Pay-per-click or PPC Ads are a great way to drive more traffic to your web pages. Although it might be counter-intuitive, directing people to a general home or product page isn’t the best use of this paid traffic.
Homepages are designed to quickly educate your lead and provide them with a range of options. When most people click on a PPC ad, they’re probably looking to take action, whether that’s signing up for updates or making a purchase.
By homing in on the original point of interest, a carefully crafted PPC landing page can further increase your conversions and lower the cost-per-click of your campaigns. A dedicated landing page for your PPC Ad is your best chance at turning a campaign visitor into a loyal customer.
Read on to learn about how to design a high-converting landing page that gives you ROI on your PPC ads.
Why Should I Have a Dedicated PPC Landing Page?
Your homepage is probably designed to encourage brand awareness and product or service option exploration. Generally, web pages are optimized for organic traffic and generalized audiences.
If someone is interested in a specific offer in your advertisement, they’ll click because they want to know more about that particular thing. If you direct them to a general homepage, you’ll often lose the conversion and drive up your cost-per-click. A targeted landing page can help reinforce the original offer and provide more information. By staying on message, your lead can more easily turn into a conversion.
The research backs this up. A study by Unbounce showed that dedicated landing pages converted 65% higher on average than general website pages.
Now that you understand the importance of landing pages for PPC ads, let’s run through some design, functionality, and appearance best practices.
Don’t Miss These Key Elements
Regardless of your product or service – your landing page must have these essentials:
- Compelling Headline & Subheaders
- Beautiful Visuals (Image, Video, etc.)*
- Brief, Skimmable Copy*
- One CTA placed prominently and throughout the page*
- Credibility Evidence (Positive Reviews, Certifications, Awards)
- Explanation of Offer
- Benefits of Offer
The order these should appear varies depending on your product and target audience. Put the most important information above the fold. Typically, the ones with stars (*) should appear. We’ll get more in-depth on some of these bullets later.
Stay on Message
Like mentioned earlier, the power of a dedicated landing page is in its relevance to the Ad. The PPC landing page should use the keywords that you bid on and reflect the original promise in the ad copy.
A dedicated landing page helps you stay on message, and keep the lead moving through their decision-making process. Directing them to a less relevant page requires your lead to navigate to the original thing that sparked their interest, which may cause them to lose their interest altogether.
This should be as close as an exact match as possible. If your ad promises deals on men’s sneakers, make sure your landing page shows only options for men’s sneakers and not general men’s shoes.
Focus on One Target Buyer Persona
The same way you should stay on message, your Ad and landing page should target a specific buyer persona. Your organic traffic is already optimized to help new leads navigate your product or service.
Take advantage of targeted ads by speaking to one of your audience segments at a time.
This way, you can optimize your PPC landing page to address their specific pain points, questions, concerns, and use an appropriate tone of voice.
Your buyer persona can also inform the kind of imagery you should use. Choose targeted psychographics, and high-resolution imagery that can work across different screen sizes and browsers. Make sure your imagery is as specific to your brand as possible.
In general, it’s best to avoid stale stock images. If you don’t have your own photography, choose something that looks fresh and modern. Try Websites like Unsplash and Pexels for high-quality free-to-use images by professional photographers.
Stick to One Compelling CTA
Your CTA and how you present it can be all the difference between converting a lead to a customer or having them clicking-away.
Regarding placement, make sure your CTA is one of the first things they see on the page. Make it colorful and obvious, but not overly distracting (animations, blinking, etc.). Follow CTA persuasion principles to spark interest and add urgency.
Then, place the same CTA throughout the page, so it’s readily available once they make up their mind. This CTA should speak clearly to the target persona and be relevant to the original promise of the PPC campaign.
Build Trust and Credibility
Because anyone can buy a paid ad, your brand must give off a positive and trustworthy air as soon as someone hits your page. Soft credibility and the Halo Effect can be established through high-quality web design and appearance.
Once you entice your lead to read on, they’ll be looking for hard credibility and to evaluate your general reputation. There are a few things that work to boost the trustworthiness of your product or service:
- Positive Testimonials and Reviews
- Reputable Awards and Distinctions
- Professional Accreditation or Affiliation
- Payment Assurance
- Product Guarantee or Warranty
- Detailed Contact Information
- Case Studies, Statistics, Product Results
Depending on your target audience, some of these will make more of an impression than others. For example, B2C businesses might want to advertise positive reviews, where B2B businesses will want to show off professional distinctions.
Placing these elements near your CTA, after your product benefits, or near a guarantee may increase conversions since they can help reinforce your campaign’s promise.
Deciding on the Length of Your Landing Page
Different length landing pages can have different effects on your conversion rates.
Short landing pages are better for high volumes of lead generation. Shorter pages get straight to the point and have a converting action readily available, such as a form for a quote, appointment, or newsletter. There’s not much to read on the page, so your potential customer either converts or clicks away.
Longer landing pages produce fewer leads, but the leads you gather are usually higher quality. Longer doesn’t necessarily mean more copy – showing an array of relevant product offerings can count as a longer landing page.
Generally, the bigger the ask, the longer your page should be. If you’re selling an expensive online course vs. asking people to sign up for a free checklist – the former should be long, and the latter should be short.
Test, Test, and Test Again
Nailing down a high-converting landing page requires thoughtful and deliberate testing. Even beyond the visual elements and your CTA, there are several things you can analyze to improve your conversion rates.
First is loading times. Research by Kissmetrics shows that 40% of people will click away from a page if it doesn’t load within three seconds. Check your page is loading quickly by using Google PageSpeed Insights. It’ll give you an overall score of 1 to 100 for your load times and identify opportunities for improvement.
Using heat mapping can also show you where your audience spends time on your page. For example, a heat map might show that they click mostly on the middle CTA and almost never at the CTA at the end of the page. This means you might be able to shorten your landing page and increase conversions further.
Finally, look at your copy, images, and other design element choices. Even small tweaks in phrasing and images can make the difference between boosting conversions and losing leads.
PPC Landing Page Example
Let’s break down a landing page for a PPC ad. This ad appeared after a search for “IT solutions automation.”
Now let’s click through and see their landing page.
Once we arrive on the page, we quickly see the words “Marketing Automation” in their brief copy, which sticks to the keyword “automation.” The CTAs are clear and appear in the center of the page and before the fold.
The image on the right is a video animation of their product. A quick watch makes it immediately clear what their unique selling point is.
Right after the fold is a list of big names that use their service, which instantly adds credibility. (The brand names appear here since we zoomed out). The page is quite long and goes into detail about their product and its functionality.
Overall this is a good landing page. If I were managing it, I’d want to check if moving the past partners above the fold increases sign-ups. I’d also want to check that the animation doesn’t significantly slow the page load speed. Lastly, I’d add one to two sentences above the fold so that someone can gain more information without sitting through the animation.
A great landing page can skyrocket your conversions and decrease the cost per click on your ads. It’s worth investing in the design and appearance of your dedicated landing page to ensure you’re making the most of your campaign.
Little tweaks in appearance and the information you offer can increase your credibility, add value to your promise, and keep a customer interested in engaging with your business.
Next time you run an ad campaign, keep these best practices in mind to ensure you max out the value of your paid campaigns.