Here at PPC Hero, landing pages are one of those topics we rarely get tired of writing on. I attribute this to the fact that landing page strategy is always changing in the PPC industry – not to mention that practically every week I read another great landing page idea that blows my mind. I’d like to take some of what I’ve learned and pass it along to you. When I set out to research and re-tool a landing page, my intentions are conversion based. Accordingly, all of my tips derive from that conversion-centric nexus!
Site Flow Disruption
Site flow disruption is a fancy way of saying that your marketing has a disconnect between expectation and presentation. The Marketing Experiments case study that explains site flow disruption should ring loud and clear for PPC advertisers. What is one of our cardinal rules? That’s right – your ad text should set an expectation for what the searcher will find on your landing page!
Once on your landing page, the prospect must encounter a consistent, continuous value proposition on every page.
Your value proposition should be stated (in part) within your ad text. The landing page is your opportunity to re-emphasize that value proposition and back it up with pricing, product/service details and other important information. If you fail to provide a consistent value proposition and instead create a site flow disruption, you will lose conversions. At the very least match your ad text to your landing page’s headline and create a strong connection between the expectation and presentation!
In my post last week I shared what I took away from a recent B2B landing page webinar. The big idea was about barrier scanning. In a nutshell, scan your website or landing page for objects (design elements, videos, images, columns, text, etc.) that either distract or otherwise lead users away from your conversion trigger. From here, you should do one of two things: simply remove the barriers, or use the barriers to actually guide the user to your conversion trigger. One example that I can easily show you is to use a competitive comparison table that guides the user to a sign up button.
Quality Score vs. Human Quality Score
Quality Score is the 800 pound gorilla in the PPC room. The Post Click Marketing blog had a great article on the balance of optimizing your landing page for Google’s Quality Score or for the actual end-user. This isn’t a new discussion, but it is one that continues to be relevant. Just this month, advertisers were hit with the news that load time will now affect your Quality Score!
Learning about what your customers value, however, has much more staying power. It also has value far beyond Google.
To create a landing page solely for the sake of your Quality Score could have negative effects on your conversion rates. And if you think about it, what’s the point of having a great Quality Score if you don’t convert that traffic? I think this is a great discussion, and feel that you have to find a happy medium. You have to strike a balance between keyword rich, relevant copy and stunning visuals that captivate your human visitors. I whole heartedly agree with the article’s author that the Google Quality Score and your Human Quality Score aren’t “necessarily mutually exclusive.”
Landing pages are and will continue to be a very important part of “what we do” in the realm of PPC. Our task is to keep up with the changes and ideas that come forward and to put them to use. When you sit down to re-tool or create a new landing page, take stock of what you are trying to accomplish. Remember to create a connection between the expectation (ad text) and the presentation (landing page/value proposition). Consider your conversion goals and how you will guide your potential customers to your landing page’s conversion trigger. Remove or utilize barriers to make the process as clear as possible. And finally, put all of those ideas together and make sure that you’ve created a landing page experience appropriate for your human users and not just the almighty Quality Score!