Last week we talked about PPC advertising. I mentioned that a PPC ad usually leads to a “landing page” instead of directly to your website.
A landing page is an individual page that speaks directly to the offer that you presented in your PPC ad. It is generally a very simple, single web page that contains a compelling headline, a little bit of copy, something for the reader to do and a call-to-action that tells them exactly what to do and what benefit they will get out of doing it.
The landing page may also give the visitor access to a special offer in return for performing the action. For example, if you’re trying to capture leads by gathering e-mail addresses you might offer a free report or a simple “getting started fitness warm-up plan” in return for the prospect’s e-mail address.
Once the prospect has performed the action then the landing page re-directs the customer directly to your main website so that they can continue to learn more about you, read your blog content, and perhaps even call you to make an appointment.
This may lead you to ask, “Why wouldn’t I just direct people to my website?’
That’s a valid question. After all, you’ve been working hard on your primary website. Why would you want to send traffic to some other page that doesn’t seem to directly connect to your website at all? There are three reasons.
You only have a few words to convey your offer on a PPC ad. If your offer is “free fitness evaluation” then you want to take the customer to a page which tells them about the free fitness evaluation.
You don’t want to make your customers hunt around your primary website for information on how to get that evaluation. Confused customers leave websites quickly, because they decide that they’re probably not going to get what they wanted.
A landing page eliminates this confusion. They are taken to a focused, simple website which tells them the only thing they want to know right now, which is how they can get a free fitness evaluation. Other information can come later.
You might have an e-mail list sign up form on your website somewhere, but that doesn’t mean people are going to use it. And if people don’t use the form you don’t capture the lead. The traffic melts away, never to be seen again, and you get no further chances to communicate with the customer.
A landing page doesn’t let that happen. Landing pages force customers to leave their e-mail address. If they don’t leave their address they don’t get the offer. Since they clicked on an ad to get the offer in the first place, they’re in the right mindset to leave their address.
That means you can start building out an e-mail list.
Your e-mails don’t have to be too complex from there. You can send out a few teaser lines and a link to your latest blog post if you want to. What matters is that you have some contact information for the customer. You can keep talking to him or her. He has a reason–and a reminder–to engage with your webpage again and again.
Want to launch a group class for college students and a special offer aimed directly at seniors? You can do that. You can set up two separate landing pages and deliver an experience that each of these groups will feel is crafted just for them.
Imagine if you tried to market to both of those segments in the same place. It would be a disaster. You would lose the attention of both groups in a hurry, because it would look like you are just trying to get business from anyone you can reach.
With separate landing pages you can try to get business from anyone you can reach, while making it appear as though you are speaking to a single, specialized group.
This also means you can increase your chances of PPC clicks by launching additional ads. You can segment out your audiences enough to reach just about everyone you’re interested in serving. You can even launch similar ads with the same landing page to see which converts better, which means your ads will get better over time.
Landing pages do take a little bit of extra work, or extra money if you’re investing in professional design. But they offer big returns, too. If you master this technique you might even refine your PPC ads to the point where they’re consistently profitable, which means you can continue to employ the technique long-term instead of cutting it off once you’ve gotten some basic website traffic flowing. With landing pages, you’re limited only by your creativity and your willingness to keep putting offers out there.