PPC landing pages: the good, the bad and the ugly
A well-designed PPC landing page is one of the most important elements in social media, email and search engine marketing. It is the bridge between a click and a conversion – that is, a passive viewer and a paying customer.
But what makes a good landing page? And how can you make sure your page does not let you down?To help you see what helps (and what harms) a landing page, we have put together a guide of the good, the bad and the ugly.
Let’s start with the good – Sheen Group, a Melbourne-based smash repair company, which has been optimised for 'smash repairs South Melbourne' and 'panel beaters South Melbourne.'
Looking at the page for their South Melbourne location, a few things are obvious. In terms of content, the landing page is relevant and matched to keywords, in this case “panel beaters South Melbourne.” You can see that the keyword is used in the main CTA and throughout the text of the body.
This is important because AdWords allows you to target specific geographic areas. By using geographically-specific keywords – like Sheen Group has done – you improve the chances of your PPC landing page connecting with a target market and increasing its relevancy.
As well as web copy, Sheen has also done a good job on the technical side. The PPC landing page has been designed with user experience (UX) in mind, allowing potential customers to easily navigate the company’s services, store details and contact information. There is a logical hierarchy of information and the design of the web page is attractive and easy to use.
Conversion (CRO) elements are also well placed. Google reviews are integrated into the page, and the page has a simple and effective enquiry form — not too many fields and a clear CTA. Importantly too, the PPC landing page is mobile responsive, a big plus for any campaign.
All these factors go towards improving the Quality Score of your PPC landing page. Quality Score is a value AdWords uses to determine the position of your ad in search engine results. Having a high Quality Score can reduce your max AdWords bid and make your campaigns cost-effective over the long term.
This page, on the other hand, is a good example of what to avoid with a landing page. This page was found searching for 'Melbourne dry cleaners', but nowhere in the copy is this keyword used. In fact, the sparse copy has not been optimised with any relevant search terms. This is likely to discourage visitors who are looking for a local dry cleaning solution.
What’s more, the landing page does little to capitalise on any potential upsurge in web traffic. The main header text, 'Reliable and friendly dry cleaning in Point Cook', has no call to action. There are no deep links. And more concerning still, the website does not have an enquiry form. If a person stumbles on the page, there is nothing to encourage them to pursue further action, such as subscribe to a newsletter or learn more about the company’s services.
From a UX perspective, the small white font is difficult to read. There are large gaps, you need to scroll down to see the first call to action and the company’s address is buried at the bottom of the page. This is particularly problematic given most people searching for a dry cleaner will check first where it is located.
In other words, this PPC landing page is not working harder enough to convert clicks into leads.
As for the ugly, it is hard to go past this PPC landing page. While the page ticks some boxes — use of keywords, CTAs, review plugins — the overall design is not very inspiring.
From the ugly font to the stock photo of a skyline, the landing page has done little to provide a good UX. There is inconsistent use title and sentence case, awkwardly arranged text and a messy flow of information.
The copy has also been poorly written. Ungrammatical sentences like 'This gives us unique deals in and through our smart booking search engine we ensure that we pass on those savings on to you!' do not inspire confidence.
In this case, the landing page risks losing potential customers — not because it lacks relevant keywords or CTAs — but because it is aesthetically unappealing.
For your next search engine marketing campaign, keep in mind that the success of AdWords largely depends on the success of your PPC landing page. If you are invested in AdWords, you should also invest in creating the best possible landing page.
For help on PPC landing page optimisation, talk to a digital marketing specialist.
Digital360 on 15 May 2017
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