Creating Cohesive and Conversion-Focused Landing Pages
Mike Norris: What’s going on guys, happy Wednesday! I’ve got Nate, our creative director and Tarik, our director of paid advertising at Youtech. We’re all at home in quarantine but we’re still coming at you this Wednesday!
Fun fact: I’m actually on an exercise bike because I don’t have a good place in my home to do this video. I’m pedaling right now, and it’s powering my computer! That was a lie. But I am at home and I am on an exercise bike!
Today we’re going to talk to you guys about landing pages. Right now, I think more than ever, landing pages are a good conversation point because if you’re running any kind of campaigns right now, it could be seeing some struggles and that conversion rate is very important. At the end of the day, you need those conversions to keep that ROI positive and keep it going. So, we do want to talk to you guys about some best practices there and with that- does anyone want to start us off?
Nate: Yeah, I’ll go ahead and start this off – Tarik can go a little bit more into detail, some of the reasons for displaying certain things on landing pages, but ultimately, you need something that’s trustworthy for your users. Whenever they’re going to your page, whether it be to you know, buy a service or good – or whatever that may be. You need to make sure that you have that cohesive brand. So, you may be just asking people to fill out a form but if it’s just a form on a page nobody is really going to want to do that.
The Design Team and the PPC team here at Youtech have gotten together a few times in the past to kind of come up with a cohesive plan for what works for landing pages. So, I’ll let Tarik go into more detail about what those things are and then we can go more in-depth a little bit on what we as a design team do to make sure that the stuff that Tarik needs is easily read on one of those pages.
Providing Relevant and Useful Information
Tarik: Yeah, definitely. Obviously running any paid efforts is one aspect of digital marketing, but the other aspect is, yeah you can create this beautiful ad, but where are people going to land when they click on your ad. So, you know, we take a lot of time to kind of craft these landing pages that are going to give users the information that they’re looking for, especially for paid efforts.
What we typically like to do is you know, when we set up a Google campaign, we have our campaign, we have our ad groups, and we have our keywords. The most important thing to rank for our keywords is to make sure that the content on our landing pages are aligning with our keywords in our ads so that our quality scores are high and our ads are showing when people are searching certain things. So, you know, it’s different from industry to industry. Obviously, e-commerce clients are a little bit different because we’re able to direct people straight to a product page but more of service clients, for example HVAC, it’s important that when we’re crafting these landing pages and we’re providing the user with the information they’re looking for.
So, if the user goes to Google and they’re looking for a new AC unit, not only will our keywords and our ads align with that service, but when someone comes to the page we need to provide the user with as much information as possible to get them to convert. So, as Nate said, we’ve taken a lot of time and we’ve tested a lot of different formats and layouts of pages and you know, kind of come up with some things that we see higher conversion rates.
We’re doing a lot of a/b testing with all of the pages that we’re doing but we’ve come up with a page structure that I think increases our conversion rates just by putting certain elements and certain designs and certain information into certain sections. So, what we typically do at Youtech is we create dedicated landing pages because not every client is going to have the structure that we’re looking for.
So, typically what we do is we put together all the content, we put together all of the elements, and we craft a page that is going to help with our paid efforts. So again, that’s kind of where Nate’s team comes in. It breaks our different sections of our website in order to accomplish the information that we need to provide to a user.
Mike: Yeah, you brought up a lot of really good points there, but I think one of the biggest ones is just that relevancy all the way throughout from the keyword that they’re searching to them seeing that keyword on the landing page. That’s going to be huge for them.
Obviously, you don’t want to take someone to a page on heating if you were advertising AC, right? So in that instance we’d obviously create different pages for those and the more specific you can get, the more pages you can create the better off you’re going to be.
You know, generally speaking users really are looking for one specific thing and usually, there’s one specific action you want them to take when they get to that page and that’s something that really needs to be highlighted in the format of that page.
So, I know you guys both kind of mentioned these layouts we’ve created – I’d like to go into a little bit of detail as far as to what those layouts entail. Obviously we have forms on all those, we’ve got phone numbers on all of those. E-commerce is a little bit of a different story, I think we’re specifically talking service-oriented clients right here but it’s really important that you have that form and it’s really important that you have that phone number and it’s really important that it’s clickable, too, so that people can contact you in a variety of different ways depending on however they want to contact you. Maybe you have a live chat as well, or even a chatbot if you can’t have someone to man that. However they feel like contacting you – email, form, phone number, chat – you’ve got all of those covered.
If you’ve got all of those covered, if you’ve got that then you’re going to appeal to a lot more people. I know that in some instances, some businesses out there say, “well, we just want everyone to call,” and that’s ok! You don’t need to have the form on your site, but you’re probably going to have lower conversion rates because some people might not want to pick up the phone. So, it’s just something to consider, you know.
Do you want more leads and allow people to fill out a form and then you could just call them right away? Or, do you just really want to get them on the phone and only want to put that phone number there. Maybe it’s something that you a/b test, you know?
Tarik: Yeah, and that’s a good point! I feel like depending on what industry is or who the client is, with each team creating these dedicated landing pages, you know, we don’t necessarily need to change the structure of a client’s website. We’re able to accomplish kind of what they’re looking for in these dedicated pages so, like you said, if your business more so relies on phone calls and form fills you know, we’re going to put different call to actions on the page.
That’s going to make things easier for someone to call your business, whereas if you’re more focused on form fills, we’re going to kind of craft that page and make that page in a way that a user can easily fill out the form and then have you follow up and get more information. So, it’s you know, having the dedicated landing pages again makes it very easy for us to craft an approach that’s going to accomplish what your business is looking for.
Make Information Easily Accessible
Nate: And to kind of go off what Tarik is saying, whenever it gets to the design team for those things, we want to make it as easy as possible for the user to actually get what it is that they’re looking for. So, we don’t want people to have to scroll through pages and pages of content – all that in order to just fill out a form or phone number, because ultimately the user nowadays, they’re going to get fatigued after just ever a couple of scrolls down a page.
So, we want to make sure that you know, we know what the user is looking for whether it’s that form fill, the phone number, or even if it’s to get them to you know maybe go somewhere else on the website that directed them somewhere. But, we want to make sure that everything there is as easily accessible for the user as possible. And with those scrolls that I was talking about, we also want to make sure that, most of the time headers for websites, we want to make sure that they are always there. That’s a really good place to put a phone number and link to form fill, so we want to make sure that, you know, that information is always readily available.
And then Tarik, I’ll let you kind of talk more on this. Sometimes we’ll change the navigation on those landing pages in order to kind of lock them into one of those landing pages we’ve already directed them to. That’s mainly just so they don’t get lost along the journey, so that way you know if you’re searching for air conditioning like Mike said, you land on this page, you that that page is air conditioning related. You don’t want to accidentally click on a link and you’re like, “I don’t know where I was, I don’t know what I can do anymore,” I’ll let Tarik expand more on that. There are other reasons for that as well but that’s just one of the main reasons that we do those things.
Tarik: Yeah, like you mentioned before Norris. We typically like to break out our page designs into different sections. Obviously, the most important section to me is going to be that top section because for the most part, people you know, I don’t want to say people don’t scroll and look through a page, but for the most part, people want to come to the page, find the answer right away at the top of the page. If this is the right business that I want to go with, I’m going to convert.
Sometimes that might not always be the case, so typically what we like to do is section one we’re kind of highlighting what that person is looking for. So if it is that new A/C unit, we’re going to craft that top section to address any questions that that person might have typed into search. So, for example, if it’s a new A/C unit, we’re going to highlight our new A/C unit – if we have rebates or any sort of incentive that will get that person to convert right away. Typically, as you move down the page you know, we’ll talk about the process of that business, what makes them different from competitors, and then sometimes we put social proof on there as well, too. I think that can help a lot of people make a decision if this company has a ton of great reviews, a good user experience, and good customer service.
I don’t know about you guys, but when I’m looking for things like that or if I’m looking for, you know, a big project, I do read the reviews because it can help sway my decision on one company or another. And, then, typically towards the end of the page we talk about the business itself, you know, obviously you can find that on the about page or who we are, but we try to highlight that on the page so if we do have users that are reading the whole page, they’re kind of getting a full you know, picture of who this company is, what I’m signing up for, and what I’m going to get.
The Importance of Social Proofing
Mike: Yeah, I think that spells it out really really well! I want to go back to the social proof aspect because I think that’s one area where if there’s an area that people usually lack in when they’re creating landing pages, I think it is that social proof. Well, aside from the people who don’t create landing pages because I think that’s the worst problem we have.
People are pretty good at understanding, “ok, why would someone pick me?,” and then create content to address that problem. But, they often forget that people are more swayed by what other people say about you than what you say about yourself. So, if you’ve got a ton of great reviews and you’ve got you know, let’s say you’ve worked with McDonald’s and you’ve worked with Starbucks, and you put that on your website, or “93 million sold,” or something like that – I’m not going to go with Joe Schmo down the street – you know him and his wife might come down here in their busted-up truck. I’d rather have the experts coming over, so – I think that is exceptionally important!
Testimonials can be used for that, like I said you can use icons of companies you’ve worked with as long as they’re ok with it, you can use reviews, you know start ratings and everything are really big – the cool thing to you too, is if you’re running PPC search ads through Google you can oftentimes pull those star rating through depending on what service you use and they’ll show up in your ads. That’s going to help click-through ads, it’s going to help conversion rates, it’s going to help the whole shebang! So, really big points I think with the social proof on there. Anything we’re missing before we wrap this up?
Use A/B Testing to Understand Your Customer
Tarik: Just one other aspect that I want to talk about, is a/b testing on your landing pages and some tools you can use to better understand how users are interacting on your page. I think a/b testing in general, we typically use Google to optimize which allows us to put a little snippet of code on the page and then we can change different elements of the page. So, for example, if you have call to action buttons that are green and you want to test out how blue might affect your overall results, those are the little things that we can change out and test to see how people are interacting with it. Another tool that we use is called hot jar. Which is basically a heat map, again we put a script on your site and what happens is that we’re able to see where people are clicking or people are scrolling or hovering towards.
Typically, what we do is we run that for, you know, a couple weeks to a month – we gather all of the data and then we take a look at, “Ok, of the page that we just created, how many people are interacting? Where are people going to the most?” and then we’re able to take that data and apply it to our pages moving forward. So, it’s obviously different depending on what industry you’re in, but it’s very valuable information that we do take into consideration when we do make optimization on our pages moving forward.
Nate: Yeah, and it may seem like a small thing changing a button color from red to blue or blue to red, but subconsciously it does make a huge decision for everyone. So, I think it’s, what blue is now the number one or number two most clicked-on button color for CTA’s? So those things are very important, it may seem like a simple color, but chances are you go to a supermarket or anywhere, you’re drawn to colors. So, that is a little bit more important than what people give them credit for.
Tarik: Totally! Think about when you open your phone and you look at all of your apps, check out what color most apps are – it’s either green or blue. People are running these tests and seeing what people are gravitating towards or what is visually appealing and then they’re using those and incorporating them in their CTAs and their landing pages, but also their apps.
Mike: Yeah, and on that note, Youtech’s main color is orange, and orange is also up there in the top three! But yeah, orange, red – I know red sounds counterintuitive to people because they think you know, red means stop, but actually it grabs your attention.
Nate: Yeah, there’s a saying in the design community, if you can’t make it bigger, make it red.
Mike: There you go!
Nate: That’s all you need to know..
Mike: Thank you so much for your time today, you know obviously landing pages are so important, I can’t stress it enough! Make sure that you’re doing ongoing testing like Tarik was saying, that’s so important. You can’t just set something up and forget it, especially in times like these where things might be a little bit rough for you. So, keep going, keep testing, keep tracking! You’ll figure it out, run everything, and if you need any help let us know.
Thanks so much everyone, bye guys!