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Part II: 5 Ways to improve your PPC landing pages

Fri, 02/09/2016 - 08:42

Want to know how to improve your PPC landing pages? Here are five simple, actionable tips you can implement today.

In my previous article, I talked about the Zero Moment of Truth in search advertising; why search marketers are focusing too much on in-Adwords optimisation, and not enough on their own landing pages and websites; and why we need to focus more on convincing searchers to take action! Below are my five tips to improve PPC landing pages:

Get to the point

Quit bragging. Seriously, this user doesn't care that you are the leading [insert company specialisation] in [insert region]. They want to buy or book. NOW! So make this landing page about getting them to take the action. Use concise, convincing copy to let them know that what you're offering has more value than your competitors, and then bring it home with the…

Call to action

So you've summarised what the offering is, and why it's better than your competitors'. Now it's time to tell the user to do something. Your form or buttons shouldn't float around aimlessly with a "send" on them. Be more creative. Consult your design team, as well as your strategists and come up with better ways to get users to take action in terms of adjusting layout and other on-page elements. Tell users to 'get started', 'get [product/service] now!', or ‘start your journey'.

Change it up

Test, test and test again. I cannot emphasise enough how much you need resources outside of AdWords. You may need designers and developers to help you switch things up from time to time. PPC may have quicker results than SEO over the short term, but there's always more that can be done.

You could implement A/B testing by creating different versions of the landing page with different calls to action and layouts. This is going to take design resources, as well as some development work, so be prepared to have these available if you want to refine your campaign and produce the best results for your company or clients. Simpler changes include adjusting the language you use on your landing page, as well as the specific calls to action, so if you don't have tons of resources available, start by doing this.

Forms, glorious forms!

Ideally live booking or an e-commerce facility works best, but if you have to use a form, make sure that it is easily accessible (preferably above the fold), short, and simple for users to complete. Always remember that you can get the basic information from a customer or potential customer, and add them to a nurturing or remarketing campaign later down the line. Asking someone who clicks on your PPC ad to give you their name, address, phone number, date of birth, dog's name, place they had their first kiss, mom’s aunt’s sister’s wife’s favourite restaurant, and the date they started school is just going to frustrate users. This will cause them to close their browser and throw their laptop out of the window - or even worse, they'll go to your competitors if they are able to make the process simpler.

The integrated approach

And since we're talking about making things simpler for customers, let's not forget that a PPC campaign does not operate in isolation. If you (or your client) offers a great product, but the call centre won't answer the phones, there may be trouble. Whether live booking or an e-commerce facility is available or not, offline customer service needs to augment and compliment the PPC campaign. The company can do this with follow-up emails or calls, ensuring that customers are confident in the action they've taken. Or perhaps present users who have converted with a FAQ addressing general queries often received. This can be automated where possible, but don’t forget that a human connection is a great brand builder.

It's important to constantly take note of the challenges in the buying process, to either compensate for these, or adjust the process in order to eliminate issues in future. The process is constantly evolving, and keeping an ear to the ground helps you understand customer frustrations so that you can address these in order to improve their experience. And guess what improved customer experience means for you and your clients? You guessed it: better results and more business! It’s time you remembered how important landing pages are in your PPC campaign, and start getting them into tip top shape