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PPC Advertising | Landing Pages 101: Guiding The User

In the world of PPC Advertising - where everyone is vying for attention and, most importantly, clicks - Landing Pages are king. Conversions are the bottom line after all, and without a solid Landing Page, your competitors are going to leave you in the dust. The key to success in PPC advertising is Landing Page Optimization. That’s not to diminish the importance of Keywords, Bid Management, or your CPC - these are crucial metrics and for understanding the efficacy of your ads.

But remember, it doesn't matter how effective your ad is if your landing page isn’t converting.

It’s rather simple in principle - the easier you make it for Users to understand and navigate your Landing Page, the more likely they are to complete the desired action, or convert.

By adopting a few basic practices for optimizing your landing pages, you’ll quickly see a dramatic increase in your conversion rate, making those clicks all the more worth it.

Remove the Noise

First things first. When it comes to the Internet in general, the user wants to understand where they are and what they need to do. This is doubly true for PPC advertising and for Landing pages Keep it as simple as possible and make it easy for the User to visually understand what the page is offering, why they are there, and where to go next. Here’s how:

  • Utilize Contrast

    • If something on your landing page is highly contrasted with the background, it will stick out to the user, for better or for worse.
  • Minimize Choices

    • Ever hear of the paradox of choice? It’s real, there’s a Ted Talk about it. Humans can become overwhelmed by the prospect of too many choices. Make it easy on your Users by providing a few, clear choices. Perhaps it’s necessary for different product offerings, but beyond that, it’s clutter.
  • Utilize Visuals

    • The Human Brain is better at processing visual information than it is of any other kind. Utilize visuals - photos and infographics - in any way you can. It’s a cleaner, quicker way of conveying your point.
  • Put the important stuff up top

    • According to this study, Page Fold has a massive effect on what content grabs the User’s attention. Note: Users spend 80% of their time above the fold.
  • Put the important stuff to the left

    • Another study by the Nilsen group found that web users spend 69% of their time on the left side of a site, making it a good spot for the most important info, like your value proposition.
  • Avoid Banner Blindness

    • Banner blindness is the tendency within Users to ignore anything on a page that resembles an ad. Big blocked, square images and graphics in the peripheries of your main content is a definite no-no.
  • Remember Attention Ratio

    • Attention ratio is a ratio comparing the number of interactive elements on a site (links, navigations, CTAs, etc.) to the campaigns conversion goal, or CTA.
    • THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT FOR A SUCCESSFUL LANDING PAGE! Your landing page should have one goal and one call to action; the ratio should be 1:1. Too much noise, too many options, and the page will convert at a much lower rate than one designed to achieve a specific goal.

Clear Concise Copy

If you’re having trouble removing the noise from your Landing Page and the above design tips didn’t help, the next place you should look is that page’s copy.

  • Headlines, Baby!

    • A good headline will work on two levels - drawing visitors in while also creating a credible first-impression that’s crucial for guiding the user through conversion.
  • Short and Sweet

    • Call me a cynic, but people don’t read anymore, and they aren’t going to read a text driven landing page, no matter how cleverly written.
    • Treat your landing page like a summary, providing only crucial information that a user needs to convert. If they want to find out more, they’ll do so elsewhere.
  • Worry less about your Brand

    • The User will not be aided, in any way, by the inclusion of your company history on your landing page. Remember, get to the point.
    • Brand specific visuals, like logos, images, color schemes, etc. are great for personalizing your services and building credibility, but make sure the page reflects why the user should be interested in your offering, not why they should be interested in your brand.  
  • Hone in on your Value Proposition

    • Less is more. Why is the user here? Why should they be interested in your specific offering? Use a clear, concise value proposition to answer these questions.

The CTA is MVP

Last, but certainly not least, The Call To Action. If Landing Pages are King in PPC advertising, CTA’s are the MVP’s. If you’ve got a landing page issue you just can’t crack, look to your call to action.

  • Utilize attention driven design

    • Attention Driven design is a technique that plays off of where users most often focus their attention when viewing a web page.
    • This approach has been created with information from various heatmapping studies, where specific tools track exactly where users direct their attention and clicks.
  • UX and design flow

    • Users typically read a website in an F-shaped pattern; all the way to the right at the headlines, with skimming the left area of the body copy.
    • Additionally, Gestalt Psychology tells us that humans respond well to symmetry and natural geometric shapes such as the golden ratio, when probing for information.
    • Using these visual cues can help you to design a page that visually guides the user directly to your Call To Action.

 

Remember the Purpose of Your Landing Page

Remember, your Landing Page has only one express purpose: get the user to complete the desired action, i.e. convert. Your landing page isn’t an opportunity for you to discuss your company, for you to showcase your graphic design chops, or for you to advertise anything other than your specific offering. All of that is better suited for your website.

It’s important to remove the noise, to minimize choices, to only include clear-cut copy, and to utilize design principles like geometry and symmetry. Anything else runs counter to the express purpose of your landing page.

Conversions are the bottom line so you need to make it easy and intuitive for the user to convert. Often times it will require a great deal of restraint, but if you utilize the tactics we’ve touched on, you’ll see the results you’re after.

Final thoughts:

We didn’t get to cover heat mapping or A/B testing as much as we would have liked in this post.

Because those two practices are extremely useful when designing Landing Pages, and with implementing PPC Advertising campaigns, we will be covering them in our next post! For now, let us just say that all of the practices of optimizing Landing Pages are only helpful when you’re able to judge their efficacy with hard data, which is what A/B testing provides.

If you’re experiencing landing page woes of any kind, from copy, to design, to CTA, to testing, Bonsai Media Group, a top Seattle Internet Marketing Company, can help. We have the depth of experience and a broad range of skill sets to provide you with an online marketing campaign that’ll kick your business up a notch!


If you’re interested in our services, please get in touch today! 

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