I was listening to an informative webcast this morning on landing page optimization, presented by Ion Interactive. Thought I’d share with you some of my learnings, and inject my own wisdom on the subject.
We all use landing pages in our PPC Campaigns, with the hope of driving conversions. But the user experience has changed so much in the past year or two, that landing pages today must convey more than just the text that matches the ad the user clicked on to get to the page. Today, users are all about Twitter, Facebook, YouTube – they are about engagements. And so it has come to be that we often need to engage our users before a conversion occurs.
According to Ion Interactive, there are four aspects of engagement: videos, social, Flash, and segmentation. Videos are one of the biggest drivers today of increased conversions. Since videos are everywhere, users almost expect to see them now. And so if you have the capability of inserting a video onto your landing page – do so! Think about it – are you more engaged when you are reading something, or when someone is directly speaking to you and showing you something? Videos are obvously more compelling than text on a page! Videos can be used almost anywhere to show off product demonstrations, convey a message or a news piece.
Segmentation: This should be an obvious one if you have any SEO or PPC knowledge: don’t stuff everything onto one page to appeal to everyone at once. Once the user comes to the page they will make the choice of where they will click to next.
Here is a great example of segmentation: we have recently created a Google Adwords campaign for a client who specializes in water filtration, water purification, and other water products and services for the home. The website initially had one landing page containing all of the water services and products. This landing page certainly was not strong enough to maximize conversions. So – we created several landing pages: one for water purification, one for water conditioning, one for water coolers, etc. The goal here was to segment our ad groups, make them as tight as possible. Because someone searching for bottled water is not looking for water conditioning and so that person does not care to see it on the same landing page. The more specific the page, the greater the chance of conversion. One landing page is not effective for every type of campaign. Increasing the amount of landing pages will have a positive affect on ROI.
Another aspect of engagement is – no surprise here – social media. Place a live blog feed on your landing page, Twitter feeds, polls, discussion forums, live chat, event RSVPs. But be wary of where you place the social media content, before or after the conversion action.
And finally, let’s talk about Flash. Flash should always be used in a creative and functional way. A site comprised entirely of text has no use for Flash. Flash is important to present content for a strong user experience, to keep a page visually appealing.
A few closing points:
1. Keep your pages specific but simple so they do not overwhelm the user with too many choices.
2. TEST. Testing enables you to learn about your respondents and determine which strategies are most effective for your audience.
3. Don’t become too invested in one landing page – do not spend too much time or money, because your testing might lead you to find that the page is underperforming, in which case you would scrap it.