In order to run successful PPC campaigns, it’s common practice for any company to create a landing page focused on the needs of the campaign, a so-called advertising-specific landing page. This page, also known as a stand-alone landing page, is an independent website with the aim of promoting a specific product or service.
There are two types of landing pages:
- For lead generation: capturing information about prospects in the market
- For click-throughs: forwarding to where user creates an account for a direct sale
Why landing pages make a huge difference to the success of your marketing and PPC campaigns becomes clear when you compare a regular website with a campaign specific landing page.
A regular website is designed for a more general purpose and links your entire product and service portfolio.
When you create a landing page, it’s designed for a single purpose — all the elements and links that do not support your conversion goal are a distraction that water down your message and reduce your conversion rate.
Landing pages are the first website a visitor reaches after clicking on an AdWords (or any other paid) ad. The click on the ad is usually associated with a strong interest in the advertised product or service, so these pages are of particular relevance. A clear communication of the offer, product presentation, quality standards and trust are catalysts for the purchase.
There’s No Such Thing As a “Best” Landing Page
There isn’t one “best” landing page. It all depends on personal design choices, individual product strategy, segmented audience, etc.
How do you convince your visitors to take the plunge on your landing page?
There are so many elements that a top-notch landing page needs, and making those elements the “best” they can be often depends on your landing page goals.
Take form length, for example. It’s just one of the many components you need to optimize–but if you’ve made as many landing pages as we have, you’ll know that both short and long forms perform well. Truth is, it all depends on whether you want to generate a lot of (potentially) lower quality form submissions, or a smaller number of higher quality submissions.
Basically, the amount of factors is overwhelming. However, there are many great qualities to be found in all sorts of pages. So, we’ll go through and break this down.
Breakdown of Top 2017 Landing Pages
Example #1: Employee Communication App Provider
What they did right: They used the Breadcrumb Technique, asking qualifying questions on the first step of the form followed by a second step asking for personal info. Also, the page shows ample social proof with customer logos and testimonials.
What could be A/B tested: I’d like to see an explainer video of the app. Also, I would try a hero image or background video showing the app in use vs these generic photos.
Example #2: Carpet Installation Service Provider
What they did right: They used Dynamic Keyword Insertion (DKI). The text: “In California” is different based on the location the customer put in as a search query. We also break locality down further by asking for the zip code, so that people really feel that they’re going to get something custom to their area.
What could be A/B tested: You’ll notice that the phone number in the right hand corner starts with “877”. You can’t see it in the example, but normally, the number will change based on the area code you’re located in. I am in Irvine, California, so I would see a 949 number, which makes the company seem more local than they might be. U.S. consumers are choosing small businesses, because of the personalized experiences they provide compared with larger businesses.
According to April 2014, data from AYTM Market Research, personal service was the No. 2 reason U.S. Internet users preferred small businesses vs. large companies, cited by 52.7%. In fact, 61.2% of respondents said they would pay higher prices to support small businesses.
Example #3: SaaS Media Monitoring Platform Provider
What they did right: They’re explaining what will actually be in the demo. A best practice to follow is to always explain to customers what they’re going to be getting and what they can expect after they give their information to you.
What could be A/B tested: I would test putting how long the demo is. It’s possible that people will bounce if they don’t know how long this demo is going to take. Personally, I have seen some run 2 hours or more, and who has time for that?
Example #4: SaaS SMS Marketing Platform Provider
What they did right: The animated gif of the dashboard in use is a great way to display a SaaS product, since it quickly shows what it does without the user having to click on a video to watch.
What could be A/B tested: I would highlight how this product saves time or money backed up by stats. For example, “Convert up to 50% more leads in sales by mapping your customer journey.”
Example #5: SaaS Visitor Tracking Platform Provider
What they did right: They show clear video and visuals of the product. The social proof is here as well as how everything works. Since we’re giving away a trial, showing the pricing upfront has actually shown to greatly increase conversions for us.
What could be A/B tested: Test bringing the testimonials higher up on the page instead of at the bottom. I would also explain that not credit card is needed for the trial to quell those fears.
Example #6: Hiring Software Provider
What they did right: Lower on the page, you’ll see that there’s a section explaining what’s in the demo. Whenever you have an offer, it’s important that the content of the page revolves around the demo. If I’m signing up for something, I want to know what’s in that something and how long it is going to take. Also, always good to show that social proof of past clients.
What could be A/B tested: Try highlighting the key points being covered in the demo above the fold rather than farther down the page. Considering our attention spans are shorter than ever, the sooner you can get your readers to scan pertinent info. the better.
Example #7: Hearing Aid Distributor
What they did right: This is a call-focused page, so it’s important that the phone number is prominent. On these types of pages, you could also consider having a “request callback” button that gives an option to fill out a form for a call back later instead of calling right now. You’ll notice the phone number in the top right showing a local number and explaining their hours. For the CTA, we had the button say the action — talk to an expert now.
I recommend testing putting the phone number directly on the button vs the CTA copy to see which fairs better for you. We have found that having the phone number itself present on the page helps bring in that locality we’ve been talking about. It helps the customer feel that they’re going to be speaking with someone down the street vs a call center in a foreign country.
What could be A/B tested:
I would have made the headline more geared to the unique value proposition: the right fit at the lowest price. It’s addressed in the subhead, but as I’ve stated above, you only have a few seconds to grab their attention. Try testing switching your subheads and headlines, without getting too wordy, of course.
Example #8: Gym
What they did right: This call to action has proved very helpful to us over “get a free quote”. The qualifying questions of the form relate to the unique value proposition of the page. There’s a phone number to call if you don’t have time to wait.
What could be A/B tested:
The page performed well–so at this point, I would focus on the hierarchy of the content of the page — changing the order of information, as this is a rather long and informative page. Could it be more useful to have the results and testimonials before who the trainers are? Is the location the most important thing to people? Would a different hero image convey a stronger emotion? A different headline? These are the questions we ask ourselves when we test.
Example #9: Ethics Training Provider
What they did right: The form for this client is pretty extensive, so we thought it best to break it up into three steps instead of two. You will notice the use a progress bar at the top of the form to let the customer know roughly how long this form is going to be.
What could be A/B tested:
This is a page that has been tested many, many times since this first mockup. Since then, we’ve found that removing company name from the first step doubled conversions. Reason? Company name is too personal a piece of information to ask. I know if you’re already asking for that, you’re going to want my name too. This information should be saved for later down the breadcrumb trail.
Also, removing the progress bar from the first step greatly increased conversions. It’s a fake-out: if we leave that wizard on the form, customers already know it’s gonna be longer of a journey than they’d like. They could be deterred to even start filling it out. By removing the step wizard from the first step, they don’t know how long it’s going to be until the second step. Well, by that point, you’re already halfway through — might as well finish it.
Lastly, always mention what’s going to be learned in the demo, just like we’ve talked about on some of the other pages above.
Example #10: Sales Tax Software Provider
What they did right: The UVP is clear here; it shows exactly what the purpose of this software is. Since this is such a high risk ask (i.e. we want people to make an account), we do have a pricing section. It’s not an expensive product, but this is something to consider removing to see if it helps more people to click through to connect to the client solution.
This page also shows how it works, the features, and social proof that includes both testimonials and logos of publications the client has been featured in. This is a pretty well-rounded page.
What could be A/B tested:
When it comes to a free-trial page or sign up page, I like pricing to be the very last section. Let the customers gather all the information they need, so that you can justify that price at the very end. I would test moving that social proof up much higher in the page and push pricing down to the bottom just before the final CTA section and footer.
A good selling point farther down the page could make for an interesting headline and subhead test: Why pay an accountant $100+ per hour to help with your business’ sales taxes when you can have our #10 client’s solution? $20.00 per month. No contracts. No setup fees.
Wrap Up on Best Landing Pages 2017
All of these pages have a few good things going for them, but there’s also still a lot of room for testing. So don’t get hung up on “best”; you’ll need to find out what works the best for your landing pages. Sure, there are best practices, but even those results could vary based off the type of business, the audience, and the amount of traffic going to the page.
What are some pages you’ve seen that have performed really well? What tests have you run so far that you’ve found to be very beneficial? If you keep an open mind about testing and continually make adjustments, maybe you can create your best page ever for 2018!