When doing PPC advertising the landing page plays a significant role in your success. A bad landing page will “kill” even the most targeted visitor and he will leave your website. With more PPC ad networks putting a lot of emphasis on “Quality Score” and related pieces it becomes even more critical to have a great converting landing page. Here is a quick checklist that will help you to evaluate your landing pages and to make better ones if needed.
1) Call to Action
Are you telling your visitors what to do or do you let them decide what they should do (most likely leave your website using the wrong exit)? A clear call to action is necessary (!) in making a good landing page. The visitor needs to recognize immediately what the (landing) page is trying to sell him/her.. Use very clear readable text (extremely easy to understand). Use large generic fonts and eventually spice them up with unique graphics and icons. Be careful not do over-do it, because you do not want your sales pitch to be lost in the middle of a freakin’ “image war”.
2) Match the look and feel of the existing website
Under no circumstances a landing page should be totally different in design than the rest of the website. Maintain the same look and the same colors. You can play with the navigation bar a little bit and “hide” at the bottom of the landing page to reduce the leakage. You want your visitors to exit through the (cloaked) affiliate link. Make sure all links to other pages of your website open a new browser window so that the landing page stays open at all times.
3) Place the Sales content above the fold
It’s very important for your conversion rate to keep all of the important information and the SIGN UP button above the fold of the page. The fold of a webpage is the point where a visitor would have to scroll down inside the browser window to see the remaining content of the landing page. Landing pages should stick to a 800 x 600 resolution to meet 99% of all screen resolutions still out there. If somebody is browsing the web with a 640 x 480 resolution they would not see a forest because of all the trees anyway.
4) Content on Landing Pages
Since the implementation of the Quality Score by PPC advertising networks many advertisers have seen their minimum bid prices go through the roof, because their landing pages do not meet the quality standards required nowadays. Especially Google Adwords requires that people clicking on those links have a “quality experience” when hitting the landing page of an advertiser. The “bots” of the PPC networks scan the landing pages and the surrounding pieces of the website to determine if the requirements of the quality rules are met or not. If your landing page is mainly made from a sliced Photoshop image there is not much that helps to determine the quality of your landing page. Therefore it is highly critical to have actual text content on your landing pages to help Google and the other PPC networks to “read” your landing page properly and to assign a quality score.
5) Page Navigation