7 Quick and Dirty Ways to Supercharge Your PPC Landing Pages

By , April 30th, 2014 in PPC | 28 comments
kesha
It’s never too late to breathe life into your PPC landing pages. Mix a little Ke$ha with some new tricks. Image source.

As smart marketers, we’re always looking to improve the performance of our PPC campaigns and to impress ourselves and our clients. Mostly ourselves. But it’s not always easy!

So how do you go about thinking of new and creative ideas to improve conversion rates that are also quick to implement? Your competitors are probably the worst source of inspiration (they’re lazy) and going to the modern art museum will only leave you wondering what the heck you’re doing with your life.

I’ve got something better for you.

As a PPC marketer, you might think that your keyword selection, bids, or ad creation are the most important part of getting you more and more leads. They’re important, but landing page testing is where your biggest gains in conversion rates will happen, not the new ad you’re anxious to test.

Before we even get into the details, let me show you how I decide to spend valuable time when it comes to making improvements to my PPC campaigns.

easy-money

Look down through your to-do list and add the items on it to this graph that I call “Ea$y Money” (you have to include the dollar sign, like Ke$ha). The upper right quadrant is for easy changes that make you a lot more money, while the lower left is for things that are difficult and only make a little more money.

As you might have guessed already, the goal is to focus first on the changes that are the easiest to make and have the highest impact on your ROI.

As we go through this list of quick and easy ways to improve your PPC landing pages, think of how easy they are to implement and what potential return they can have for you and your client.

Sound good? Let’s go!

1. Urgency GIFs (post-conversion)

urgency-screenshot

This is an awesome post-conversion marketing tactic that I’ve found works very well for lead generation clients (this example below is from the real estate industry) and helps drive their potential customers directly to them at a much faster rate. As you know, getting the lead is only half the battle. Getting them on the phone is the other half.

urgency-gifUse countdown GIFs that tell the visitor their offer or deal only lasts so long because your company/client only buys or sells a limited amount per day. Some great examples would be any type of company looking to buy from the visitor (“we only buy X cars a day”) or companies that have a limited supply something (in other words, scarcity: “we only give out X a day”).

Not only do you get people to call in directly from your confirmation dialog (hotter lead than a form submission), but more importantly, you take them off the market so they don’t go back to Google and start comparison shopping with your competitors. Sometimes all you need is a phone number on the confirmation dialog to tell people their quote or offer is ready, but I’ve literally witnessed people calling in stressed out that their chance is about to slip away because of the countdown timer.

2. Greater than signs >>

This one is so easy I started putting it on the buttons of my TV remote. Almost.

What I found is that two “greater than” signs promote movement to the visitor so it becomes more real that something is awaiting them on the second step of the conversion funnel.

I ran this super simple and quick button test with and without the “>>” and conversion rate jumped up 23% at a 99% confidence level with a client of ours who’s in the educational space. And it wasn’t just with the one client; I saw improvements in conversion rates 100% of the time across other verticals like tech support, real estate and auto buyers.

You be the judge: which one would you rather click on?

CTA vs greaterthanCTA

3. Hidden keyword fields

One thing that we all love about PPC is that we can track which keywords and ads are responsible for conversions. It therefore makes it a lot easier to optimize and improve performance when you know what works and what doesn’t.

But why stop there?

In a lead generation marketing campaign, we know that the conversion is not the sale, it’s only the lead. So wouldn’t it be great to know which keywords are responsible for sales?

The quick way to do this is to add the parameter www.website.com/?utm_keyword={keyword} to your destination/landing page URL and then in Unbounce, create a hidden field named utm_keyword.

It will then automatically insert the keyword that caused your ad click and collect that keyword with the lead info like name, email and phone number.

custom-fields

As a bonus, this data will also start to collect in your Google Analytics account if you have your AdWords account connected.

Over time, you’ll start to see a very clear picture of which keywords are actually creating your sales (not just your conversions), allowing you to optimize and allocate your budget much more efficiently.

Those conversion rates can be deceiving, can’t they?

4. Live chat

Imagine you’re browsing a site and you’re interested in the content, but are not quite sold on the idea to take the relationship to the next step.

Then, out of nowhere, a chat window pops up and asks the most random thing you can think of.

“What’s your favorite animal?”

For a second, you’re a little thrown off – but you’re amused, so you answer it.

“Donkey.”

And then, before you know it, you’re having a conversation with an employee about animals and why a donkey is so amazing. But what you don’t know is that this was all done to initiate a conversation with you.

This is what visitors see before the chat pop-up:

live-help

And this is what the chat pop-up looks like:

chat-pop-up

One of the fastest ways to get people to talk to you is to break the ice with something quirky and weird (I once even asked, “What’s for dinner?” and only stopped when one person replied, “Whatever your mom is cooking”).

To do this, consider using Olark and their automated (120 second) pop up feature that asks the visitor a question. This will lead to better customer engagement and higher conversion rates.

5. Multi-step pages

Something super awesome happened not too long ago.

I proposed to my girlfriend of five years and she said yes! Although I love my future wife very much, I quickly started hating the process of wedding planning. All the venues, caterers and photographers frustrated me because they all wanted my name, email and phone number before they’d give me any more information on what I, as the one footing most of the bill, was most concerned about: pricing.

All I wanted to do was compare pricing, but no one would let me. I don’t have time to talk to seven different vendors of each thing that will keep calling me over time to sell. So what did I do? I bounced!

In the online world, one of the most common things you’ll find are forms that initially ask for name, email and phone number. Crazy thing is, this is not the most effective way of making your visitor excited to give you their info.

Try a two step landing page where the first step page asks qualifying questions like:

  • “When do you plan on getting married?” or “How many people will be on your guest list?”
  • “What’s your zip code?”
  • If your company is in the educational space: “How soon do you want to finish?” and/or “When do you want to start?”
  • If your company is in the home services space: “What year was your home built?” and/or “How quickly do you need help?”

It allows them to select an answer from the drop downs you’ve made and then click through to step two with no risk at all.

The cool thing is that these questions have no impact on your offer, but they make the visitor feel as if you have a custom tailored solution. The good thing is, you actually do.

A recent promotional product client we did this for saw us go from a single step 4.21% conversion rate, to a 15% double step conversion rate (lead capture included).

6. Coupon codes

Another quick way to increase conversion rates is to offer a coupon to first time visitors.

People love deals and the thought of them making it out on top. Discounts are a fast and effective way to do this, but what really makes it work is when you actually give them what looks like a discount/coupon code, like the one here:

discount

I tested having a simple sub-headline as the offer you see above without the yellow background, dashed line, or the scissors and it performed at an 8.73% conversion. Then, I added the yellow background, dashed line and scissors around and it jumped 154% in conversion rate to 22.22% at a 97% confidence level.

coupon

7. Beneficial headlines (features vs. benefits)

Features are cool, but they aren’t the reason why you buy things.

You buy things based on how they improve your life. Your visitors are no different – having lame feature-specific headlines doesn’t appeal to anyone. Instead, try beneficial headlines that are focused around solving a problem.

Instead of the headline…

Battery NiMH 2400mAh = Double Capacity Cylindrical Popcorn

try…

Never Worry About Having to Find an Outlet at the Airport Again

The benefits should be laid out in a way that very clearly answers the question, “What will this do for me?”

Here is another example, in which I increased conversion rates by 141% at a 99.9% confidence level:

The two headlines were:

Feature Headline (6.80%):
Your Financial Help

vs.

Benefit Headline (16.43%):
We’ll Help Eliminate Your Debt

img-first-variant

Too easy, right?

Understand that your biggest gains in conversion rates won’t come from the new ads you’re testing or the new keywords you’re adding.

Optimizing your landing pages is the fastest and easiest way for you to make dramatic improvements to your ROI.

So next time you wake up in the morning feeling like P. Diddy, make sure you spend your time where it really matters. Tik Tok, Ke$ha style.

– Johnathan Dane


About The Author

Photo of Johnathan Dane

Johnathan Dane is the co-founder of Disruptive Advertising, a Utah based PPC advertising company that focuses on enterprise level execution with Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and custom landing pages. He loves basketball, summer barbecues, and NERF wars. Join him in the jacuzzi @JohnathanDane.
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Comments

  1. Great sugestions :)

    Cheers for the information :)

  2. Andy Kuiper says:

    Great tips here Jonathan :-)
    Thank You >>
    ;-)

  3. jessacat says:

    Love the hero image associated with the post lol

  4. This one of the best daily emails I have received from Unbounce – well done..will try olark

  5. Thanks guys! Please let me know if you need any clarification, especially on the multi-step landing pages :)

  6. The_Ginger_Beard_Man says:

    Way to add simplicity to something that can be pretty confusing to most people. Snaps for adding humor and real world examples to ppc marketing. Thanks for the Ke$ha shot and the awesome information.

  7. Allison Otting says:

    I wake up in the morning feeling P-Diddy, and my conversion rate is still terrible. ;)

  8. Thomas Owen says:

    Awesome post, thanks for sharing.
    Excellent tips, I love the simplicity of number 2. Greater than signs, just adding >> which even looking at the 2 buttons next to each other, I would rather click that one all day long! Definitely be implementing these tips.

    Thanks again

    Thomas

  9. Paul says:

    Wonderful post, thanks for introducing me to Olark.

    I have a question; I’ve always used features vs benefits on one particular website, because I’ve struggled with what the benefit truly is.

    1. Free callout
    2. All work is guaranteed
    3. Free quotations etc.

    1 and 3 obviously save the customer money, but how would you truly turn “Free quotation” in to a benefit, especially when you’re trying to keep them punchy?

    I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

    Thanks again.

    • Johnathan Dane says:

      Thanks Paul :)

      So it might be easier to answer if I knew the context a little bit better, but I’d say that all of those are features. The benefit of the guarantee is that “you never have to worry about the quality”.
      Free callout and quotations are simply incentives.. What industry is this about? Maybe I can give you a little more specific advice.

      • Paul says:

        Hi Jonathan, the website is for an electrician. Obviously we can mix features and benefits e.g. All work is guaranteed, meaning you don’t need to worry about quality and that’s fine in many places but not when you’re in a tight squeeze. Using just the benefit takes it out of context.

        It might be that there’s no answer, but figured I’d throw it by you :)

  10. Awesome post, Jonathan! Love the examples, and who knew “>>” would make such a big difference in conversion?

  11. Stephanie says:

    Great post Jonathan, thank you! Is there anywhere that you get into more detail for #3 — more clarity on how to set up and how it works?

    • Thanks Stephanie :) Yea, I’d love to clarify. The goal is to add the PPC keyword you’re bidding that is responsible for the lead and pair it with the leads name, email, and phone number.

      If you then make the sale offline (like many lead gen companies do) then you can go back and say this keyword has been responsible for “X” amount of sales in the past month. And then the question is, can I bid more for that keyword to get more sales because my margin is a lot better than expected, or should I bid down because I’m actually losing money?

      As you can begin to see, there are a lot of floating parts that could be improved (even sales) to make those numbers look better and better in terms of ROI.

      If I completely missed the mark on answering, then please email me and I can help you out.

      Thanks!

  12. Preston says:

    Great post man, I can see why they call you “Johnafun”. :)

  13. Dez says:

    Love the hidden field keyword tip, doing it now. I have also just added >> on my button to test too.

    LOVE UNBOUNCE!

  14. Mark H says:

    I think the double page is a good idea – but unbounce doesn’t have it :(

    • The cool thing is they actually do :)

      Simply duplicate your landing page and connect your forms through the “Form Confirmation” part of your “Properties” view on the right hand side inside the Unbounce editor.

      You’ll want to make sure you append the form data to the URL and have hidden fields in your step 2 form from step 1.

      I’m sure Unbounce support can help you real fast if you still need some help :)

      • Mark H says:

        Thanks Jonathan!
        Yes, you’re right – they have it. But here’s a couple things that bother me in addition to trying to figure out the super integration of it.

        Firstly, the URL data is sent in plaintext – not sure if I like that.
        Second, I use one of their CRM integrations so here’s what I am looking to do.

        LP #1 Short form -> LP #2 Long Form -> CRM (hopefully not in plaintext)

        • Have you had a talk with the Unbounce support team yet? I’m sure they can help you do exactly what you want.

          Be a little easier since they can also look at it with you.

  15. TaeWoo Kim says:

    Urgency gif… great find.

    Wanted to ask.. did you guys happen to test if having toll free number vs. local number affects conversion rates on PPC landing pages?

    I remember watching a Gary Halbert talk about how he said local phone numbers outperform toll free numbers 3 to 1 even in web conversions because it looks like 1) a local business (i.e. trust) and 2) they expect to talk to human (not IVR, outsourced phone companies in India).

  16. We have not tested that. Yet.

    But you’re absolutely right :)

    Local numbers do perform better than toll free numbers because of what you just said. We’ve done it as regular call extensions and also on the landing pages, but not yet on the thank you since this was a particular nationwide campaign.

    • TaeWoo Kim says:

      Thanks for that reply Jonathan. I just spent 3 hrs on looking for that video but darn it, can’t find it!

      Im working on a web app that dynamically generates a local phone number based on the visitor’s geo location… so the company looks like a local company to every visitor to a website.. (i.e. generate a 415 if visitor is from SF… 212 if from NYC… 310 if from LA, etc.)

      If you’re interested in beta-ing it, I’d be happy to have unbounce test this out.

  17. Pawel Kontek says:

    Great tips!

    Cheers :)

  18. Jason Dea says:

    Awesome article. I’m going to play around with all these ideas as well. I will say I noticed your own call to action buttons on this page are lacking the >> trick though ;)

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