Imagine you’re a restaurant and you hire a sign spinner to stand out front and welcome guests inside. And let’s say that you invest your whole year’s budget in them—you hire Jerry Seinfeld. He’s witty, he’s gregarious, and he talks hordes of people into coming through your doors … only for them to find out that the food’s no good and walk right back out. What would you have on your hands? The exact same problem as many modern marketers when they ignore the post-click experience.
In this blog, I’ll give you some tips to help boost your post-click experience to maximize your ROI.
Visitors always want to know that they’ve made a good click. It’s an attention-based economy out there, and nobody has a moment to spare. If a potential customer is given any reason to think the place they arrive at isn’t as promised, they’ll bail. That’s why 63% of all new web visitors bounce instantly according to Kissmetrics and why most landing page conversions are so low. (To see how your landing page performance stacks up to your closest competitors, see the Unbounce Conversion Benchmark Report.) So, what qualifies as a good click? When visitors find precisely what they came looking for. “The closer the ad matches the page and terms of the offer, the greater chance of conversion,” says Finge, CEO of ConversionLab, a conversion rate optimization agency.
If you’re a marketer spending bazillions on optimizing your advertising spend, but are just directing people to your main website or to convoluted landing pages, you’re essentially hiring Jerry Seinfeld to push people into a restaurant with bad food. For both your pre-click and post-click success, you can help yourself by getting more specific.
What Makes a Good, Soft Landing?
First off, stop sending PPC traffic to your website. Websites are for general exploration while PPC campaigns are for directing visitors to take a very specific action such as downloading or making a purchase. Send your traffic to multiple PPC landing pages that each match your various PPC calls to action, images, and keywords. This gives you what is known as message match and visitors can make an instant connection. With this in place, do all you can to boost your conversions, including:
- Strip the site navigation from your landing pages: Isolate them so that you know precisely where your traffic is coming from.
- Use directional cues: Guide your visitor’s gaze to the CTA with images. For a great example, see this landing page by Vidyard.
- Get to your unique selling proposition right away: People don’t read anymore, they skim. Get right to the good stuff.
- Sell benefits, not features: Tell visitors how converting will make them feel, such as elated, secure, or proud.
- Forget colors, focus on contrast: Landing page colors are a bit like UFOs: Everyone has a theory. In our experience, the colors are irrelevant as long as there’s high contrast between them.
- Tailor it to your industry: Above all, know thy customer and the activity of your direct competition within your industry.
- Keep it simple, keep testing: One of the biggest mistakes marketers can make is not continually testing and developing new and simpler ways of getting that conversion.
These changes are shown to result in increased conversions which can be tremendously impactful to your ROI.
The chart below shows the mean and highest conversion rates for lead generating landing pages in 10 different industries.
Source: Unbounce’s Conversion Benchmark Report
If you’re a travel company with a 5% conversion rate who brings your landing pages up to par with the highest performers in your industry, you’ll see a 5x increase in ad ROI.
And, we’re not even finished. While most users already know that landing page improvements boost ROI, did you know that they also impact how AdWords and Facebook Ads themselves treat you? When these platforms get word about your optimization your ads will also become automatically less expensive to run—further boosting your ROI—with this often overlooked benefit.
Perfecting Your Post-Click Experience Reduces the Cost of the Ads Themselves
Ad platforms like Google and Facebook give priority to ads that provide what the user is searching for. They gauge if the searcher is satisfied by whether or not they converted. If everyone who saw an ad clicked and converted, it’s a pretty safe bet that the ad provided a good and relevant experience.
AdWords offers some insight into how it judges your ad experience with its Quality Score which you can view for each of an ad’s keywords. That score is based on three factors and the higher it is, the less AdWords charges you to run ads:
- Expected click-through rate (CTR): How likely does Google think users are to click?
- Ad relevance: How closely does your ad match the user’s search intent?
- Landing page experience: Wait, really? Yes, really. This metric is based on how relevant, transparent, and easy-to-navigate Google’s web crawler finds your landing page.
The digital marketing agency Workshop Digital went through the trouble of exporting and analyzing 1.7 million data points from its AdWords account and verified that using offer-specific, well-designed landing pages led to a 26% increase in conversion rates for its clients.
Higher conversion rates lead to higher Quality Scores, which give you more traffic (and thus, a higher ROI) for the same level of spend.
Facebook works in a similar, albeit slightly more mysterious way. Unlike Google’s ads, Facebook’s (often) include both images and text, and there are more variables at play in determining how users find value with ads. What is clear, however, is that it ranks them with a Relevance Score and charges less for ads with a higher score. That score is based on two factors:
- Negative feedback: Facebook encourages users to tattle on brands by hiding or reporting ads (using that “x” in the upper-right hand corner). These punish your score heavily.
- Positive feedback: Facebook rewards ads that are relevant. Depending on the ad’s objective, this could be video completions, clicks, or, if you’re a savvy advertiser using Facebook’s pixel, conversions.
That is, “if your landing pages in any way result in higher conversions, you’ll increase the Relevance Score of your Facebook ads,” says Matthew Weller, Director of Performance Marketing at AspireIQ. “A higher relevance score means that you’re rewarded with a lower CPC, resulting in more efficient delivery given the same ad spend.” Again, high-converting landing pages are a key factor in boosting traffic, and thus, ROI.
Rescuing your Restaurant
When you invest in your post-click experience, you are essentially hiring Robert Irvine of the reality TV series Restaurant: Impossible to come whip your eatery into shape. He’ll leap into action simplifying your menu (just one CTA per landing page), adding tastier dishes (talking benefits, not features), and adding some consistency to the decor (true message match). Suddenly, having your highly-paid sign spinner out front is totally worth it because far more of the diners who enter, stay, and eat.
If you’re driving good traffic but aren’t seeing the conversions you expect, optimize your landing page. Get more conversions with the same budget.
How do you maximize your post-click experience for your customers? What other tips have worked for you? I’d love to hear about what you’re doing in the comments.
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