9 Questions to Consider for Paid Search Landing Pages
Paid search plays a specific role in the customer journey. Paid search is there to provide marketing content through searches as users scope out their options. Marketing teams often pour their effort into keyword research and bid strategy only to neglect their landing page. You can bring traffic to a page all day long, but if it isn’t informative and user-friendly, you’re kneecapping yourself before you start. Here are some questions to discuss with your team before you embark on your AdWords journey.
1. Is your “ask” too heavy?
A conversion can be whatever you want it to be. A form submission, a download, a video play, a link to the app store — but that goal needs to be clear so that it can be measured against. It’s important to align your goal with your ask. Teams often want to promote “request a demo” on their paid search landing pages, which is the marketing equivalent of popping a ring out on the first date. Don’t come on too strong. A simple “learn more” is far less intimidating to your users. Whitepapers, video, and infographics are also much more realistic asks.
2. Is this a quick conversion?
For e-commerce paid search, users often know what they want. They are looking for the best price, free shipping, and coupon codes. Your ad copy and landing page can work hard to get them to purchase. For larger B2B purchases, you have to offer content that gives the user something of value. These conversions are slower and require multiple decision makers to weigh in.
3. Who is your target?
You have to know who the ads are aimed at. Insight into your audience guides your ad’s messaging, landing page content, and targeting. Your landing pages and ads will look very different if they are targeted at a CFO vs. a CMO. Echoing the “request a demo” scenario above, some audiences may not have the authority within their company to request a demo. These users might be gathering sources to present a list of qualified options for a management team to make the decision. It’s important to consider these things when designing your landing pages.
4. What are you trying to promote?
Do you have a specific solution you want to advertise via paid search? This can be a product, category, or a service that is the answer to a common industry pain point. For example, if you sell time tracking software, your page should talk about the benefits and selling points of your time tracking software. It’s important to break this out into digestible chunks of content. Talk about common pain points, how your product alleviates those pains, discuss high-level benefits, and use testimonials. Icons and graphics can make the page more engaging.
5. What is the question we’re trying to answer?
Knowing your audience is important. These questions will guide the conversion goal and the landing page design. If we’re a nice restaurant, searchers want a menu, location, and hours. Make sure the landing page answers common questions your audience may have. These insights can come from the feedback you’ve heard from your current customers.
6. How do my landing pages drive users to these goals?
Your landing page makes or breaks paid search performance. To determine your quality score, Adwords references keywords, your ad, your landing page, and user activity on your landing page. If the landing page is off-topic compared to your paid ad, users will bounce, your CPC goes up, conversion rates will drop, and quality score will tank. The landing page should be relevant and user-friendly to drive conversions.
7. What can I expect out of performance?
If your goal is lead-gen, you need to know that high bounce rates and low conversion rates come along with a strong ask. These symptoms can be remedied by softening the ask. Offering something like a white paper vs. a demo can make a difference in page performance. More accessible content often results in more time spent on your landing page and more actions taken by users. Obviously, you want a robust set of customer data, but asking for full name, address, email, company, and a checkbox makes engagement unlikely. Keep it simple.
8. What other factors impact your performance?
Campaign performance can be affected by brand awareness. Users are more likely to interact if they know who you are. Example — you’re more likely to download Hubspot’s guide to social media marketing if you have already seen Hubspot’s sponsored social posts, watched their Instagram story, or seen a Hubspot display ad on your favorite marketing blog. Small user experience things can also have an effect. Users are more likely to bounce if you badger them with pop-up offers, chatbots, and the like.
9. Did I fulfill the promise made by the ad?
This one is huge. If your ad says “Learn about the most efficient time tracking software for small marketing teams”, don’t just dump users on your homepage. They need to be sent to a product-specific page that offers relevant content to the ad. The page has to fulfill the ad’s promise.
Good news. We can help.
The team here at Red Clay specializes in getting people to engage with your brand. We consider your objectives to create paid search campaigns and landing pages that work together. The perfect landing page and campaign combo is hard to beat when it comes to moving the needle for your brand.