Three Elements of a High-Converting Landing Page

Landing Page Conversion

We run digital ad campaigns. But not only do we run ads for our clients, we focus just as much on increasing conversions as driving traffic to websites. The most effective ad campaign in the world doesn't matter, after all, if the user has a terrible first impression and experience on your site. Optimizing your conversion optimization takes the traffic we initially send to the site, and makes your visitors turn into your paying customers.

We've been asked to create landing page solutions for clients. Sometimes, since services exist to autogenerate hundreds of pages based upon keyword lists, clients have an expectation that more is better. Although the answer is different for every situation, our experience has shown that quality is much better than quantity. That's why we like to emphasize the importance of high quality, carefully researched website content that improves a user's experience, rather than take away from it.

Why do we care about landing pages so much? Not only do they increase user experience, but a well-designed landing page can boost your Google AdWords quality score, which in turn lowers your cost per click and increases your ad campaign's return on investment.

A landing page, at it's simplest, is a page that a user lands upon after searching for a particular keyword. Landing pages, described abstractly about their most original form, were just detailed pages containing the most pertinent information about a specific product or service. With the advent of inbound marketing and services like HubSpot or InstaPages or Unbounce, however, landing pages began to be commoditized into auto-generated, keyword-stuffed funnel elements.

One of the most difficult parts about creating a valuable, user-centric website is the landing page.

It's so easy to create a landing page, but it's so hard to create a good one. Why are landing pages necessary? Why did marketers start to abuse them? There are a few reasons why they can be valuable if used appropriately.

  • 1. Your landing page experience is one of the most important metrics in increasing your cost per click in a Google AdWords campaign. Google wants to be sure that the search terms users are typing, and the text ads they see, have the same message as the website. But some people use strategies that exaggerate this concept and create a landing page per keyword. This is an over-optimization that Google won't appreciate.
  • 2. Landing pages can be essential for A/B testing, giving you a means to experiment with various messaging, design, UX, and UI choices. By default, landing pages are disposable and quickly replaceable, and are therefore perfect for short term testing.
  • 3. If you sell multiple products or services, landing pages can help provide you with simplicity by not showing your user too many options. You can be more relevant to a user's search by having a page with the exact product you're advertising.

But let's back up a bit. Why refer to landing pages as a necessary evil? What's wrong with them, after all?

Landing pages are an evolutionary byproduct, left over from the prehistoric concept of inbound marketing. Perhaps that's a little harsh, but the internet era of funnels and deceptive psychological tricks is already over: not only are users catching up with the practice, but search engines & ad networks are already penalizing poor design practices.

Essentially, anything that isn't beneficial and constructive for the end user is a net negative for your website's ultimate ranking, conversion, and success. And the search engines know that. That's why landing pages are to be carefully dealt with: tread lightly and use even more lightly.

What are the three elements of a good landing page design?

A good landing page is three things: first, it converts well. Second, it looks good. Third, it's user-centric.

To convert well, the most important element is the call to action. Every time you add a new call to action on a page, it dilutes the power of the others. It is better to have 1 call to action than 2. It also needs to be above the fold, meaning the user can see it immediately. Other elements that are important in helping this page convert well are concise messaging (no more than 50 characters for the call to action) and strong visual UI/UX design (a single bold, orange button with a short label). Simplicity and honesty are paramount in creating a landing page with strong conversion.

To look good, it needs to match the branding of the parent site. This is important both for credibility and for consistency. It needs to be clutter-free, honest, and simple. If information is extraneous in any way, it doesn't need to be on the landing page. The landing page is the place for total zen minimalism...not for touting the various benefits and features and legal boilerplate of your product.

To be user-centric, it needs to provide value and clarity. Many poorly designed landing pages are meant to entice or confuse, and this is the worst possible thing that can be done with your page. You have a primary call to action, and whether that CTA is asking for an email address or selling a product, honesty will provide you with only the highest quality users. Make it easy, quick, and effortless for users to interact with your landing page, whether they're on a desktop, iPad, or mobile.

Implementation of A High-Quality Landing Page

A landing page is only effective if implemented in tandem with a paid advertising or social media campaign: a landing page does nothing without traffic.

A consistent user experience throughout the interaction with your brand is important: if the users feel as if they're being bounced back and forth between Facebook, AdWords, a generated landing page, and your actual website, any trust you've built with them will deteriorate. That's why we so actively discourage the usage of low-cost, high-volume landing page generation services. Not only will this negatively impact your organic rankings, but it decays your brand's identity. It's much better to implement three high quality, carefully researched pages rather than 75 generated pages of churn.

Landing pages are by no means necessary for the success of a PPC campaign (ideally, your website itself will be optimized for conversion well enough that it serves the purpose itself) but when implemented well, they can be an invaluable part of your digital brand.

Schedule a quick chat to optimize your landing page experience.

We're happy to chat about your landing page issues. We will analyze your current site, what should be addressed, and what results you can expect from combining landing page optimization with a profitable PPC campaign.