For more than two decades, pay-per-click (PPC) advertising has been one of the most powerful promotional tools available to digital marketers. It allows advertisers to only pay for their ads when someone clicks on them, ensuring they always maximize their budget.
Whether your ads appear in Google search results, or as display ads on a website, PPC advertising gives marketers a reliable and easy-to-measure way to direct qualified leads to their business websites.
And while it’s clear that many businesses have caught on to the advantages of running PPC campaigns, too few of them appreciate just how drastically their campaigns are improved by the use of tailor-made PPC landing pages. As we’ll see, a well-made PPC landing page has a massive impact on your PPC campaign’s success.
In this article, we’ll teach you how to create a fully-optimized PPC landing page so you can generate more leads and sales for your business. We’ll start by looking at why a PPC landing page is needed in the first place, then look at the steps you should follow when building one, and finally check out some examples of top-tier landing pages in action.
But first up, a brief refresher on PPC landing pages...
What is a PPC landing page and why do you need one?
A PPC landing page is a purpose-built web page where visitors land after they click on a PPC ad.
Like all landing pages, a PPC landing page has one purpose: to persuade visitors to convert, be it by signing up to a newsletter, registering for an event, or buying a product.
But why bother with the expense of building a landing page just to serve your PPC campaigns? After all, couldn’t a generic web page, like a homepage or product page, do the job just as well?
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Building a dedicated PPC landing page takes a little more time and effort than simply directing your paid traffic to one of your pre-existing web pages. But the benefits of building a custom landing page are almost always worth the effort. Here’s why:
Higher conversion rates
Dedicated landing pages typically yield much higher conversion rates than generic pages. Based on our research and experience, placing a lead magnet on a custom landing page will generally yield an 8% to 20% conversion rate, compared to just 1% to 3% when placing it on a homepage.
The reason for this is simple. The sole purpose of a dedicated landing page is to expand on whatever message caught the visitor’s interest when they decided to click on the PPC ad. It’s essentially an extension of the ad. Plus, unlike a ‘regular’ web page, a PPC landing page doesn’t include any unrelated distractions (like a navigation bar or links to other content on the site) and is instead laser-focused on getting the visitor to convert.
Pointing your paid traffic to a generic page (or, for that matter, a poorly designed PPC landing page) will jeopardize your campaign by leaking valuable leads. First impressions are everything, and if a potential lead lands on a page that’s clumsy, confusing, or only vaguely related to the ad they clicked on, they’re likely to click away without much hesitation.
Better Google Ads Quality Score
Another major benefit of creating high-quality landing pages for your PPC campaigns is the positive influence it has on your Google Ads Quality Score.
The Quality Score is a metric that indicates how your ad quality compares to that of your competitors for a given keyword. Crucially, the better your Quality Score, the lower your cost-per-click (CPC) will tend to be.
Landing page experience is one of the three factors that Google uses to determine your Quality Score. The more relevant your landing page is to your ad the better your score will be.
So, to put it simply, an optimized PPC landing page can decrease the fee you pay for each click of your ad, thereby giving you a better return on your ad spend.
How to create a PPC landing page in 4 simple steps
Now that you know why PPC landing pages are so important for your paid search campaigns, let’s go over how to actually build one.
Gone are the days when creating an effective, beautifully-designed landing page required a web developer. Today, you have access to sleek, customizable, and easy-to-use landing page builders that let you create top-notch landing pages in no time.
1. Define your landing page goals
The first step is to figure out what you want your PPC landing page to achieve.
Do you want to encourage visitors to sign up for a webinar? Register for a free trial? Buy a specific product or service? And who exactly is your target audience?
Whatever your desired campaign outcome—be it to generate more leads or convert new customers—make sure you’re crystal clear on what you want visitors to do once they’ve clicked on your ad, as this will determine everything you put on the page.
2. Choose a landing page template
Next, you’ll need to decide which type of landing page will best serve your PPC campaign objectives and then select a landing page template accordingly.
There are three main types of landing pages, each with their own strengths depending on your objectives:
- Squeeze pages: A short landing page designed to capture a visitor’s name and email address.
- Splash pages: An introductory landing page (or full-screen pop-up) that welcomes visitors before they move onto the main content on your site.
- Sales pages: A landing page with the single purpose of convincing your visitors to buy. Depending on how familiar your audience is with your product or service, and what the barriers to purchase are, a sales page could be a few paragraphs long, a long-form persuasion piece, or anything in between.
Once you’ve identified which type of landing page is most appropriate, it’s time to pick a landing page template that you can then customize to suit your needs. If you haven’t already, sign up for your 14-day free trial of Leadpages. Then, choose a pre-designed landing page template that fits the goals of your campaign.
3. Populate your page
The next step is to populate your page with messaging and visuals that encourage visitors to take your desired action.
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
- Include an attention-grabbing headline that embodies your unique selling proposition (USP).
- Use eye-catching visuals. Specifically, any images, videos, or iconography that will bring your offer to life.
- Consider where your visitors are in the customer journey and provide the information they need to take action.
- Focus on benefits instead of features. How will your product or service improve their life?
- Identify common objections or reservations that visitors may have about your offer and be sure to address and eliminate these throughout your copy.
- Finish with a strong call to action (CTA) button that tells visitors what to do next.
- Reduce sign-up friction by only requiring a name and email address in your opt-in forms.
Notice how these elements come together in the following example to create a simple yet compelling landing page:
Want even more landing page content tips? Check out our Landing Page Book where we analyze 50+ landing page examples.
4. Time to launch!
With your landing page copy, visuals, and design finalized, it’s almost time to hit publish. But before you do, don’t forget to optimize your page URL and meta title for the keywords you’re targeting in your ad.
You can find more advice on how to turn your landing page into a bona fide conversion machine by reviewing our ultimate guide to landing pages.
7 PPC landing page best practices
Now that we’ve covered the basic steps of building a PPC landing page, let’s look at some best practices you should follow to ensure your page is truly optimized for conversions.
1. Match the messaging between your ad and landing page
We saw earlier that one of the main reasons a dedicated landing page works better than a generic page is that the messaging contained within it expands on whatever messaging was in the ad that the visitor clicked.
Therefore, make sure that the content on your PPC landing page lives up to the expectations created by your ad. Inconsistent messaging between your ad and landing page will leave visitors feeling confused at best and cheated at worst. There needs to be a strong correspondence between the headline, keywords, and CTA found in your ad and those that appear on your landing page.
2. Cater to your target audience
When deciding what text and visuals to include on your landing page, be sure to speak the language of your target audience.
For example, suppose you’re building a landing page to sell a gaming PC bundle, with your PPC ad appearing in Google when users search the keyword “gaming pc bundle 16 ram”. Anyone searching for this term will likely have a higher-than-average understanding of gaming PC specifications, so it makes sense to use an equivalent level of technical lingo on your landing page.
3. Reassure your audience through trust signals and social proof
The most effective way to boost your credibility is to offer direct evidence in the form of social proof.
Customer reviews, visual testimonials, accreditations, trust seals, a “who we’ve worked with” section, and payment assurance are all great examples of trust signals that alleviate any doubts visitors may have about you.
Of course, the overall design quality and functionality of your page will also influence a visitor’s willingness to engage with your business. So keep it polished and professional.
4. Don’t shy away from creating a sense of urgency
If you want to convince your landing page visitors to take action now, highlight the fact that your offer is only available for a limited time. The fear of missing out on a good deal will often be the decisive factor that nudges visitors to convert. Indeed, amplifying the sense of urgency can boost landing page conversions by up to 30%.
When it comes to inducing urgency on a PPC landing page, nothing beats an on-page countdown timer. The timer serves as a constant visual reminder that the window to cash in on your offer is closing, which can be pretty effective at getting your visitors to make up their minds.
Many of the Leadpages landing page templates already include a countdown timer, but you can always use the Countdown Widget to add a timer to a page that doesn’t have one.
5. Prioritize page speed
Nothing frustrates the modern-day web user quite like a slow page load time. In fact, according to Google, users are 32% more likely to leave a page when the load time increases from 1 to 3 seconds.
For this reason, be sure to keep your page load speed to a minimum. And while Leadpages is already ahead of the pack when it comes to landing page speed, you can further improve your load times by compressing image files, getting rid of unused plugins, and reducing redirects.
For more ideas on how to optimize your page load time, check out Google’s free-to-use PageSpeed Insights tool.
6. Optimize for mobile
With smartphones accounting for well over half of all internet traffic and roughly 54% of ecommerce sales, it’s vitally important that your PPC landing page looks and works just as well on mobile devices as it does on desktop.
Luckily, Leadpages landing pages are mobile responsive and automatically adjust to whatever device your visitors use to browse. That said, if you’d like some extra advice on how to improve the mobile experience on your page, take a look at our mobile optimization guide.
7. Be data-driven
Even if you follow all the best practices, there’s simply no substitute for testing your landing page to figure out what maximizes results.
Once your PPC landing page is live, keep a close eye on your analytics in order to identify any areas of potential improvement. You can also create two different versions of your landing page and perform a split test to see which one performs best. This iterative approach to PPC landing page design is the single best way to optimize for conversions.
To learn more about running split tests on landing pages, check out our beginner’s guide to A/B testing.
PPC landing page examples
Now that we’ve seen what ingredients make for a successful PPC landing page, let’s review a couple of real-life examples of these pages in action:
Here we see an example of BrandMaker’s PPC landing page for the keyword “content marketing software”.
Even though this landing page is long, the design team made a conscious decision to include the most vital information upfront. The headline conveys the overall benefit that BrandMaker’s software can offer marketing managers, while the sub-heading provides more detail about specific ways in which the product can help with marketing operations.
The orange-colored primary CTA button makes it abundantly clear to visitors what they need to do, while matching the company logo to ensure a consistent, branded theme.
Future.co is a personal trainer app that connects customers with coaches to help them reach their fitness goals.
As with the previous example, this Future.co PPC landing page (for the keyword “personal trainer”) includes a snappy headline that encapsulates the company’s USP. This is followed by a sub-heading elaborating on what the product involves. Once again, the CTA button stands out due to its color, with the same message “find your coach” repeated multiple times throughout the page.
The clean design, coupled with the powerful and confident hero image, reflects the state of mind a potential customer is seeking when signing up for fitness coaching.
Also notice the use of a sense of urgency under the CTA button as an extra nudge to encourage visitors to sign-up, as well as the row of associated company logos that helps to create an extra layer of credibility around the brand.
Time to level up your PPC landing pages!
There’s no doubt that PPC advertising is one of the most effective methods available for finding highly-qualified leads for your business. But to give your campaigns the ultimate shot at success, you need to embrace the power of PPC landing pages.
We hope that the advice covered in this post will inspire you to go ahead and incorporate custom landing pages into your own PPC campaigns. But if you need a little extra motivation, give the Leadpages landing page builder a go by starting your 14-day free trial today!
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