Landing Page Optimization for PPC – What to include and what not to?

Landing Page Optimization, no doubt, is one of the trickiest parts in online marketing today. No matter whether it is for Google Ads, BingAds, Facebook Ads, or simply for Search Engine Optimization, the basics remain the same.  I usually get a lot of questions related to it during consultancy, training, or seminar Q&A sessions.

And, the biggest question is – what to include and what not to?

To me, landing page optimization should not be confined to the inclusion or exclusion of particular page elements.

Let me list some of the questions which I usually get asked  –

  • Should have or not to have a contact form? 
  • To place a phone number prominently on-page or not? 
  • Have links to internal pages through menus or not?
  • Have explainer videos or not?
  • Include several call-to-action buttons or not?

Is there any definite answer?

You, yourself, can get answers to all these questions if you take a moment to think about your advertising goals. 

Why are you advertising? To sell products or services? Take a moment out of all these and visit a few competitors’ websites. Here, act yourself as if you are a customer and you need to buy the product or service listed on those websites.

Going to buy a camera strap? What all will you look for on a website?

If the website looks appealing/professional enough? If there are enough options available? Prices are competitive? Any discounts? Shipping charges? Customers’ feedback? Contact details of the business? Presence on social media? And so on…

Now, come to your website and do a review. Make sure you have everything that a customer might need to make their decision to buy your product.

Would you buy on a website that traps you on a single product page? With no option to explore inner pages to get the information you need to make your final decision of buying? At least, I won’t.

Come on, you can’t force your visitors to buy what you are offering. 

I don’t actually understand the logic of landing pages that trap visitors on a single page and do not let you go anywhere from the page. What’s the logic? You got them locked? They would not find a way to close the browser window and navigate away from your page?

To me, a single landing page with no exit does not work any more.

Internet and online advertising have come of age now. Today, your customers are more experienced with the Internet than before. You cannot force them to convert. If you do so, you will lose that visitor forever.

Nobody buys a product or a service at one go, they do enough research. They actually travel through different stages in their buying journey. You need to be optimized and ready for the complete conversion funnel. Give them the answers they need… why this product/service? What are the benefits over others in the fray? Why us? What’s our USPs? How we have helped others in the past? Need more information? We are always there… And so on…

Hence, a single web page cannot actually answer all these questions efficiently.

However, there are scenarios where you do not want your visitors to go to the main website because all your pages are not optimized for conversion. You are afraid of making your visitors go astray.

If so, having a landing page and sub landing pages like, about, contact, testimonials etc. is what I advise.

Let them explore the information they want. Have everything ready. The more they read and learn about you and your services, the bigger the space you are occupying in their minds which indeed would play a key role in bending their decisions in your favour. No matter if it is not prompt, but the information you have fed them with will make them come back to you.

One more and very important thing here…

Don’t forget to optimize all your sub-landing pages as if they are your main pages. Create enough space for them to explore, but keep a single exit door – your conversion – open. No matter what page they are on, if they are convinced, you have your conversion action button out there to grab the opportunity. If any of page that is accessible through the main landing page is not optimized for conversion, do not use them as your Sitelink extensions. Doing so will create another door for exit, and it will collide with your actual goal.

To conclude I would say, optimize your page in a way that makes it candid that you care for what their requirements are. You are actually giving them solutions to their problems. And most importantly, you are allowing them enough space to make their final decision.

Do not be bothered with a particular page element, whether to include it or not. Think from a customer’s perspective. If you believe your customer would need that element to know you better, use it, else leave it.

For instance, we all know that including a contact form on all pages is good for conversions but think about an eCommerce website. They don’t actually need a contact form on all pages because an enquiry is not what their goal is.

Hence, the kind of page elements you need on your website connects directly with what your actual goal is.

Finally, keep in mind that customers do not buy products or services, they actually buy solutions. Solutions to their problems. So, focus on that, rest will follow.

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