Paid digital ads have always been fun for me. You create ads, see results, make adjustments, improve those results, and repeat that cycle until something really works for you. Even at that point, you’ll need to keep adjusting. It’s great to be able to have such control over how you’re appearing in search, and ultimately make yourself (or a client) money from these ads.
A little while ago I was working on an AdWords account that had become stagnant from a conversion perspective. Clicks were still coming in and CTR was good, but people weren’t filling out forms, purchasing products, or calling my client. There are many adjustments you can make when this is happening, but if your account has been refined time and time again, you’re due for some creativity.
In the past I had read about landing page tests, and the concept intrigued me. It was time to give it a try.
The possibilities are endless when structuring your landing page(s). My biggest thought when I went to test was: “How can I make the most of every dollar we’re spending with this account.’” Instead of building a landing page just to improve quality score (relevancy metric from Google that influences how much you pay and where you appear), why not make one that gives the users 2 simple options:
- Fill out the form
- Don’t fill out the form
The above concept could apply to a product (purchase or don’t), making a phone call, but for this case we’re going to stick to the form.
So the basic structure of my landing page was to keep the base look of the website I was working with, eliminate the navigation, provide an eye grabbing image with a relevant headline, and content to assist the user. I figured if the content was relevant and the information the user was looking for was supplied, they should be inclined to utilize the form that is presented to them.
I’m happy to report that the implemented structure worked! Conversions more than tripled for a period of time, and the majority of the form completions were quality leads. Aside from that major potential benefit, there are a few others as well.
For SEO and paid ad purposes, we can better understand the content that speaks to users, how users respond to certain pages, and how they flow through the page. This can be tested in so many ways, and you can gather great data for future campaigns.
When the results of the initial landing page started tapering off, that caused me to develop some additional landing pages. I wanted to include one with navigation, one with an adjusted content layout, one with a sticky form, one with a different URL, etc. The list could go on. Essentially, you have the opportunity to test how you’d like certain aspects of your page to be and how the user will respond to it. You’ll find what your audience likes best, and from an SEO standpoint you can take what you’ve learned to build out the perfect landing pages for each product or service on your website.
If you are creating test landing pages for AdWords, be sure to add them to your robots.txt file and noindex them! If you do not, your website will have various pages targeting the same thing, which will dilute the value of your strongest page, create duplicate content, and ultimately hurt your overall ranking potential.
I would also recommend regularly testing forms, the purchase process, or any other functionality on your landing page. Usually they are not part of your primary website (linked to in the navigation or accessible from other pages) so there are potential issues with functionality.
Go make a landing page
Have some fun with it! This is a great way to throw a curveball at a strategy that isn’t working, or could be improved. Throughout the process, you may identify some other tests you’d like to run, weak points in your paid campaign, or maybe even your SEO campaign.
If you’ve had experience doing this or have any questions, I’d love to connect with you in the comments. Thank you for reading!
Also, check out this great article about the use of visuals to create landing pages that convert