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Where are you sending all those visitors that you get from your PPC campaigns?

I was amazed to learn that 44% of AdWords campaigns are sending their visitors to the home page.

Sorry, but this is wrong on every level. On the one hand it’s wrong because landing page relevance and performance is a major Quality Score factor and a major influence on the cost of your advertising. On the other hand it’s wrong because, in terms of converting visitors, it is the equivalent of trying to sell an aquarium from outside the pet shop rather than in the fish section.

You can do better than that. Much better.

If you don’t have landing pages for your ads get them. If you do, weed out these four fatal flaws to reap even more benefits.

1. Page speed

Anything more than three seconds is hitting you in the pocket and anything more than five will be hitting you where it really hurts.

Here’s just how hard you could be getting hit: if a page fails to load within 5 seconds, 74% of people are bailing.

That’s a real waste of your money.

Google’s PageSpeed can help you fix many problems but, be warned, the issues may lie with your hosting rather than your coding or image optimising.

2. Page clutter

Your landing page is there to lead your metaphorical horse to water. You can’t make it drink but you can put some blinkers on it so it just sees the water.

  • Get rid of the navigation from your landing page: you want the horse at the water and nowhere else
  • Do not distract with multiple offers: you want it to drink not to eat

Keep everything clean, clutter-free and leading to just one conclusion. Landing pages are not meant to make people think – they are meant to make them act.

Those nice people at Kissmetrics have created a handy infographic to help you see what I mean.

3. Page turn-offs

Headlines count.

Your visitor will always checks them out first. If they are no good it could be the last thing they check out before they check out for good.

My advice: if you are spending on AdWords spend on a copywriter.

Great headlines concisely and engagingly summarise a complex value proposition in a few simple, jargon-free words. They also deliver pleasure and remove any sense of pain.

If you think you can do it yourself here are some proven templates from CrazyEgg to get you hatching headlines that hit home.

4. Page punchlines

Ever read a book whose ending was just pants? Just as you reach the climax some nonsense, generic ending ruins the whole thing.

I hate that. Just as much as I hate a poor call to action (CTA).

Let’s assume that you have done everything else right on your landing page and you give a weak CTA: you are going to lose customers as fast as a balloon deflating. Forget that ‘Sign Up’ or ‘Buy Now’ and start to get specific. Try ‘Get My Free Report’ or ‘Start Saving Now’ instead.

It’s actually not just what you say but where you say it: your CTA positioning is a crucial detail to help it stand out from everything else on the page. Use colour, use positioning but also use whitespace to help focus attention on it.

The truth is this: if you get your landing pages right your AdWords ROI can rocket. Let’s get those horses to water and watch them take a big slurp.

There. That’s better!


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