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There are few things I love more than pay per click-specific landing pages. Aside from the return of fall primetime TV and working at Blue Corona, a pay per click (PPC) specific landing page really gets me pumped.
The reasons for this are simple. First, I am a nerd. Second, because while your paid search ad gets shoppers into your store, the landing page gets them to buy what you’re selling. PPC specific landing pages are arguably the most important factor for turning your visitors into leads.
What Is a PPC-Specific Landing Page?
Simply put, a pay per click-specific landing page is a narrowly-focused webpage where searchers end up after they have clicked on your paid ad. Instead of the searcher landing on a homepage that offers an endless array of products, services, and information, the searcher lands on a page that presents exactly the product or service they were looking for.
The landing page also includes a simple way for the searcher to purchase your product or request your service, without having to sift through multiple pages of information.
Let’s say I own a local HVAC company, and you are a homeowner searching for someone to tune-up your furnace in preparation for winter. You go to your trusty search engine and search “furnace maintenance,” see my ad for furnace maintenance & tune-ups, and click. Which of the following scenarios would provide you with the simplest solution to your problem?
1. You are directed to my homepage, where you see links for air conditioning, heating, maintenance agreements, financing, my blog, my company’s mission, HVAC installation, commercial HVAC, heat pumps, indoor air quality, and more. You then have to navigate through multiple links and pages to find information about my company’s furnace tune-up services.
2. You are directed to a page titled “Furnace & Heating Tune-Ups Just in Time for Winter.” The page is short and sweet, explaining how my company can meet your specific needs, and provides you with a simple form to request service.
If you chose option one, I commend you and your thirst for HVAC industry knowledge. Odds are, your needs would be met more efficiently with a service-specific landing page, described in option two. Such landing pages are concise, relevant, and offer a call-to-action that compels the visitor to pick up the phone or complete a contact form.
You might be thinking, “I have a beautifully designed homepage, and you’re saying I shouldn’t use this for my pay per click campaigns?” Yes, that is exactly what I’m saying. Landing pages have proven more effective in converting visitors to leads. If you’re not sure how to get started, we have a web team of landing page experts that might interest you.
What Makes a Landing Page Better Than a Homepage?
As I previously mentioned, landing pages have proven to produce higher conversion rates and provide a better user experience to searchers who click on paid ads—but why?
Interaction Points are the number of opportunities a visitor has to click or interact with your webpage. Homepages have the highest number of interaction points, because you can usually navigate to all of the products and services that a company offers from their homepage.
As an example, let’s say that a homepage has 50 interaction points. That’s 50 places that a visitor can click or interact once they’ve landed on your homepage. Out of those 50 interaction points, it may be the case that only two or three of those points are calls-to-action, contact forms, or other points that encourage the visitor to call, contact, or purchase. The other 48 interaction points, while valuable for your overall brand, serve as distractions from your goal—getting the visitor to convert.
A landing page, however, will have one or two very distinct interaction points which result in the submission of a contact form or lead directly to a transaction. Check out the Blue Corona landing page below—it includes a bright call-to-action with the intent of getting visitors to enter their pickup code for a website analysis.
The visitor sees fewer distractions, and will be more likely to respond to the call-to-action.
Pay Per Click Quality Score
Let’s not forget about how implementing a PPC-specific landing page can impact your pay per click campaigns! Google AdWords rates your keywords using Quality Scores. Those scores determine where you fall on search results pages and how much you have to pay for your position. Your score is measured by your expected click-through-rate, your ad relevance, and your landing page relevance.
If you’re bidding on the word “furnace tune-ups,” with an ad about furnace tune-ups, and sending those clicks to a homepage about all of your products and services, your quality score might look something like this:
This could mean a lower ad position and higher cost-per-click. The key here is relevance—the more relevant your landing page is to your keywords and ads, the better chances you have of increasing your quality score.
Guiding the Visitor to Conversion
Landing pages make it far easier for you to persuade visitors to take action. This is because you’re giving them limited, but extremely relevant and sought out, options to choose from. The concept of “less is more” keeps visitors from feeling overwhelmed with options, and gives them a simple answer to their question or solution to their problem.
Should I Ever Use My Homepage in My PPC Ads?
Yes, your homepage is still of tremendous value! A homepage can be effective for branded PPC campaigns, where searchers are specifically looking for your company and want to interact with your brand. They provide access to all of the great things your company does, and when executed correctly, they operate as a digital salesperson that works 24/7 and never takes a vacation day!
However, when it comes to non-branded PPC campaigns, stick with landing pages. After all, I wouldn’t want you (or your awesome PPC campaign manager) to pour blood, sweat, and tears into optimizing a pay per click campaign—think compelling ads, number one ad positions, and killer click-through-rates— all to result in a low conversion rate.
If you’re already looking at your PPC efforts thinking, “Help me, I need landing pages!” give us a call or fill out the contact form to your right and learn how Blue Corona can make it happen!
About The Author: Tara is a Senior Account Manager at Blue Corona. She started as a Pay-Per-Click specialist and now spends her days strategizing with her clients about their business goals. Outside of work, you can find her cheering on her Clemson Tigers or planning her next trip abroad.
View more blogs by Tara Gasparovic