As the costs of sponsored link campaigns continue to increase, it is important to optimize them properly to control their return on investment. Optimizing landing pages can significantly increase conversion rates and lower acquisition costs. Here are some good practices…

Destination URL and transformation rate…

We know that the destination URL has a strong impact on transformation rates. According to the typology of the keyword, it will have to differ in order to direct the visitor towards the most coherent page with regard to his search. Depending on the expression and precision of the latter, the campaign may refer to a category page displaying a selection of products or to a specific product file. This is the b to ba of optimization but it is possible to go much further.

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Improve campaign performance via landing pages …

By creating landing pages specific to sem campaigns and using A / B testing tools such Google Website Optimizer we can improve campaign performance during tests.

The objective of the landing page is to bridge the marketing message of the campaign (keyword selected and advertisement presented to the prospect) and the objective of the site (registration, sale, etc.). The idea is to support the prospect and provide him with the appropriate information so that he becomes a customer.

For this there are “best practices” that can be summarized in 7 points:

  • Include an image on the page and above all choose the right one. It must make you want to buy your product or subscribe to your service;
  • Reduce navigation from the site to what is strictly necessary. The prospect, once arrived on your site, should not be distracted. We will therefore only keep the useful links during the purchase phase (we forget the institutional navigation presenting your brand, the editorial content or even the advice pages, unless these are specific to the product and can help the sale) ;
  • Even if the navigation is simplified, the design of the landing pages must be the same as that of the site, the customer should not feel lost and should recognize the brand at first glance;
  • Write only the necessary text. Too much text will lose the visitor, not enough content will make them suspicious. You have to find the happy medium and above all the right words;
  • Choose the “call to action” well. The use of good words and action verbs is recommended to encourage the visitor to go through the process. Some examples: book now, get a discount by buying before such date …
  • Collect minimal information. Internet users do not appreciate filling in yet another form, especially if it contains fields intended solely to supply the marketing base of the site. Try to limit the number of fields as much as possible and consider collecting information via several forms so as not to discourage the prospect from purchasing;
  • Indicate adequate safety information. Whether it concerns transactions or the collection of personal information.

Once these different optimization levers are in mind, all combinations are possible. After creating your first landing pages, you will need to monitor your analytical indicators to judge their effectiveness.

Once a minimum of data has been collected and analyzed, you will be able to modify your pages little by little to improve their efficiency over time. Keep in mind that the best way to reach this goal and to test again and again … Take into account that a page must meet only one goal to be effective. You will have to create as many pages as you have targets or flagship products. You can also consider creating different pages depending on the type of visitor: new or regular.

How to measure the effectiveness of a landing page?

To measure the effectiveness of your pages, audience analysis tools will be your best allies. Several indicators will be monitored depending on your site and the type of transformation expected. Some examples: the sacrosanct conversion rate or his little brother rebound rate. The time spent on the page can also be a good performance indicator: too short a time may indicate that the information has not been found. Conversely, too long a time will suggest that too much information is present on the page.

Going up a gear with A / B testing tools …

The effectiveness of landing pages can be easily measured using web statistics tools. However, if you start creating many versions of pages, you should consider setting up an A / B testing tool to support you.

These relatively expensive tools have been made affordable thanks to Google’s entry into the market and the launch of its free Website Optimizer service in 2007. This tool will allow you to have the answers to this type of question:

  • Does this image positively affect my conversion rate?
  • Is this text more impactful than the previous one?
  • Is the size of my purchase or quote button adequate?

The implementation of this tool is a bit complex, it will be the subject of a specific article.

To conclude…

Improving your landing pages will increase your sales while keeping the same week budget. Mastering their workings and those of A / B testing can support the optimization work that you carry out on your campaigns.

Do you use landing pages in your sem campaigns? What are your feedbacks?