Hopefully, you’ve learned that directing all visitors to your home page is not a “best practice” when it comes to selecting a landing page for your pay per click advertising. If you sell products through your site, though, what is the best landing page to use – the category page, the specific product page or something else?
Of course, the best answer is that it depends on a number of factors and your individual situation. The only way to really know is to conduct valid and statistically significant tests using different combinations of keyword phrase, ad copy and landing page that generates the best conversion rate. I can, however, give you some ideas to test which worked for one of my apparel clients.
In general, if a searcher is looking for a product by style or model number (e.g. TrueVis 555-32 Straight-Leg Pants), we go directly to the product page. If technically possible, I would try to have the specific product along with other similar styles or models below or adjacent to the searched product with title, “Other Styles You May Like” or some similar text. Think about it. How often do you walk into a store with something specific in mind only to walk out with much more or sometimes something completely different?
What about a little more general search like “red pants?” This is where you sometimes have several options. First, how many different styles of “red pants” do you offer? If you only offer two or three different styles, don’t you think a lot of visitors are going to be a little disappointed when they click your ad and see three small images of red pants and a lot of white space? If you don’t have a large selection of “red pants,” then consider using your “pants” category as a landing page – even though you know the searcher is looking for “red pants.” We were able to significantly increase conversion rates for several keywords where there wasn’t a “full selection” of styles by using this strategy.
What if someone searches on “pants?” If your ecommerce site is set up correctly, you may still have a couple of options from which to choose. Let’s say you show eight product images per page and carry eighty different styles – so ten pages. Most websites will have hyper linked numbers 1,2,3,etc., but a “best practice” is to also include a “view all” link where all of the category images can be seen on a single page by scrolling. So, is it better to send visitors to the single-page category page or send them to a query page where all of the items appear on one page without the need to click the numbered hyper links?
In many, but not all cases, we improved conversion rates by using the “view all” query category page. Keep in mind that it will take longer to load a page with all of those images, so be sure to consider this when testing your options.
By the way, this is really easy to test. Create two identical ads using different destination URLs for each and track which ad produces the highest conversion rate.
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