My December article, Think Beyond The Click: How To Build Landing Pages That Convert, received some great feedback, and raised some questions, so I’ve decided to address a few more important topics about landing pages. Readers commented that the success of a landing page depends on its audience and how many different landing pages are used to educate possible conversions. Many also brought up the issue of tracking the results of a landing page and any promotional campaign you’re running to drive traffic to that page. I’ve decided to dig a little deeper into these issues.

By sharing some insights from a recent marketing campaign that was designed to build awareness and generate leads for our ad sales team, we’ll aim to give you some tips on how developing smarter landing pages can give online marketing a boost.

Landing pages (one or multiple?)

Deciding how many landing pages are appropriate for a product or service can be difficult. In some industries, having multiple pages can be extremely beneficial while other businesses might do better just to have one. To develop a successful strategy, a company must understand its relationship with the audience. If the visitor is likely to know a lot about the product (for example, you’re targeting a group of prospects who have previously expressed an interest in your product), then there may be a need for only one page; however, if prospects are unaware of the product or if the prospects’ relationship with the product is new, multiple landing pages with more information may be necessary to build that relationship and explain the product.

When targeting a diverse group of people, customizing multiple landing pages may be the best option. By using multiple landing pages and also qualifying questions on those pages, marketers can gauge a prospect’s specific interest and then direct them to the most appropriate landing page for their needs. For example, Kellysearch.com’s potential advertisers may be searching for different types of ad campaigns. One prospect may want cost-per-click (CPC) and another one a banner program. They may not even know what online marketing options are available. During its advertising campaign, Kellysearch used banner ads with a series of landing pages, as opposed to just one, to direct prospects to the most appropriate product for their needs. The result was a higher rate of movement through the various landing pages than in previous campaigns.

Tracking & follow-up

If you’re conducting an online ad campaign in order to drive traffic to your landing pages, then it’s important to determine how you’ll measure success for all parts of the campaign. Depending on its goals, a company may measure success in a number of ways, including: impressions, number of times an ad is rendered for viewing; click rates, percentage of impressions that resulted in clicks on an ad; progressions, how visitors move through the series of landing pages; and form-to-lead, the number of visitors who filled in information when they came to a request for information page.

Kellysearch worked with interactive marketing agency Tangible Impact to determine the campaign’s impressions, click rates, progressions, and form-to-lead. By looking at all four metrics, we could determine how many visitors reached the landing page from the banner ads, how many landing pages they visited, and how many visitors to the landing pages completed the lead form. This information is easily broken down and can provide a simple cost-per-lead number to help evaluate the return on investment (ROI) of a campaign. The average form-to-lead conversion was 8.8 percent; however, the traffic coming from one site with a Kellysearch banner ad yielded a 13 percent conversion rate, while another site didn’t yield any conversions.

This conversion information is important for understanding where the potential audience is, where to conduct follow-up campaigns, and what landing pages to use for future campaigns. It can also assist you in negotiating future costs based on the results. Another lesson learned from our campaign was to make sure to keep track of which landing page a lead came from throughout the entire conversion process. Kellysearch tracked its form-to-lead conversions, but when leads were forwarded to the sales reps for follow up, we didn’t track which landing page the leads came from. If you don’t track the source of leads through the entire conversion process, when leads turn to conversions you won’t know which pages had the best final conversion rate.

Testing landing pages

As I’ve mentioned in other articles, it is important to test landing pages before launching the entire project. These tests are small-scale trials to help gauge success. In the banner campaign mentioned above, we started out with a multi-page format. By testing our pages we found that our advertising messaging didn’t carry from the banner through the multiple landing pages. In other words, the message that had initially taken hold of the prospect was lost in the conversion process, and so were some of our prospects. With the testing, we recognized the issue and will make a stronger connection in future campaigns between the banner ad messaging and each landing page.

The most important thing to remember when considering the use of one or many landing pages is the relationship with the audience. While developing one page is the least time and resource-intensive course of action, it may not be the most beneficial if the audience has a diverse set of needs. It is also important to test a campaign to ensure that it resonates with the correct audience. Also, always consider the tracking and evaluation process before you start the campaign. If done correctly, landing pages can provide a thorough and well-developed measure of your success.

Julie Mason is general manager of Kellysearch.com. The Back To Basics column appears periodically at Search Engine Land.

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

Related Topics: Back To Basics | Channel: Analytics | Search Marketing: Landing Pages

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