When advertising on pay-per-click (PPC) networks like Google Ads or Bing Ads, you shouldn’t send traffic to your main website. Rather, you should send it to a landing page where you’re able to guide users through the conversion process. Several factors, however, can affect the conversion rate of your landing page. For the highest return on investment (ROI) from your PPC expenditure, you must optimize your landing page around these factors.
1) Navigation Links
The presence of navigation links can affect your landing page’s conversion rate. Navigation links are beneficial for traditional websites because they guide users to other relevant web pages on the site. For a PPC landing page, on the other hand, navigation links divert users away from the conversion process, resulting in a lower conversion rate. When a user clicks your PPC ad and discovers dozens of navigation links on your landing page, he or she may venture away from the conversion process.
A study conducted by HubSpot found that removing navigation links from a landing page promoting a free trial offer led to a 16 percent higher conversion rate. Whether you’re promoting a free trial or a paid product or service, you’ll probably experience a higher conversion rate by removing unnecessary navigation links from your landing page.
You might be surprised to learn that speed affects landing page conversion rates. According to Unbounce, seven in 10 consumers say their online purchasing decisions are influenced by a website’s speed. If your landing page is slow, users may abandon it before it finishes loading.
For a high conversion rate, optimize your landing page so that it loads in three seconds or less. Statistics show most users are only willing to wait three seconds, after which they’ll typically abandon the website.
To speed up your landing page, invest in a premium web hosting service, such as a virtual private server (VPS) or a dedicated server. Shared web hosting is the cheapest, but since it requires you to share virtual resources with dozens or even hundreds of other websites, it isn’t particularly fast. You can also speed up your landing page by reducing the file size of images. Before uploading images to your landing page, use a graphics editor to shrink them to an appropriate size.
3) CTA Placement
The placement of your landing page’s call to action (CTA) can affect its conversion rate. If it’s placed in a discreet area, users may overlook it. Therefore, you should place the CTA in a highly visible area to attract more clicks and, subsequently, conversions.
PPC marketers often assume the CTA should always be placed above the fold, meaning users can see it without scrolling down. An above-the-fold CTA may deliver the highest conversion rate for some landing pages, but you may experience better results with a below-the-fold CTA. Placing the CTA at the bottom of your landing page, for example, allows you to nurture users with text copy. Only after reading the text copy will users see the CTA. To determine an appropriate placement for your CTA, perform an A/B split test using several landing page variants, each of which with a different CTA placement.
4) Trust Signals
Another landing page conversion factor that’s frequently overlooked by PPC marketers is the presence of trust signals. Search engine users are less likely to trust PPC ads than organic listings. After all, any business owner or marketer can create a PPC ad, but only organic listings have been vetted by Google’s or Bing’s ranking algorithm. By integrating trust signals into your landing page’s design, users will feel more comfortable clicking the CTA and following through with your conversion process.
Common types of trust signals used in PPC landing pages include:
- • A well-known and reputable Top-Level Domain (TLD), such as .com or .net.
- • Money-back guarantee logo
- • Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS)
- • Norton Secured seal
- • McAfee SECURE seal
- • TRUSTe seal
- • Trust Guard seal
- • Better Business Bureau (BBB)
- • Your business’s phone number and address
- • Customer reviews or testimonials
- • Social media buttons showing follower or “like” count
The relevance of your PPC landing page will directly influence its conversion rate. Your landing page should be relevant both to the PPC ad copy as well as the user’s search query. Otherwise, it will suffer from a low conversion rate.
If a Google user searches for “home mortgage quotes” but your ad or landing page only promotes business loans, he or she probably won’t convert into a customer. As a result, you may need to create several landing pages, with each design targeting a specific keyword or group of related keywords. By maintaining relevance between your landing pages and their respective keywords and PPC ads, you’ll achieve higher conversion rates.
When designing a PPC landing page, it’s important to use an appropriate length. If it’s too short, you won’t be able to fully convey your message and compel users to follow through with your conversion process. If your landing page is too long, users may not read it. For an effective landing page that drives conversion, you must find a sweet spot.
While you can perform A/B split tests using landing pages with different lengths, studies show 500 to 1,500 words typically works best. With this length, you should be able to pitch your product or service and persuade users to take action.
7) Conversion Steps
How many steps are included in your landing page’s conversion process? If users are required to click through a half-dozen or more links, as well as complete various fields or forms, you can expect a low conversion rate.
At minimum, users will probably have to click the CTA on your landing page. After clicking the CTA, though, users should be able to complete your conversion process in three or fewer steps.
The performance of a PPC advertising campaign is heavily dependent upon the landing page used. A bare-bones landing page with nothing more than a poorly placed CTA won’t work. It may drive some conversions, but it won’t be enough to sustain a positive ROI in a competitive vertical.