A spooky Frankenconverter PPC landing page

Avoid Frankenconverters: How to Create PPC Landing Pages that Perform

You better have PPC landing pages. When a searcher clicks on your highly targeted ad copy that they simply cannot resist, they do not want to be greeted by your business’s home page (unless, of course, they were searching for it).

This interested searcher wants information about the specific thing he or she was searching for. A bold, beautiful landing page offers you the chance to wow, inform and possibly convince your potential customer. Big landing page mistake examples:

  • They do not exist
  • Not tailored to the searcher’s query
  • Disfigured constructions of conversion optimizations that are getting the wrong customers, or Frankenconverters

If you’re trying to secure leads with your PPC, landing pages are invaluable. Guiding potential leads to a page that highlights all of the benefits of your service or product and presents a convenient information submission form is far more effective than dropping them off at a generic homepage and saying, “figure it out.”

The first thing for you to do is to check if you are indeed using PPC landing pages.
In AdWords,

  • do this by going to the ads tab within an account and look at the destination URLs.
  • If they are going to your homepage, they are not going to landing pages.

Landing pages can be as simple as the product page for the product searched. They can also be pages dedicated entirely to informing the searcher about the benefits and accomplishments of the product or service. The latter is what we have found to be more effective.

Dedicated landing pages might have their own headlines, benefit statements and calls to action. Landing pages increase the likelihood that the visitor will convert.

PPC Landing Pages Increase Conversions

Remember that increasing the conversion rates of your landing pages will reduce the CPA of your PPC and increase your ROI! Once you are convinced that landing pages are a good thing, or if you already have them, you should make more.

We recommend that you run tests between two variations of your landing pages. Similar to ad copy testing, this A/B testing creates more opportunities for you to optimize for conversions.

Having a landing page increases the likelihood of conversion, but we can do better—we can increase the likelihood that a potential customer will convert on the landing page itself, increasing the likelihood of the likelihood.

Before we get into these fundamental optimizations, let’s take a look at an example of a landing page by Campaign Monitor, an email marketing service:
Campaign Monitor PPC Landing Pages
This incredibly simple page hits all of the right marks:

  • There’s a benefit highlighted in the biggest text
  • The next body of text highlights advantages
  • Mentions a likely keyword that brought the user to the page, “email marketing”
  • A vibrant button demands attention
  • There is also social proofing as well as point of action assurances (we will go over both of these below)

Frankenstein Converters

Frankenconverter PPC landing pages
Be sure to remember that PPC landing pages are founded on creativity. As you test more and more of the various aspects on the page for the best conversion rates, you may slowly deform the creativity that made that page initially attractive for the right customers.

Consider the Frankenstein convertor. These kinds of landing pages have been repeatedly altered for a better and better conversion rate, bringing the monster to life.

This monster feeds on conversions, indifferent to the various types entering its mouth. Eventually the monster gets so big and bloated that it shatters its creators’ advertising agency, leaving them wondering what went wrong with their tested results.

The moral of the story is that low value, fatty conversions may be easy to optimize for at the expense of page integrity and your brand, but high value, healthy conversions will avoid your hideous creation.

The secret is taking a step back and considering where your testing is taking you by analyzing the types of customers your landing page conversions are bringing in.

Landing Page Optimizations

Now that you know you need to avoid creating Frankenconverters, let’s make beautiful PPC landing page that attracts the right customers.

1. The right landing.

There’s nothing worse than waking up to “you have now arrived in Chicago due to unforeseen weather conditions” when you expected to be waking up to “if you like Piña coladas” in Mexico.

The same can be said for a searcher who clicks on an advertisement expecting a unique product or service, but is instead greeted by a homepage that tauntingly invites the searcher to find it themselves. Land the click where the searcher wants and expects to go.

2. A unique selling point, or USP.

PPC Landing pages USP
Zoho’s landing page boasts the most effective project management, highlighting the search query and its USP.

Make sure that your USP is big and visible. Make it the focus of the page. Make it unmistakable. Your USP should be the first thing the visitor sees. After all, your USP is the reason that your landing page exists in the first place.

3. Personalized CTAs.

PPC Landing Pages CTA is simple
Wix.com simply tells you how you can begin your website. Entice the visitor into making the conversion by offering a silly, or informative CTA such as “the best button you’ll click all day,” or “click to create CV.”

These lines offer more than the generic learn more or sign up now. Also, make sure you only have a single CTA on the page. Offering more than one can get intimidating and confusing. Multiple CTAs may also spread the messaging of your landing page thin. Catering to one goal will insure a strong, compelling message.

4. Social proof your PPC landing pages.

Show visitors that other people have interacted with your brand/product/service before. Here are three good ways of creating social proof for your PPC landing pages:

  1. Interaction metrics: Numerical values that notify visitors that other people have liked, bought, signed up, etc.
  2. Testimonials: There’s nothing like an authentic review from a real human being to make your landing page more compelling.
  3. Point of action assurances:
    Trust icons on PPC landing pages
    Eartheasy displays publications that have featured their product. You often see these greyed out brand names below CTAs on landing pages.

Bryan Eisenberg, one of the first conversion rate gurus, stresses the importance of trust icons, or “point of action assurances” near your call-to-action buttons in his book Always be Testing. These logos will reinforce trust and improve your conversion rates.

5. Loads quickly and pleases search engines.

Make sure that your page loading time is fast. Reduce image sizes and improve internal mechanics to make sure people are not waiting for their landing.

Also, pay attention to the internal mechanics of search engines so your landing page is optimized as well as possible for organic results as well as paid.

Creating an aesthetic, effective landing page can improve your PPC advertisements’ quality score, reducing the cost of bids and raising the position of your ads.

6. Pre-populate the mouse cursor.

Pre populated mouse cursor on PPC landing pages
Basecamp’s landing page features a pointing cartoon and a pre-populated field inviting the visitor to fill out their name.

Make the landing page load with the user’s cursor already hovering over the first section of your sign-up form. Helping the visitor along the funnel by simply placing their mouse in the right place can help you increase conversion rates.

7.Take advantage of your images.

If your PPC landing pages features a person, make sure that his or her gaze is directed at the CTA button.

Humans naturally look where other humans are looking. You can also help your CTA button by having anything arrow-ish point towards your CTA button. Lining up the angles of your design to direct attention to your CTA is one way of creating this “arrow” effect.

8. Rich media (video or photography) that shows your product or service in use.

Rich visuals on PPC landing pages
H.Bloom uses professional photography of its products in the home. Physical demonstrations ground your product/service in space and time, making them more memorable as well as imaginable in the visitors’ lives.


Silly video on landing page
Zendesk keeps its text straightforward, but the video that plays behind it will have visitors smiling.

As your landing page is a bit separated from your home page, it is a good place to experiment with edgier ideas. As well as innovative decisions, you can also conduct A/B testing to optimize your PPC landing pages’ conversion rates.

See our article here for more information about testing in PPC.

Simplify the Process

There’s even more good news! Innovative companies have created software that simplified creating PPC landing pages. These tools reduce the construction process and allow you to focus on your unique design.

At Vantage, we’re fans of Unbounce as you can see by our enthused photo below:
Unbounce 2015 Landing Page conference attendees from Vantage Search Marketing

Check out their own landing page for an idea of the smooth, sexy pages you can create with their tools.

You can always create your own pages from scratch, but resources like Unbounce let you devote more time to optimization.

Improve Your PPC Landing Pages!

In summary:

  • Make your landing page simple.
  • Keep to one, seductive CTA.
  • Use clear, pointed media to demonstrate the beauty and benefits of your product or service.
  • Keep your copy in context with the goal of the landing page—your CTA.

If you’re still unsure about how to make your PPC landing pages better places, or you’re afraid that your pages might turn into Frankenconverters, feel free to contact us.

Read the next PPC Fundamentals article here: Secure Results with the Vantage PPC Advertising Process
Read the previous PPC Fundamentals article here: Staying on Track: Reporting in PPC Advertising