Landing pages are arguably the most important part of PPC and email marketing campaigns. Not only do they boost the quality rating of paid search ads, which in turn affects their rankings, they also act as the selling points that convert website visitors into customers.
Emails and PPC ads exist to draw customers in, but all of that is useless if you don’t have a landing page that converts. When every email sent and ad placed costs you money, you have to make sure that your conversion rate is high enough to not only justify that cost, but make the whole process worth your time, as well.
The problem with landing pages is that their design and execution has to be absolutely flawless. Whether your definition of a conversion is the user making a purchase, filling out a form, subscribing to a newsletter or downloading an eBook, your landing page has only seconds to convince people to convert.
Why Use Landing Pages at All?
Linking PPC ads and emails back to your website homepage is a mistake that far too many companies make. Converting should always be as easy for customers as possible.
Websites are not like brick and mortar stores. You don’t have to force customers through a store by placing the most important items at the back. Customers can enter and exit a website at any point and time, so you have to deposit them on the page that is the most likely to make them convert.
What Makes a Good Landing Page?
Designing a landing page comes down to three crucial elements:
There’s really nothing more to it. Here’s why:
Make Converting a Simple Process
Every additional step you add to a landing page is a wall between you and a conversion. You must direct users to your desired outcome with as little work as possible.
If you want them to buy a product, you should bring them directly to that product page; if you want them to fill out a form, keep it short and simple. Four to six fields is more than enough to gather information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers*, etc.
*Note: research shows that people are far less likely to fill out a form if they have to give their phone number. If you include this field, be sure to make it optional.
If your web form looks like it came from the IRS, no one is going to fill it out.
Make It Attractive
Besides simplicity, your landing pages need to be attractive, inviting and pleasing to look at. Users must instantly trust your brand the second they arrive on the page. They must also know that they arrived exactly where they wanted to be.
This can be accomplished by having a bright header at the top of the page that broadcasts your offer. Most importantly, it must match the PPC ad or email that directed them there. Betraying users by tricking them with PPC ads and emails containing false information is a good way to ensure that they leave and never come back.
You should also make good use of attractive colors. Buttons and other calls to action should catch a person’s attention quickly (red and green are two favorites among designers).
Make it Count
Beyond simplicity and attractiveness, your landing page should also:
- Earn a person’s trust: display testimonials and badges (BBB accreditation, ISO certification, features in publications, etc.).
- Be tailored to a specific audience: know who you are targeting and why. Then use this as a means to craft a page that you know consumers will want to see.
Start Converting Today
A lot of time and money can be poured into PPC and email marketing campaigns, all of which is wasted without a finely crafted landing page. There’s only three factors that make them effective, but they must be executed to perfection.
Make it simple. Make it attractive. Make it count.