Increase the Success of Your Paid Search Campaigns with These Landing Page Best Practices

Hans Tveten
By Hans Tveten

Landing pages can be an extremely powerful weapon in your arsenal when it comes to online marketing. A good paid search campaign coupled with a relevant landing page can greatly increase engagement for your business.  But what happens when your landing page isn’t getting conversions?

This post will cover 9 of the top best practices we use at Power Digital Marketing when it comes to paid search landing pages.

Write Compelling Headlines

Your headline or USP is the first thing that visitor will take a look at when they arrive at your page. Ideally, you want to include very similar keyword theme to the ad which drove the visitor the page in the first place.

The example below from Pipedrive is simple, powerful and includes keywords:

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A few other tips include using call-to-action words, adding positive or reinforcing adjectives and including numbers. Like many things in CRO, it’s a little bit of a combination of art and science. This quick guide from HubSpot is an awesome primer which you can use to get started on writing good headlines for your pages. Another great resource is Neil Patel’s Step-by-Step Guide to Writing Powerful Headlines.

PPC Forecasting Tool

Test CTAs

One of the most essential elements of a landing page is the CTA as it’s the last click which creates the conversion action. This could be a signup, download, registration, etc. Like many other aspects of your page, you’ll want to heavily A/B test different CTAs to determine which works best for you. More often than not, quirky and otherwise strange CTAs and headlines can actually increase your conversion rate:

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In the example above, QuickSprout is making it difficult for the visitor to say no because they have to accept the harsh reality that their site might not be getting enough traffic. Get creative with this and put data behind it! Avoid using vague and over-used words such as “Submit” in your landing page.

Related: 9 Ways to Take Your CTAs to the Next Level

Set Specific Goals For Landing Pages

It’s going to be difficult to measure success if you don’t have clear objectives and goals for your pages. Is the goal to increase demos? To promote a new case study? Drive registrations? The goals of paid search should always be in full alignment with your overarching marketing objectives and the focus of the landing page should help to reach these goals.

Ensure Consistent Messaging With Ads

There is nothing more annoying than clicking on an ad and being taken to a page that leaves you wondering how you got there in the first place. Your PPC ads and landing pages must be as focused as possible on the user’s search intent. The key takeaway here is relevancy. The more closely your landing page reflects the information the user searched for, the higher your Quality Score will be.

Related: How Quality Score Affects Your Ads

Here is a great example from Insightly CRM. See how clearly landing page reflects what the ad promised?

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Too many marketers focus on creating the perfect ad and subsequently fail to follow up it up with a landing page to match. Remember that message matching across ads and landing pages can make all the difference in the PPC game!

Social Proof

Social proof is the modern day version of word of mouth and this has always been powerful, as people often make decisions based on what other people say.

Include elements like testimonials, reviews, media mentions and top-tier PR coverage as these things can greatly increase your conversion rate. Buyers these days are increasingly savvy and being open to new visitors with social proof gives them the opportunity to research what people have been saying about your business. We recommend A/B testing different formats to identify what works best for your brand.

Here are just a few:

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Optimize For Mobile Traffic

Let’s face it. Mobile device usage has been steadily increasing over the past decade and is expected to continue to grow. In fact, back in 2015, mobile users in the US exceeded desktop for the first time, thus becoming our primary method of accessing the internet. Cross-device tracking has become a cornerstone of marketing, as it allows us to more accurately map the user journey. As such, remarketing across devices will continue to evolve and become more sophisticated. You need to take this into account and build landing pages that are responsive and mobile-friendly.

Related: Is Your Website Optimized for Conversion?

In addition, Google is updating their algorithm to encompass a new mobile-first index aka Mobilegeddon 2017 (following the Mobilegeddons of 2015 and 2016). What this does is it assigs preferential search results for mobile sites. As with previous updates, your site effectiveness and search results might be affected unless you are mobile-friendly.

This awesome example of mobile optimization from VWO shows you how simply it can be to improve your page performance for mobile traffic with just a few simple tweaks.

Increase Page Load Speed

No matter how engaging or sexy your landing page is, if it does not load quickly then even the most awesome forms, images and CTAs are pointless. A recent study by Kissmetrics found that every second delay in page load speed can results in a 7% drop in conversions. Moreover, a slow-loading LP can give a visitor a bad taste in their mouth costing you their future business.

To make this process easier, you can use Google’s PageSpeed Insights. This handy tool provides you with a load rating and suggestions on how to optimize your page elements to improve mobile speed. These can include compressing images, minimizing plugins and several others. Make sure you give your site visitors the best first impression and work with your development team to minimize load times!

Put Length Into The Equation

The length of your landing page will have a direct effect on how often visitors complete a conversion action. Typically, there are two types of landing pages – short and long. Short pages are better suited for low commitment actions such as a free registration or demo. Longer pages are a better fit for product pages and instances where there is a lengthy sales cycle or a “bigger ask”. An example of this would be an enterprise CRM software or a cloud management platform.

There is no set formula here, and although I am personally skeptical of very long landing pages due to people’s short attentions span, this is an aspect that needs to be tested.

Test, Analyze, Iterate

My last recommendation is to always put data behind your CRO efforts continue to improve and test new page variations. The search landscape is dynamic and thus ever-changing so you can’t assume your landing page will work forever. Once you have identified a variation that performs well, follow the best practices outlined here and in the many resource you can find out there to keep improving it.

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Hans Tveten is a Paid Media Account Manager at Power Digital Marketing. He has 10+ years experience in digital marketing, working with leading B2B and B2C brands on multiple lead gen, branding and acquisition projects. Hans graduated from Webster University in St. Louis, MO with a degree in International Business and Marketing