How To Tell If Your Landing Page Is Wrong

By Geoff Atkins,

It’s been said that if you put an infinite number of chimpanzees in front of an infinite number of typewriters, then one of them would type out the complete works of Shakespeare.

While this is a useful metaphor for the nature of random chance and probability, it’s also how many people view their landing pages. If you have enough random people land on your website, one of them is eventually going to buy something.

When you’re paying for each and every one of those visitors to your website, it’s helpful to not think of them as an infinite resource (unless you have infinite funds to pay for them) and it’s certainly not helpful to think of them as chimpanzees.

Here’s a few pointers to making sure your landing page is giving you the best return on your investment on all these clicks. We’ll start with the immutable Rules.

The Rules

Rule One: Make it as easy as possible for the customer to give you their money.

On your landing page you need a clear message telling the customer what you want them to do. Whether it’s a “buy now” button taking them to a quick checkout or a “contact us” form where they sign up for your service.  The quicker, easier, and more obvious it is for them to complete this transaction, the more visitors will do it.

Rule Two: Make it clear and simple for the customer to see why they should give you their money.

Let your customers know why they buy your product/service. They’ve searched for something relevant, they’ve clicked on your advert with its abbreviated message, and now you’ve got one chance to turn this website visitor into a paying customer.

This depends on your USP, what they can get from you that they can’t get anywhere else. Maybe you’re the cheapest, maybe you’re the best, maybe you’re the fastest, maybe you offer the most amazing service.

Rule Three: Keep the message consistent and relevant.

The keyword your potential customer types into Google when your ads appear must be relevant to your business, “pumps,” is a little vague.  Is it that the user is searching for, “bicycle pump”?  A better choice might be, “ladies pumps”.

Then the advert Google shows must be pertinent to the potential customer’s current needs – if they’ve searched for “cheap ladies pumps” you don’t show them an ad for next season’s designer shoes at £1,000 a pair.

Finally, the page that is shown must be relevant to both the keyword and the ad. It must show ladies pumps, which aren’t too expensive, or better yet are on sale.

Anything Else?

Of course, the traditional rules for landing pages still exist. Just because you might be relying on PPC for traffic it doesn’t mean you should ignore the SEO rules.  Google’s spiders need to be able to understand what the page is about. I won’t go into the fundamentals of SEO here, as they are all over the net already, but if your developer tells you that you don’t need any SEO because you’re doing PPC, then they’re wrong.

The page should work properly on all devices, Google will penalise web pages which don’t work well on mobiles.  The page should load quickly, again this is a ranking signal on Google, but it’s just one of those things that has been true since the beginning of the world wide web.  If a page takes too long to load, the user will leave and go elsewhere.

Check, Check, and Check Again

Your landing page has to work. Not just for the user (no broken images, busted JavaScript), but for you as well. That means you can monitor what is going on for your users. You must be able to properly track traffic into and around the site. You need to see how well visitors can interact with your pages.

This doesn’t just mean whacking the Google Analytics tracking code in your website (although that’s a good start). There are other things too, such as tracking events and destination goals in Analytics. Have you linked in the search console? Are the e-commerce settings configured correctly? Are you getting good data from all of this?

In Conclusion

Your landing page is the first impression your shiny, new potential customer gets of you. Make sure it is operational, relevant, and sells. Otherwise you’re just waiting for that one random chimpanzee to randomly type in a working credit card number.