Many advertisers do not have an appreciation for the mindset of visitors from search engines or display ads and the results are reflected in the performance of their AdWords account. They are too familiar with their own products or services and so their landing pages and website appear more like an electronic brochure than an automated “selling machine”.
From the moment a visitor lands on your website, you have 3-5 seconds to make a connection. If you don’t, they will bounce, which means they will leave your website by hitting the Back button and probably will not be returning any time soon. When that happens, all the time, effort and expense you invested in that click, just went down the drain.
Serious online advertisers recognize the need for customized landing pages. These are pages on their website specifically designed for visitors from their AdWords campaigns. These pages are highly relevant to a particular set of keywords or “ad group” and they are designed to do one important thing. Get the visitor to take action! In fact, getting a visitor to take action should be the single most important function of your entire website.
Once you are on-board with the need for getting a visitor to take action, the question then becomes, what action do you want them to take and how do you get them to take the action? For many online advertisers, that is the all important question and they never stop asking it or searching for the answer. Serious online advertisers never stop testing. They continually test keywords, matching options, ad copy, landing pages and landing page components like; headlines, images, colors, offers, pricing, positioning and lots more.
An on-going challenge I face as an AdWords consultant, is convincing clients that even if I do a perfect job of designing, building, implementing and fine-tuning an AdWords campaign, all I have done is delivered, what we together believe is a qualified prospect, to their landing page. At that point, it’s out of my hands. The landing page and website must convince the visitor to take action. I particularly like the ism, you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. As a campaign manager, my job is to lead the horses to water, but your website must convince them to drink!
Getting a visitor to take action is what we call a conversion. Each business has a unique set of circumstances when it comes to designing landing pages that convert. For example, what I do on my website will be somewhat different than what you do on your website. However, there are time-tested principals, which help provide a road map or framework. Here are a couple I particularly like.
A.I.D.A. is an acronym used in marketing and advertising that describes a common list of events that may occur when a consumer engages with an advertisement. It stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action. Wikipedia does a nice job of explaining it in more detail.
Another principal from my friends Glenn Livingston and Terry Dean is called the Golden Glove or five fingers. Here they talk about the five things that you should have on a landing page:
- A statement of the desperate problem the visitor needs to solve
- Your unique promise for how you will solve it
- An example of overwhelming proof that you can or have solved it
- An irresistible offer or action the visitor should take
- A reason for the visitor to act now or convert
This principal works quite well when you want every qualified visitor to convert and the action is something that doesn’t consume a significant amount of resources. Actions like signing up for a newsletter, downloading a white paper or watching a video. However, if your offer is something you don’t have an infinite supply of, such as in my case, where I offer a free phone consult or account review, you might want to be a little less aggressive in your offer. Nevertheless, the principal is worth serious consideration.
If you are ready to make the investment in custom landing pages, I may be able to help.
In order to successfully design, build, test and fine-tune custom landing pages, it will require a team effort. And the team consists of you, me and your web developer. Web developers on their own, typically don’t have the skills or experience to implement custom landing pages that deliver results. If they did, they would have already had this discussion with you. They are technologists; designers, coders and graphic artists, not sales and marketing professionals.
Having a successful landing page requires an intimate knowledge of your market, your competition and your product or service. That’s where you come in. I understand how Google works, the mindset of visitors from search and display ads and I’m a career sales and marketing professional, but I am not a web developer or a professional copywriter. I understand and know how to apply advertising principles like A.I.D.A. and the Golden Glove.
A good landing page is like your best elevator pitch. It needs to convey all the right information, in the right order and end with a commitment from the prospect. In many cases, the commitment is also the desired action or what we call a conversion. In other cases, it’s simply clicking to another page and avoiding the dreaded bounce. There is a lot more to it than that, but hopefully you get the idea.
When would you like to begin?