Where you send a user after they click on your paid ad can either turn that click into a conversion, or it can cause the user to hit the back button on their browser to go back to Google. Therefore, the landing page connected to your ad is extremely important.
But how do you pick the right landing page for that keyword?
Good landing pages are directly related to user intent. However, determining user intent can be easier said than done.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is the difference between a homepage and a landing page?
A homepage is the main page of your website. This is the introduction to your site. It’s not meant to be more than a “hey, this is our name and this is what we do”.
A landing page is a single web page within your website that is created for one specific purpose. They are usually targeted with one user intent and are part of a larger internet marketing campaign.
In shorter terms, your homepage is like the core of your website, and it can take the user to any destination, any landing page.
A user gets to a landing page when they click on something – a link in an email, a Google ad, or an ad on any other website. It’s where the users “lands”!
Why can’t I send users to my homepage?
The main issue with sending users to your main homepage is that you’re giving the user a significant amount of responsibility. You’re taking the power out of your own hands and putting it in theirs.
A user who is sent to a homepage will have hundreds, if not thousands, of different places they can go from there.
Sending all users to the homepage results in low conversion rates and high bounce rates. People get overwhelmed when they’re given that many options!
Not to mention, we’ve been spoiled and don’t want to find things for ourselves anymore!
Wouldn’t you rather show the user the page that directly fits their needs? One that fits exactly what they searched for?
That’s where generating effective landing pages comes in.
How to create an effective landing page
If you remember one thing from this article, remember this:
A landing page should have 1 reader and 1 idea in mind.
This is called the rule of one.
What does this mean? Essentially, a page will have one purpose, geared towards a specific audience.
When creating a landing page, you should already have the purpose in mind. Landing pages are most effective when they’re created after you decide on the target audience and the objective of the page. Once you have these things in mind, it will be much easier to tailor the page to your specific needs.
Think about it this way:
A user types a query into the search bar that says “light wash mom jeans”. When they hit enter, an ad comes up from American Eagle with a headline that says “Women’s High Rise Mom Jeans – Light Wash”. This seems perfect! The title perfectly matches the user’s query, so they click on the ad. This page opens in their browser:
That’s not super helpful, right?
The user searched for a very specific product, but American Eagle just took them to the home page, making the user find that product within the website for themselves.
Now imagine this page had popped up instead:
This landing page is much more relevant to the user’s search query!
If I am this user, I’m much more likely to stay on this page and shop for my desired mom jeans since American Eagle took me directly to a page with only mom jeans. They made my job much easier.
Pairing keywords with landing pages
The one thing to keep in mind when generating your landing pages for your PPC campaign is user intent.
In the example above, when I searched “light wash mom jeans”, I was looking to buy some light wash mom jeans.
However, say I searched “how to patch light wash jeans”, and that same ad came up. My search intent was not to purchase, I wanted information or an article on how to fix my already-owned jeans. Therefore, that ad was useless when appearing for this search query.
There are 3 kinds of user intent:
- Navigational – the user wants to be taken to a specific site
- Informational – the user is looking for information
- Transactional – the user is ready to purchase or perform another online activity
Keeping these in mind when designing landing pages is important. Generally, you don’t want to advertise for search terms that are navigational, since the user already knows exactly where they want to go.
Once you determine user intent, you can tailor a landing page to satisfy that specific user’s goal!
A landing page should have a call to action
A landing page is useless if it doesn’t ask a user to DO something.
A call to action, by definition, is a piece of content on a webpage that induces a user to perform the desired action.
Examples of call-to-actions include:
- Filling out a contact form
- Signing up for a free trial
- Purchasing a product
- Joining an email list
- Watching a video
Creating a call to action that increases conversions is an art. It can take time, but once the conversions start rolling it, it will be worth it.
Here are some basic tips for creating an effective CTA:
- Begin with a strong command verb, like “buy” or “download”
- Use words that evoke emotion in your users (make their emotion match your call to action)
- Give the user a reason to take the action (e.g. “it’s free!”)
- Take advantage of the user’s FOMO by saying that the offer won’t last forever
- Know what devices your typical user will be using – and tailor your CTA with that in mind
- Get creative!
- Use numbers – numbers often catch a user’s attention
- Make sure the call to action stands out
The essence of landing pages
If you’re paying to have your ads on Google, or any other website for that matter, you want them to convert, and sending users to your homepage is a waste of a click.
Sending users to landing pages tailored to them is the best thing you can do – for the customer, and for your business.
Do yourself a favor and direct all of your paid ads to a targeted and relevant landing page, and do this as soon as possible!
Ready to generate effective landing pages for your audience?
Creating perfect landing pages for your audience can seem like an overwhelming task. Luckily, there are experts in landing page optimization who would be happy to help you generate tailored landing pages.
Interested in learning more about services that can help you optimize your webpages for your paid search advertising? Begin your journey with paid advertising today!