search terms that never convert, so get to know which keywords give you results and stop using the ones that don’t. Research shows that small businesses unnecessarily waste 25% of their PPC budget, and you can avoid this by creating your PPC campaign wisely.
The Final Product
Using the tips above, let’s take a look at how this all comes together. Here, I search “Vacation Packages,” and select the Kayak ad.
Upon clicking the ad, I’m directed to a landing page where I “Find Vacation Package Deals” and select my airports and travel dates.
The page delivers what the PPC ad promises. It’s also visually appealing, easy to read, and the text “Unleash the traveler inside you” is tempting. And Kayak doesn’t have just one CTA, but three!
The page is simple, yet gives you all the information you need. This is a great example of a successful landing page, as it includes all of the important elements highlighted above.
Now, it is easy to understand why landing page optimization is so important. With these tips and tricks, you can improve your campaign and get the most out of your PPC landing pages.