7 Killer Ways to Optimize Your Landing Page for Lower PPC Costs
To run scalable PPC campaigns, you need to keep working on bringing down the cost-per-acquisition (CPA) metric on your PPC leads.
Optimizing your PPC landing pages is one of the surest ways to do this … as doing so gives you a substantial increase in your conversions, without needing you to increase your ad spend. Also, landing page optimizations don’t just bring immediate wins (in the form of more conversions) but also help you get long-term savings as your quality score improves, thereby bringing down your bid prices. And what more could you ask for?
So let’s see a few quick hacks for optimizing your landing pages that will help you generate better ROI from your PPC spend and also help decrease it over time.
Here goes our point of view as team members of Convert.com (A/B testing software).
Create a Testing Strategy
Almost everything on a PPC landing page can be tested — right from its headline to its form.
And what should you test first?
The answer lies in your data.
For instance, when one of our Convert Experiences (A/B Testing Software) customers saw a poor conversion rate on their landing page, they dug into their Google Analytics data and found that a huge part of their traffic was actually using their mobiles to access it. They noticed an unusually high dropoff rate for this traffic segment.
By digging deeper, they realized that the problem lied in the form on their landing page that used a multi-column layout making it very difficult to use on mobiles. Not just that, the form also had too many compulsory text fields and didn’t use an optimized design either.
With this all this data, our client decided to fix their form for a better mobile experience and also reduced the number of required form fields while improving the design (below):
As a result, they saw a huge improvement in their conversion rate on the page.
Now, this customer could have started with changing the headline or redesigning the page, but it’s unlikely that their conversion leaks could be patched that way.
So when you look for optimization opportunities on your PPC landing pages, look into your data first. That’s where your winning ideas will come from. Fixing these issues won’t just drive up your conversions but will also improve the time on page and other such metrics that improve your quality score (thereby reducing your bid price and the resulting CPC).
Improve the Relevancy between your Paid search ads and Landing pages
If your post-click landing page bounce rate is high, it could be because your landing page isn’t relevant to the ad the searcher clicked on. And the searcher left because they didn’t find what they expected to find.
For Google Ads, being relevant means:
… that your ads, keywords, and landing page are all closely related to the terms a customer might be searching for.
Google explains this with a great example:
Now, this might seem deceptively simple, but it’s not because matching a landing page to the ad the user clicked on needs a lot of effort than just mirroring the language of the ad or throwing in a relevant image.
Despite relevancy being a key factor in determining PPC success, many businesses just don’t get it.
Offer Personalized/dynamic PPC Landing Pages
This is more of an advanced landing page optimization hack, but creating personalized PPC landing page experiences can take your message matching (and conversions) to a whole new level.
With personalized or dynamic landing pages for your PPC campaigns, you can match your message even more uncannily with the intent of the visitors who land on it.
Let’s look at an example:
Suppose you offer online MBA programs in fields like HR, Finance, Legal, Marketing, etc. And you’ve a set of ads and landing pages for each program in your PPC campaign.
Now, you’re already matching the content of your landing page with the ad that runs for it (for example, the landing page for your HR program is custom-created and relevant to your ad running for it).
This setup works perfectly for a searcher who’s looking for a keyword like “do online mba HR.“
But what if a searcher is looking for a keyword like “executive mba HR online,” and not for a general online MBA in HR keyphrase like the searcher above.
Well, in cases like these, personalizing your landing page’s experience can make all the difference in converting or losing the lead.
By replacing just some text dynamically on the page, you can make the same page feel so much more relevant to the lead. All this without having to create another landing page for too similar a keyword/group.
Gather Qualitative Data on your PPC Landing Pages
CRO tools such as Hotjar, ClickTale, and SessionCam let you “see” what your PPC leads do on your ad landing pages.
These tools capture your users’ actions such as scrolling, clicking, and hovering. And by doing so, they show you the hotspots on your landing page. They also show you the areas where no one looks at.
Naturally, to get the maximum conversions, you’d want to ensure that your CTA button is placed at a hotspot and not in an area that your PPC leads totally ignore.
And it’s not just about uncovering the hot areas on your landing pages for making better CTA placement decisions. Such qualitative analysis can tell you a lot more — for example:
Pinpoint the exact spots your PPC leads click on your landing page. If you notice clicks on random graphic elements or on links inside your copy or in your navigation bar menu items, you might want to consider removing them as they’re working as distractions.
The exact point where you lose most of your PPC leads. If your PPC leads abandon your landing page after a little scrolling and if you happen to use a long-form sales copy, you might want to work on the copy length. Or perhaps, offer design cues that get people to scroll further. Not just that, you’d also want to ensure that most of your PPC leads see your CTA button (by placing it at least inside the area where most people scroll upto … ideally in the fold area as that’s where 80% of the user time is spent!).
Highlight issues with your forms. Your forms (more on this in the next section!) are a key element on your landing pages. If you notice that your leads spend too much time fidgeting with your form or if you can see them getting “stuck” at a particular field, you might want to dig deeper and learn the reason for such behavior.
Fix your Forms
When it comes to optimizing PPC landing pages of B2B companies, the one sure place that offers scope for optimization is the form. There are many ways these lead generation forms actually become conversion killers. For example, by:
- having too many form fields (or a long form)
- using too many *compulsory fields
- seeking too much (asking for a phone number — for example)
- having a high content density (too much text)
- using a non-optimal placement (could be above or below the fold)
- using a poor design (a CTA “submit” button that’s too small or easy-to-miss or a multi-column layout when a simpler one would do)
- using a bad copy (yes, a form also needs copy such as the headline, the CTA button, etc.)
When optimizing forms, you might be tempted to try one of the “form optimization best practices” from the articles you come across.
But believe us, there are no “industry standards” for the most optimal forms. At Convert, we’ve powered lead generation form tests for every imaginable B2B PPC campaign for businesses right from SaaS to consultancies and others, and we can tell you this: You’ve to find your most optimal form by testing — there’s no other way.
Work on an Optimal Landing Page Experience
Your landing page experience is one of the factors Google uses to calculate your Ad Rank. Which means it influences everything right from your ads’ visibility to the money you need to spend for each click (your CPC).
So optimizing your landing page experience doesn’t just help you improve your leads’ experience on your page (and your conversions, as a result), but also reduces your CPC.
Google has given some very actionable tactics for improving a PPC landing page’s experience here:
- Offer relevant, useful and original content
- Promote transparency and foster trustworthiness on your site
- Make mobile and computer navigation easy
- Decrease your landing page loading time
- Make your site fast
In addition to these, Google also suggests making your landing pages mobile-friendly.
When you start working on your landing page experience, start with the pages that report the poorest performance. Google shows you these pages inside your Ads account:
Get your PPC Landing Page’s Anatomy Right
Sometimes, a PPC landing page just isn’t created for conversions. It reads and looks like a general page and fails to handhold its visitors to complete the desired action, whether it’s signing up for a webinar or making a purchase or creating a trial account.
To convert more visitors, a landing page must follow a certain messaging and design hierarchy that primes the visitors to convert.
For example, follow this messaging hierarchy Joanna Wiebe (from Copy Hackers) recommends:
And here’s some nice inspiration for the layout:
I’m not saying that these are the exact messaging or design frameworks you should replicate on your PPC landing pages … but they offer a good starting point.
Wrapping it Up…
Your landing pages do a lot of heavy lifting in your PPC campaigns. And even slight improvements to your PPC landing pages can result in more conversions and lower bid prices for your campaigns.
But to make effective changes, you must start from a place of data because that’s how you can unlock your current conversion barriers. So look at your data and learn what’s not working. And then test what you believe to work.
So tell us …. have you used any of these landing page optimization tactics for your Ads campaigns? And what other strategies have you used to improve your PPC ROI?