Website Conversion September 9th, 2019
The simple definition is that a landing page is the first page a user sees after clicking a link, commonly from an ad. Most often, when a company decides to run an ad campaign, it will create a dedicated landing page. This is used for a single campaign goal, such as driving sales on a discounted item. What is important to understand is why landing pages are used instead of just directing customers to the company website.
If your auto shop is running an ad for promotion of oil changes, the user that clicks the ad should be directed to information on discounted oil changes; not the homepage with general information on your services. The ideal user journey takes the user to what they want to see, as quick and easy as possible; increasing the likelihood of conversion.
Message match is how well the content on the landing page matches the written ad. By implementing a custom landing page for an ad campaign, you can ensure that the content matches the ad. This tells the user that they are in the right place, and they are one step closer to completing their goal.
For example, a bad message match would be if a customer clicks an ad promoting a sale on a certain item, and instead of being taken to that sale page, they are taken to the general product category page. This is not what the customer is looking for, and could potentially result in a lost sale. In this situation, the bad message match could negatively affect the overall site’s SEO. Ads like this will likely have a high bounce rate, and Google will pick up people not wanting to be directed there. Make your message match!
If you or your client are spending money on an ad campaign, you want it to be shown high in the ad positions so as many of the right people see it as possible. To achieve this top spot, you must have a strong Quality Score.
Google tells us that Quality Score “is an estimate of the quality of your ads, keywords, and landing pages” and that “higher quality ads can lead to lower prices and better ad positions.” Google rewards companies that create ads and corresponding landing pages are relevant and have useful content that customers are spending time on. If you do these things and earn a high-quality score, your ad will likely rank higher and for less money.
By the time a potential customer has clicked on your ad and is directed to your site, it is safe to assume they are past the browsing stage. They don’t need to be shown multiple pages of information meant to nudge them closer to conversion; they are already almost there. All need to show them is enough content to convince them to convert.
Landing pages are the perfect place to direct someone after clicking on an ad because it removes all unnecessary information that may distract, and speaks directly to their needs. For example, if you provide services for all of Canada but the promotion is targeting only those in Ontario, you can target the content to speak only to Ontarians. People living in Nova Scotia won’t care about the promotion, and they shouldn’t be shown it if it does not apply to them, too.
Getting a user to click on your ad is only half the battle, you still need to drive them to convert. Various factors will drive conversions, but one of the biggest driving factors is the post-click user experience. Positive user experiences are pages that load quickly, match the ad content you clicked through, and have a clear call to action. The goal of a dedicated landing page is to make it simple and easy for the customer to convert. Make it quick, make it clear, and make it easy. Google will read this as a good sign, and your customers will appreciate the simple experience they had.
Landing pages are simplified versions of the company’s main site. It is common for a landing page not to have a navigation bar, or call to actions similar to what the main site may have. This is to ensure that both the content and call to action are clear. It also usually leads to fast page speed. By not weighing it down with extra content, the customer is quickly driven to the information they want and can lead to higher conversions.
As I’m sure we’re all aware, our attention spans are not like they used to be. We are shown endless amounts of content and information each day. It can be difficult to remember exactly what the task at hand is. Besides, as a company or an agency working with a company, we need to create our post-click ad experiences with this in mind.
As previously mentioned, an ad click is only the first step toward conversion. The next step is directing the customer to convert. Think of it like blinders on a racehorse. Don’t give them access to seeing anything that may distract them. They clicked on the ad for one reason; all you need to do is keep them focused long enough to convert.
You are meeting the customer steps down the user journey. They might not need to be convinced that they need a new oil change; they already know it. All you have to do is give them just enough information to allow them to complete the process. Users who click your ads don’t need a navigation bar; they don’t need to see your other services (right now), and they definitely don’t need to read about your team. Keep content to a minimum, keep the user-focused, and lead them to convert.
Landing pages provide the opportunity to send the exact message to the specific customers, right when they are closest to converting. It increases your chances of Google liking your ad and showing it in a higher position. This can lower your ad spend as you are providing the most relevant content. Besides, both you and your business can benefit from a dedicated campaign landing page; now you need to try it out and see!