SEM Setup Kit, Part III.
I'll start by explaining what a landing page is. If you know already, feel free to skip to the second paragraph. A 'landing page' is the linked destination for a Search Engine Marketing campaign. Think of clicking the link as taking a leap, and that takes you to a new page - The 'Landing Page'.
The landing page for a Pay-Per-Click campaign (PPC) could be a page on your web-site, a third-party page, or you could use a Local Search page if you don't have a web-site.
Local Search Campaigns use an abbreviated page - one of hundreds of 'Local Search' pages created by Google, Bing, Manta, and many others. Local Search pages usually link to a secondary landing page, like your web-site's home page. Would-be clients often bounce from a Local Search page to your secondary landing page, but not always.
Landing Pages are the primary key to success for online marketing.
Local Search and PPC are important tools that bring clients to your page - That's their job. The landing page's job is to encourage the activity you want from the visitor - like a phone call or a visit. That's where the real magic happens, or not.
You could literally have the best and most expensive PPC campaign imaginable, but if your landing page is poor, you won't get good results. Visitors will be guided to your web-site, but they won't be persuaded to 'make a call', 'send an email', 'set an appointment', or reach out in the way you want them to. The landing page, and the web-site, is where conversions takes place, especially with PPC.
To reiterate, If your landing page is poorly written, or if the content is not relevant to the search, your marketing campaigns cannot do their job properly.
Here are some ingredients of a good landing page:
- The page should directly correlate to the ad. If there's not a good correlation, the reader will be confused. In addition, if Search algorithms can't find a connection between the substance of the ad and the content of the landing page, the ad will be penalized - It will become more expensive (in the case of PPC), and/or it will be eliminated from search results.
- The design and navigation should be deliberate, compelling, and uncomplicated. You want to guide the reader on a simple path. you want to persuade them that they came to the right place, that you want to serve them, and that you can help them.
- The content should be well-written, accurate and relevant. This is a challenge that should not be taken lightly. There are only a few subject matter experts that can do well in this area. More accurately, there are precious few teams that can provide great content for the pregnancy help community.
If your website is well designed, your home-page can make a great landing page. Successful client-facing web-sites have home-pages that are good at encouraging women to make the call, etc.. If this is also the subject of your online marketing effort, then there may be no better landing page than your own home-page.
SEM firms often give you statistics about how many clicks were generated, etc.. Frankly, this work is useless if it doesn't translate to phone calls and visits. You and I are trying to save lives. Clicks are helpful, but that's just part of the story.
Get your landing page right, and you will improve the effectiveness of your online campaigns dramatically.
Also; if you use PPC to be competitive in your area, a good landing page will bring your cost way down! Terms, like "I'm pregnant" or "Abortion" can cost $15 a click. You can cut that cost by more than half if you have good, relevant, well designed Landing Pages.
One last strong suggestion: Avoid using 3rd party landing pages: Don't give hard-earned online activity to someone else's web-page.
We'll cover this subject in more detail in another blog. The working title is - Predatory Landing Pages.