A landing page is a page on a website that has been specifically created for users referred from a paid search campaign.

These pages are intended to maximise conversion rates, whether that means making a sale or capturing a lead. For B2C this is typically an online order, and for B2B it is data capture, where a site visitor fills in an online form to generate a marketing lead.

Landing pages can be a series of related pages within an existing site structure, or they can be a microsite specifically set up for a campaign, typically with its own campaign URL, also known as a ‘CURL’.

Landing pages are important not only because they need to be relevant and efficient to convert visitors, but also because they affect the site’s Quality Score, which has a direct impact on minimum bid prices. Google will penalise sites where the content is not relevant to the search that led a user to the landing page in question. Relevance is determined by whether page titles, heading and body copy match the keywords or pages.

To be effective, landing pages need to combine the following in order to improve the user experience and increase conversion rates:

  • Usability
  • Accessibility
  • Persuasiveness
  • Ability to develop trust in the brand.

 

It is possible to distil best practice from these disciplines into the heuristics that form the 12 guidelines detailed below. Experienced search engine marketers apply these concepts all the time.

Before running through best practice guidelines, it is worth bearing in mind that a particular constraint related to accessibility is the platform used to access the landing page. Take a look in the website analytics package to discover which devices and browsers (including which versions of those browsers) are being used by visitors.

Also be aware of the most popular screen resolution for visitors. How much of the page is typically seen and how their browser renders it are two huge elements that can affect the campaign results, and so it may be worth segmenting tests accordingly.

This briefing is an excerpt taken from Econsultancy's Paid Search Optimisation Best Practice Guide.

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