Landing pages lowdown

What makes a good landing page?

This is a question we hear a lot. The term “landing page” has different meanings to different people, but Evolve has a simple understanding of this specific on-site feature. A landing page is the part of your website that a searcher is directed to from the search engine results page. We typically refer to landing pages when we create PPC campaigns because those ads are triggered by very specific keywords, thus condensing the audience of searchers to those who will be likely to click through.

Landing pages, also known as entry pages, are designed to provide visitors with the easiest pathway to a conversion. For this reason, landing pages should not be the home page; instead they should live deep in the site and contain specific information that will appeal to a particular audience and encourage them to respond to a call to action. You may have noticed, though, that most PPC ads do lead to home pages. This method isn’t conducive to accruing conversions. Home pages typically display a variety of products and services, and can easily distract the consumer from completing a call to action.

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 in some way contribute to big-picture goals a but remember to keep the copy and forms simple. Your goal should be to make your viewers work as little as possible, and this includes reading, typing, and navigating the page.

Testing 1, 2, 3

PPC landing pages are not easy to find via home page menu navigation. They’re buried internally because their purpose is to attract those who search for an exact keyword phrase. As soon as the customer clicks on the ad, he or she is 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. Instead of directing all clickers to one site, we recommend splitting the numbers in half, directing one group toward landing page A and the second group to landing page B. This makes it much simpler to track the success of a particular design. Sometimes the simplest layout changes can make all the difference, such as placing the contact box above the fold, emphasizing a client testimonial, or switching out images. We love testing because it works!

Transferring trust

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, and even buttons from 3rd parties (Better Business Bureau, PayPal, or certifications in the brand’s area of expertise).

Larger companies that already have an established following should transfer trust by using branded colors, copy, images, and overall feel that reflect the design of the homepage. Because the landing pageas purpose is to guide a user through a specific sales funnel, there might be certain elements missing a such as a menu bar a so itas critical that you reassure customers that the page is definitely a piece of the main website.

Another way you can transfer trust is to show your authority. Offer a free downloadable piece, whether it’s a branded white paper about energy-efficient appliances for your home or a summer fashion guide. This extra step verifies your interest in consumer satisfaction, instills a sense of trust, and can help your company stand out from the competition. The image on the right, while it may not be the ideal layout, shows a few ways that you can incorporate trust into your landing page.

Every brand is different, as are their business objectives, but proper use of landing pages can make an extraordinary difference in PPC efforts. Do you have any additional tips or best practices? Tell us in a comment below!