Landing pages are the key to success for any online marketing strategy. Landing page optimization is critical to a successful pay per click (PPC) campaign because optimizing pages allows you to segment visitors, thus yielding keyword-relevant results pages, increasing conversion rates, and lowering the cost-per-click (CPC) of the ad.
Each ad campaign corresponds with its own unique landing page that is relevant to the ad and stripped of any distracting links or messaging.
Landing pages aren’t just for PPC though; you should be creating landing pages for your organic visitors as well. Organic SEO segmentation plays a pivotal role in your ability to convert site visitors into customers and eventually revenue.
Discover what makes a good landing page, what your landing page needs, and how you can achieve your business goals with both PPC and SEO.
What Makes a Good Landing Page?
We hear this question quite often. The term “landing page” has different meanings to different people, but at Evolve we have a simple understanding of this specific on-site feature.
Typically landing pages are associated with PPC campaigns because PPC ads are triggered by very specific keywords – thus condensing the audience of searchers to those who will be likely to click through and ultimately convert at a higher rate.
Landing pages are designed to provide visitors with the easiest pathway to a conversion. Landing pages should never be the home page; instead they should live deep in the site and contain targeted keyword specific content that will appeal to your most valuable customer and encourage them to respond to a call to action.
Sending paid traffic to your home page can be detrimental to your budget as well as your overall revenue growth. Home pages typically display a variety of products and services, and can easily distract the consumer from completing a call to action. In evaluating your own paid campaigns you should make sure that you are not sending clicks from your PPC ads to the home page.
Landing Page Critical Components
You understand that landing pages are critical to your online success but what are the components of a successful landing page. The design of your website and landing pages reflect the personality, competence, and relevancy of the brand. When pages are too cluttered with text or links, it’s difficult for users to know where to move next.
Landing pages should be keyword-targeted, scannable, meet customer expectations, contain substance and value, possess a clear call to action and should provide trust. Learn how and why your landing page should include each of these critical compenents.
The most important concept to grasp for your landing pages is creating keyword-targeted pages. Keywords are more than just terms people use to search for you, your products or services. Keywords represent where your customer is in the sales funnel and where they are in the completion of their job to be done.
One of the most common mistakes encountered when conducting an audit are websites that attempt to stuff too much information onto one landing page with the landing page essentially offering nothing.
Copy and Formatting that can be Scanned
Most visitors look for specific information quickly by scanning. What would catch your customer’s eye would be price, client testimonials, headlines, and buttons. If your visitors have to dig through mountains of text on a single web page, you will miss important information or a crucial call to action.
Delivering on Your Customer’s Expectations
Your customer knows what information they are looking for when they click on your ad or organic listing. There can be exceptions to this but most visitors have a good idea of what they are trying to accomplish before they even reach a website. If they have trouble finding it because your copy isn’t easily scanned or your messaging doesn’t meet your targeted keyword(s) they tend to go to a different site. It’s really that simple.
Clear Calls to Action Requesting Just Enough Information
Your potential customer needs to have a clearly defined next step whether that is to fill out a form, make a phone call, or download a whitepaper, don’t make your customer hunt for it. You also do not want to scare potential customers away from your site by requiring too much personal information for their perceived value of what filling out the form grants them.
Substance and Value
It’s true that landing pages are created to yield conversions. But all too often, landing pages turn into a contact form and a call to action only. You should include these pieces somewhere on your landing page, but what your page really needs is substance.
This substance should correspond with keywords each page is meant to target, as discussed above. So, if you are following Step 1 and creating keyword-rich detail pages, this shouldn’t be a problem.
Trust Symbols and Social Proof
The ability to convey a sense of trust is crucial, regardless of how well known your brand may be. Companies that aren’t widely recognized can show that they are trustworthy through use of press releases, customer testimonials, as well as certification and membership badges.
Because the landing page’s purpose is to guide a user through a specific sales funnel, you should transfer trust by using branded colors, copy, images, and overall feel that reflect the design of the homepage. It’s critical that you reassure customers that the page is definitely a piece of the main website.
Successful Landing Pages Have:
Keyword Focused and Scannable Copy. The way your customer’s read on the web is completely different; they scan. That’s why your landing pages should be broken up into short sections, each with a bolded phrases and even lists. We know they’re not going to read much more than that.
Optimized Forms. Forms are a must on landing pages (almost always), but if you require too many fields to be filled in, your customers will bounce – especially if the perceived value of the information is less than their desire to give up any more personal information than they have to.
Trust symbols. Online, reputation matters. In order to show that your company is capable of handling the visitor’s needs, showcase your qualifications. This can be achieved through client logos, awards received, certifications, and testimonials.
Turn Keywords Into Cash
Let’s talk about conversions.
The word “conversion” doesn’t necessarily imply a sale. It can refer to any goal that you have assigned to your website, including:
Completing a contact form
Signing up for email
Sharing content via social channels
Visiting a particular page
It’s important that your conversion goals align with your business goals – but remember to keep it simple. Your goal should be to make your viewers work as little as possible, and this includes reading, typing, and navigating the landing page.
Segment Based on Persona and Buying Stage
Every site has visitors from three distinct personas: buyer, user, and buyer/user.
As an example, one of our target personas would be the head of the marketing department of a health care system. Because we deliver business solutions using data and search marketing, they would be looking to “use” our services but not have the “buying” authority thus putting them in the User Persona category. You can read more about these customer personas here.
Once you have tapped in to who exactly your most valuable customer is and what they are looking for, you will be able to create landing pages for each persona based on the keywords that they are likely to be searching.
Detailed landing pages are crucial for segmenting audiences online to convert more qualified visitors and turn your keywords into cash.
Always Be Testing
Landing pages are not easy to find because their purpose is to attract those potential customers who search for an exact keyword phrase who are looking to complete a job to be done.
As soon as the customer clicks, they are directed to a page that has a very clear conversion path. In the world of search we never stop talking about the importance of A/B testing.
Testing your messaging, ad copy, your landing page design, your trust symbols, and website forms will keep you ahead of the game and will help in refining your campaigns. Optimized campaigns will lower your cost per click, increase your conversion rate and ultimately grow your business profitably. We love testing because it works!
Growth starts with understanding – learn how landing page optimization can help your achieve business goals online contact Evolve today.