Monthly Archives November 2021

Digitally Improve Conversion Rates & Lower Acquisition Costs

The last article published gave a lot of insight and ideas for improving conversion as it pertains to click-through rates. To follow up on that, we’re going to take a look a little further down the sales funnel to where a person will go when they make that click: landing pages. 

This is one of the items in the sales funnel that pulls a lot of weight. Customers may be intrigued by an ad, but if they click to a landing page that is unsatisfactory it can result in a missed opportunity for the company. Many ads lead to brand websites, or pages within them, but having dedicated landing pages for an ad campaign can really help conversion rates. 

Focus on the User Journey

To optimize landing pages and increase conversion rates, it is important to hone in on the user journey. Thinking about all aspects of the journey they took before reaching the landing page can provide a strategy to satisfy what they need when they get there. This can be applied to everything from photography to forms. 

This isn’t meant to imply that one layout needs to be a unicorn of landing pages. What it does mean is that landing pages should have variants to increase optimization. From testing and research, Instapage recommends that variants should have around 20-50% differences to match varied ad groups a user falls into. Some examples of user journeys to consider: 

    • Location: if ads are being geo-targeted to different audiences, make sure the landing page matchings the ad. For example, someone in NYC clicking on a real estate ad should be taken to a landing page with city images, not suburbs. 
    • Demographics: similar to location, landing page imagery should be optimized to allow the user to see themselves as a potential customer. 
    • Verbiage and tone: Landing page headlines and body copy should align with whichever ad was clicked on. This allows consistency in a message that is working for the user. 
    • Previous platform: Did the user click on an ad from a desktop website or a social media post on their phone? Knowing this can provide key insight to the amount of time and attention span they have for the landing page.
    • Purchasing state-of-mind: did the user come from more of an awareness ad or something meant to get them lower in the funnel? Providing actions and info relevant to where they are in the journey can greatly increase the wanted outcomes. 



Utilize Technology & Testing

Beyond the front-end optimizations like imagery and copy, technology behind the page can also play a big part in user experience. 

Thinking back to how a user got to the landing page—be it from a website, social post, etc—should influence how a page is created. If you have a user clicking an ad from Snapchat they are in a mindset to expect quick info. No one likes a slow-loading page to begin with, but in these cases the attention span is even shorter. Avoid the bells and whistles of a mobile landing page in favor of clean, fast-loading pages to deliver information quickly. 

Heatmaps are a simple and effective way to determine the performance of a landing page in totality. Viewing where people spend their time, or how they click can be effective in knowing how to tailor content. For example, a user may try to click on an area of a page that is not a link or a button. A heatmap can show where areas of improvement can be made, like creating new clickable areas to allow better user flow through the funnel. 

Another widely used optimization method is A/B testing. Pages with variant messaging, layout or images that are tested against each other can reduce acquisition costs by up to 50%. It is important to remember the variants you are testing, and not make the pages so different that you aren’t sure what part of the variant is leading to your success. And the general rule of thumb is to test no more than three landing pages at one time; this means one baseline page, and two testing options.

Overall, experimenting with variants, testing and user flows can help with conversion metrics like lead generation, product trials and more. These types of optimizations need buy-in from the entire team, including strategy, design and marketing because they can require more work than a generic landing page. But the results can easily outweigh the work put in by raising conversion rates and lowering acquisition costs.

Top Ways to Optimize Ads for Increased Conversion

True conversion takes multiple parts of a sales funnel, which means there are always a few different angles to evaluate and optimize when looking to increase conversion rates during a marketing campaign. 

For this article we’re going to start at the top of one path of the digital funnel: ad optimization. But stay tuned for a couple forthcoming articles for a full scope of optimization techniques. One of the first things to think about in terms of strategy is that ad optimizations are not a one-size-fits-all approach. Ad placement can really determine what mindset a consumer is in when looking at the ad, and can sway what strategy works best.

Facebook Ad Optimizations

People looking at Facebook often get targeted by the same ads over and over again. The algorithm will keep pushing ads it thinks are best, but may not always realize it may cause ad fatigue. Or it may be that ads are not placed correctly for the audience it’s trying to reach. 

To increase ad interactions it’s always recommended to create several variations. These variations should include differences in creative, messaging and brand benefits. Utilizing A/B testing up front provides data for which variations perform best on the audiences you are targeting. After testing is complete, choose 2-3 top performing ads, rotating them to avoid ad fatigue. 

Google Ad Optimizations

Optimizing a Google ads campaign utilizes a lot of strategy within message copy and keyword usage. Like Facebook ads, creating variations of ads helps to aid in finding the most optimized ad options for the desired outcome. 

To start, messaging copy should align closely with wherever the ads are headed. It’s easy to understand why Google’s algorithm wouldn’t want to display an ad that doesn’t link to a page of the same topic. No one wants to click on an ad for winter boots that takes them to a landing page about fish tanks. But even if your ad topic aligns with your landing page, copy should still be given a second look to make sure your customer will find exactly what they want after clicking an ad.

The second part of Google Ads is looking at keywords. This means refining keywords at the start of posting, as well as ongoing analysis to determine what is and isn’t working. Doing this gives a chance to purge underperforming keywords for better ad dollar spending. It is also a chance to see if there are opportunities to add new keywords for targeting. 

In the same way we use keywords for targeting, utilizing negative keywords allows you to exclude specific search terms. This helps to focus on only the keywords that really matter, again optimizing targeting and ad dollar spend. 

Another data point to track is the CTR (click-through-rate). The higher the CTR the better your ranking, and the lower your cost for conversion. The click-through-rate is also a key factor in Google’s quality score formula, which they use to determine your ad position and actual cost per click. And just like keyword analysis, if no one is clicking it’s an easy way to determine changes need to be made within the campaign. 

For whichever digital ad type, optimizing the capability to attract a user and lead to conversion is highly dependent on flexibility for change. Work is front-loaded for ad variants and targeting, but once posted it is imperative to track the data. This is necessary for completing optimization at every step of the ad process.