July 16, 2009
It’s common knowledge that a professional website design can increase conversion rates and sales. A professional website design ensures trust and credibility with your users. Over at www.seoboy.com (our brother site) there is a post outlining a few do’s and don’ts on creating a web design that conveys trust and credibility to help increase conversions. But website design and landing pages can play a part not just in SEO, but in PPC too. Actually, there is an entire series posted on SEO Boy that gives tips on creating that sense of trust and credibility with your users in order to increase conversions. Check it out when you get time.
Now, back to PPC landing page optimization. The tactics I describe in this post will not only improve your Quality Score which can increase your ad position for a lower cost, but can also help convert more people that come to your website.
Now, I will admit that most of these tips are for lead generation, not all of these tips would apply to an ecommerce website.
- Call to Action/Buttons – It’s no secret that adding a call –to- action or a button that is large and very noticeable on your PPC landing pages will help increase conversions. Anything that draws attention to a user is more likely to get clicked on. Tell people what you want them to do on your landing page, don’t just assume they’ll know automatically.
- Minimal Navigation – The key to successful PPC landing pages is keep the user to from getting too distracted. Remove the top, left or right hand navigation from your main site on your PPC landing pages. Simply have your company logo at the top left of the page with a link to your homepage. That will be enough for people to click on if they need more information before converting.
- Important information above the fold – Some people who are searching for a service like yours are sometimes in a hurry. If they enter your landing page and don’t see what they need to do within the first 5 seconds, they’re likely to bail. Be sure that your call to action, button, or form is above the fold. Be sure to check Google analytics to see what resolution size the majority of your users are currently using. This will help your designers make the important information above the fold for most of your users.
- Easy-to-scan copy – I’ve worked on clients before that use way too much industry language in their PPC landing pages. You have to think that if an executive is looking for a service they’re likely to ask their assistant, intern or even a receptionist to do research before they engage in anything. While the executive may know all the industry jargon the assistant or intern may not. Also, these people who are searching for many companies are in a hurry, and simply just scan the copy on your landing page and don’t necessarily read through it all the way. So break up your copy into several paragraphs instead of one large paragraph. And I like to use the rule of thumb to put your benefits or advantages of choosing your company in a bullet list or numbered list so it stands out more prominently.
- Few images to convey professionalism – Some PPC landing pages I have seen have a lot of well, dorky images that don’t convey any professionalism whatsoever. This can really turn off a potential client and make you look untrustworthy. Have one to 2 images on your PPC landing pages that show professional looking people, smiling as if they have just engaged in yoru services and are incredibly happy. Also having too many images on your PPC landing page will make your load times longer.
- Fast loading times – One factor of the Google Adwords Quality Score is the load times of your pages. If it takes more than 10 seconds to fully load your pages that’s way to long. It should take less than 5 seconds. Large flash files, too many images, or animated graphics could hinder your fast load times. Also, if I have to wait for a flash animation to load before I can get information about your services, I’m more than likely not going to stick around or come back.
- Dynamic headlines – Using dynamic headlines on your PPC landing pages is a great way to better target what the user is actually typing in the search box. Dynamic headlines are generated by tracking URLs that will insert the specific keyword into the headline. This is like using dynamic keyword insertion in your PPC ads, only it’s for your landing pages. If the page headline is more targeted to what the user typed in the search, they’re much more likely to continue reading and complete an action.
- PPC keywords in your landing page copy – Many people think this is only true for SEO, but you still need to include your PPC keywords in the copy of your PPC Landing page. This will not only help improve your Quality Scores, but will also help your users connect better to your copy.
- Short contact form – You could potentially be driving away qualified leads by having a contact form that is too long. If your contact form is running below the fold, it’s too long. You should be able to see the ‘submit’ button above the fold. Look at your current forms and only require the information you truly need. If someone sees a very long form, they may think, ‘This is going to take too long to fill out’ and could possibly skip that process altogether.
- No Clutter – This is really a no-brainer, but unfortunately too many people make the mistake of dumping too much content on their PPC landing pages. You should have one main goal of your PPC landing page, not 3, 4 or 5. Remove any extra copy that isn’t necessarily useful to the user. Remove any unnecessary images or icons.
If you need any persuasion to make changes to your existing landing pages, just take this for an example: if you were to make changes on your landing pages, and increase your conversion rates by .5%, add that to your current sales and see how much of an increase that is. You would be surprised how much additional revenue .5% would drive.
If you have any additonal PPC landing page tips that will help increase conversions that I have not mentioned feel free to add them in the comments section!