Google Adwords is a crucial tool for today’s digital marketers. But while many focus entirely on Cost Per Click (CPC) management and keyword targeting landing, the importance of landing pages is placed on the back burner. Landing pages are optimized web pages designed for people who click on your ads. Once a user clicks on your Google ad, the landing page is where they arrive. The common component that is wrong with most Pay Per Click (PPC) strategies is that the ads are linking to a homepage or link cluttered registration page.
Landing pages should also attend to the specific stage of the buying cycle for each user. Have they interacted with your site? Or is this the first time they've ever encountered your brand? By using landing pages with focused and specified calls to action, content, and click through pages, you can augment your strategy to spur greater conversions.
Journey to Conversion
When you link a PPC ad on Google to your business’ homepage, you are very likely to confuse the visitor. Once a user clicks the ad they arrive at a page with dozens of potential links to click through, usually accompanied with an overabundance of content. By understanding that your ad should lead to a promotion specific landing page, you can streamline the path towards a conversion.
Rather than offer an infinite number of conversion paths a landing page can offer just one. With a single conversion path to analyze, your job of assessing the impact and interactions that visitors have with the page will be easier to monitor and augment.
Focused and Specified
Strategic usage of landing pages for PPC campaigns begins with focusing on what action you want a visitor to complete. Do you want them to download a whitepaper and fill out a contact form? Or do you want them to read through some promotional copy, testimonials, and a video prior to arriving at a purchase or cart page?
Whatever your goal, understand that simplicity and pinpointed messaging are the keys to landing page success. This strategy will also help with assessing a page via heat mapping or mouse tracking software. A/B testing also is much easier and more effective on a promotion specific landing page, given the reduced amount of links and interaction points compared to a full homepage.
In the same way that mobile apps have emphasized user experience (UX) and usability, your landing page should reflect such design principles for optimal PPC success. The fact is that many web users simply scan an entire page prior to taking the time for an intensive read through. By incorporating elements that attend to this behavior, your landing page and thus the PPC strategy will be more successful.
Rather than display a complete homepage or registration page with everything from testimonials, product videos, press sections, and contact us forms, pick and choose the specific elements that will best serve specific ad groups. Think about how ineffective it would be to have a user click a PPC ad detailing your optimal customer satisfaction that ends up taking them to a purchase now page from your main site for a random product. Instead the ad should lead to a customer testimonial video accompanied with quotes from satisfied clients.
By collaborating with your development team and potentially using a Content Management System (CMS) to simplify the process, you can take control over the impact of your PPC campaigns through strategically optimized landing pages.
*Originally featured on The Icreon Blog...