Where do most paid search (PPC) campaigns succeed or fail? Though it’s typical for marketers to invest more time and legwork in the mechanics of search (keywords, bid strategy, campaign structure), I’d argue that the majority of PPC campaigns are won or lost at the close: the landing page.
The rewards from making even slight improvements to your PPC landing pages can be dramatic. Improve conversion (click to lead) rates by just a percentage point or two and you can increase lead volume (and slash Cost Per Lead) disproportionately. Here are 7 tips that can make a difference:
1. Include a clear, specific call to action. Not “learn more.” No “For more information …” Make the reward specific and tangible. Information offers (white papers, ebooks, information kits) often work best because they appeal to prospects across a broad segment of the selling cycle.
2. Sell the offer. Once you’ve decided on the right offer, sell it. Remember, it’s not the company you’re selling, or the product, it’s that white paper or video or Webinar the prospect gets when he or she fills out the form. If the offer is a video, show screen shots. If it’s a white paper, include excerpts, Amazon-type page previews, even reader reviews. The more detail, the better.
3. Write a headline that reflects the ad copy. Effective PPC campaigns start with effective, action-oriented ad copy that’s relevant to the search term. They end with an engaging, easy to navigate landing page that’s relevant to the ad copy. The goal is one seamless user experience in which every step validates and rewards the prospect’s information needs. Avoid disconnects by keeping your message consistent.
4. Keep the registration form short, and above the fold. If you have a robust, systematic lead nurturing program in place (of course you do) there’s no need to capture every morsel of information from the prospect at first touch. Every required field you add to your registration form lowers your conversion rate accordingly. Ask for the minimum information possible, and keep the form high on the page where the reader can see it (and act) immediately.
5. Don’t skimp on selling copy. PPC landing pages are different in this respect from say, an email landing page, because the reader barely knows anything yet about your company or the offer. Be sure to include sufficient selling copy to a) adequately sell the offer, b) address any anticipated concerns or objections, and c) help ensure a high quality score by offering what Google calls “relevant and original content” – i.e. content related to the offer in the ad.
6. Don’t include external links. That means no links back to your home page, and for Pete’s sake no navigation bar. The landing page should have one purpose only, and that’s getting the prospect to fill out a form. (Short anecdote: when a former client insisted on having the logo on their landing page be a live link back to their Website, we were able to show that 15% of PPC visitors were escaping through that logo.)
7. Be cautious with customer logos, award icons, and gushing quotes of praise for your company or product. Testimonials of this type can detract from the primary offer and create the aura of a sales pitch for your company that runs counter to the information of value the reader is searching for. Exceptions to this rule occur when your offer is a demo or free trial, situations in which an extra dose of credibility helps sell the offer.
For more tips on getting more from your PPC campaign, download a free copy of our white paper: “Top 10 B2B Paid Search Mistakes: Why Your Google Campaign Isn’t Working And What To Do About It.”