I was working with a startup company a few years ago, when they wanted to test advertising with Google Adwords. They hadn’t actually done any advertising beforehand, as all the traffic was coming in through word-of-mouth, but they felt that they needed a boost in sales and the number of users.
We discussed matters with an advertising company who did all the relevant research into the company’s selling points and unique features, studied our target audience, came up with a list of keywords – you know, doing all the preparation necessary for a good advertising campaign.
Then they asked us if we want them to create the specific landing pages, or if we were going to do. Now, I know why you need message-relevant and channel specific landing pages, and that good landing pages increase conversions (and awesome landing pages REALLY increase conversion rates), but unfortunately, my boss didn’t. He was adamant that the one landing page that we did have would do the job quite nicely, and that there was no reason what so ever to create more.
I won’t bore you with the outcome of our advertising campaigns (they weren’t very successful), but I will try to help you avoid my fate. This post will help you help explain to your boss, client, or anyone else who isn’t sure, exactly why landing pages are not just nice to have, but vital, and how they can increase a company’s bottom line.
Do you really need to create so many of them?
Yes, I do. Each marketing message and advertising channel brings in different users. Each user expects to see different things on the page. A different price, a different highlighted feature, or even a different call to action.
Let’s say that we own a car dealership. John comes in, looking for a Renault Clio 2013 model. Sam, our best salesman, takes him, and shows him every single car in the dealership. Every time John tries to explain that he already knows what he wants, Sam shows him a completely different car. How long do you think John will stay before he leaves, and goes to find a dealership that will actually listen to him?
Advertising and landing pages are much the same. We know what the user is looking for. After all, he clicked the ad with ‘Best Customer Service’ on it, not the one with ‘Free Shipping’. It is far better to send him to a landing page with a huge ‘Best Customer Service’ banner on it, than to show him feature after feature that he wasn’t interested in in the first place.
But it looks like the company website!
Yes, it does. Landing pages are supposed to be designed with the company look and feel in mind. Don’t forget that our ads are appearing all over the place. People know the name of our company, which is why they click the ads that appear on the Facebook page, or in their email inbox, or in their search results.
As you can probably imagine, if people land in a page that looks nothing like our company, or even remotely associated with our company, they will be suspicious. And when you want people to leave us their personal details, the last thing that you want them to be is suspicious.
Are you even tracking the results?
Of course I am. Why do we create landing pages? For one reason only. To increase conversion rates. And we don’t know if we are increasing our conversion rates if we aren’t tracking the results. That’s why we needed to implement Google Analytics into each landing page.
Yes, I know that we can see how many leads the landing page generates. We can see that from the one hundred people who clicked the ad, only five people completed the whole signup process. But that doesn’t tell us the other half of the story. How many people actually arrive on the page? It might take 40 seconds to load, so they close the page before they even see the amazing marketing message we crafted. Or maybe fifty people click the button, but there’s a technical problem, and only five managed to sign up.
So yes, we are tracking the results. And just look at those at those conversion rates!
What? What conversion rates?
Landing pages are all about conversion rates. But it isn’t enough just to say ‘people are converting’. We need to understand two things. One, what are our goals? Ten conversions per day? 100? 1,000? Two, what exactly IS a conversion? Is it a signed up user? Someone who clicked the CTA button on the landing page? A paid user?
These two things have to be agreed on before you start the landing page marketing campaign. Of course, you can make certain adjustments as the campaigns progress. For instance, I had this client who was looking for conversions – people signing up to use his service. We did the research, looked at the competition and at the target audience, and decided that 90 signups a month was going to be our goal. When we reached a goal of 140 the first month, we decided to revise our goals, as we were obviously going to overshoot them.
So again, make sure that you know what your goals are, and monitor them daily, to ensure that you meet them.