When you’re spending money on advertising campaigns, you need to get a return on your investment. The best way to do this is to drive traffic to dedicated landing pages created with the sole purpose of driving users towards a desired action.
This function is supposed to drive users towards taking a desired action – clicking through to another page, signing up for a list, or purchasing a product.
There are at least 12 key on-page ingredients that go into building a landing page.
However, they should all be focused on creating conversions by addressing the five most basic criteria. So when it comes to building landing pages, to get the most out of your marketing ad spend, read below for the most important aspects to consider.
1) It’s All About Relevance
For your landing page to be effective there needs to be a strong correlation between the ad that the user clicked and the page on which they land. If users do not find what they expect, you can be pretty sure that your bounce rates are going to be high because they will exit your landing page fast.
The benefit of maintaining a high degree of relevance between your ads and landing pages is enormous. On one hand, you enjoy better quality scores and on the other hand you achieve a higher conversion rate in conjunction with lower bounce rates. This ultimately sets you up for an improved ROI on your ad spend.
In the example above you can see a great example of Ad and Landing Page Relevance by WordStream. Notice that the PPC ad invites the user to “Try WordStream’s Landing Page Grader for Free Today!” and how the headline on the landing page moves to the present tense and continues the conversation.
2) Gain Authority
If you have maintained a high degree of relevance between your ad and your landing page, the user will click through and remain engaged.
Now is your opportunity to convince them that your product, service or offer is the best and that you’re an authority. If users perceive you as anything but the authority, then you’ll struggle to convince them to take action. You also risk losing out to someone with a similar offer, who is perceived as being more of an authority.
There are several ways in which you can position yourself as the authority in a user’s mind. Some of the most common methods involve using a small area of the landing page to highlight any endorsements, qualifications or partnerships you company may have or draw attention to some verifiable statistics. Been in business for over a decade or sold over a million widgets? Great, use that. Worked with some amazing, major brands? Awesome, include their logos.
The benefit of setting yourself up as the authority is that it begins to address the most fundamental requirement for a business deal – trust. If your business was trusted by major recognizable brands, then the user feels safe. If you’ve been in business for over a decade, you probably have the experience and know how they’re looking for, or else you wouldn’t still be around.
In the example above WordStream does a good job of including the logos of prominent, recognizable brands. The only thing I could nit-pick at here would be the lack of context. Are those logos clients, or did they just endorse the product?
If the banners were given some context such as “Used By” and WordStream also included some dynamic counters showing the number of landing pages graded, this area would carry even more weight with users.
3) Building Trust is Crucial
Probably a universal constant in any business transaction is the element of trust. This is even truer when doing business online. No matter how good your offer is, or how much of an authority you are, without a user’s trust, there’s no chance of your landing page sealing the deal.
A great way to build trust with users is through the use of testimonials and social media mentions. Finding a way to include either or both of these elements in your landing page design is always a good idea. If you want to extract the maximum value out of your testimonials and social mentions, feature the ones that echo your unique selling proposition, reinforce the benefits and show happy smiling customers.
The example above shows how our White Shark Media homepage includes testimonials for our PPC management services. These feel authentic because they feature the client and a clear testimonial that highlights their experience with the service provided. Testimonials such as these build more trust than testimonials that include a short testimonial text but no photo, no job title, and only a partial username.
When it comes to landing pages, the key is to test, track and tweak until you reach a point where your elements work synergistically to achieve a common objective.
Now that you’ve done the hard work, finish off your landing page by following through and employing some common sense to the actual design elements.
4) Keep It Simple
Remove all distractions from your landing page. If it’s not directly related to the purpose of the page, remove it. By removing distractions from your landing page, you allow users to focus on what is important, thereby improving engagement and lowering bounce rates.
There’s a reason why you’ll often see MailChimp.com mentioned in conversations about designing effective landing pages. The image above is their home page, which also acts as a landing page. Notice how simple it is with the muted menu and links, and the calls-to-action that pop. This is a great example of how a little simplicity can go a long way.
5) Utilize Click-through Pages
Use click through pages to extend your message and provide the user with the information they need to make the decision whether to take action or not. Direct them through to the main page you want them to take action on after they have been confirmed as potential customers for your product or service. Sending hot leads to a killer deal is a sure-fire route to campaign success.
A good example of a click-through page that qualifies leads before sending them through to money pages in DollarShaveClub.com.
The landing page does nothing except convince potential customers that they’re in the right place, explains the offer and concept and gives users a good idea of what to expect when ordering.
This click-through page then drives warm leads through to the money pages when users are asked to select their razor and begin building their orders. This is a lot more effective than simply directing users to a product page or an order page.
Make Your Offer Irresistible
Now that a warm lead has clicked through to your money page be sure to drive them quickly towards taking the desired action. Buying a product at a discount or a freebie of some sort to users in exchange for their contact details are good strategies, but combine them with time sensitivity to set your conversions alight. Why should the user buy now or download now if the same offer is still going to be available a week from now?
Your marketing dollars are valuable, you spend them carefully with the aim of getting a return on your investment. If you’re not optimizing your funnel process and landing pages, you’re leaving money on the table and wasting money too. Which means higher acquisition costs, lower conversions and more time and money invested in building the bottom line. Spend time optimizing what you have, to ensure that you squeeze every ounce of value out of your marketing spend.