Optimizing landing pages can be a very rewarding task, but can at the same time be complicated and time-consuming. Above the fold, Call to Action buttons, value propositions, incentives, overall design and many other factors are important when you optimize your landing pages for Google AdWords.
It doesn’t have to be that complicated always. In marketing, we work to achieve the most out of every single effort, no matter how small.
Don’t get me wrong – We’re not lazy, but we want to focus on the tasks that result in the greatest impact on our bottom line with the smallest effort.
When it comes to optimizing your AdWords landing pages, then you can do the same. We have gathered some quick tips you can quickly implement to increase your Conversion Rate for your AdWords campaigns. Most of these tips can be implemented without programming expertise or a web designer.
Note: It’s important to mention that you should always test out new variations before implementing them full scale. However, the changes we suggest in this blog post are fairly subtle and will result in a conversion rate increase in most cases.
Step 1) Does Your Landing Page Convey the Same Message as Your Successful AdWords Ads?
If you have been working with an AdWords campaign for a couple of months, then you will most likely have tested several ad variations to achieve the highest click-through-rate and conversion rate.
Let’s take the case of an Auto Repair Shop in Dallas as an example. Through your ad testing, you might have tried out phrases like:
Local Auto Repair in Dallas.
Get a Free Check Up This Week.
Dallas #1 Auto Repair Shop.
Call Today to Schedule.
Special Discount on Winter Tires.
Installation and Tires in One Bundle.
All these ads promise different things that are all valuable to your target audience, but are your landing pages delivering on these promises?
One of the biggest reasons for low conversion rates and high bounce rates is the failure to manage and deliver on the client expectations after being exposed to your advertising.
If you write that you’re a local car repair shop in Dallas that offers a free check-up, then it’s important that your landing page follows up on the expectation you have set.
The promises made in your ad are what made the potential customer click on your ad instead of your competitors’. If you follow this message by mentioning the same benefits on your landing page and additional ones, then you will be a lot more likely to convert.
2) How Easy is it for the Prospect to Understand Why He Should Pick You?
A lot of small to mid-sized businesses can actually write pretty good content about what makes them better than their immediate competitors. Our Account Executives spend a lot of time with our clients in order to establish the client’s greatest benefits and disadvantages.
However, a large percentage of business owners fail to write for online users. Online users are notoriously hard to keep engaged, so it’s important that your prospects identify immediately why they should choose you.
Avoid Using One Big Chunk of Text
The majority of the good text found on SMB websites nowadays is “hidden” in big chunks of text. When you write your text in one big chunk, then you expect the prospect to read all of your text in order to understand why they should choose you.
If you take your large chunk of text and break it into smaller pieces with sub-headlines and bullet points, the potential customer will be able to read through these in less than a minute to determine whether or not you’re worth spending the time it takes to read all the text.
A good rule-of-thumb is to keep your text sections to only one or two sentences maximum.
Important: Online prospects do not read your text from A to Z. They scan it to find the most important parts and make an assessment of whether to continue reading, contact you or exit your site. Always keep this in mind when drafting your content.
3) Do You Clearly Express Why a Prospect Should Choose You?
A lot of business websites miss their main objective, which is to highlight why the prospect should choose you. A website should be able to answer all the questions that a successful salesman would be able to do in person.
Craft a Solid Value Proposition for your Landing Page
One of the best ways to ensure that your prospect knows why to choose you is to build a solid value proposition. A rule-of-thumb when crafting your initial value proposition is that it should be one sentence and people should instantly understand what you do and why they should choose you.
In White Shark Media we have the following value proposition:
Specialized Search Engine Marketing to Small and Mid-Sized Businesses to Achieve the Highest Return on Investment
We believe that this statement clearly expresses what our agency is dedicated to. We are an advertising agency that specializes in Search Engine Marketing for Small to Medium Sized Businesses. Our main focus when building and optimizing campaigns is to achieve a high return on investment through call tracking and online conversion tracking.
Every business should have a clearly stated value proposition, and so should you. Test it out on various prospects in order to find the best one.
Don’t worry if you think your value proposition is going to change because you’re expanding or if your business will change. A value proposition is subject to change and can follow your natural business plan.
Are Benefits Clearly Listed on the Landing Page?
You should be able to list between 5 and 10 benefits of your service. The benefits that you choose should be implemented as they’re relevant on your landing pages.
A value proposition is great, but it’s important to also write common benefits that prospects might enjoy when choosing your services.
Benefits could be:
- We Never Leave a Mess (perfect for construction or landscaping)
- Professional Services at Half the Price
- 6 Month Guarantee on All Car Repairs
- We Pick Up and Deliver your Car to Your Home
- Pay Your Invoice in Rates
- Receive 3 Local Quotes and Save the Time!
- Instant Access
You should always be able to explain what the main benefits of your service are, and so should your website. A great way to do this is by having a brainstorming session with your key employees or colleagues.
4) Do You Offer an Obvious Next Step (Call-to-Action)?
Even if you have the three steps implemented perfectly on your landing page then you might be loosing sales if you do not have a clearly defined next step.
If a prospect has taken the time to read your web page, it means that they must have some interest in taking the next step. It’s important that you tell them exactly what the next step is so the prospect doesn’t have to think about it too much.
There are two places that I recommend that you place your call-to-action.
A) Include your Call to Action at the Beginning of Your Landing Page
Some of your prospects might be very far in the buying funnel and may have visited your site before. They just need the last benefits to convince them to contact you.
You can’t be sure that all prospects will reach the end of your page. Some will be convinced in the first section of your page, some will be convinced in the middle and some will be convinced at the end of your landing page. Make sure you capture them all.
By adding a clear call-to-action at the beginning of your landing page (above the fold preferably), you will be able to collect these conversions easily.
B) Include your Call to Action at the End of Your Landing Page
By including a call-to-action at the end of your page you make sure to offer a clear next step to the prospects that took the time to read your entire page. Many pages do not implement this step as they think a big contact form in the beginning of the page is enough.
When you have the time, try to open your own landing page and read it from the start to the end. When you reach the end, then ask yourself: “What is the next step from here?”. Put his this step into the end of your landing page to ensure a natural flow for your users.
If you neglect to offer a Call-To-Action when your potential customer is the most ready to contact you, then you might be missing out on important leads.
Bonus Tip: Spend 10 Minutes Comparing your AdWords Ads with Your Landing Page
Take 10 minutes out of your day to compare your landing pages and AdWords Ads next to each other and you will be able to see clearly if your landing page is good or needs improvement.
- Are you missing benefits?
- Is your headline a simple Welcome to xxx Landscaping or Why xxx Landscaping?
- Is there a clear next step when entering the page?
- Do you use the same messaging in your ads as in your landing page?
What if You Can’t Change the Landing Page?
If for some reason you can’t change your landing page, then there’s one thing I used to do in my early days as a marketer: I used to customize my ads to my landing page.
It wasn’t always that I would get clearance to change landing pages on websites, but by focusing on what the landing page offered and its wording, I was often able to create the best results.