If you run your own marketing campaigns, then you probably are already aware of the importance of landing pages. Often these pages are responsible for creating a good first impression with a potential new customer. Most landing pages are built with a specific goal in mind such as getting a visitor to fill out a form and download something, but keeping in mind how a new customer gets to the landing page is just as important as the end goal. This is especially true when you are using PPC advertising to drive traffic to a landing page.
What is a Landing Page?
When I started working in marketing, I understood a landing page to be a page designed to capture potential new leads. This meant that the page should offer something interesting to someone and in exchange for that interesting something the website visitor would fill out a form giving us some information about themselves. With that information we can then determine if they would be a good potential lead or not.
More often than not a landing page would offer a visitor the chance to download a PDF with information they want, but in some cases it might result in a phone call or a video download. Honestly, you can offer whatever you want but if you ask for a lot of personal information in exchange for a simple PDF you will find that very few people are willing to make that exchange.
Landing Pages for PPC
The issue with everything I’ve said to this point is that the extent of most people’s knowledge of landing pages ends here. In fact, most people design landing pages with only these concepts in mind which results in landing pages being tailored to one goal, get people to download the offer. The problem with this is that if you plan on using PPC advertising, such as Google Ads, to drive traffic to these pages you are setting yourself up for failure.
As you might already know, Google grades all of the landing pages that Google Ads direct traffic to. A large part of the score is experience and relevance. A bad score can result in your ad costing you more to run or in some cases, your ad won’t run at all.
So how might this impact you? Well, let’s say you own Jim’s Shoe Store. It wouldn’t be unusual for you to have a landing page directing people to download a PDF entitled, “Best Sneakers for People With Back Pain.” However, you know what that landing page won’t help you with? A lot of your PPC. Think about it, you own a shoe store, so you are going to want your paid ads to target keywords like:
- Local shoe store
- Running shoes
- Dress shoes
- Types of shoes
- Black shoes
- Designer shoes
- Shoes for people with back pain
- Shoes for people with knee problems
Your landing page is only going to be a good experience for people who search for one of those ten keywords and Google understands this.
My suggestion is leave the landing pages you are happy with alone and make new landing pages with PPC in mind. These new pages should feature general information about your business so that they will work with most keywords associated with your business. However, you can also opt to make 3-5 PPC specific landing pages focused on a narrower set of keywords and break up your Google Ads campaigns into groups built around those landing pages. There are a lot of ways to approach this and the only thing that is truly important is that you understand the overall concept and act accordingly.
With one client we recently suggested creating a mini-site featuring 3-5 landing pages. Each page covers an overview of the business and they all connect to each other. Yes, they will all have a form to download and offer so this client can still capture leads, but the pages won’t be entirely about the offer. When this process is complete, and we have had ample time to collect data I will be coming back to post an update.
In the case of Jim’s Shoe Store, I would recommend creating a landing page for athletic shoes, dress shoes, and casual shoes. Each page would have a relevant offer, but the page would talk broadly about each topic and not focus in on only the offer. In this scenario you can assume that person who searches for sneakers, or running shoes, or athletic shoes would have a good experience on the athletic shoe landing page. Thus, we’ve covered more possible search terms with one page.