A successful pay per click campaign isn’t just about getting people to click on your ad. That’s simply the first step. It’s also about what they do after they land on the page the ad takes them too. Clicks mean nothing if they don’t result in prospects taking some action after the click.
Having a successful landing page for Google AdWordsHaving a successful landing page for Google AdWords
You might think that you’ve successfully set up your AdWords campaign. You've targeted your specific market with keywords they use as they’re ready to make a purchase or decision. Yet, each month you see little to no results from your campaign.
Often the reason is that once they’re on your site, they either don’t find what they’re looking for or they’re not convince you’re the business to use.
In the handful of time when I’ve been involved with Google AdWords campaigns that didn’t succeed or didn’t meet a client’s expectations, it was nearly always the same reason. They either didn’t have a landing page they could use, or if they did, it was poorly developed by someone who understood graphics, but not conversion copywriting.
In reviewing hundreds of campaigns, I’ve often found a similar theme with prospects who contacted me because their Google AdWords campaign was failing. Often, they’re sending prospects to either a home page, which focuses too much on the company. Or a product or service page, which doesn’t relate any information on the business.
By not having a dedicated landing page for a campaign you run the risk of losing potential prospects because your conversion rate will be lower. A successful landing page will easily pay for itself over time by converting more visitors into prospects. The result is a business that starts to see its revenue grow dramatically.
A landing page is the first page a visitor arrives on when visiting your site. In SEO this often this is a home page, but if you’ve optimized your site, it could be an interior page. The problem is you can’t always control what page Google take you to.
With a pay per click campaign you can choose what page to send visitors to.
A landing page for Google AdWords should be more focused than a home page and more comprehensive than a product or service page. It should have one objective, to take visitors to the site who’ve come from a Google AdWords ad and convert them into leads.
How To Develop a Landing Page For Google AdWords That Converts
I’m not going into how to create a landing page. For some this might be to have a webmaster create something, while for others it might be to use a program such as LeadPages or Unbounce. Instead I want to focus on the content of the landing page. The elements you put on the page and not its design, which is also important.
Some people worry that a landing page violates Google's policy, that it might be creating duplicate content from existing pages on your site. This isn't the case. Google in fact, recommends using landing pages and it's one element of their Quality Score, which helps to determine where your ads rank.
As a conversion copywriter, I’ve helped businesses improve their success on AdWords dramatically by helping them develop compelling landing pages. Their costs per clicks didn’t increase, nor did their overall spend, but their conversions often doubled, tripled or in once client’s case, increase 350%.
Here is Some of What I’ve Learned Over the Years:
What Is Your Objective With the Page - First you have to understand the objective of your landing page. Obviously its for prospects to take some sort of action, either to fill out a form, pick up the phone, or make a purchase. To get them there, however you must decide:
· Who Is Your Market?
· Why Do they need Your Products or service oroffer?
· Where are they at in the decision-makingprocess.
· Why should they choose your business?
Until you answer all of these questions you can’t start writing your copy.
Have More than One Landing Page – If you’re doing more than one campaign then ideally you need a landing page for each campaign. Again, it comes down to visitors being interested in an aspect of your ad. It might be the offer you’re making or looking for a item. Think of it like a department store. A person comes in looking for shoes, but finds your shoes are spread out among shirts, as well. And the salesman talks to you about shirts, as well as shoes. Since you’re only interested in shoes, he’s distracting you from what you want to buy. And will likely lose the sale.
If you offer different products or services or items that appeal to different groups, then have landing pages that address each of these on their own.
Studies show that businesses that have at least 10 landing pages see a 55% increase in leads.
Have A Strong Headline That Relates To Your Ad – Now that you have a landing for each campaign, make sure the message of the ad is reinforced immediately by the headline on the page. Keep it simple and concise and on target. It should relate to whatever offer or call to action you included in your ad. Be consistent in your messaging from your ad to your page.
This doesn't mean that if your AdWords headline was "Want to Lose Weight Fast?", don't simply repeat it on the landing page. Instead answer the question with something like "Our proven method to lose weight quickly."
Use a Subhead – This is where you can expand on the message of the ad and perhaps incorporate an offer related to it or have a call to action.
Have a Strong Call To Action – The goal of the landing page is to get the visitors to perform some sort of action – make a phone call, fill out a form, buy a product, etc. So, encourage them to do this with a strong call to action that they easily notice. This means bold it or incorporate it in a box whose colors make it stand out. So, they have no doubt what to do.
Have the Call To Actions Focus on Only One Offer – Most likely your ad brought them to your page because of something you offered in your ad. Don’t distract them by having multiple requests on the page. You need to have an objective in mind as to what your copy and create your call to action.
Have Original & Relevant Content - The content on the page should address the problem that your prospects face and how your product or service provides a solution to them. It could be solving an issue they are facing with their home, such as a leak or the best price for a product they want to buy. And the quality of the product or service.
Make Your Page Succinct - One of the benefits of having multiple landing pages is that each page relates to only one offer. So, a lot of content isn’t necessary. Focus on your offer and what you want them to do and make this the focus of the content. This doesn’t mean your goal is always to have a short landing page. Depending on the cost of the product or service, it might take more to convince them. There’s nothing wrong with long sales copy, provided its necessary and compelling.
Landing page for Google AdWordsLanding page for Google AdWords
Use Bullet Points, Lists, and Bolded Words – People most often scan a page when they see it and bullet points are a way to highlight some of the most important parts of your offer. Bold certain critical sentences and use white space to your advantage. If they are simply skimming the page, you want your text to draw them in.
A list is another option that works well, as the page to the left demonstrates.
Have a Picture That Relates to the Offer – This is easy if it’s a product, but if it’s a service you still want something distinctive. It’s also helps to have a photograph you’ve done yourself rather than one that is an obvious stock shot. I've seen pages convert at a much higher rate that used a photo that didn't quite look professional, but which was obviously authentic.
With Your Form Ask Only the Essentials – The goal of your landing page is often for them to take some sort of action and often this involves having them fill out a form. With a form you’re trying to get prospects to provide you with information on them. If they see a long form with a lot of fields to fill in they may leave no matter how compelling your offer. Especially if they’re on a mobile device.
Try to only ask the essentials on the form. You can always request more information from them later.
Have a Mobile Specific Landing Page – Since so many of your visitors will be on mobile devices, make sure the page is equipped for that. This means a responsive page. You might also consider having separate ads for mobile devices, as Google AdWords allows this. This means a page with less text and images that have been compressed. You want a page that loads fast and is easy to read on a smaller screen.
Research by Google shows that 60% of people won't return to a site if they have a bad mobile experience. If for some reason your site isn’t mobile friendly, then bid lower on mobile. No sense in wasting money if they won’t be able properly view your page. Or risk them never visiting your site again.
Incorporate Trust Factors – Most likely the person visiting your page will have no idea who you are or even the reputation of your business. Have elements that convince them of your businesses quality such as testimonials or maybe the number of likes you have on Facebook or the number of reviews you have on Yelp.
Another way to generate confidence in a company is to show the businesses they've worked with.
Answer Objections or Concerns – If you find that prospects often have common concerns or questions about your services or products then try to address the main ones on your page. If pricing is a concern, for example, then demonstrate the additional value to what you offer over cheaper competitors. Again, you want to error on the side of brevity here, but you also want to make sure they have enough information to make a decision. If this means a longer page, then at least test that out.
Fast Page Load Time - This doesn't involve what's on your page, but how quickly people get to it. More and more Google is putting a lot of emphasis on how quickly a page loads, as they know people have little patience in waiting on results.
Test and retest – This is not always an option, depending on your site and your relationship with your webmaster. For some businesses, it can cost hundreds of dollars to make changes to a page so constantly tweaking a page might not be an option. If, however, you can make revisions at little or no cost, then testing various elements is a way to improve conversions. Reviewing landing pages should be a part of any pay per click audit you do.
Remove Navigation – this isn’t something I usually recommend, but I would be remiss if I didn’'t mention this as many experts do recommend it. I’ve always had doubts about this, but it is worth experimenting with. The idea is that you want visitors to perform an action and navigation can distract them. That they start moving around on your site and forget their main objective.
By leaving them with no navigation, they feel prospects will be less distracted. Then once they’ve completed the action of filling out a form they are taken to a thank you page where the site’s navigation is available. My concern is that for some businesses, prospects want more information so may want to dig deeper into the company’s website.
These are a lot of suggestions and by no means do I mean you need to do all of these for a single landing page. Yet, many of these have been proven to greatly impact conversions and so beginning with any of these are likely to improve your chance for success.
If you want to be successful with pay per click, then it requires several elements. From the creation of the ad to the choice of keywords to the development of landing pages. If you feel that it’s too much for you or your staff to take on your own, then consider hiring a Google AdWords Consultant. Schedule a consult with me to go over your marketing needs, including a review of your landing pages.