Practical Ecommerce

Landing Pages: Five Pointers to Boost Conversions

Website traffic is up. Your pay-per-click (PPC) ads are receiving traffic, and you’re reaching your monthly budget. Sounds like your paid search campaign is working well, right?

Well, not necessarily. If you’re like most Internet advertisers, you’re not investing in a paid search campaign simply to get hits to your website. You want those visitors to convert, or take some desired action. To get your paid search visitors to convert, you must hold their hands, telling them what to click, where to go, and how to proceed. Optimizing your landing pages to boost conversions can be a manageable process, and here are five pointers to help.

Be Clear, Concise, and Precise

Get rid of any page element that distracts from the task at hand. Eliminate superfluous text and Flash elements, and make sure your offer and its value is crystal-clear and specific. Make sure your value statements are consistent with your ad text, and keep the text benefit-oriented to give visitors a reason to go to the next step. Use your value statements to break through all of the clutter on the Internet.

Make a Strong First Impression

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Let visitors know why they should trust you and why you are the authority on your subject. Communicate to your visitors what the advantage is in moving towards a conversion, always answering the question, “What’s in it for me?” You have roughly five seconds to grab the interest of a PPC visitor, so make every second count. Focus on clarity rather than on trying to sell, and make your call-to-action prominent and easy to see.

Limit the Options

Nothing is worse for conversions than leading your site visitors down an unintended path. Get rid of navigational elements that direct visitors to pages that they can’t convert on, and make sure that any navigational elements that are on the page are clear, predictable and easy to see. When possible, give pre-filled default options on forms to make life easier for the visitor. You can always contact the visitor after the form has been submitted to get additional information.

Avoid Clichés

Tired, conventional calls-to-action are just that: tired and conventional. We’ve all been told to “click here” and “buy now” thousands of times. Your calls-to-action should be compelling and enticing, and should offer value to the visitor. If you truly are an authority worthy of generating a conversion and breaking thru all of the clutter on the web, you should have a powerful story to tell. Make sure you tell it!

Use the STP Approach: Segment, Target, and Position

Not all website visitors are created equal. Be sure that each landing page meets the expectations of your visitors and that each page answers the questions of the market segment that you are targeting. Drill down to the core and determine what makes each segment tick, and include those elements on the landing page. When determining how to segment your potential visitors, make sure that your segments are differentiated, measurable and identifiable.

Your PPC advertising campaign is an investment. By devoting the proper time and attention to your landing pages, you can ensure that your paid search investment pays healthy dividends.

Lee Goldberg

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  1. reinharttech September 17, 2008 Reply

    All very good tips. We boosted our conversion rates significantly by using our site search solution http://www.CyberSiteSearch.com to custom generate landing pages to match the search engine query perfomed on Google that triggered the click through. Making the effort to improve landing pages can be well worth the effort.

  2. Massimo Arrigoni September 22, 2008 Reply

    The actual conversion is sometimes hard to track, especially on products that require a long sales cycle (e.g. they might end up purchasing from another computer).

    However, there are other ways to track the effectiveness of a landing page. For example, if you use Google Analytics, the "Bounce Rate" is something to monitor closely. Here’s an explanation of it.

    [http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81986](http://www.google.com/support/analytics/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=81986)

    Understanding and reducing the bounce rate can deliver a substantial increase in total page views (and ultimately conversions). Look at the bounce rate for your top 20 landing pages and start asking yourself why certain pages do much better than others.

    A landing page could have a high bounce rate simply because it ranks well for keywords that are unrelated to your Web site (yes, it happens). In that case, there’s nothing for you to worry. But, in most cases, the layout and content of the landing page is the culprit, and tweaking it (see tips above) can help you tremendously.

  3. MeganLeap September 26, 2008 Reply

    Those are some fantastic tips! Effective post-click marketing and improving landing page effectiveness is essential to any successful online marketing initiative. A recent study by marketing research company Compete says: “The fastest, cheapest way to boost return on your online advertising investments has nothing to do with the design and placement of your creative. Based on a recent study, it is possible that your competitors could be generating five times the ROI as you are with comparable messaging and spending.

    What can you do right now to increase the ROI of your ad campaign? Pay more attention to the post-click experience.”

    Again, good tips. We blogged about the research here: http://www.ioninteractive.com/post-click-marketing-blog/2008/9/18/compete-says-post-click-is-the-key.html

    Cheers.