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Rarely, if ever, should a page from your general company website be used as a landing page for an outbound marketing or advertising program. Any disconnect as prospects move from one aspect of a campaign to the next will almost certainly cause some to drop off, and the time and money you spend to attract them will be wasted.
Nowhere is this issue more significant than with a pay-per-click campaign. Unless the prospect is already familiar with your company, everything she knows about you up to that point is gleaned from a 95 character text ad, which is to say almost nothing. Even worse, your competition is just a click away, with 10 other ads plus organic (non-paid) listings on the same page, and many more on the search results pages that follow. This does not leave much room for error.
Because the prospect arrives with so little information, a pay-per-click landing page should typically contain far more content than a landing page associated with a postal or e-mail campaign, and it should primarily relate to the topic implicit in the keywords and ad copy for the campaign.
Generally, pictures relevant to the campaign topic should be included as well. For example, a contractor might include photos of relevant projects, while a commercial lines insurance agent might show pictures of client facilities (with permission, of course).
Depending on your business, a video featuring the company president or a manager responsible for the relevant product area may help generate credibility, and it may actually be more effective if it’s not a slick commercial production.
The landing page should generally not exist in isolation. It is perfectly ok to have links to the pages of your website as well to other landing pages covering other parts of your campaign. Usually, you will want to avoid a traditional website menu bar in favor of small text links on the footer or right margin, so that they are available but not compelling. This will send a signal that, while these pages are available, the important content is on the current page.
As any good salesperson will tell you, asking for the order is important. On a landing page, this usually involves presenting a prominent phone number and a short formlet, providing the prospect with more than one way to respond. The formlet should only include the essentials — typically name, e-mail address, phone, and place to enter a short description of the prospect’s needs.