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8 Landing Page Refinements That Supercharge Search Marketing Conversions

Finding high-volume, low-cost keywords is an excellent foundation for profitable search marketing. But it’s only half of the story. Your landing pages need to convert, and the conversion rate they achieve will make or break a campaign’s bottom line. Surprisingly small changes can make a huge difference to conversion rates. Here are eight tweaks and tactics that are proven to give online marketing campaigns a generous boost.


Your landing page’s headline is your first and sometimes only chance to hook your visitor into reading more of your message. Don’t waste it by serving up generic headlines that don’t reflect the visitor’s search intent. Always customize your headline by including the search phrase, the referrer, or any other data you can access. A strongly relevant headline will always perform better than any amount of clever but loosely related wordplay.


But customization doesn’t need to stop there. The call to action (or CTA) of your landing page is the element that does the grunt work of guiding your engaged reader toward the conversion. If you can personalize this element, its effectiveness will be greatly increased. Once again, use the search term if appropriate, but you could also access browser data to include the visitor’s location or other relevant information. And if you have the data and cookies to confirm a previous visitor, why not go the whole hog and tailor the CTA to include browsing or buying history?


When it comes to online forms, less is always more. The harder you make your visitors work or think, the lower your conversions will be. If you don’t need a piece of information, don’t ask for it. You can save gathering important marketing data for later when the customer is more highly engaged.


Also, use JavaScript to auto-select the first form field and give it focus. This small tweak gives surprisingly good results by directing the visitor straight to where they need to start typing. Removing even one unnecessary step from the conversion journey will always yield better rates.


And wherever possible, pre-fill your form fields to make things even more straightforward. Use whatever data you have on the visitor, or whichever technical tricks your developers can come up with. But again, the less your visitors need to work, the more leads you’ll receive.


Excessive popups are incredibly effective conversion killers, but there’s an exception to this rule. If you use exit intent techniques to detect when a visitor is about to leave your page, you can serve a popup which gives them a last chance to change their mind. If the visitor was leaving anyway, there’s nothing to lose, and potentially extra conversions to gain. For the best results, use an easy, risk-free conversion objective such as a newsletter sign-up as the second bite of the cherry.


Your conversion goal isn’t necessarily achieved once the form has been submitted. Send an immediate email to confirm the action, and possibly include a secondary, painless conversion path such as a free upgrade. This will strengthen the conversion by cementing the customer’s action in their mind straight away, making them less likely to back out.


And lastly, make sure your landing page includes a retargeting pixel, even if you’re not yet involved in this kind of marketing. This gives you the chance to reach the visitor at a later date if they don’t convert the first time around. Start collecting your retargeting data now, and you’ll see the benefits when you come to use the technique later on. After all, a conversion is a conversion, whether it happens now or a few weeks down the line.

With any online marketing campaign, there’s a fine line between profit and loss. Squeezing every last piece of conversion action out of your landing pages ensures you’ll land on the right side of that line every time.