Best Practices for Paid Campaign Landing Pages

It’s been a while since I’ve written anything about landing pages. I have a short video clip on how to view landing pages in Google Analytics, a mention in an article for Supermetrics on improving your Google ads conversions, and a post describing 9 ways to optimise landing pages for conversions.

There may be some overlap with those previous posts, but it’s time to talk about landing pages and common issues when used in paid campaigns. The purpose of a campaign landing page is to have what’s said in the ad match the page you send people to and for the page to have a simple promise.  

(Side note: You don’t necessarily need a separate landing page for an e-commerce site. I have clients who sell the product “XYZ”. I’ll have ads that talks about XYZ, with keywords about XYZ, and the landing page is the product page where people can buy XYZ (not the home page). There’s clear continuity so clients don’t create separate landing pages for e-commerce sites. I’m not talking about these pages. The below is more about service businesses or larger B2B transactions.)

One Goal Per Page (Don’t Ask For Too Much)

The issues I encounter with landing pages is that businesses want to give visitors multiple options because they’re afraid of them leaving or not completing a task. What you want to do instead is have one primary task for them to complete – the task that matches what’s in the ad. You may have a secondary task, but you don’t want to provide too many options, because visitors could get distracted and not do what you’re asking them. And people don’t want to have to think. Decision fatigue. Choice overload. Call it what you will, but we all want to go through any process in an obvious, straightforward way. When you have a bunch of links on your landing page that let visitors do other things on your website, your conversions will go down.

Have Ad Continuity (What’s Your Promise & Is It Obvious?)

Once you understand that principle, you’re ready to create content that is very clear about your offer, and it should be an obvious match to the ad that led them there. For example, taking a header from your ad and putting that on your landing page helps with continuity. Visitors won’t have to ask if they’re in the right place.

Use Relevant Images or Videos (Not Filler)

Along with text, include an image or video that matches what you’re offering. With a product, a picture of that specific product is a clear win. Or if it’s something people will have to learn, like software, a brief demo video is an appropriate choice. If you want to have people in your hero image, consider having real customers who are giving a testimonial or show people using the product. Stay away from free stock photos that everyone has access to. And don’t put an image on there just to take up space, aim for one that has a clear connection to your offer. 

Share a Specific Message

Avoid claims everyone uses. “Great customer support.” “We’re the best.” Instead, have a message specific to your offer and why someone should complete your CTA. As customers, we have similar pain points; we want to save time, save money, we want things to be easier, we don’t want lengthy shipping times etc. Focus on your benefits compared to the customer’s pain points. Get into the features later on in the page when people need details to seal the deal. Begin with benefits because that connects to the emotional need of your customers.

Make Your CTA Obvious 

Have a CTA that accurately describes what happens when someone clicks on it. Are they signing up for a tour, a trial, a phone call, a download etc.? Say that on the button. A descriptive button makes it clear what to expect. 

Don’t Ask For Too Much Info

Once someone clicks, your offer should match what you’re asking from people. With a free download, you may want their business number, company name and job title, but when you put in all those fields merely for a free download, you’re asking to get married on the first date. You’re ready to qualify them as a lead when they’re only interested in reading the paper. Everyone argues with me on this one because they want the information and I get it. If you’re not willing to cut fields, at least test it. Maybe you’ll prove me wrong.

Be Creative With Your Confirmation Page

Have a confirmation page that invites further engagement. Most completion pages say “Thank you, we’ll be in touch soon” or “Thanks, here is your download.” But while you still have their attention, why not share another message that you excluded on the main landing page? If your initial CTA was scheduling a phone call with a member of your team, then your confirmation page could have a checklist for planning the project you’ll discuss on the call. Or you might have a link to a blog post related to whatever they just watched or downloaded. The point is to make it easy for people to continue engaging with you. Rather than having too many options on your initial landing page, include that secondary action on the confirmation page.

Keep It Simple

The bottom line is to aim for simplicity. You want people to complete a specific task. Remove the navigation along the top, which gives them too many escape options. Don’t share everything your business offers on one page because it’s too much info. Only provide information that helps them complete a task. And don’t ask for marriage on the first date.