Understanding PPC Visitors Behaviour On Poorly Designed Landing Pages
Landing pages have one goal, to convert visitors. The conversion could be to download a document, subscribe to a blog, or to purchase a product.
Your home page and in many instances your service or product page are not landing pages either. These pages usually give as much information as possible about your offer and its benefits while still allowing the visitor to move around your website to find out more. Too many companies link their PPC advert to their home page, service or product pages.
Understanding The Searcher
Searching unfortunately is not always finding!
The searcher puts a string of keywords into the search engine and finds your advert, clicks it, and is brought to your home page to be presented with a bewildering assortment of product photos and links.
The patience searcher with a lot of time on their hands will spend time looking around your website until they find what they want. Many, or should I say the majority will simply return to the search results page and try again to find a site who's page closely matches their needs.
Site owners assume incorrectly that visitors start at their home page, and then use the site's search function or menu to browse their website until they find what they want. Visitor's who usually start from your home page, did a broad search, or you were recommended to them. This type of searcher hasn't formed an opinion yet about a company they want to buy from.
People clicking on a PPC ad are focused shoppers, who are looking for a specific item, bringing them to your home page will either bewilder or annoy them.
Think of a physical store; the shopper knows exactly what they want and has a good idea where it is, on entering your store several clerks try to capture their attention about other products, confusing, distracting or annoying your visitor. If this happened to you what do you think you would do? Probably walk away. On the internet this is easier. The visitor just clicks the back button and moves on to the next site.
Successful PPC advertisers design for multiple entrances. Going back to our bricks and mortar store example; the shopper walks past a number of stores until they find the right entrance telling them this store has what they need (search engine results). On entering the store (clicking PPC Ad) they see only the product your sign advertised (landing page). No barriers, no confusion, no distractions.
The Landing Page
Once the focused shopper has decided your ad fits their need, they will click through to your landing page. At this stage, the first and most important objective of your landing page is to convince the visitor they are on the right page so they continue reading.
To capture the visitor's attention you need to place your message in the right area of your page. Visitors start examining your landing page from the top left, if the top left doesn't capture the attention of the visitor either with images, words, or a combination of the two you are forcing them to hunt around again distracting or annoying them.
Common design elements across your website such as upper banner, horizontal navigation row and a deeper navigation menu on the left is great for the casual shopper, but the focussed shopper doesn't need this, you don't want to distract them with navigation, you just need to keep them focused on what they want, and encourage them to convert.
Including landing pages in your site, or on a separate domain, helps you to expand your businesses ability to encourage the casual shopper as well as the focused one to your site more often.
You may also find our blog SEO Myth About PPC Improving Organic Rankings helpful.
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