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Finding clients with AdWords part three: landing pages
If you’ve been following the #goals series, hopefully you’ve done your keyword research and have properly structured your AdWords account. Now it’s time to figure out where to send your the new leads who click on your ad, and try to maximize the likelihood that they’ll turn into a customer.
You might be tempted to send your users to your website homepage. Sure, it’s easy, but your homepage already has a big job. It’s likely set up to showcase your various services and educate customers about them. With so much information, it’s hard to steer your customer in the direction you want (sign up, start your free trial, etc.), and it also might not exactly match what your AdWords leads expect to see.
Why are landing pages important?
If you really want to maximize your return on ad dollars, you’ll want to create landing pages—separate pages built off of your website—that “match” your ad campaigns. The easier you make it for your customer to take the action you want, the more likely they’ll be to take it.
You’ve already created very specific, targeted ads that match what your lead entered in Google. You need to think about your landing page the same way. The more clearly your landing page matches your lead’s Google search—and the content of your ad—the more likely you are to convert them.
Google also evaluates landing page relevance based on your bid keywords, and it will reward you with cheaper clicks when your landing page is very relevant.
Calling back our graphic designer example:
Campaign: Logo Design Campaign
Adgroup: logo designer for restaurants
Keywords: logo for restaurants, logo designer for restaurants, restaurant logo refresh
Adgroup: logo designer for small business
Keywords: logo for small business, logo designer for small business, small business logo refresh
Adgroup: logo designer for startups
Keywords: logo for startups, logo designer for startups, startups logo refresh
Adgroup: find a logo designer
Keywords: Where to find a logo designer, find a logo artist, finding a designer for logos
Each of these ad groups would benefit from different pages addressing the specific need of the searcher.
Think of it this way: if you searched “Apple iPad and clicked on an ad that said “Buy an Apple iPad today”, what would you expect to see when you land on the page? A homepage for an electronic store that sells everything from Blu-ray players to laptops to gaming systems, with iPads hidden somewhere in the site?
Or, a simple, clean landing page featuring various iPads and a clear call to action “Buy this iPad now”? Which scenario do you think will result in more customers?
How to set up landing pages
Landing pages are new pages of your website that serve one specific purpose. If you currently have a website that’s hosted on a content management system (CMS) like WordPress, Squarespace, Format, or Wix, just create a new page with a unique url. They don’t need to be drastically different, as long as they’re relevant to your audience.
If you don’t currently use a CMS, then you’ll need to code your own landing page or use a paid landing page software like Unbounce, Leadpages or Instapage to develop your landing page. Or if you’re a Mailchimp user, it recently started offering a free landing page builder with its service.
Regardless of your skill level or available budget, there are options available to build your landing pages.
Landing page best practices
When building your landing pages, always keep your intended audience in mind, keep the page relevant, and anticipate what kind of questions they would have when looking for your services.
There are a few standard layouts you can work off of with landing pages. Unbounce has a useful section on its site that shows you examples of different types landing pages.
If your ad speaks about logo design, your headline needs to follow up on that conversation. A lot of your visitors will only scan the page, so it’s vitally important that your headline captures their attention and delivers the message succinctly.
2. Supporting body copy
This is where you can further explain the value you can provide to your potential lead. Like with your headline, brevity is of value here. Add information, but stick to the point, let your visitors know what you want them to do, tell them why they should do it, and what will happen after they do it.
For example, if the goal of your landing page is to get them on the phone for a consultation, communicate the value of the consultation and explain the steps that the consultation would take.
3. Well defined call to action
Call to action (CTA) is the part of your landing page where you ask your lead to take an action that you want them to take. The most common CTAs ask leads to fill in online forms with an email or phone number. You can try to introduce time-limited discounts if they act now, creating a sense of urgency.
4. Credibility and proof section
By the time your visitor hits this part of the landing page, they’ll know what you’re offering them and what they should do next if they’re interested. This section of the page should help them build trust that you can deliver on what you’re promising on this page.
Here’s a real-life example of a business that has developed a landing page for its ad campaigns.
Here’s the normal homepage.
This is the company’s ad on google:
This is where the ad lands:
Notice that the headline changes, and they added a call to action immediately below it with the incentive of a 50% discount. The rest of the page is dedicated to trying to convince us that they’re a reliable and quality logo designer.
In the example, Logo Proficient decided to offer a 50% discount on sign up, other offer ideas you can use:
- Time-limited bonuses
- Free brainstorm/consultation
- Free trial
- 1 mockup
- Get a demo
- Talk to someone right now
You get the idea. Surround your CTA with an offer that gives them an incentive to take action right now.
With this complete, your AdWords campaign is as optimized as it’s going to get without some more information and people hitting your ads.
The next and final part will cover how to continue adjusting and optimizing your ads and landing page after they’ve been running to squeeze every single last lead out of your ad dollar.