Over 96% of ad clicks don’t convert, and a huge part of that is due to the lack of landing page optimization. Many digital marketers focus too little on post-click optimization because pre-click strategies get the lion’s share of attention. That said, pre-click optimization is necessary for a successful ad campaign, but dedicating too much on that results in non-converting clicks. Which amounts to nothing more than wasted ad spends and a lot of frustration.
Dedicating more time to optimize the post-click experience can drastically change the outcome of your PPC campaigns by turning clicks into conversions.
Let’s look at some essential landing page optimization tips to ensure maximum conversions for all of your campaigns.
What Is A True Post-Click Landing Page?
Contrary to what some online sources have you believe, landing pages are not just pages you land on.
A post-click landing page is a standalone page, disconnected from your website navigation, that uses persuasive elements to convince visitors to perform a specific action. This action can vary from downloading an ebook, to subscribing to a newsletter, to signing up for a free trial.
Take Zoho CRM, for example. Their homepage (below) includes a form above the fold, but the entire page is a browsing experience. At the top, you see a header navigation that includes different products (CRM, social, analytics, etc.) along with dropdowns for features, pricing, a customer list and more. Then in the footer is another extensive navigation with social media links and sales email address:
Contrast that with their CRM landing page that removed all navigation, does not link to the homepage anywhere and is solely focused on new account signups:
If targeted and optimized correctly, landing pages are the most effective way to generate leads and sales from your PPC campaigns.
That’s why post-click landing page optimization is critical for generating conversions and sales. When you fail to optimize the post-click experience by not sending prospects to a highly-relevant, personalized page to redeem your offer — you’re essentially wasting budget by paying for clicks that have no chance of converting.
To ensure the post-click experience is just as optimized as the pre-click, focus on the following seven components.
7 Post-Click Landing Page Best Practices
1. Message Match Consistency
Message match is the process of matching your ad content to the landing page experience so visitors know they’re in the right place after clicking through.
After all, when presented with a plethora of ads, the customer will ultimately choose one to click on. Customers then expect the webpage they arrive at to have the same message as the ad they just clicked on.
This is also crucial for reinforcing your campaign message in prospects’ minds, and instilling trust in them by showing consistency and continuity across channels. Trust and assurance are the basis for every commercial transaction. If your landing page is disconnected from the pre-click stage, visitors could easily become confused, skeptical, and possibly abandon the page.
To ensure message match:
- Use the same or similar title/headline on pre-click and post-click elements
- Design both assets with the same or similar aesthetic elements (fonts, colors, CTA buttons, etc.)
- Include the same visuals/media
- Most importantly, include the same offer or message
- Use dynamic text replacement to make your landing page more relevant to the terms visitors used in their search
AT&T’s banner ad is perfectly in sync with the corresponding landing page:
There’s no question that the two campaign components in this example are related because they incorporate all five of the bullet points above.
You can avoid driving away leads by sending them to a landing page that closely matches your ad. Additionally, this streamlined approach increases the chance that visitors will fulfill your conversion goal. By creating dedicated landing pages for each one of your campaigns, you can ensure a strong message match.
2. Maintain A 1:1 Conversion Ratio
This is an integral part of landing page design because when multiple offers and CTAs exist on a page, visitors often feel torn and only opt for one, which negatively affects the overall conversion rate. Even worse, they could bounce from the page altogether.
Creating a dedicated landing page (one offer/CTA per page) for each campaign is the smarter solution. This way, visitors are laser-focused on only one task, increasing the likelihood of a conversion.
It’s worth mentioning that one CTA doesn’t mean only one CTA button, though. You can continue to promote the same offer throughout the page, with cooperating buttons at multiple places for visitors to redeem the offer.
For example, if you’re trying to generate leads, you’ll have the first CTA button next to the form. If the customer wants to explore more of your page, you can add a second CTA button further down and use it redirect them back to the form.
Taboola strengthens their landing page with multiple cooperating CTA buttons throughout the content — all of which contrast well with the rest of the page elements.
Also, notice that Taboola doesn’t include any external navigation links on their page. There are no distractions or escape routes, the end goal is clear, and visitors remain focused on one offer. They achieved a 1:1 conversion ratio.
Conversion ratio refers to the number of clickable elements on a landing page compared to the number of conversion goals. Since post-click landing pages should only promote a single offer (one conversion goal), there should only be one clickable element — the CTA button. No other navigation or off-page links should be present, so the conversion ratio for an optimized landing page is 1:1.
3. Social Proof
Someone who clicked through to your landing page is already considering taking action, so now you must convince them that clicking on your ad was a good decision.
Social proof should show visitors that other people or companies have converted on your offer or worked with you in the past. This helps to build trust and makes it more likely that visitors will convert on your offer.
Common ways to provide social proof include:
- Customer testimonials
- Ratings and reviews
- Awards and recognition
- Statistical evidence
- Company logos
- Customer counters
When it comes to adding social proof to your landing page, know that not every 5-star review is a good fit. Focus on the message of the campaign, what you’re selling, and what solution you’re offering. Find reviews and social proof that correlates between these. If you’re selling a solution, find a testimonial where someone states that you solved their problem. The more specific, the better.
This WGU landing page showcases ample proof that the offer is worth claiming. This award seal at the top of the page:
And these awards and recognitions, company logos, and quote and video testimonials in the middle of the page:
Every post-click landing page should reassure visitors they are safe with you and not making a mistake by converting on your page. Providing plenty of social proof is the best way to remove all doubt, and boost your conversions.
Bonus Tip: If you’re using written reviews or testimonials as part of your social proof try to include a picture of the customer next to the review. Not only does this help to increase viewers attention, but it also makes the statements feel more genuine.
4. Optimized Form
A landing page form is one of the most important elements used to convert leads, yet many marketers design them incorrectly. Designing an optimized lead capture form includes several different components, including:
Form length should be based on the marketing funnel stage of your offer. The further down the funnel, the more information you can request from visitors (vice versa) and still see desirable completion rates.
- Two-step opt-in forms help reduce page clutter, and qualify prospects because they must click the CTA button first, and then when the pop-up appears, follow through there as well.
- Multi-step forms allow brands to request more personal information from prospects because they’re broken up into smaller sections.
- Click-through pages “warm up” visitors by first informing them about your offer, and then displaying a form after they click your CTA button
Hootsuite created the following page as a click-through page to warm up visitors before presenting them with a contact form:
Once they’ve learned about the offer, they can click the “Get Started” CTA button and complete the multi-step form on the next page (notice the social proof to the right of the form):
Always consider the length, style, and placement of your lead capture form when designing your landing page. Each of these components plays a role in form optimization, which can ultimately make or break a conversion.
Online users expect a personalized experience, and you need to be able to provide it for them because:
- 81% of consumers want brands to understand when and how to advertise to them
- 74% feel frustrated when content isn’t personalized
- Over 78% will only evaluate offers if they’re personalized
- 79% of businesses that exceed revenue goals have a personalization strategy
This data proves to keep prospects interested and engaged on your landing page, personalization is mandatory. Sending people to a generic web page ignores personalization, diminishes interest and engagement, and negatively impacts conversion rates.
Airbnb incorporates personalization into their campaign by including an image of the Chicago skyline on the post-click landing page after people click the Chicago-tailored search result:
Personalized landing pages acknowledge that a specific prospect has arrived at your page, and this can go a long way in converting them to a lead and eventually a customer.
6. Encourage Urgency
When you’re paying for traffic using Google Ads, Facebook ads, or any other PPC platform it’s imperative that you make every visit count. After all, you pay for it whether that person converts or not. Using a dedicated landing page and the other aforementioned tips in this article are sure to help, but you’ll still need to instill some urgency to maximize your results.
You can add a sense of urgency by offering a discount to those who take action right away.
Quickbooks does a great job of creating urgency with this page that offers a 50% discount to visitors that buy immediately.
You don’t always need to offer a discount to communicate urgency to visitors. Countdown timers or modifying the copy can also let customers know they have a limited time to act on your offer.
7. Always Be Testing
Another benefit to implementing post-click landing pages is the ability to easily test different versions to determine which performs best.
Thanks to post-click landing page solutions like Instapage, you can test different variations of your landing page to see what changes lead to the most significant performance improvements.
Sometimes small changes to the CTA button copy can lead to drastic performance increases. Take the change below, for example, a switch to a more specific CTA caused a 170% increase in conversion rates.
Split testing different variants of your post-click landing pages is one of the quickest ways to improve your conversion rates. Be sure to run each test with a specific goal in mind and you should be able to consistently improve your landing page.
Bonus Tip: Test everything from your headline to subheadlines, to call to action, and don’t get content after the first successful test. More importantly, your first failure shouldn’t discourage you. Get back up, test again, and keep going until you maximize your conversion rates.
You’ll be surprised at the big improvements small changes can make.
Paid search and social ad campaigns don’t have to stop with your ad. Maximize your campaign results by connecting the dots and optimizing both the pre-click and post-click experiences.
Spend time A/B testing different headlines, CTAs, and other elements of your landing page layout and let the data guide your future decisions. Then create segmented ad campaigns, and always tie them to personalized, dedicated landing pages to form a completely unified marketing message.
Once you do that, you will be the envy of all your competitors as you win more conversions and steal business from them.
Are you using post-click landing pages for your paid search and social campaigns? Let us know what’s working for you (or not working) in the comments below!
CEO @ Instapage
Tyson Quick is the Founder of Instapage, the leader in post-click optimization. He founded Instapage in 2012 after seeing how growth marketers were losing money in underperforming advertising campaigns. Since then his vision has been to create a suite of post-click optimization products that maximize returns through advertising personalization.
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