More than 96% of ad clicks don’t convert, and that’s largely in part because too many digital marketers don’t focus enough on post-click optimization. They focus primarily on pre-click strategies instead, which results in non-converting clicks.

Dedicating more time to optimize the post-click experience can drastically change the outcome of your campaigns by turning ad clicks into conversions.

What is the post-click experience and why is it important?

The post-click experience is everything a user encounters after they click your ad.

Since you want ad clicks to result in conversions and sales, it’s imperative you have an effective post-click optimization strategy. When you fail to optimize the post-click experience, you’re essentially wasting budget by paying for ad clicks that have no chance of converting.

Simply put, post-click optimization is the process of sending users who click your ad to a highly-relevant, personalized landing page where they can easily redeem your offer.

To ensure your campaigns are set up correctly, you must optimize your post-click experience with the following five components. The examples that follow will discuss each component, including how they play a role in post-click optimization.

5 elements of a perfect post-click experience

1. Message match

Message match occurs when an ad and its corresponding landing page deliver the same overall message through similar copy, imagery, colors, calls-to-action, branding, etc. Strong message match between your pre-click and post-click advertising components (ad and landing page) helps deliver a consistent user experience from start to finish. This increases the chances that they will fulfill the landing page conversion goal.

This Health Coach Institute ad lets prospects know they can become a health coach in just 6 months:

The corresponding landing page does the same thing, and allows visitors to request more information on the opportunity:

  • The headline copy is exactly the same on the ad and the landing page.
  • The offer (learn more/get more info) is the same in both locations.
  • The yellow and purple color scheme is similar across both elements, so even without reading, it’s easy for visitors to tell they’re in the right place after clicking the ad.

Maintaining message match between your pre-click and post-click advertising components is especially important for retargeting campaigns. These prospects have previously visited your site, been exposed to your brand at least once, and this is your second chance to persuade them to convert on your offer. You don’t want them to land on your page and wonder if they’re even in the right place.

2. 1:1 conversion ratio

The conversion ratio refers to the number of clickable elements on your landing page compared to the number of conversion goals. Since a landing page is created to promote a single offer (one conversion goal), there should only be one clickable element — the CTA button. No other navigation or external links should be on the page, so the conversion ratio for an optimized landing page is 1:1.

Tapstone’s landing page demonstrates how to maintain a 1:1 conversion ratio with their purple CTA button to “Get Started:”

  • The Tapstone logo in the top-left isn’t linked to the homepage.
  • No header or footer links are present (aside from a privacy policy and terms of use), nor are there any social media links that could take prospects away from this page.
  • The page only promotes a free consultation and campaign results projection, with no other offers to distract prospects.

Make sure your landing page includes everything your visitor needs to make a decision about your offer so there’s no need for off-page navigation links. Include only one visible place to click on your landing page — the CTA button — and keep visitors focused by persuading them to make a decision: convert or leave.

3. Personalization

Matching post-click experiences with personalization is essential because:

  • 81% of consumers want brands to understand when and how to advertise to them
  • 74% of customers feel frustrated when content is not personalized
  • 79% of businesses that exceed revenue goals have a documented personalization strategy
  • Over 78% of consumers will only evaluate offers if they’re personalized

The data proves that to keep prospects interested, engaged, and to convert them into customers, personalized landing pages are mandatory. Sending prospects to a generic, “one size fits all” web page only diminishes personalization.

BirdEye has the right idea with their landing page:

  • “You” and “your” in the copy makes the offer seem directed at the user.
  • The chat feature allows visitors to connect individually with a representative.
  • The offer itself is personalized because it’s targeted to business owners whose company depends on receiving positive feedback.

4. A/B testing

A/B testing is the most proven way to gather insight to help with optimization — both pre-click and post-click. It involves testing an original “control” design (A) against an alternate “variation” of that design (B) to see which performs better.

On landing pages, consider testing:

  • Headlines
  • Page layout
  • Form length
  • Page length
  • Trust indicators
  • Calls to action
  • Media
  • Color schemes

In their infamous test, HubSpot tested this control landing page with top navigation, footer navigation, and social media share links, against a variation with no external links anywhere:

Here were the results:

Page load speed is another reason A/B testing is vital. On mobile devices, users have patience that lasts around one second — and as page load time increases, so does bounce rate.

To speed up page load time, consider testing these factors:

  • The number of elements on your landing page
  • Redirects
  • Large visuals

When every second counts, every marketer should give their pages a second look to ensure they really are central to converting prospects.

5. Thank you page

A fully optimized post-click experience doesn’t end with the landing page. Connecting your landing page CTA button click to an optimized thank you page allows you to acknowledge and thank the visitor for converting. This helps them feel appreciated, builds a stronger relationship, and most importantly, presents you with another conversion opportunity.

An optimized thank you page should include:

  • A genuine “thank you” note
  • An image of the offer (if applicable)
  • An explanation of the next step to redeem the offer
  • Any related offers

After requesting more information via the Health Coach Institute landing page above, this thank you page is presented:

  • “Thank You” is written at the top of the page, and includes the consumer’s name for added personalization.
  • The message underneath “Thank You!” lets visitors know they can expect a coach to contact them soon.
  • There are specific, numbered instructions explaining what to do and expect next.
  • The “Get Your 72-Hour Access Pass” link in Step 1, and the “Get Your Instant Access” CTA button, allow visitors to start a 72-hour trial. This also gives the company another conversion opportunity.

Thank you messages can also be sent via email. Both thank you pages and thank you emails show appreciation to leads and customers, strengthening relationships and nurturing them further down the sales funnel.

Turn more of your ad clicks into conversions

Don’t be part of the 96% of marketers that neglect post-click optimization. Instead, get the most from your pre-click efforts by focusing just as much on post-click stage.

Always connect your ads to personalized landing pages with message match and a 1:1 conversion ratio. Be sure to also A/B test your efforts, and push your customers through to a thank you page with additional conversion opportunities.