Dedicated Landing Pages – More Harm Than Good?

Dedicated Landing Pages – More Harm Than Good?

It is common practice for a PPC campaign to be directed to a dedicated landing page; something that is concise, engaging and strongly optimised for conversion. But is this “formula” the best route to take and does it guarantee a successful PPC campaign all by itself? Well, no.

In fact, dedicated landing pages could be doing your campaign more harm than good. Often times a dedicated, standalone landing page will have lower conversion rates than a primary website. You may have experienced this yourself and wondered why.

Let’s take a look at a couple of typical and common scenarios and how they negatively affect conversions.

 Redesigning and relaunching rather than listening to your audience

Many businesses go through a phase of change. Whether it’s changing an offer, targeting a different demographic or introducing new services, options or features. It’s often during this time that business owners will go into full renovation mode, and this is reflected in online material, including landing pages.

Said landing pages are tweaked, changed and reviewed multiple times until they are in line with the new vision. Then realisation sets in when the published content doesn’t perform as well as expected.

The problem is that ‘new and improved’ doesn’t always guarantee success.

This typically comes down to lack of testing. All of these ‘new and exciting’ changes are all put into place at the same time, making tracking and analysing it a marketer’s nightmare.

These types of design overhauls are only effective if you have the analytical data to prove it is needed, and the subsequent testing to ensure it was the right move. It’s important that the changes reflect the needs of the customers, not the advertiser or the business owner.

Improved conversion rates come from a better understanding of your audience, not just new content, new pages or new offerings.

Restricted Content by Over-Clarification

Successful PPC campaigns rely on clarity. This means that confusion is kept to a minimum or, ideally, eliminated entirely. However, in many cases, marketers will take this a step too far and strip out much of the semantic information from the page in favour of pure call-to-action elements. This is because there is a common train of thought that users search in the following pattern:

  • Your prospect goes to Google, and picks your ad to click
  • She visits your page
  • If there are distractions, she’ll get confused and leave
  • If there are no distractions, she’ll have no option but to complete the form

But this simply isn’t true. In fact, most people who are researching a product or service online will operate more like this:

  • Your prospect goes to Google and opens many ads and listings in new tabs.
  • She starts exploring her options.
  • If she doesn’t see the choices and information she needs, she’ll close your tab.
  • If she has enough context, she’ll continue on your page.

So whilst we believe that removing “distractions” on pages and keeping things simple is the best way to go, it’s actually causing more harm than good. Keep important information that the customer may need in order to reduce losses to competitor websites. Give your visitors a reason to want to fill out the contact form or take an action, don’t just expect them to do so with very little supporting information on your page and a single call to action.

No matter how much you limit choice on your page, you can’t limit the choice provided by your competitors, or the choice of simply closing the browser window.