August 2, 2016 | Clint Danks
Since we specialize in pay-per-click marketing, we receive a lot of questions from businesses regarding this type of marketing.
Things such as,
- “How do you know which keywords to use?”
- “Why do I need to bid on my own name?“
- “Why shouldn’t we just send visitors to our website’s homepage?”
- “What are landing pages?“
Let’s back up. What IS a landing page, anyway?
Definition of a (True) Landing Page
A landing page is a stand-alone page within your domain that is designed to support a certain marketing initiative, such as email marketing or, more importantly, pay-per-click.
These pages streamline your messaging, eliminate distraction and keep the visitor focused on YOUR business objective — i.e., the action you want them to take. In most lead generation circumstances (our wheelhouse), that is contacting your business to help resolve their specific issue with your product or service.
You may be thinking, “Streamlined messaging? Eliminating distractions? But my website does that already.”
In most cases, a business website can be overwhelming for visitors. They have so many options and so much to digest that users can get lost or frustrated and eventually leave your website without making contact.
This translates to a lost opportunity to land a client/customer and more marketing dollars wasted because the visitors’ experience didn’t meet their expectations.
At ThinkSEM, we take a minimalistic approach to landing page design and development. We identify what the target audience wants to know about the business, as well as the devices used to access their website.
(That means all of our landing pages are built with responsive web design.)
Since the whole point of a landing page is getting visitors to convert, we do not add unnecessary elements that could get in the way of generating leads.
PPC landing pages need to address specific needs
Here are a few of the landing page features and technical specifications we implement to our professional services clients:
- The landing page needs to address 3 primary questions that are important to visitors:
- Where are they located?
- Can they help me with my specific need?
- How do I contact them?
- Where relevant, a video introducing the business to the visitor. This establishes trust and comfort.
- Prominent phone number (in multiple locations on the page) along with a lead generation form that asks only a few important questions. Too many times forms ask for more information than is needed. This can reduce responses or lead volume.
- Tracking phone number that allows you to accurately attribute leads to your PPC marketing efforts.
- Responsive design that provides optimal viewing and functionality for visitors using any and all types of devices. This is critical!
- The use of conversion colors that “draw the eye” to important areas within the landing page – making it clear what action is to be taken by the visitor.
- “Scan-able” content that is quick and easy to read.
- If working with a local audience: business name, address and phone number (NAP) with a map that identifies where the business is located.
- Web analytics tools such as Google Analytics and CrazyEgg to measure user behavior.
SEO vs PPC landing pages
It is important to know that, while your search engine optimization (SEO) efforts and pay-per-click marketing can augment one another, they should be treated independently of each other.
Search engine optimization will get the visitor to your website using a balance of great content, authority/credibility, relevant incoming links, and other elements.
With pay-per-click, you already have the visitor. You don’t need to work for that aspect; you just need to focus on providing them with an environment that meets their expectations. ThinkSEM clients benefit from the use of custom landing pages, as we see their conversion rates range as high as 35% in comparison to industry averages of 2-6%.
Use the strategies above to improve your marketing results and give us a call if you have additional PPC questions!