Conduct a search for anything on Google. The ads you see along the side of the page are placed there by businesses using Google AdWords. Click on any ad and the page you’re directed to is the landing page for that ad.
Ideally, the landing page should hone in on the business’ marketing message and encourage visitors to take the next step. But many marketing novices make the mistake of using the company’s Home page or About Us page as their landing page.
Why is that a mistake? Well, consider this: If you were showing homes to first-time buyers, you would never just unlock a home, drop them off, and tell them you’ll be back to get them later. The same is true for prospects who are interested enough to click on one of your ads. You don’t want to just plop them down at the entrance to your website. Something about your ad got their attention. You’ve got to help them find what they’re looking for.
The landing page lets you guide your prospects to the right place and then encourages them to take some action. To be most effective, it needs to be written and designed with these things in mind:
- Your landing page should address whatever the ad promised. Make sure the title of the page and copy on the page are speaking to what the ad was about. For example, if the ad promised information on foreclosures, the landing page shouldn’t be about you and how long you’ve been in the business. It should be about foreclosures, about how they can get information on foreclosures, and about how your information on foreclosures will be superior to anything else they can find on the Internet.
- Your landing page should have a goal. Do you want visitors to give you their e-mail address and phone number? Do you want them to register online to view properties? Decide in advance what you want from them and what they’ll get in return.
- Your landing page should spell out the next step. Tell your visitors what you want them to do and make it easy for them to do it. The page should load fast and the form you want them to fill out or the action you want the to take should be quick and painless.
- Your landing page should explain the benefits of what you’re offering. Why should visitors give you their contact information or sign up in your property-search portal? What exactly will they get? How will they benefit? There has to be something in it for them, and the copy on the landing page has to spell it out. The copy should also encourage them to do it now.
- Your landing page should be easy to read with key information upfront. Internet surfers have many choices. If visitors can’t find what they’re looking for by skimming the page, they’re likely to move on.
An effective Internet ad campaign is not just about choosing keywords and placing ads. You’ll only generate prospects if the “back end” of your campaign—your landing page—is well thought out and well designed.