In paid search, it’s one thing to get a click but it’s completely something else to get a visitor to convert. To get a high enough ROI to make paid search profitable, practitioners need to be proficient not only in PPC optimization tactics, but also have ninja techniques on how to improve conversions.

And where better to get PPC landing page conversion pointers than at the Conversion Conference? I was there in New York City a few weeks ago and partook in a number of great sessions, including one on A/B testing tips by Anne Holland and Lisa Seaman from WhichTestWon.com.

Let’s dissect some of their conversion optimization tips and apply them specifically to PPC landing pages:

Tip #1: Include Privacy Lines

Privacy lines help with opt-ins. This may seem like stating the obvious, but surprisingly folks miss the basics. So, be sure to include something like “we respect your email privacy” on or very close to your form to improve overall conversions.

My take from a PPC perspective: Privacy policies matter, but not just for email opt-ins. They also matter for the user experience and trust overall, and may even factor into Google’s landing page and website quality scores in some cases.

Tip #2: Use Short Forms

The best strategy is to ask for as little information as possible. Forms with fewer required fields tend to perform best. Think twice before going live with a 14-field form.

My PPC take: In my experience, a form with five fields or fewer works best. Choose wisely when making fields required on a paid search campaign. The fewer, the better.

Personally, I like a four- to five-field form with two to three required fields and two to three optional fields. You can always obtain additional information later such as through email blasts or trigger emails. Think of this as a first date — you don’t want to come on too strong or overwhelm them.

Tip #3: Use Relevant Product Images

Images convert better when they relate directly to the product or service that your company is selling. In a WhichTestWon.com example, they tested the image of a machine versus an image of what the machine did, and the image of the machine significantly outperformed.

My PPC take: Don’t use images to try to convey product/service features, benefits, USPs and so forth; they are best outlined in page copy. Page copy needn’t be any sexier than a bullet list of product features and benefits (bonus tip: separating the features from the benefits works best in my experience).

It’s also worth noting that bigger product images and products images from various angles tend to lead to better online conversions (sales).

Tip #4: Incorporate Benefits Into The Various Page Elements

Use headlines and button copy to outline your product/service benefits. For example, try a button with something like this:

“Get a no-obligation free quote now”

It tends to convert better than generic copy like this:

“Click for a solar consultation”

My PPC take: Although I like benefit-focused copy as a general principle, their example speaks to the “benefit” of a quote, not of the product, i.e. that the quote will be no obligation and free. So this test isn’t about benefits, but rather about testing language on calls to action that may or may not resonate with customers.

Direct, clear calls to action are what this seems to be about, and that is a good point to test. A “solar consultation” sounds open-ended and vague, so you can see why that might deter people from clicking.

Tip #5: Test Your Copy Above Forms

Entice your visitors to fill out your lead form with compelling verbiage directly above or near the form. Ah but what verbiage to use? Don’t just go with your gut; test various calls to action and value propositions to see what resonates best with your audience.

In the WhichTestWon.com example, the “Create Your Profile for FREE and UNLIMITED Access” form lead-in performed better than “Try Safety.BLR.com Risk Free.”

My PPC take: First, bear in mind that subscription-based case studies that involve fairly limited commitment and no buying may not be relevant to your business. Secondly, for weekly committed opt-ins who don’t really want to spend anything, you can get higher conversion rates just by making it clear that there is very little commitment.

The danger here is that “success” shouldn’t be about getting more opt-ins from visitors with weak commitment and then worrying about the revenues later — because the revenue may never come. The fact is, many of your opt-ins are probably using spambox (throwaway) emails to “try” such offers.

Tip #6: Try Dual-colored Call To Action Buttons

The suggestion here is to try dual-colored and dual-action buttons. In one WhichTestWon.com test, a dual button with Quick View on one side in gray and Order Now on the other in green (see image below) converted 88% lift in order numbers versus a single “Order Now” orange button.

Dual color button

My PPC take: It was refreshing to hear something beyond the tired old suggestion of orange buttons (touted as the best converting button color). Button innovation often works to move the needle. Weak designs often fail to engage a click.

Tip #7: Test Bigger Buttons

The takeaway here is a simple one: The bigger the button, the more it will get clicked. Anne Holland is famous for saying “make your buttons bigger.”

My PPC take: I wholeheartedly agree. We’ve all run a zillion tests and seen this come true time and time again. I’d further suggest increasing button size 50% to 100% and see what it does for your bottom line. If there are increases, rinse and repeat until your find your best conversion rate.

Now go to it! Incorporate the above-mentioned elements/tips to your PPC landing pages for some quick wins in your ROAS. And of course, if you can’t find effective pages on your site to use for your paid search campaigns, don’t be afraid to design completely new landing pages. I’ve seen companies get lift 30-400% lift simply by creating completely new landing pages. Don’t worry so much that they don’t exactly fit your existing site design; worry a lot more that they are using the tried-and-true conversion best practices such as the ones above.

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: SEM | Paid Search Column

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About The Author: was recently voted the 2013 Most influential SEM. She is the Vice President of Online Marketing Strategy at Page Zero Media where she focuses on search engine marketing strategy, landing page optimization (LPO) and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn



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  • http://google.com Agam Panwar

    Thanks Mona. I believe that small forms and attractive call to action (say buttons etc) play crucial role. What’s your views on putting some previous success stories – small and crispy…

    Agam

  • talz2210

    I disagree with section 3

    KWs that are underperforming in terms of low CTR MUST BE PAUSED.

    otherwise they heart the health of the campaign and thus decreases impression share.

    try pausing some broad low ctr KWs (assuming you keep adding exact
    search queries that perform well) and see how your traffic INCREASES.
     

  • mindxstudio

    Thanks for useful information on high converting landing page design, I do follow them on my landing page design here 
    http://www.semanticlp.com/

  • mindxstudio

    Thanks for useful information on high converting landing page design, I do follow them on my landing page design here 
    http://www.semanticlp.com/

 

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