Increasing Conversions? Start Here

by Wiz

A couple of weeks ago a prospect called – his PPC campaigns weren’t working, and would I please take a look to see what was going wrong. I looked at campaign structure, keywords, ad copy – and things looked to be in decent shape. Then I clicked one of the ads, and found a problem:

He was directing all of his traffic to his site’s home page, instead of a focused landing page.

This one was fairly typical: a page filled with product categories, sale items, moving graphics, and links everywhere. The page probably does “OK” as a home page – but as a landing page, it clearly wasn’t working. A visitor expecting to see a particular product would be hard pressed to find what he was looking for. And many were obviously not sticking around long enough to figure it out.

Landing Pages are a Common Problem

Although this particular incident was a PPC prospect, landing page problems exist throughout the marketing spectrum. This wasn’t always the case. Indeed, in the pre-internet days, a direct marketer spent the bulk of his time making sure his offer and sales arguments were the best they could possibly be – because the price of failure was just too high.

Maybe it’s just me – but marketing discussions today seemed more and more focused on the tactics of visitor attraction and engagement. Pick up almost any marketing publication, and you’ll see articles about PPC techniques, the latest in SEO algorithm changes, the myriad of social media outlets, tracking acquisition in paid search, etc.

Don’t get me wrong – I’m not saying these things aren’t important. Certainly marketers need to be aware of what’s new, what’s working today, and where technology is taking us tomorrow. But I sometimes wonder if we treat a landing page like gravity – we know it’s important, but we don’t think about it much.

“So Now that We’re Together, What Shall We Do?”

“OK, Wiz”, you might ask, “so just how do I make a good landing page?” That, of course, is the subject of many books. There is no short, concise answer. Landing pages are part art and part science. There are certain elements they must have, certain elements that are good to have, and many things they don’t need.

Yet one can have all the elements and still have a poorly-performing page. Because it’s not just the elements themselves, but how the elements interact with each other. It’s why grandma’s cakes and pies taste better than anyone else’s – it’s not just the right ingredients, but that special touch in putting all those ingredients together.

Fortunately, I can point you to a couple of resources to help you get started. First, Rio Longacre provides a short landing page primer in his post on the Target Marketing blog. And when it comes to describing how the elements work together on a landing page, few people do it better than the folks over at Marketing Experiments.

No money is more wasted than paying for web visitors and sending them to a poor landing page. Like gravity, the importance of the landing page is so incredibly obvious that we forget about it. And it’s just as unforgiving as gravity if we get it wrong.

Related Posts:

Why your Landing Page is Wasting Space

How to Address “Landing Page Anxiety” on your White Paper Signups

The Right Pay-Per-Click Offer Generates 530% More Leads

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