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Optimising Landing Pages for AdWords Conversions

It is all well and good having a professionally constructed and managed AdWords campaign, but if your landing pages are poor then the campaign becomes as effective (or defective in this case) as the landing pages themselves. You could have the best campaign in an industry but it does not necessarily mean that you will generate any conversions if your landing pages don't perform well. So what is the sense in paying for traffic if your website isn't 100% ready to sell and produce conversions?

 

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To help prepare your landing pages as best as possible I have formed a list of important points to consider when creating / optimising landing pages based on the knowledge of contributors from this forum who had a discussion on this topic in the past:

 

Navigation 

One of the most important points which I see overlooked too often. Advertisers will sometimes try to add all the bells and whistles to their website in an attempt to impress their visitors, the problem is that this can distract a potential customer from completing the conversion process and even drive them away from the website entirely. Keep the payment / sign up process as simple as possible and within as few clicks as possible; each additional click required to complete the process reduces the likelihood of getting a conversion as the customer begins to get frustrated, confused and / or distracted.

 

Attention

While keeping things simple for the visitor to navigate with ease you still don't want your landing page to be too basic. The average online shopper is impatient these days so it's important that you grab their attention as quickly as possible and by this I mean within the first three seconds. This doesn't necessarily need to be done with flashing lights and bright colours however; if the customer can quickly identify and relate to what they are looking for then it is likely that they are going to stay on your landing page for longer and hopefully complete a conversion. On the flip side, if it takes too long to find what the ad description originally mentioned then they will exit rather promptly.

 

Quality

If you are going to pay for advertising then there is no point in using a website which isn't going to justify your business or your campaign. Take some time analysing your competitors' websites and make sure that your landing pages have the ability to compete with regards to design and professionalism. The days of ugly and unorganised websites are passing by and are something that businesses can't get away with anymore.

 

Relevancy

Landing pages should be relevant to the particular product or service that you are advertising. If you have multiple products or services to offer then it is a good idea to create individual landing pages dedicated to each product or service while also keeping the ad group, keywords and ad text relevant to the landing page. If a potential customer is looking for a particular model tennis racket and is directed to a landing page with a number of different models then he or she won't have as good of an experience if they had been directed to a landing page dedicated to the particular model they were wanting to purchase. It is important to make the stream and relevancy between search term, ad description and landing page content as smooth as possible.

 

Direction

If call to action phrases haven't already been stressed enough to you when it comes to creating efficient ad descriptions then it is time to consider them for landing page content. If you want to direct your visitors into completing a particular action on your website, whether it be signing up to a form or making a sale, then make sure you tell them! Using effective phrases such as "Buy Now" or "Sign Up" on your landing pages will give visitors an idea of what they can do on that page and encourage them further to do so. Don't forget that if you are providing a special offer or discount then make it well known to your visitors, there is no point having the special deal at all otherwise.

 

Confidence 

If you have testimonials and other forms of positive customer feedback then be sure to display it to your visitors to instil confidence in them that your product or service is the one to buy or use. The online purchasing culture these days relies heavily on reviews and evidence that an online business is safe and reliable to use, you can eliminate all fear and doubts by showing that others have had good experiences with your service. There are even instances where people will be willing to pay more for a service if they know it will be hassle free. It can also be a great influential factor to make your unique selling points known, these will help you stand out from the competitors and secure a decision in a purchaser's own mind.

 

Contact Details

There will always be visitors who will want to call you no matter how easy your website is to navigate. To satisfy these customers make sure that your contact details are easily visible so that they don't have to go in search of your phone number and potentially give up. Displaying a telephone number in a prominent place gives confidence to your visitors (whether they call you or not) as they know they are dealing with humans rather than an automated online service.

 

Test & Analyse

To get the best out of your landing pages you need to monitor their performance. Using Google Analytics will give you valuable data such as the average time spent on page, number of page views, exit and bounce rates, goals and conversions, etc. Analysing this data will give you an idea of how well visitors are interacting with your website and which areas need to be improved upon. If you have the ability to create different variations of landing pages (Content Experiements are great for this) then it is a great practice to split test them and then use this data to identify which is giving your visitors the best user experience and therefore most likely to convert the most sales and leads for your business.

 

Remove Clutter & Friction

If you are hesitant to whether a feature on your landing page may be driving visitors away then remove, fix or change it. Reverting to simplicity is a better option than potentially losing conversions for the sake of a cool widget on your page; a pop up asking for feedback for example is not going to assist in a conversion so if you find after testing that it has a negative impact on sales then remove it.

 

Speed 

Fast loading landing pages are not just factors of quality score but can also have an impact on your visitors' experience. You can test the speed of your pages using various extensions, if you realise that some are slowed than they should be then optimise graphics, CSS, scripts and anything else that might be influencing the load time of your page.

 

Every little bit of optimisation on a landing page can ultimately improve your total number of conversions in the future so it should be a good motivator to spend a little time on your website. If you have the time to continually split test landing pages and keep them up to date then I highly recommend you do so, it is always important to keep your potential customers happy and stay ahead of the game.

 

I would like to give a special mention to the following community members as a lot of this knowledge originally came from them -

 

Kim

Adam

Shweta

Calin

 

about Scott Dunroe

I have been managing AdWords accounts for over 8 years now at an international marketing agency level and also as a freelancer. I am very passionate about Google's PPC platform and pretty much anything else that is Google related. My theory in life is to learn something new every day and this community is definitely a good place to do so; I would recommend anyone reading this to stick around as it's an excellent source of information with great people contributing to it.

Comments
bgm_ppc
January 2013
Great article Scott, It frustrates me how, in our industry, everyone talks about clicks. Surely conversions are key to success, with a high conversion rate you need to generate less traffic therefore saving money on click costs, improving quality scores and providing a superior customer experience!
ScottyD Top Contributor
January 2013

Thanks for the feedback bgm_ppc, I really appreciate it! I'm really glad that you enjoyed the article.

Sandeep Kumar
February 2013

No dobut it is great article to read and learn but it would be more effective if you describe or elborate this article with sample of landing page. I would like to see an example of such landing page that has all these functionalities and will help us to understand it more...

razzc
March 2013

Hey Scotty. Nice article! Man Happy

 

Just looking at the Relevancy bit. When you say "it is a good idea to create individual landing pages dedicated to each product or service", what if I create one landing page with sections relevant to Ad Groups/Ad Text and simply link the Ad Group/Ad Text to that particualr section of the page? So when a user clicks, they just go straight to that particular section of the page. Or you still think it's still better to have separate landing pages for each of the Ad Group/Ad Text?

 

I am working on a client who will possibly have a bit over 30 Ad Groups.

 

I hope I am making sense here. Thanks for your help and informative article.

 

RC Smiley Happy


ScottyD Top Contributor
March 2013

Hello RC,

 

Thank you for the feedback and that is a good question Smiley Happy

 

As we are focusing on generating conversions here rather than improving Quality Score I would personally say it depends on the nature of the business. If I had a "Mobile Phone Accessories" ad group for example then I would obviously restrict my chances of getting a conversion if I directed them to a landing page with one product on it. Directing them to a well organised page with different accessories will provide a better experience as the potential customer can then browse through all the products at once and make comparisons.

 

If I have an "iPhone Phone Cases" ad group however and were to link them to this general accessories page then they are going to have a negative shopping experience due to having to filter through products that don't apply to what they want to buy. Having a landing page dedicated to iPhone phone cases is providing them with a service they want and will therefore assist in gaining a sale. 

 

Finally if you have an ad group based on a very specific product such as "iPhone Car Chargers" then the best course of action is to have a landing page dedicated solely to this product. Your client may not have a business like this however but organisation is still always very important. In my example I would have a general accessories page which has sub categories such as the iPhone cases, then if you click on a product you will be taken to a dedicated page containing more details about it. That way you can have appropriate levels of destination URLs assigned to your ads and keywords depending on how general or specific the particular search is.

 

I hope the above makes sense, let me know if I need to clarify anything.

razzc
March 2013

Thanks for the time and your thoroughness Scotty. I really appreciate it. Smiley Happy

 

I do freelance web design and development. (I know competition is crazy and I can see a small on your dial too Smiley Happy) If you get the time and review the landing pages I have just created, I would be greatful. What I have done is that I have created 4 Ads for every Ad Group and a Landing Page for every Ad Group (Not every Ad) instead of a landing page for every Ad.

Do you still believe there is reason for creating a dedicated landing page for every Ad? I am not being lazy, I just don't see a logic or reason for a dedicated page to every Ad!

 

I have followed the following protocols:

 

  • Every Ad Text's title has the KWs mentioned in in.
  • Ad Descriptions too have KWs mentioned in them.
  • Finally landing pages have contents built around those KWs.

I just want to make sure that the landing pages are not an 'over-kill' neither they are content-poor. I have stayed away from bells and whistle. Here are the links for your review:

 

Keyword Web Page Design

Keyword Best Web Design

Keyword Small Bussiness/Busiess Web Design

 

I really appreciate your help on this and anyone else who would like to take a look at my request and please help me.

 

Thanks.

RC.

 

 

 

ScottyD Top Contributor
April 2013

Hi RC,

 

The landing pages you have created are excellent, very professional and well constructed. Congratulations Smiley Wink

 

I noticed you are using the #1 anchor to avoid users seeing the QR codes at the top. I personally would just remove the ones at the top so you can display the rest of the header such as your logo and the other links. This way you can promote your brand better and instil more confidence in the person who has clicked through to your landing page rather them being presented to information which isn't associated with a company.

 

I would personally stick with a landing page per ad group as you have done and see how you get on.

 

Well done anyway!

razzc
April 2013

Thanks ScottyD. Smiley Happy

Thanks for the positive feedback. If I can get a tick of approval from an expert like yourself, I must be on the right track.

 

The reason I've used anchors to get users to 'land' exactly where they meant to go. Anchors were suggested to me by a Trainer at one of the boot-camps. I need to remove QR codes anyway to imrpove landing scores on mobile devices. They are 77/100 at the moment. I want to get them over 85.

 

Thanks again for your ongoing support..

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