A key component of an ecommerce marketing strategy is to develop unique landing pages for online ads and email promotions.
Many retailers assume the best place to link ads is their home pages. After all, that is where prospects will find all the products for sale, and it is generally the most visually appealing page in a site. But that assumption is incorrect. The best place to land after clicking on an ad is a page that is highly relevant to that ad.
If your prospects land on a relevant page, they are more likely to browse the contents of that page. Conversion rates from highly personalized landing pages are generally much higher than generic pages, home pages, and even broad category pages.
Elements of Effective Landing Pages
There are several ways to ensure the landing page is relevant. First, if you are targeting specific keywords, be sure that the landing page displays those keywords prominently. Be sure the products you display are related to the keywords. If you are targeting the keywords “Nikon camera,” for example, you should link to your Nikon camera page and include only Nikon cameras.
Your conversion rates will be higher and in many cases your cost per click will be lower because Google may see your page as having a higher quality score versus a competitor that takes the user to a generic landing page for all cameras. The cost per click is determined by a combination of your bid and the quality score; he higher the quality score, the lower the cost per click.
In any promotion, your ultimate goal is presumably to make the sale. Continuing the example of "Nikon camera," here are my search results for that term on Google.
Since I’m not likely to purchase a camera directly from Nikon, I’ll click on the ads that attract my eye. I'll first click through to Mike’s Camera.
Mike's Camera has chosen its "Digital Cameras" category as the landing page. The first products I see are from Canon, not Nikon. That's bad. The good news is that this landing page is for cameras,. But it is not for Nikon cameras. The likelihood of me bouncing out of this site is high. I am also presented with some expensive cameras, which may not be the best merchandising tactic.
Let’s assume that I am suffering from sticker shock, and decide to return to the search results, and click the Walmart ad.
I have landed in Walmart's site-search results for Nikon cameras. But I am not really in the Nikon category of the store. If I decided to filter by price, I would then see all the cameras of that price and not just Nikon cameras. This may be a better landing place than Mike’s Camera, but I am still disappointed with the results.
I'll try Best Buy.
Here I have a winner. I’ve landed in the "Nikon" category of BestBuy.com. Products are sorted by best sellers, so this feels relevant to my shopping purpose. If I filter my search by price, I stay within the Nikon brand. I can branch out to any type of camera or brand from here, but the original landing page delivered Nikon cameras products I requested.
If your promotion is email or a display ad, be sure that the visual appearance of your ad is similar to the landing page. Use the same graphical elements or images. Be sure to use the same terminology to reinforce your ad.
Here is a good example, from CrazyShirts.com, of a well-designed landing page for an email promotion. First, here is the promotional email.
Here is the landing page Crazy Shirts created.
I can immediately tell this is aligned with the ad by the copy “what’s new,” by the model, and by the clothes. In some cases, you may want to prominently display the same image. But in this case, the relationship is close enough that it works.
The Crazy Shirts promotion is presumably trying to get me to shop by teasing me with new items. But a more direct ad that is trying to close the sale is this one from Intuit.
Intuit very clearly wants me to simply purchase this product. Intuit probably has a high success rate with QuickBooks upgrades, because it simply lands me in a shopping cart.
Intuit's goal is different from the other examples. This is likely an effective landing page and if I were in the market to upgrade, I may act on it without further research.
Be sure to use landing pages in all your ecommerce promotions. You are paying for those promotions in most cases. So be sure to optimize your return on investment by taking your prospects to the pages they are interested in.