A Google Ads landing page is a page on your website which is specifically used for traffic coming from Google Ads campaigns. Whether you’re new to using landing pages or looking for ways in which you can try and improve existing ones. Here we discuss: why you should and shouldn’t be using them, what they usually look like and why you might want to break the norms as well as what you should try and include in your landing pages whether using the standard layout or something a bit different.
Why Use A Landing Page Specifically For Google Ads
There are many reasons why you might want to consider bespoke landing pages for your Google Ads campaigns. However I would always start by questioning whether they are truly required or not.
If you have an existing page which meets the users search intent then there may be little reason to create a separate landing page. There’s also the benefit that if you use a page for all channels any positive changes will affect all marketing channels and therefore have a bigger overall impact.
Here the top reasons to consider a specific landing page:
- Improved quality scores, lower CPC – Having bespoke landing pages for each ad group can allow you to make sure that the messaging is consistent from start to finish. This can increase your expected landing page experience which is part of the quality score which goes on to determine your ads rank. This means that you end up paying less for the same position.
- More control over the users actions – Landing pages can be more streamlined compared to other pages on your website. They’re designed for a specific use and to therefore push the visitors down a desired path, usually a direct sale.
- Easier to split test and see what’s working – As the landing page will sit separate to the main website it can therefore be easier to split test different changes without worrying about the effects it might have on the rest of your website and the performance of your other marketing channels.
The Usual Landing Page Layout
There’s been a somewhat expected layout for Google Ads landing pages and if you’ve ever clicked on ads before you’ll be somewhat aware of what it looks like. This layout has been around long before I started in digital marketing and its effectiveness is one of the reasons why it’s stuck around so long.
So let’s take a look at what’s on this expected landing page!
- Title matching the targeted keyword – When designing a landing page for a Google Ads campaign we expect the main heading/title, along with the ad, to be relevant to the targeted keyword. This helps improve the quality score of the keyword.
- Brief and to the point introduction above the fold – You don’t want too much to read in the introduction, there should be just enough to either keep the visitor interested and to read the further content or to take the next action in order to buy from you.
- Clear key selling points – The reasons why the visitor should buy your product/service and engage with your specific company should be clear and on the standard layout these are features above the fold, usually directly below the introduction.
- A clear call to action above the fold – In the example above we see the web form on the right hand side above the fold. This helps the user to know exactly what the next step is as soon as they land on the page.
- Extended content under the fold – If you have further information to give the user this is usually featured below the fold and is used to help convert those visitors which may need a little more convincing.
- Removal of navigation – You’ll usually find that main navigation has been removed from landing pages. This is to make sure that you stay on the desired path and don’t go looking at other areas of the site which may take you away from the sales funnel.
Is It Time To Be Different?
Using a proven layout can be the easy choice, but is it time to try and be a bit different? People are more aware of the standard landing page layout and are wary that they’re there to just collect details and may be put off by the normal layout. There’s also one major thing to consider, mobile!
Mobile usage has risen greatly over the last 5 years and we now live in a mobile first world. The standard layout above was created when desktop was still king and doesn’t take into consideration mobile users. You should be thinking about how people will experience the landing page on phones and we’re starting to see the switch to mobile first designs.
Alongside this it’s always important to think about what will work best for your business. We’ve had a look at what you should look at including below and it’s worth playing with the layout in order to find the layout which works best for you.
What You Should Ensure Is On Your Landing Pages For Maximum Performance
However you lay out your landing page there are three elements which are must-haves to help achieve success:
- Social Proof – If you can get other people to tell your landing page visitors how good your product/service is then you’re onto a winner. Whether it’s reviews, testimonials or case studies these will help bring an element of trust to your business. Where possible these should be done via a third party to ensure that they’re a true representation of your business.
- Clear Call To Action – You need to make sure that your visitors know what they’re expected to do. This should be as clear and easy as possible. If they don’t know how or find it difficult to buy off you, it’s likely they’ll go elsewhere.
- What Sets You Apart – Why should they buy off you? What sets you apart from the competition? Make sure to shout about your unique selling points. These should be clear and easy to take in on a quick skim of the page.