Pages that Increase Your Conversion Rate
It is expensive to buy traffic using pay-per-click. It is
expensive to “optimize” your Web site pages for natural search. In
both cases, the ultimate goal is to convert these clicks to
conversions so that you see a nice return on your investment (ROI).
One way to increase your ROI is to increase the conversion rate on
the pages that visitors land on when they click on your ads or visit
your site because of natural search.
There are really only two kinds of landing pages:
campaign-specific landing pages and organic-searched pages. People
who know what they want click on ads; they are different from
organic searchers doing research. Organic searchers want what they
search for, and they want it fast. Your landing pages should
provide them with facts, take them exactly where they want to go
without any hassles, and make it simple for them to get what they
want. So what should you consider when designing your pages to
What Is the Most Effective Landing Page?
Avoid using your
home page as your landing page. Create specific landing pages for
every ad and paid search term. If this seems daunting, remember
that retailers can use the “product page” as a landing page, and
service providers can use the “service page.” However, if you have
the time and resources, the most effective strategy is to create
landing pages specifically targeted towards your PPC campaign. This
provides you with more freedom to customize the design of your
If your ad campaign is a temporary offer, you won’t want this
landing page indexed by search engines, and you can use the
robots.txt file to tell search engine spiders not to index it. It
would be embarrassing for you if you remove the ad listing, but
consumers continue to find this landing page because it appears in
the natural search results.
What Goes on the
Make sure your
landing pages answer these questions:
On your landing pages, start with benefits, not features, and
use persuasive wording:
If you use paragraphs, use one idea per paragraph, no more than
three lines long. Use bullet points and make headlines bold and
wording of your ad on your landing page.
Use a big
call-to-action image button placed at the top right of the page.
price; give the shipping information.
the page is grammatically correct.
credibility: Add testimonials, awards, partners, associations,
etc. Show product ratings or reviews. Include a phone number!
You want to establish trust.
clutter the page, but do use images: Create a landing page that
looks professional and appealing. Put graphics on the left
side. Make sure the page looks good on a mobile phone.
such as “best sellers” or “best value” services.
forms: Do you require more information than
phone, and product or service interest?
You can even give customers an unexpected bonus like a link to a
survey or a case study.
The Message from
Your Ad Listing:
Make sure the
content on your landing pages works with your ad copy and follows
through on your ad promise. For example, if your ad says you are a
low cost provider, show them price comparisons on your landing
page. In this way, you begin to establish trust with visitors,
because your message is consistent from the ad to your landing page.
Trust increases sales and encourages long-time customers.
Position Critical Information at the Top of the Page:
page does not have to be short, but all the important information,
like benefits and the order button should be visible without
scrolling. Web developers refer to this as “above the fold.” Since
people use different size screens and different browsers, make sure
you test this information placement. Your landing page might look
great on a 1024x768 screen resolution, but most of your visitors are
still using 800 x 600 screen resolution, and they won’t see the buy
button without scrolling.
Don’t Give Visitors Too Many Navigational Choices:
landing pages, you should completely remove the Web site navigation
and instead provide only links that will help complete the sale.
You don’t want to give customers too many choices on your landing
pages, because this might distract them before they buy. Once they
complete their purchase, then you can take them to a “thank you”
page that offers them links to the rest of your site.
Use Action Words:
Use words that easily convey what you want the visitor to do,
like “Buy Now,” “Sign Up,” “Download,” and “Add to Cart.” In
addition, make sure you place the words where they will be noticed.
Many people ignore the top sixty pixels of a screen because that’s
where they expect to see a banner ad. Make buttons large,
graphical, and brightly colored, in the middle of the landing page,
above the fold.
Consider the Google
Since many of the landing pages you will be designing will
correspond directly to your Google Adwords campaigns, it is
important to understand the Google Quality Score. The Google
Quality Score system affects everyone who runs Adwords, because it
determines the position of your ad on the sponsored listings. On
August 21, 2008, Google changed the way the quality score affects
ads, based in part on landing pages. It now matters what content is
on your landing pages; it has to match your advertising copy. Load
time matters too, among other factors. If you increase your quality
score, you will lower the minimum bid necessary for your ad to
Since this is an
automated process for Google, your landing page content should be
text-based. Because of this, take the content out of the flash
portion of your landing pages, or duplicate it in text.
your landing pages. Remember that a conversion may be different for
different marketing campaigns and target groups. For instance, a
B2B conversion just gets people to sign up for your newsletter so
you have their email addresses, while a B2C conversion means that
they buy something from you. Keep in mind that a landing page will
improve the quality of the visitors to your site, but this may
actually decrease the total number of visitors to your site.
Also, remember that you will be testing metrics, which can
become political. You will probably upset both the technical and
creative people in your organization when you conduct landing page
On the other hand, testing is preferable to “redesigning the
site” because it can save you money to test a concept rather than
scrap a whole site and start over. There are sophisticated tools
you can use to test a landing page, including a free one: Google
Website Optimizer. The idea is to use the tools after you
develop your testing plan, so that you don’t waste time and money on
the testing. Google Website Optimizer allows for A/B split testing,
but remember that the most effective way to conduct A/B split
testing is only changing one element at a time.
Things to Include
that Can Help Increase Conversions
Give a deadline
for ordering; tell them that a price increase is coming, or that
a trial period is expiring.
Give a gift or
Tell them they
cannot get this offer anywhere else.
Make sure they
know there is “no risk”; they can cancel at any time.
What Is a Good
Google says that an
average conversion rate for an ad is 2 percent. That means that 98
percent of those landing on your pages are not converting.
Conversion rates will always be higher for “soft” offers than for
“hard” offers. Therefore, an ad that offers a free download will
result in a higher conversion rate than an ad that sells high-priced
products or intangible services. A free offer can result in
conversion rates of 20 to 30 percent or higher. For B2C eCommerce
sales, it shouldn't be difficult to achieve above 5 percent.
Moreover, for softer offers – low-priced products, free trial
software downloads, etc., a 10 to 20 percent conversion rate is
achievable. With careful testing, you should be able to raise all
of your conversion rates.
Landing Page for Natural Search:
Ultimately you want conversions from organic search, because this can be
far more cost-effective in the end. Start with an internal audit of
all of your pages to determine if they are appropriate or in need of
an upgrade. If you have a statistical program on your site, check
the bounce rates for each page, and determine where you need to
place most of your effort. Your Web site should be
structured to provide valuable information that is pertinent for the
search word. Each page should have a keyword-focused theme and
offer incentives toward making a sale. Keep the page simple and
informative, and add a call to action on every page on your site if
yours is a commercial enterprise.
On pages with the highest Google page rank, create at least five
links to your preferred landing page, using the keywords that you
want to track for ranking in the linked text. This tells search
engines that the landing page is important. If you follow this
guideline, you won’t have to do as much external linking (from other
sites) to get your content on the first page of Google. How you
link to your content, both internally and externally, determines the
organic search ranking.
Optimize your image alt attributes, and make sure the same
image principles for ad landing pages apply to natural landing pages
(i.e., position the image on the left).
In many cases, a content management system will make it easy
to change pages quickly. Create the content specifically for each
of your main areas of interest. For natural search, it is much
better to design many small pages with specific information than
create a few large pages.
Achieving organic rankings takes a long time, but it is
worthwhile because it allows you to become an authority on your
topic. You should continually add new content on a regular basis,
using keywords you wish to rank in the copy and titles. Even though
this method may take as long as a year of consistent work, your
pages will begin to appear with greater frequency and drive more
quality traffic to them.
landing pages should convert Web clicks into clients and create that
first all-important impression of your company. The better you test
and improve your landing pages, the more conversions you will see.
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