By Don Sturgill
You have an excellent product or service to offer. Your marketing team has prepared a sure-sell strategy for the launch. You hired a PPC manager to kick off the campaign with a series of online ads guaranteed to draw attention. The next part of your strategy will determine whether or not your campaign succeeds.
Is your landing page ready?
The landing page is crucial to the success of your pay-per-click (PPC) activities. You can have a high click-through-rate (CTR), but a dismal conversion rate. That can hurt not only your pride, but your wallet.
Let’s look at the fundamentals of PPC landing pages.
Three golden rules for landing pages
Designers will want to talk about colors and layout. Back-end experts will worry about page load times and form functionality. Your written content will work with both of those considerations to focus on the message and the action it elicits.
All things considered there are three golden rules for landing pages, and they should be the base of your strategy. In business, paying attention to the golden rule fundamentals has a definite effect on how much gold you bring in.
Rule #1: Rejoice when you hate your landing page. It was not designed for you, but for your customer. Chances are you do not have the same problem your customer has; you have already solved it for yourself. Never dismiss an idea simply because you don’t like it (C-suite, are you listening). It could be that the idea you find most repugnant would sell the most.
Rule #2: Determine what you want to accomplish with the landing page, then adjust your ad to attract the people you want to attract. This usually requires the use of negative keywords, and it certainly takes forethought. If you are selling the services of a dental practice in Miami, Ohio, you don’t want to attract searchers looking for a dentist in Florida!
Rule #3: Make everything on the page point to one action. Do you want the visitor to join your mailing list? Focus on that. Do you want the visitor to buy your product immediately? Focus on that. Whatever you have decided is so important that have paid to get people to interact with you … focus on that.
How to get the word out?
A Danish company worked with a prominent industrial designer to produce audio headsets and other Bluetooth products for the consumer market. How can a new company launch a new product, though, from within such a tough segment?
A search on “Bluetooth headsets” brings up names like Amazon, Motorola, and Bose … but no mention of a start-up company in Norway. That could make for a really tough launch online.
Champions of SEO will immediately begin thinking of things like metadata, content building, and long-tail keywords. This company wants results quickly, though — and the most direct means to the front page of the search engine results page (SERP) is pay-per-click advertising.
Your assignment: Use your method acting skills to assume the attitude of someone who wants to obtain a high-quality Bluetooth headset at a reasonable price. Take a look at the Telme2 product page, consider the golden rules, and tell us why (in the comments) you think this page would or would not be an excellent candidate for the Telme2 PPC landing page.
Let’s set the situation
Assume you are a motivated buyer. You are tired of fighting the cord on your old headset, and you don’t like the boom microphone sticking in front of your face during Skype calls and Google Hangout On Air (HOA) events. You have heard Bluetooth technology is the way to go, so you have entered “Where to buy a Bluetooth headset” in your favorite search query box.
The top three listings on the page (let’s say) are from Motorola, Samsung, and Telme2. You are familiar with the first two brands, so you click-through on those first — but both are specifically aimed at headsets for cellular phones, and you want a headset to use with your computer at work. Clicking the third PPC ad, you arrive at this page …
Do you buy or do you leave?
Going back to the rules …
1. Do you think the seller designed this page to appeal to you, or is it primarily concerned with establishing the Telme2 brand?
2. Let’s say Telme2 wants to attract people just like you with their PPC ad, and they pay a premium rate to rank in searches on “where to buy Bluetooth headsets.” Have they followed the second golden rule? Can you think of negative keywords they may want to employ?
3. Rule 3 says everything on the page should point to one action — the action you want the visitor to take. How does the sample Telme2 landing page do in that regard? Does it lead you straight to the buy button, or are there diversions in the way?
Don’t wait for me to give out the answers. I’m not going to provide any. My hope, with this example, is to get you thinking about the three golden rules of landing pages and looking at (your) PPC campaign with the rules in mind.
Give me your best guess
One more thing: What do you predict the conversion rate would be for this ad? Make an educated guess on how many people who view this page will click the “Go To Checkout” button.
Come on, don’t be bashful, there really is no one right answer here. By providing our individual perspectives, though, we can all learn a little more about PPC landing pages and grow in our abilities to either manage our own websites or help others succeed.
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