Six best practices to focus on for your PPC landing pages

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The Media Image share their learnings with marketers on how to get the most out of PPC landing pages.

Landing pages are all around us and you will have no doubt, visited many before in the past as you browse the internet.

So, what is a landing page exactly?

A landing page is a website page that a visitor is directed to following a click on a search, display or social ad and are specifically designed for a purpose or objective – to convert visitors into leads. These can range from driving sales for your products/services or generating leads from potential customers in the form of lead forms/email sign-ups.

Now, it is very easy to add a simple ’Buy Now/Sign Up’ button on your landing page but I’m sure you can already picture that a highly relevant and visually appealing page with compelling copy will most definitely improve your chances of driving conversions. This is where landing page best practices come in.

So why do we need a landing page and not just use a homepage?

A landing page is aimed to capture a visitor’s attention and drive conversions by removing distractions such as external navigation, competing links and alternate options. Following this up with relevant headline/titles/copy/imagery will help guide a visitor towards your end goal i.e., to your lead form or sales page.

Best Practices for PPC landing pages

There are six main areas that your PPC landing pages should focus on for you to get the most out of them:

  • Design
  • Branding & Site Purpose
  • Call-To-Action
  • Value Proposition
  • Visuals
  • Text

1. Design

Is the design ‘clean’ and does it focus attention on what is on offer?

Keep your key messaging above the fold as you want your main message to hit your viewers as soon as they land on your page. Less vital information such as customer testimonials, how does it work etc. should be kept below the fold. This helps keep the page clean and uncluttered as too many things going on can confuse and distract visitors from your main goal. Finally, remember to use contrast between background and text so that your messaging is clearly visible and legible to the visitor.

2. Branding & Site Purpose

Is it clear whose site it is and what the purpose of the page/site is?

Keeping the general colour theme of your landing page aligned with your corporate brand colours help enforce your brand’s identity. Similarly, keep your fonts aligned across all visual medium for the same reasons. Logo and brand names should be clearly visible as you also want your name to be memorable to your visitors.

The purpose of the landing page should be kept straightforward with supporting elements such as call to action texts and buttons. Visitors should clearly know where and how to proceed, and a well-designed page will create a smooth and easy user journey and experience.

Finally, a cluttered page will distract visitors from your site’s main goal so consider moving elements that could potentially confuse or distract your viewers to either below the fold or off the page completely.

3. Call-To-Action

Is a CTA button(s) provided above the fold? Is it immediately clear where to click to continue to the next step of the process?

Use one main call-to-action across your landing page where possible as having several options and paths can draw users away from your main goal. CTAs should be clear, unambiguous and above the fold so that visitors clearly know what they are clicking on and how to continue to the next step of the process. Finally, CTA buttons and text should use contrasting colours for prominence as you want them to be clear and stand out. A button that is blended in with your background using similar colours will create confusion and most definitely increase the chances of page bounces.

4. Value Proposition

Does the landing page do a good job in explaining why to buy here, instead of somewhere else?

Remember to address your customers and provide a reason as to why your product or service is the best solution to their problem. Writing in second person makes the page/product relatable as well as inviting for your audience. You should also aim to show your potential customers why they should choose you over other competitors and emphasize on your unique selling points and advantages in the industry.

Finally, create and enforce your brand credibility with user reviews, supporting articles and press features. Reviews in particular will help instill confidence in your potential customers as shoppers have become more savvy in the last decade, in line with the rise of popularity of comparison sites.

5. Visuals

Do your visuals provide subtle and subconscious indicators that help visitors choose to act?

Consider offering visually interactive demonstrations of your product. As well as being able to explain things quickly and easily, videos are highly engaging and can help earn audience trust.

Use clean and easily-recognisable icons and illustrations to help tell a story or to replace/reinforce the text on your page. This can help in situations where there is a lot of text. For e.g. A Trophy or a Tick icon next to a list of your USPs would allow visitors to instantly understand your content. A location pinpoint above your address will be instantly recognisable and relatable.

Remember to use contrasting colours for CTA buttons for impact. You need your clickable buttons to stand out, not lost in a sea of creative and text.

6. Text

Is it clear whose site it is and what the purpose of the page/site is?

In terms of text, keep your writing clear and concise, using simple sentence structures and short words that are easy to understand and skim. As visitors generally scan and skim pages, focus on the headline, sub headlines, images and CTA buttons instead. Clear and relevant headlines and sub headlines will have a greater impact when a visitor first lands on a page.

Remember to emphasize the benefits, not the product/service as this will help you stand out from the competition and utilize numbers, statistics and detailed metrics as these are more specific, more believable and persuasive to the reader.

Additional Opportunities

Continuous page testing should be a no-brainer in your quest for improving your landing pages and to maximise your conversion goals. Trialing different texts, creatives, colour themes and layouts can help you discover what works (and what doesn’t work) from a conversion or engagement point of view.

A common but useful test is to trial having a video on your landing page versus one that has no video. Although video is a highly engaging creative format, some people could potentially be short on time and may not want to watch a video before opting into your service or product.

Another variant to consider and test is the inclusion of subtitles to video content in order to make them consumable on mobile devices without audio.

Finally, consider using URL heatmap tools to analyse your landing pages as this will allow you to see where and how your audience are interacting with your page. This will indefinitely help you determine the positioning of certain page content and CTA buttons for better user experiences.

Alan Ngo, Account manager at The Media Image.

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