For new advertisers, an often overlooked part of campaign creation is the landing page your ads point to. It’s easy to get so caught up in targeting and writing copy that you end up choosing your landing page hastily. Don’t do it! A poorly chosen landing page will cripple your ad's performance, raise your costs, and frustrate customers.
A poorly chosen landing page will cripple your ad's performance.
Ask Yourself These Questions
Here are the questions you need to ask when choosing the landing page for your ads.
1. Who is the audience?
Ask yourself who will see this ad. What do you know about them? For search campaigns, you know the keyword that led them to your ad. For social and display campaigns, you know the targeting settings that put your ad in front of them. Use this info to point your ad to the right landing page that meets their need.
For example, an ad targeting the search keyword “AdStage pricing” should lead customers to our pricing page and not to our home page. I already know they want my pricing info, so why should I expect them to look for it themselves from my homepage? Using the pricing page as the landing page in this situation should result in a higher CTR, a lower bounce rate, a happier customer and a more profitable ad.
2. What does the ad promise them?
Ask yourself what the ad promises. Your landing page’s message should echo that of your ad. If it doesn’t, you risk frustrating your visitors and causing them to bounce off your site. So choose the page on your site that follows through with what your ad promised.
For example, an ad promising a 30-day free trial for our ppc management software should point to a landing page that says “30-day free trial” prominently above the fold (the top-most part of your page that displays without scrolling). This way visitors see the very message that persuaded them to click in the first place and can learn more.
3. What pitch do they need to hear?
Ask yourself what this customer needs to hear to seal the deal. Just as you’d tweak your in-person sales pitch for different customer types, your landing page’s pitch will also need to change to convert different audiences.
For example, a small business owner might need to see a landing page that pitches the convenience of AdStage while a marketing manager would need to see a page that pitches the product's advanced features. Presenting the right message will help move the visitor to take action.
4. What action do I want them to take next?
Ask yourself what the next step you’d like a visitor to take is. Do you want them to sign up for an account, add an item to their cart, or download a white paper? Your landing page must make that next step explicit with a clear call to action. If it doesn’t, visitors could end up lost in your site and eventually bounce.
For example, we want visitors to AdStage to sign up for our beta, so our landing page needs to have a clear sign up button that visitors won’t miss. And while we may have other links for them to click, they must always be overshadowed by the clear sign up button. Having an explicit call to action will convert a higher percentage of your visitors to customers and make your ads more profitable.
Having asked yourself these questions, do you have a clear page from your site in mind for your ad's landing page? If none of your existing pages really qualify (as is usually the case), consider creating a custom landing page. Tools like Unbounce let you build, publish, and test new landing pages without any help from your webmaster. It’s absolutely worth your time to create a custom landing page for your highest traffic ads; it can boost your campaign's profitability dramatically.
Are there any other questions you find it helpful to ask when choosing a landing page?