By John Krycek
What is a good landing page? The crucial half of a PPC
most people don't know about.
Google Adwords, Yahoo (formerly called Overture Sponsored
listings) and other Pay Per Click (PPC) companies give you the
chance to get your ad or search listing at the top of the
right up front and perfectly matched to the searcher's query.
With a clever and catchy, attention grabbing ad or headline
can win the viewer in that critical split second he has to
decide to click.
He clicks, you score! Right? WRONG! If you can get that click
on a focused, targeted keyphrase and ad headline, you should
feel very good. You're halfway there. But, where does he land?
On your home page? On the specific product page if you have an
The page where the viewer lands is called a "landing page" or
"destination page." It is equally as important as your ad
headline and copy, if not more. Most sales, conversions, or
leads that cost hard cash to Adwords or Yahoo are often lost
because of poor, or non existent landing pages.
Why can't I just send my adword clicks to my Home page?
You can. But what if you walked into a five-story department
store with no sales people-- You're looking for a very
sweatshirt with a Penn State Logo that you saw at a football
game. You know the sports shop out in the mall will have it,
but you've got a store credit card so you'd like to get it
here. You're also holding onto two toddlers who are losing
their cuteness very quickly because they want the Happy Meals
you promised on the way home.
So there you are in an endless sea of perfume counters. You
want a sweatshirt. Maybe it's in the men's section...but where
is that? Or maybe it's in Active wear... would that be with
men's stuff? And where are the escalators?!
"Forget it," you think, and walk out to the sports shop in the
mall, buy your sweatshirt and are on your way to Micky D's in
less than 10 minutes.
Your homepage is the department store. It doesn't matter if
you're selling a product, service, or giving away free
information. You have sections and categories which are
probably very well marked and labeled.
However, your Google Ad or Sponsored listing was specific. It
advertised a precise thing in about 70 characters or less.
People don't care about your home page. They expect to see
they were searching for as soon as they click. Don't you?
So let's say your ads lead to specific destination pages of
your site. What's on those pages?
Destination Page Overview
For Pay Per Click, your destination pages are absolutely
critical. They are the second half of the sales pitch. Just
having the adword or PPC land on the product page is not
enough. First, you have to get someone to your site.
Remember the number of hits you get on a PPC or Google Adword
is an ever-increasing expense if you don't turn that click
a sale and the only sales person you have is the page at the
of that click.
You've got to convince someone quickly, "at a glance quickly,"
why they should buy from you and not the ad above or below
Think of your own web searches. You have seconds to entice
viewer to read more, or lose them.
Build the page around a SINGLE goal incorporating:
Well written content describing in clear detail what you are
Organization to make a fast read or "scan" of the page
as much information to the viewer as possible. Use bullet
and straightforward language to make reading as easy as
Show the benefits to the potential customer. Details that
viewer can relate to on a personal, even emotional level are
what makes this page have a much better chance of getting a
lead, conversion or sale. It must show all the properties that
make you better than the rest. Don't be arrogant, but make the
reader feel they will be secure, better and confident if they
buy, fill out a form, or perform the action you're after.
KISS- "Keep it simple, stupid" applies here too. If you
need a country and a phone number in your form, keep them off.
Make it easy and simple for your viewer.
Remember, when you land on a page, you ask "WHAT'S IN IT FOR
Destination Page Construct
The first step is to provide the viewer with what he's
looking for immediately. Next, show him the features of the
Most importantly, what is the benefit to the potential
customer? Why should he buy from you? What will he gain by
buying from you?
If you're selling a product that is very similar to other
competing products, you need to focus your sales message on
what makes your product unique. What are the unique benefits
for your customer?
Anything that can steal focus from your objective risks
losing a conversion. This includes other products, details not
related to the main idea, and even the navigation system you
use throughout your site. Don't give the viewer the option to
go anywhere else but to a form, buy button or call to action.
Each destination page should have a single, obvious goal
gently tells the customer what to do. Don't try to cross sell
sign up for a newsletter and send an e-card. Stick to one
Some people might be looking for the specific product and
from you. But for those that are questioning and/or first time
buyers, don't give them a chance to question your credibility.
The phone number and email address should appear (not
obnoxiously)enough times that they're always visible when the
page is scrolled. It's a proven fact, if someone has to search
for how to contact you, you lose some potentials.
Destination Pages and the Unique Selling Proposition
A concept developed in 1961 still holds merit today and is a
great check for the underlying tone of your landing page. That
is the "Unique Selling Proposition" by Rosser Reeves. The
concept explains how every company should strive to show how
differs and surpasses its competition.
It consists of three concepts that should be applied to your
advertisement (or adword) and your destination page.
1. Tell the consumer what benefits you will be giving him. ?
"Buy this product, and you will get this specific benefit."
2. The benefits have to be unique to your product. Something
that separates you from what the competition has to offer. If
your products are sold by competitors too, find something that
distinguishes YOUR company.
3. The proposition must be so strong and convincing that it
move the millions (attract new customers).
To be successful, you'll need to research and build a
then watch and modify, test and retest different changes,
prices, etc. I want to stress the importance of this.
The same testing, observing, tracking and revising apply to
landing pages as they do to ads and headlines themselves. It
can save you a lot of money. If you're not careful you can run
up thousands of dollars in PPC and adwords with insignificant
sales or leads.
About The Author: John Krycek is a creative director at
theMouseworks.ca Toronto Web and Full Service Internet
Marketing Studio. Learn about search engine optimization and
internet marketing, in easy, non-technical, up front English