So you have set up a great Google Ads campaign and click-throughs are coming in thick and fast, but your landing page isn’t converting those clicks into leads. There are many reasons why your landing page is failing to convert, but one culprit may be a disparity between what compelled your users to your Google ad in the first place and the experience they had with your landing page. No matter what your landing page design principle, it should be dictated by UX first and foremost.
A typical landing page conversion rate is about 2.35% on average. But the top 10% of companies are seeing 3-5x higher conversion rates than this average.
In this article, we will discuss some tips that work for us, through years of working hard, to maximising returns for our client’s Google Ads campaigns. Hopefully these tips will help you get your landing pages off to a jet-propelled start and convert more users into hot leads.
Here is our rundown of some of the factors we optimise for with every landing page we create…
Let the metrics inform your design approach
If you have been running a Google Ads campaign for a while, or if you have access to the account’s historical data, discover what devices your visitors are most likely to view your landing page on and design a landing page with those devices in mind. We often find that products or services that are very technical, B2B and expensive tend to get more desktop views. Despite this, a larger amount of our page views come from mobile devices so we tend to take a mobile-first approach with our landing page designs.
In 2018, 58% of global site visits were from mobile devices, and we have seen up to 8x more mobile users on some of our own client’s websites.
Page load times
Page speed is the biggest reason users exit landing pages early. You can expect a 7% reduction in conversions for every additional second it takes for your landing page to load. This number can grow exponentially, north of 8 seconds. This can be mostly mitigated by optimising images and your code base.
Additionally, don’t skimp on your hosting. Great website hosting can seriously improve the technical performance of your landing pages. We recommend doing your research into the best hosting providers for the platform your website is built on, and consider upgrading to a business or enterprise hosting package. Hosting providers that offer good site speed optimisation tools and technical support should be at the top of your shortlist. For instance, does your hosting provide support for HTTP2? This is a major revision of the HTTP network protocol that can drastically reduce your page load times with very little effort.
Faster page loads can help increase conversions AND improve your Google Ad quality score.
Optimising your content
Make your landing page headline match your Google Ads headline word-for-word
Create a synergy between your text ads, display ads and your landing page by matching your page headline to your Google Ads. This increases relevancy and will positively impact your quality score, cost-per-click and conversion rate.
Optimise your value proposition
If you only take away one tip from this piece, let this be the one. Optimise your value proposition to best communicate the benefits of your service to your users. You value proposition essentially refers to your USP – what of value are you proposing to your audience. Ensure that every element on your landing page refers to, or supports your core value proposition. If it doesn’t, cut it. Be ruthless.
Keep wording to a minimum
Though this isn’t an absolute fact, we mostly find that endless paragraphs of text put people off. Unlike this very post, with landing pages it is best to get straight to the point and edit as much as possible.
Focus primarily on one conversion goal
If you need to collect leads, don’t additionally offer newsletter signup, related products section, app downloads and market research questionnaires. By optimising for one conversion goal relating directly to your Google ad you could considerably improve your CPA.
Optimise above-the-fold content
Above-the-fold refers to the content that is visible in the web browser viewport before the user needs to scroll to discover more content. Keep your value proposition, important messaging, benefits to the users and primary call-to-action above-the-fold. Research suggests that the highest 10% of performing landing pages have all these elements above-the-fold. Make your above-the-fold content clear and engaging.
Include video content
A largely underused resource, video content is a powerful marketing engagement tool. Using videos on landing pages can increase conversions by 80%. Typically used to present services or demo products, video helps engage those users adverse to reading long-form content. 90% of users state that product videos inform them in their decision process. And let’s not forget videos encourage social shares, further broadening your reach.
Guide your user on their journey to becoming a lead by eliminating all opportunities to leave the page before making a conversion. Remove the primary navigation, footer links, social feeds and links to company news articles. Exit points can come in many forms not mentioned in this article, so be vigilant and plug those holes.
Optimising your call-to-action
Make your CTAs distinct and clearly communicate the value in taking the required action
Make your CTAs distinct from any and all other elements on the page. This may be counter-intuitive from a branding perspective, but by taking this simple action we have seen conversion rates increase by up to 20%.
Experiment with your button text. The text should clearly communicate the value proposition of submitting a lead. BettingExpert.com changed their button text from ‘Sign Up’ to ‘Sign Up & Get the Best Daily Tips’ along with a form headline tweak and saw membership sign-ups increase by 33%. Ideally, for a seamless user journey, you should use the same call-to-action text used in your Google Ads.
For long pages, repeat your call-to-action at regular intervals further down the page
This will enable users to take action whenever the urge to convert arrives. Alternatively consider using a persistent header or footer, containing your CTAs so they are clearly visible throughout your user’s entire journey, enabling the user to take the required action at any point in that journey.
Include a contact number
If phone calls are important to your conversion metrics, include a clickable contact number in the header and footer of your page. A considerable number of users still like to talk to someone on the phone. A contact number has the added bonus of signalling to users that your business is legitimate. This tip works great for mobile devices.
Optimising your forms
Include your entire form above the fold
We have previously discussed putting call-to-actions above the fold. The same logic applied to contact forms. Our own analytics suggest that 50% of users don’t make it halfway down a long page, so make sure your entire form and submission button is also above the fold. If this is not possible, considering including a graphic, such as an arrow above-the-fold that points to the form submission button lower down the page. As crazy as this sounds, it could genuinely increase your conversion rates.
Additional to putting a contact form above the fold we would also recommend including introductory copy before the contact form to improve your Google Ads quality score.
Use the minimum amount of form fields
The fewer fields the user has to complete, the more likely they are to complete the form. Research suggests reducing the number of form fields from 11 to 4 can result in a 120% increase in conversions.
If you absolutely need to use a long form, consider breaking the form into multiple steps, enabling the user to submit the form in sections and use pagination or a progress bar to inform the users of which point they are at.
Error prevention and recovery
Don’t make a field required unless you absolutely need to and mark required fields with an asterisk. Use In-line validation (section turns green) and error messaging (section turns red with a message on how to correct the issue). Making the form simple to complete and easier to recover from errors will increase the number of successful form submissions.
Avoid unnecessary drop-downs
Don’t use drop-downs for inputs with less than 4 options, instead opt for radio buttons. Clearly displaying all options without cluttering the form lends itself to greater user experience.
“Social proof is a psychological phenomenon where people reference the behaviour of others to guide their own behaviour” – Jakob Nielsen
Users often consider how others rate products and services that they find online. Adding proof that other customers like the service or product can remove decision-making uncertainty. Leverage testimonials or customer reviews whenever you can. Avoid using fake or made up ones. If you have a great product or service, then you will have a wealth emails or social media reviews to feature on your landing page. Better still, if you have a great Trustpilot score, don’t miss the opportunity to shout about it.
Your text ads, display ads and landing pages should all work in unison. If there is a visual or messaging disparity between these elements then you will lose trust and leads. Maintain brand integrity and increase trust by making your brand a familiar and consistent experience throughout the entire user journey.
And finally, much like any work of art, your landing page is never truly finished, at least not until your campaign ends. A/B testing is crucial to our process. Every test reveals something new and never ceases to amaze us.
Elements commonly tested are:
• Button colours
• CTA text
• Primary graphics and imagery
• Primary messaging
• Form elements
Monitor analytics regularly to gain a real insight into how your page is performing and test elements to squeeze every last percent out of those conversion rates.
These are just a few tips on what we do to get the best performance from our lead generation landing pages. For further advice on launching the perfect landing page or help with your Google Ads campaigns, feel free to reach out to us. You can fill out the form at the bottom of our home page, or alternatively you can give us a call on 0330 400 4169. We would be delighted to hear from you.
Gaz is our resident UX Designer. He is educated to HND level in graphic design, and he has deep rooted creative, branding and digital experience. This is built through years of working on both the agency and client side.