September 07, 2012

High-Performance Landing Pages: 10 Steps to Maximize Conversion

Have you ever searched for a product or service online, found an ad or a link that matched your criteria, clicked and landed on a page that had nothing to do with your search? When this happens, most searchers are disappointed by the experience and choose to begin a new search.

Landing pages are a critical part of your paid search campaign as they are an extension of your ad. They are completely different from your website and have the sole purpose of driving conversions. Landing pages need to be relevant, specific and provide searchers with an experience that compels them to take action so your brand can benefit from high-quality leads. Here are 10 steps to create a clear path to conversion.  

  1. User-Centric – Think about the searcher and their experience as they go through the search process. Is your copy benefit-driven? Searchers want to know what’s in it for them. Stay away from feature-centric copy and focus on how what you are offering can help the searcher. 
  2. Relevancy – Your landing pages need to be contextually relevant. Use content and imagery that mirrors the words and phrases you used in your ad. A consistent message helps establish trust with your brand and reassures the searcher that they have found the result they were looking for. 
  3. Differentiation – Explain why you are different from the competition. You are not only competing with other brands, but you are also competing against the inaction of the searcher. Explain why your product or service is different and how it will benefit your searcher. 
  4. Above the fold – When laying out your page, place the content that you really want searchers to see above the fold. An example is your call-to-action. You can’t assume that searchers will scroll down. 
  5. Valuable – Is there a clear value proposition in your offer? You don’t want to inform, you want to sell. Make your point quickly and ensure your value proposition is easily identifiable. You want to convince searchers that yours is the product or service they want and need. 
  6. Streamline forms – Most online users are wary of sharing their information. Long forms are turn offs. Limit your form fields to only those that you really need. 
  7. Call-to-action – When a searcher lands on a landing page, they not only want to know they are in right place, but they also want direction on what to do next. Use a strong call-to-action that grabs their attention and directs them to conversion, whether that is a purchase or a lead generation form. 
  8. Design cues – Use design elements that visually guide a searcher to the conversion point. Examples include arrows, color or direction of a person’s gaze in an image. 
  9. Simplify the experience – Make it simple for searchers to find what they need. Eliminate clicking through several pages, long forms and anything that doesn’t support getting searchers to take a specific action. 
  10. Testing and Optimization– Use A/B or multivariate testing to determine trends and see what is working and what is not. You can test forms, content, headlines, layout and anything else you think could potentially affect conversion.

Make sure you are also creating good experiences on mobile devices. Take these ten steps into consideration when creating your landing pages. Consider a separate mobile landing page or reformatting for a smaller screen.

If you have any questions or need help optimizing your paid search landing pages, please feel free to contact us.

 

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