So you’ve gotten your Google Analytics account, it is all set up, and you’re tracking your paid search advertising. Your results are good, but you want them to be GREAT! What’s the next step?

Getting your landing pages in top form, of course! Here are 7 tips to help start you on the path of better landing pages.

  1. Make sure your ad and your landing page are closely correlated. The guys over at call it a ‘scent trail’. These are the same brilliant people who brought us such books as Waiting for Your Cat to Bark? and Call to Action. People need to be able to follow the scent trail and find what they are looking for.

    “If we interrupt our scent trail, we leave our customer stranded. The path she was following becomes a dead end. Where’s she supposed to go? Do you really want to trust that she’s motivated enough to continue on her own? When it comes to scent trails, dropping the ball is one of the leading causes of site abandonment!”

  2. Set a measurable goal: What do you want people to do on your landing page? Having a measurable goal will help you to quickly and easily determine how well your landing page is working. Your goal could be to have people buy something directly from the landing page, download a report, sign up for a mailing list, etc.This way, you can track the performance of your landing page with your Google Analytics account.
  3. Add the main keyword to the headline: Don’t make your customers guess or struggle. Studies show people size up a webpage in seconds.Imagine 2 scenarios: In scenario #1 somebody clicks on an ad that talks about leather jackets, and it goes to the homepage of a clothing site. Augh! There are belts, shoes, pants, shirts, jackets… I’m outta here!Scenario #2 has the same ad that talks about leather jackets, and goes to a landing page with a prominent headline including the keyword ‘leather jacket’. Whew – I’m in the right place. Now do I want the black or brown leather?
  4. Using qualifying copy: A top complaint for landing pages and/or paid search ads is the weak leads they can bring in. Qualify them! Do you require a minimum order? Say so. Using qualifying language gets people to self-select (always a good – and usually a cheaper – thing).
  5. Send your traffic to the most specific possible place: You don’t want your homepage to be your landing page if you can help it. Just like in #3, people need to be able to quickly and easily ascertain they are in the right place.
  6. Keep the message constant: let’s say your ad features free shipping. A prospect clicks through to the landing page which says nothing about free shipping – the exact thing that drew them in the first place. What are they going to do? Leave.
  7. Test, test, test: The importance of testing your landing page and the elements within the page cannot be emphasized enough (believe me, I’ve tried!). We have seen the performance of a client’s landing page shoot up by changing the button text by one word – small changes can have a huge impact. It’s nearly impossible to accurately predict what will work, so test everything!

I hope these 7 tips get you rocking and rolling to better-performing landing pages. Do you have any ideas on how to boost landing page performance beyond what was mentioned here? I’d love to hear your ideas – post a comment!