Sloppy PPC Landing Pages Hurt Your Ad Spend. Here’s How To Fix ‘Em.

Sloppy PPC Landing Pages Hurt Your Ad Spend. Here's How to Fix 'Em.

Median conversion rates hover between 3-6%, according to the Conversion Benchmark Report. But the best?

Anywhere between 12-27%. That’s two to five times the median.

If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re stuck somewhere in the depressingly-low single digits. Most are.

You’ve got the right keywords, your Ad Groups are on point, and your landing pages nail the essentials. So why are conversions and costs not budging?

The problem is that while ‘best practices’ can be helpful, they’re not enough. You need to rethink how those PPC landing pages are organized, who they’re targeting, and what customers need from them at different points in time.

Here are three places to get you started moving up into that double-digit club where you belong.

1. Funnel Segmentation

PPC landing pages arguably have the biggest impact on campaign ROI—just not for the reasons you think. It isn’t just the cheesy, tool-generated headlines that are stopping you from converting. It’s the lack of funnel segmentation in your campaigns.

In a perfect world, your PPC campaigns look like this:

Multiple stages of your funnel
+ Multiple offers for each stage of the funnel
+ Multiple keyword variations + ads for each offer
= Dozens and dozens of landing pages

And yet, you probably don’t have dozens and dozens of landing pages. You’re probably rocking one landing page. Potentially five. Rarely, ten.

Because: work. I get it.

But you don’t need another lecture about TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU. You need to start differentiating campaign offers with pages for each one.

Check out Jon Loomer’s 15 Facebook ad campaigns, for instance. He’s got awareness-based content campaigns at the top, lead gen nurturing ones in the middle, and revenue-producing sales offers at the bottom. Each with a different offer and associated landing page:

Jon Loomer's 15 Facebook ad campaigns

Loomer’s 15 campaigns cover the whole funnel (image via Jon Loomer)

He’s even got different offers for different segments in the same funnel stage. Beginners get one page, while power users get another. This is an excellent example of how it should work, but where do you start?

How Directive Consulting built a funnel

Here’s a common way this plays out. Brady Cramm, Director of PPC at Directive Consulting, had trouble driving results from LinkedIn display ads at first. That’s because up until recently, LinkedIn’s advertising options were a nightmare.

Targeting was a significant part of this problem. LinkedIn tempts advertisers to laser-target an audience based on job title or role. But the audience sizes often weren’t large enough based on the poor click-through rates. As a result, it used to be brain surgery to manifest a few clicks a day. And your chances at turning those into any meaningful lead count was minuscule.

Thankfully, there’s been significant improvements since then.

Brady now uses LinkedIn ads to drive eBook downloads and views. But they’re beginning to move away from gated content in favor of tracking pixels on different pages.

For example, you can drop the LinkedIn Insights Pixel on your site. You don’t even have to be running ads to use it:

LinkedIn: Campaign Manager

The Pixel can be targeted towards specific pages, like your guide, eBook landing page, or ad offer. Once you get over 300 visitors to that page, you can tap into their matched audiences.

As Brady points out, “you can see what job titles, industries, and functions are on each page. You can see that you’re getting VPs of marketing and then create a tailored campaign specifically for them.”

And that’s the killer targeting he now looks for:

LinkedIn Insights Pixel demographics lets you figure out who’s visiting. (image source)

Here’s an example of how it all comes together. Brady’s company, Directive, has a popular post about B2B marketing ideas. They rank high on the popular search query. And as a result, they net a ton of traffic.

The LinkedIn Insight Pixel here helps them figure out exactly who’s visiting (and why).

Then they can turn around and create a Facebook lookalike audience based on the people who’ve visited that page from search:

Facebook: Lookalike Audience

It doesn’t stop there. Once someone becomes a lead or provides their information, custom audiences can be spun up on both on LinkedIn with Matched Audiences…

LinkedIn: Matched Audiences

… or Facebook with Custom Audiences:

Facebook: Custom Audiences

But Brady’s strategy doesn’t stop there. “There are a lot of PPC opportunities outside Google Ads,” he says.

For instance, Directive also uses Quora ads to promote an opt-in eBook. The book’s topic dealt with “B2B marketing demand gen,” so he targeted “B2B demand gen” topics in Quora. Makes sense. (And the Quora listing is written like content, so it blends in and gets a better response rate.)

Third-party directories are also huge for B2B.

Think about the typical customer journey for a second. The very first step is for someone to realize they have a problem. When that happens, they start looking for information around that particular issue. After gathering enough research and evidence, the next step is to begin transitioning into potential solutions.

Most competitive markets have different affiliate-based sites that aggregate, rank, and suggest possible solutions. Local businesses have Yelp. Travel has TripAdvisor.

And B2B has Capterra.

Capterra lists companies within specific verticals, like “construction marketing software.” Options are then ranked based on a number of criteria, like the number or quality of reviews.

But you can also pay to be listed at the top too. It’s a PPC bidding war. Potential customers look up related software alternatives, and you pay to be listed in the top five to get the most interest:

Using Capterra for B2B promotion

Brady elaborates on the benefits of using Capterra:

“I see those as highest Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) at lowest costs. In consumer’s eyes, they see our client ranking as top three [blank] software company. And then from there, you can audit the competition’s landing pages, improving the messaging and CTAs to outperform them.”

Managing ad spend across campaigns

Beyond this basic setup, Directive uses Shape.io to manage budget and ad spend across many different concurrent campaigns in places like Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, or Capterra:
Using Shape to manage budgetsThey work with a lot of large accounts that frequently start and stop campaigns based on iterative performance. That can be a managerial nightmare. It’s incredibly time-consuming to babysit campaign performance to the required level of granularity. And the risk of missing something and overspending is high.

Shape lets Directive set up predefined targets with caps for multiple campaigns under each client that make it tailor-made for scaling agency accounts. Brady agrees:

They offer a cool, all-in-one visualization of all channels. It includes budget trend, predicted spend based on real-time performance, how increases or decreases will affect performance, and also an autopilot feature to catch trend lines to not overspend.

2. Message Match

Now, if you’re following Jon Loomer or Directive Consulting’s example, you’ve got funnel segmentation. You’re treating landing pages like content mapping, aligning unique pages with each different offer, segment, or audience, within each stage. You have SKAGS or other tightly-controlled ad groups.

The next step is to align messaging for each page to (1) who’s visiting, (2) why they’re visiting, or (3) where they’re visiting from. Why?

Better message match
=
better Quality/Relevance Scores
=
lower Cost Per Leads

That’s where Dynamic Text Replacement comes into play, a handy little off-the-shelf feature in the Unbounce Builder to help you personalize PPC landing page content. It’d be challenging to do this hundreds or even thousands of times, but dynamic text replacement solves this (almost) overnight.

Dynamic Text Replacement (DTR)

Inside the Unbounce Builder, you can highlight a content section, like the headline. Head over to the “Properties” tab, and click on “Dynamic Text Replacement.”

Next, you can set the parameter and default text to show visitors as a backup plan. It’s all pretty straightforward.

Dynamic Text Replacement

And we’re still just scratching the surface here.

ShipBob is making a killing by optimizing message match across all campaigns. Chief Marketing Officer, Casey Armstrong, reported that they’ve been able to scale their ad spend over 60% quarter-over-quarter while keeping ROI the same:

At ShipBob, we hyper-focus on customization from ad to landing page to on-boarding experience. We’re launching some exciting new on-boarding elements shortly, so today we can focus on the ad-to-landing page experience. We use Unbounce and run a script to create dynamic header and copy changes throughout the page. We mirror our ad campaigns and ad groups to each landing page, as we run over 1,000 campaigns and over 100,000 groups.

So, for example, you Google “Shopify Order Fulfillment” and see this exact-match ad:

You click it, and then land on a page that exclusively focuses on “Shopify order fulfillment”:

ShipBob landing page

EDITOR’S NOTE. Dynamic Text Replacement can greatly simplify the steps involved in ensuring message match. You can read more about how DTR works in Unbounce here.

Google Ads IF Functions

Google Ads IF functions are another game changer for message match because now you can pair it with DTR to customize ad and page, automatically.

For example, you can use RLSA audiences or even device type to customize ad text on the fly, even going so far as to change the offer for each. Take this example from Samantha Drane of CPC Strategy:

The way we use our mobile device is different than the way we search on desktop. Mobile is more ‘in the moment’–maybe you’re going somewhere or looking for something near you, but desktop is considered more of a research tool.

Here’s how it works out:

Comparing AdWords and Google Search

Targeted Templates

You can create page templates for each segment, too. So that in addition to copy, other page elements can be customized, like an attorney-looking dude that pops up when you search for “attorneys”:

While a doctor-looking dude comes up for “doctors”:

(Note: These examples are both dudes because the targeting was primarily dude-specific.)

In fact, laser-targeting each landing page like this to every single keyword you’re bidding on might be the lowest-of-low-hanging-PPC fruit. Obsessive message match in this last example decreased cost per converted click from $482.41 to $147.65 while increasing the conversion rate from 4.08% to 12.76%.

Before:

Cost before messaging match

After:

Cost after message match

Multiply those cost changes against a $30,000/month budget (which this was), and you’re talking about hundreds of more leads for tens of thousands less.

3. Offer Messaging

Google Ads can trick you.

Nowhere else can you get sales-ready leads with such precision and accuracy. No other platform—online or off—delivers people to your door with wallet in hand.

That’s why the same old boring “Free Quote” landing page works OK on Google Ads but absolutely bombs on pretty much every other channel out there. Don’t fall for that trap.

The final ingredient separating double-digit landing pages from sub 1-2% is amplifying the offers you’re using to draw people near (three billion in ad spend analyzed can’t be wrong.)

It’s about moving away from a direct hard sale:

Hard sale: "Request Disability Insurance Quotes"

To one that focuses on the end result that your customers receive:

Focus on end results: "Protect your income."
Except, how do you balance message match (who they are, where they’re coming from, etc.) with more persuasive copy that gets them to convert?

Luckily, Joanna Wiebe’s got the trick to balancing the two with her 10/90 messaging hierarchy layout:

Joanna Wiebe's 10/90 Messaging Hierarchy

10% message matching, 90% convincing (image via Copy Hackers)

Customize the top ten percent for message match, and the bottom 90 percent for persuasion.

EDITOR’S NOTE. Read more about the message hierarchy here. And pick up your free copy of Joanna’s Conversion Marketer’s Guide to Landing Page Copywriting.

Trimming your word count

When you’re trying to be persuasive, it’s easy to forget that you still need to be as concise as possible. The Conversion Benchmark Report states that pages with fewer words (less than 100) convert 50% better.

So how can you possibly persuade, while ruthlessly cutting word count?

Wistia recommends split testing with video placements: “Put your video to the test by making two different versions of the page and seeing which one drives more conversions, the one with or without the video,” according to Venngage’s guide on lead gen. Then you can even split test different types of videos or demos.

Split testing pages, not necessarily A/B testing, is a recurring theme. For instance, you can split test different types of offers for the same campaign. No matter if it’s a quote request, free assessment, webinar, or interactive calculator, like the one we created for Podia:

For Directive Consulting, on the other hand, software demo videos work really. They’ll often do on-demand or evergreen ones (as opposed to scheduled ones), so prospects can view the video at their own convenience. Here’s a perfect example:

Software Demo Videos

Extras like this help a lot in a competitive environment, like Google Ads or Capterra, where the same person might click on the first ten companies to compare them all within a few minutes.

“Convenience can provide a big lift,” says Brady.

Brady focuses next on ad copy, but not just for message match in this case. Page elements, like teaser bullets, quickly summarize the main outcomes and benefits (not features) a prospect might get.

This is also one of the most common mistakes he sees on most B2B landing pages.

It’s so important to get that outside perspective. There’s a poison in many B2B companies, where everyone uses their own language around the office. They all understand it. But nobody (outside of the company) knows what they’re saying when they bring it to the web.

So not this:

🤔

But that:

Coconstruct

🤗

Device targeting

Last but not least, device targeting can make or break your campaign’s offer messaging.

Landing pages need to be treated differently if they’re on mobile versus desktop. One time, a Directive client had their form below the fold on mobile devices. The page was responsive, but the mobile layout wasn’t ideal, forcing the form out of sight and out of mind:

The solution was obvious: “We swapped [the form] to the top and conversions went through the roof.”

And Brady also decided to segment paid campaigns only for mobile or desktop. Not both: “Mobile traffic was sharing and clicking, which is good. But they weren’t staying very long, consuming it, or opting-in.”

Users exhibit different behavior on mobile versus desktop. Brand awareness campaigns or content promotion might work well on social, but lead gen campaigns are often better reserved for desktop. We’ve confirmed this across several promoted content tests on Facebook.

My company spent $984.69 on one content campaign and found that the three primarily-mobile placements (Audience Network, Messenger, and Instagram) significantly outperformed desktop and right column placements for top-of-the-funnel traffic.

Top-of-Funnel Traffic

In this case, it makes no sense to continue spending anything on desktop placements. You might as well drive as many cheap clicks as possible, so you can later retarget them with better offers on desktop when there’s a better chance they’ll convert.

Here’s how the math breaks down after shifting more ad budget to the mobile-based placements:

That’s nearly 2,000% more clicks for the same spend. And we were able to repeat this trend again and again and again.

2000% more clicks

So the campaign success wasn’t just indicative of a single headline or button or any other variable on your PPC landing pages.

Rather, we learned that campaign success more often comes from aligning everything from the funnel segmentation, with message match, and offer messaging across each placement.

Conclusion

Button color has basically zero impact on your PPC campaign performance. Yes, landing pages should have certain elements. Yes, they should be convincing and professional.

But what separates a >10%+ converting landing pages from a <2% one isn’t just what’s on the page.

  • It has to do with your funnel segmentation and how you’re delivering offers to people on different platforms and different times.
  • It has to do with message match at scale so that each combination of ad and landing page aligns perfectly.
  • And it has to do with how you’re testing page offers to better match what people want.

So while ‘best practices’ are a good starting place, true landing page success doesn’t come down to any single variable but how all of these puzzle pieces fit together in the end.

Looking to boost your PPC ad results even further?Original Article

Increase Your Landing Page Speed (By Stealing Our Homework)

Increase Landing Page Speed

If you’ve read Unbounce’s 2019 Page Speed Report (and you really should), then you already know why speed is so important this year. Slow-loading landing pages have always been an obstacle to higher conversions, and now Google is punishing poor mobile load times in its search rankings. To be successful in 2019, we—marketers—need to be thinking fast. But are we?

To find out, we polled almost 400 marketers on their attitudes around page speed and asked what (if anything) they were doing to get faster.

Unbounce 2019 Page Speed Report - Graph 1

Just 56% of marketers are happy with their mobile load times, according to the 2019 Page Speed Report.

Almost three of every four respondents said they had taken steps to improve their page speeds over the last year, and that’s pretty good. Alarmingly, though, only half of marketers we surveyed are satisfied with their load times on mobile.

So most marketers are trying to get faster, but many aren’t where they want to be. Which begs the question: what are people doing to speed up their landing page load times?

Computer, enhance!
Unbounce 2019 Page Speed Report - Graph 2

Only 39% of marketers have bothered to find out how fast their pages are actually loading. Not great.

Here, we start to see why marketers are somewhat pessimistic about their page speed progress. Just over half have optimized their landing page images—ostensibly one of the simplest ways to speed up your load times—and even fewer have done any of the real technical-sounding things they need to get faster. (I mean, fair, they sound pretty boring to us, too.)

Here’s a doozy, though: just one in three marketers have run a website speed test to find out whether their load times are impacting their conversions. That’s the easiest one!

And hey, we get it. Marketers are being asked to do more than ever before, often with fewer resources. If you’re a small team (or a single person, the smallest of the teams), you might feel you don’t have the time or expertise to meaningfully improve your page speed.

But I’ve gone and done the hard work for you—me, a film school graduate who, until recently, believed that his Apple computer was impervious to viruses. (Hoo boy, it is not.) I’ve spent hours talking to Unbounce developers, reading how-to guides, and generally just bombarding my brain with the most dull, technical page speed information I could get ahold of. (Apologies to said developers.) And if I can get my head around it, there’s no excuse for the rest of you.

Below, I’ve simplified some of the most effective ways to increase your landing page loading times in a guide. For each fix, I’ve indicated the technical difficulty and the estimated time it’ll take, so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself in to. Use the table of contents below to jump to what’s relevant to you, or go ahead and do it all in order.

Jump to a Landing Page Speed Fix

How to Check Your Landing Page Speed

Improve Your Landing Page Speed: Easy Fixes

Improve Your Landing Page Speed: Intermediate Fixes

Improve Your Landing Page Speed: Hard Fixes

Ready to boost your page speed?

Get Unbounce’s landing page speed checklist and follow our step-by-step guide to improve your load times in a single afternoon.

Final note: If you’ve built your page with Unbounce, you can skip a lot of this stuff—we make many speed fixes on the back-end automatically. In this post, look for the ‘Building Pages in Unbounce?‘ callout boxes to see if a given fix is something you need to implement.

Look for these callout boxes throughout this post to get Unbounce-specific tips and learn how we automatically optimize your landing pages to make them load super fast.

How to Check Your Landing Page Speed

First things first.

Before you throw on your hard hat and start hitting things with a hammer (both figuratively and literally), it’s important to have some idea of what’s working—and what’s not—on your landing page. That means running a speed audit.

It’s important to point out that, regardless of which speed test you use, you don’t want to get too hung up on your score. Achieving a perfect score is not always technically possible (and it might not even be desirable). Instead, use your results as a general guideline to improve page speed and implement the fixes that make sense for you.

Okay—let’s test them pages.

Run a Google Speed Test

Difficulty: Easy / Estimated Time: 5 Minutes

There are a bunch of great tools for testing your page speed, but why not start with the big dog itself? Google’s PageSpeed Insights is an awesome way to do a quick performance check-up with at-a-glance recommendations. (Ryan Engley, Unbounce’s VP of Product Marketing, explains how to interpret and act on your PageSpeed Insights results in this must-read blog post.) Then there’s Lighthouse, a newer tool from Google that provides a comprehensive analysis of your how your page presents to end users.

You’ll also want to run your page through Google’s Test My Site tool, which will check your speed from a mobile perspective.

Google PageSpeed Insights - Results

Clicking on individual results in PageSpeed Insights will reveal your problematic page elements.

Running a Google speed test should only take a couple of minutes, and the results will help you identify some of the top opportunities to boost your landing page load times.

Try the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer

Difficulty: Easy / Estimated Time: 5 Minutes

Running a speed test with Google should be your top priority, but PageSpeed Insights doesn’t give results tailored to landing pages. For that, you’ll want to run your page through the Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer, which not only provides feedback on page performance but includes a bunch of advice on creating more effective campaigns and kicking your conversions into overdrive.

Unbounce Landing Page Analyzer - Results

Unbounce’s Landing Page Analyzer provides feedback on page speed, but also actionable advice on things like SEO, message match, and mobile-friendliness.
Building Pages in Unbounce? Then you’ll definitely want to give our Landing Page Analyzer a shot. Get best-practice recommendations for conversion optimization and see how your landing pages stack up against others in your industry.

Increase Landing Page Speed - Easy Fixes

Improve Your Landing Page Speed: Easy Fixes

With your results from both Google and Unbounce, you’ll be well-equipped to move onto the actual work of making your page perform better. It’s time to pick up that hammer.

These fixes should be simple enough for anyone to tackle, regardless of their technical expertise.

Reduce Your Page Content

Difficulty: Easy / Estimated Time: 15 Minutes

We’ve marked this as an easy opportunity to increase your page speed, but it probably won’t feel like that when you start thinking about which elements on your page you can junk. Marketers love big hero shots, beautiful supporting imagery, and fun, animated explainer videos. But how much of that content is actually helping you drive conversions?

Visual content accounts for a huge portion of the size of an average web page—images account for over 20% of web page weight, as pointed out by Kinsta—and each element creates an HTTP request. That’s when your visitor’s browser pings your web server to request the files that make up the elements of your page. Too many calls can be a serious drag on your load time, so one of the simplest ways to improve your page speed is cutting down the number of elements you include.

Look at each piece of content on your page critically, then ask yourself: “Does this spark joy?” “Does this increase conversions?” If you don’t think there are pieces you can toss, try running an A/B test with a slimmed-down version of the page. The results might surprise you.

Bottom line: stick to the fundamentals of good landing page design and try to keep the number of elements (and thus HTTP requests) to a minimum.

Building Pages in Unbounce? We recommend that you keep things pretty lean, but we’d never remove content from your landing page. (Must resist… desire… to do best practices…) This is one optimization that you’ll have to tackle on your own.

Optimize Your Images

Difficulty: Easy / Estimated Time: 30 Minutes

Once you’ve trimmed some elements from your page, you’ll want to optimize the content that made the cut. Poor image optimization is the most common reason for slow page loads, especially for mobile visitors. Fortunately, it’s also one of the easiest issues to fix.

These are some quick tips for shrinking your images and improving your page speed. The goal here should be getting images at least under 800kb, but the smaller we can make them, the better.

Resize your images

It’s easy to chuck a larger image onto your page and rely on your content management system (CMS) to compress it to the appropriate size, but it’ll still be loading at least some of those extra pixels on the back end, and your visitors are going to feel it in the load. When you add an image, make sure it’s the same dimensions that your page will be rendering it.*

*This doesn’t necessarily apply to Unbounce’s retina image support—read up on that here.

Choose the right file type

Most people don’t think too much about the format of the image they’re uploading, but it can have a dramatic effect on page performance. The file types you’re probably most familiar with are JPEG and PNG—and, yes, there are differences.

JPEG is a ‘lossy’ format, which means it’ll lose some data during compression. That typically gives you a smaller file, but it can come at the expense of visual fidelity. Generally, images with significant color variation (say, photographs) perform better as JPEGs, and any dip in quality can usually go undetected.

PNG is ‘lossless,’ so the image’s appearance won’t change when resized, but it tends to make for larger files if there’s significant color variation. PNG is ideal for simple images with defined shapes, like those with text. Saving PNGs in 8-bit (rather than 24-bit, which has a broader color palette) can help shave off some extra bites.

Here are some optimization tips for JPEG and PNG (and GIF, that villain) from Google itself.

Use compression tools

Before your weigh-in, it’s good to run images through a final round of compression. There are plenty of image compression tools on WordPress, as well as some free, standalone ones like TinyPNG. These shrinky gizmos offer a simple way to cut down your image sizes without braving the cursed labyrinth that is Adobe’s export settings. (Hey, I’m a words guy.)

Your takeaways here are:

  1. Ensure your image dimensions match how they’ll actually be displayed
  2. Use JPEG when a slight dip in visual fidelity isn’t the end of the world (like photography), but PNG when it is (images with text and sharp lines)
  3. Compress images to keep the file size as tiny as possible

If you want to take a deeper dive into image optimization, we recommend that you check out this post from Search Engine Land, which goes into detail on making images smaller while keeping them beautiful.

Building Pages in Unbounce? We’ve got you covered. Unbounce’s Auto Image Optimizer shrinks your images as soon as they’re uploaded so you can focus on making the best landing page possible.

Host Your Videos Elsewhere

Difficulty: Easy / Estimated Time: 30 Minutes

Why carry something yourself when you can make someone else carry it for you? That’s my motto for landing pages and life, and it’s why I’m no longer welcome on Unbounce’s company hiking trips.

Hosting videos on your own domain can be great for SEO purposes, but that’s not usually our goal with landing pages. We want everything to load in a flash and give our visitors the best chance to convert. Depending on your hosting solution, though, your videos might be slowing down your page speed, suffering from playback issues, and taking up an uncomfortable amount of server space.

Done properly, transferring videos to a third-party platform can shed some extra load time and help your pages render faster. Consider moving video content to Wistia, YouTube, or Vimeo, then using a light embed technique so that your videos only load heavier playback elements when your visitors actually click on them.

Building Pages in Unbounce? As a disclaimer: Using light embed codes with Unbounce (or any custom code, for that matter) will require some technical knowledge to implement and could, in rare cases, cause issues. Check out this Unbounce community post for more information.

Audit Your Hosting Solution

Difficulty: Easy / Estimated Time: 30 Minutes

Loading speed isn’t just determined by what’s on your landing page. Your web host also has a major influence in how quickly your page rolls out to potential customers.

There are three common models for web hosting:

  • Shared hosting
    Generally the most affordable solution, shared hosting is when your website is hosted alongside other sites on a single web server. Everyone draws from common resources (like storage space and processing power), which means—you guessed it—you need to share.
  • Virtual private server (VPS) hosting
    This is essentially a mix of both shared and dedicated hosting. With VPS, your website still shares server space with others, but you’ll have dedicated resources that no one else can dip into. The result is more power and flexibility, but it tends to come with a higher price tag.
  • Dedicated hosting
    For those who’ve had a traumatic roommate experience (who hasn’t?), dedicated hosting means your website has the server all to itself. More resources, no sharing. That’s great if you’re heavy on digital content and get a ton of traffic, but dedicated hosting is also the most expensive option and requires the technical know-how to set up and maintain your server.

Low-volume websites can generally get by with the cost-effective shared solution, but once your traffic starts to rise, you might not be getting enough juice from your web host to deliver content quickly—and that’s when load times start to suffer. (Give this post from Search Engine Journal a read for a more comprehensive explanation.)

It’s also important to note that the whereabouts of your web server can have a significant impact on your page speed. If you’re not using a content delivery network (CDN; more on this below), you’ll want to make sure that traffic from foreign countries isn’t encountering too much latency.

Think your hosting solution might be impacting your page speed? Run your site through a server speed test like this one from Bitcatcha, and use WebPageTest or Pingdom to see how your quickly your landing page loads in other countries. Depending on the results, you might decide it’s time to upgrade your hosting plan (or change web hosts altogether).

Building Pages in Unbounce? You don’t have to worry about this one—Unbounce’s global hosting solution boasts 99.95% uptime and ensures that your landing pages always have the necessary resources to load super fast.

Implement a CDN

Difficulty: Easy / Estimated Time: 30 Minutes

When your landing page gets a visitor, their web browser pings your server to get the content necessary to build out the page. Simple, right? Everyone downloads your website information from the same place, regardless of their location around the world. Well, that’s usually fine if the visitor is in or close to the country that your web server is located, but when they’re halfway around the globe, chances are they’re going to encounter some latency.

To avoid that, you should look into deploying a CDN, which caches your website across a network of data centers and proxy servers all over the planet. Say your own server is in the United States and someone from Lithuania is trying to visit your landing page. Instead of downloading your content from across the Atlantic, that visitor can pull a cached version from a server nearby.

Setting your website up with a CDN is pretty straightforward and—depending on your traffic—generally affordable. Here’s a list of some popular CDN providers from Mashable.

Building Pages in Unbounce? We’ve got five global data centers supporting the Unbounce CDN, which means your landing pages will load in a flash regardless of where they’re being accessed from.

Increase Landing Page Speed - Intermediate Fixes

Improve Your Landing Page Speed: Intermediate Fixes

These next speed fixes are a little trickier, but they should be manageable for marketers with a little technical know-how. Still, a mistake here could mean actual damage to your landing page.

Our recommendation? Do some research, make a backup, and—if you can—consult briefly with a developer on your team. It never hurts to have an experienced colleague to turn to if you get in over your head.

Building Pages in Unbounce? We talk a lot about WordPress through this next section. If you’re using our plugin to publish Unbounce landing pages to a WordPress domain, some of these recommended speed fixes can actually cause technical issues. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for clarification if you’re ever unsure.

Minify HTML, CSS, and JS

Difficulty: Intermediate / Estimated Time: 15 Minutes

All those lines of HTML, CSS, and JS code that make up your landing page? They’re packed with spaces, line breaks, and other bits of formatting that make it more legible and easier for us to interpret, but each makes your load time just an eensy bit slower—and the web browsers your visitors are using to render your page don’t particularly need them.

With minification, the goal is to cut out all of that extra junk and condense your code so that browsers can read it faster. Here’s an example snippet of Javascript code from Wikipedia:

var array = [];
for (var i = 0; i < 20; i++) {
array[i] = i;
}

After minifying, that code would look something like this:

for(var a=[i=0];++i<20;a[i]=i);

There are plenty of free online tools that will do this for your landing page, like Minify Code, as well as a bunch of WordPress plugins. Be sure to check out this post from Elegant Themes, which is an awesome resource that dives into the many options at your disposal.

Building Pages in Unbounce? Do we minify? We practically invented minifying. (Editor’s note: We did not.) Unbounce compresses all of your code automatically, making your landing page as slim as can be. No coding your pages from scratch and no minifying that code in the background? We’re making this too easy for you.

Enable Browser Caching

Difficulty: Intermediate / Estimated Time: 15 Minutes

The goal with any landing page should be getting prospects to convert the first time they visit, but the reality is that not everyone will. Sometimes, visitors will need some time to think about it: they’ll bounce, do more research, check out some competitors, then come back to your original offer. Browser caching ensures that when they return, your page will load even faster—and that’ll make them more likely to convert.

Not sure if you’ve already got caching enabled? Before you start, run a quick caching check using a tool like this one from GiftOfSpeed.

If your site is built on WordPress, enabling caching is as easy as adding a plugin.* (WordPress is almost too easy, huh?) Check out this list of caching plugins, most of which include quick instructions for getting set up.

*If you’re publishing Unbounce pages to a WordPress domain, these caching recommendations could create big problems. Check with us first.

For those not on WordPress, enabling browser caching on your own is pretty simple if you’re willing to get your hands dirty. For example, on Apache web servers, it comes down to inserting a little bit of code into the .htaccess file on your web host or server:
<IfModule mod_expires.c>
ExpiresActive On
ExpiresByType image/jpg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/jpeg “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/gif “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType image/png “access 1 year”
ExpiresByType text/css “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/html “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/pdf “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType text/x-javascript “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType application/x-shockwave-flash “access 1 month”
ExpiresByType image/x-icon “access 1 year”
ExpiresDefault “access 1 month”
</IfModule>

This article from Varvy provides a great how-to, as does this one from WinningWP (which discusses enabling browser caching from a WordPress perspective but is applicable more broadly).

If all of this makes you nervous, there’s likely a simpler method for you to set up browser caching. Most web hosts will enable caching for you if you ask. Depending on your hosting solution, it might be as easy as making a phone call. (Although, now that I think about it, that might be more daunting for some of us.)

Building Pages in Unbounce? Seven-day browser caching is enabled on all Unbounce-built landing pages, so this is a speed fix you can comfortably skip. Maybe use this free time to treat yourself to some self-care? You’ve earned it.

Set Up GZIP Compression

Difficulty: Intermediate / Estimated Time: 15 Minutes

When a visitor reaches your landing page, their browser pings your web server to request the files that make up the page and the server transmits them back. Naturally, that process moves faster if the information being sent is compressed to be as small as possible. Here’s where GZIP compression comes in.

(You’ll want to check to see if GZIP compression is already enabled before you get started.)

As with browser caching, the difficulty of setting up GZIP compression is going to be determined by how your website was built. If you use WordPress, you’re in luck: many WordPress plugins will enable GZIP compression for you almost automatically. If you don’t use WordPress, well, we’re headed back into your server.

This article from GTmetrix provides a quick overview of the importance of GZIP compression and how to enable it. With Apache web servers, you’ll need to add this chunk of code to your .htaccess file.
<IfModule mod_deflate.c>
# Compress HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Text, XML and fonts
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/rss+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/vnd.ms-fontobject
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-truetype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-font-ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/x-javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xhtml+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE application/xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/opentype
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/otf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE font/ttf
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/svg+xml
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE image/x-icon
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/css
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/html
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/javascript
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/plain
AddOutputFilterByType DEFLATE text/xml

# Remove browser bugs (only needed for really old browsers)
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4 gzip-only-text/html
BrowserMatch ^Mozilla/4.0[678] no-gzip
BrowserMatch bMSIE !no-gzip !gzip-only-text/html
Header append Vary User-Agent
</IfModule>

And again, if this is beyond your comfort zone, your web host will probably help you set up GZIP compression if you ask nicely.

Building Pages in Unbounce? You don’t have to ask us nicely, because we’ve already done it. All Unbounce landing pages are automatically compressed during data transfer. (But be nice to us anyway, alright?)

Kill Needless Scripts and Plugins

Difficulty: Intermediate / Estimated Time: 30 Minutes

WordPress is wonderful in its simplicity. As we’ve seen throughout this article, page speed fixes that might require a front-end developer on a static website can often be achieved by simply installing a WordPress plugin. Want to enable browser caching? Boom, W3 Total Cache.* Need to minify your scripts? Pow, Autoptomize.* Developer, shmeveloper.

But because it’s so easy to add functionality through plugins, WordPress websites have a habit of collecting a lot of them—along with all the of the bits and bites of code that make them work. Those add up.

Take a look at the scripts and plugins you’ve added to your website and decide whether they’re essential to your visitor experience. If they’re not, junking them could help cut some extra seconds off of your load time. (And guess what? There’s a plugin for that.) You can also disable plugins one at a time, then retest your page speed to determine which ones are problematic.

*If you’re publishing Unbounce pages to a WordPress domain, these plugins in particular might start a fire.

Building Pages in Unbounce? This is more of WordPress fix, but it also applies to Unbounce customers that have inserted a bunch of custom scripts onto their landing pages. Learn how the Unbounce Script Manager helps you keep things tidy.

Convert Images to Sprites

Difficulty: Intermediate / Estimated Time: 30 Minutes

If your landing page includes a series of similar-sized images (say, for a client logo bar), you can shorten your load time by combining them into an image sprite, then use CSS to display specific chunks of that sprite at a time. This post from WebFX provides a great step-by-step guide for creating CSS sprites.

Joining smaller images into a larger file might seem counterintuitive, but again, the idea here is to reduce the number of HTTP requests on your page and ultimately make it faster. Each individual image requires its own call—combining images into a single CSS sprite means your page only needs to make one.

Building Pages in Unbounce? We don’t build CSS sprites for you, but you can certainly use them on your Unbounce-built landing pages. Check out our documentation on custom JS and CSS with Unbounce.

Increase Landing Page Speed - Hard Fixes

Improve Your Landing Page Speed: Hard Fixes

We’re into the scary stuff now.

These are fixes you should absolutely not attempt unless you know what you’re doing or you’ve consulted extensively with a front-end developer. (We even had one of the Unbounce devs fact-check this article, and we’ve never felt smaller.) Proceed with caution.

Remove Render-Blocking JS and CSS

Difficulty: Hard / Estimated Time: 45 Minutes

Those CSS and JS scripts that make your landing page beautiful and enable cool, dynamic functionality? They could be one of the major reasons that your page is loading so slowly. (Bad news for my flashing, neon visitor counter.)

When a web browser runs into CSS or JS in the head of your document, it’ll wait to download and process that content before continuing to render your page’s HTML. That might sound like a good thing from a user experience perspective—after all, we want people to see our landing page as it was intended—but it actually means that visitors can be left waiting on a blank screen while everything loads in the background.

To avoid this, we need to implement techniques for preventing render-blocking CSS and JS on our landing page. (Refer back to your Google PageSpeed Insights results to check if any scripts are slowing down your page load.)

Google PageSpeed Insights - Render-Blocking

Reduce render-blocking CSS

There are a couple of ways that we can neutralize render-blocking CSS. One option is to defer all CSS until after the HTML has loaded. That’ll certainly improve page speed, but it will also present non-styled content when the visitor first reaches our page. Not ideal.

The other, more preferable option is to defer most style rules until the HTML has been rendered, but inline the CSS necessary to correctly display content above the fold within the HTML. That way, visitors will see the properly-styled content as soon as they hit the page while the rest will load out of view. Pretty sneaky. This is a great tutorial using a real-life example from codeburst.io.

Another page speed opportunity for you here is combining your CSS files. By moving your style rules from several files to just one (or maybe two, tops), you can reduce the number of times that visitors need to ping your web server and improve your landing page load time. Here’s a good resource from GiftOfSpeed on combining and compressing you CSS scripts.

Eliminate render-blocking JS

Like CSS, JS scripts can prevent your landing page from rendering as quickly as you might like. We can avoid that by deploying the defer and async attributes. The former tells the browser to wait until your HTML is rendered before it begins pulling in JS scripts, while the latter asks that JS be downloaded simultaneously without interrupting the HTML download.

An important note is that not all JS scripts are equal: some are critical to the rendering of your page and need to be addressed right out of the gate, so they’ll have to stay at the top. Dareboost does a good job of explaining how to distinguish between critical and non-critical JS, as well as how to implement deferred and asynchronous loading.

Building Pages in Unbounce? Unbounce optimizes for most Google PageSpeed Insights recommendations, including the removal of render-blocking elements. That means you can skip this one.

Start Hand-Coding with AMP

Difficulty: Very Hard / Estimated Time: ∞ Hours

Alright, “∞ hours” is an overstatement, but implementing AMP is no small task. Developed by Google, the AMP project is an entirely new framework with which to build your web pages. The goal? Dramatically improve page speed, especially for mobile users.

AMP is made up of three core components: AMP HTML, AMP JS, and AMP Cache. That means you’ll need to learn new markup, as well as understand the framework well enough to get your landing pages validated and make sure they actually work.

We won’t get into the nitty-gritty of building with AMP here, but the AMP website has a bunch of resources (including tutorials) to help you get started.

Building Pages in Unbounce? No hand-coding AMP pages for you—Unbounce makes it easy to drag and drop together AMP experiences. Choose one of our AMP-optimized templates, load your content, get validated, and start publishing lightning-fast landing pages right away.

Improving your landing page speed can sound intimidating, but even small tweaks will make a big difference for your load times. Tackle the easy stuff first, then move onto more challenging fixes as you get comfortable. And above all, keep testing: seeing your improved speed results after each undertaking will give you the confidence and motivation to move forward.

Or, you know, just build with Unbounce. We automatically handle most of the speed fixes listed (or at least makes them super easy), which saves a ton of time. That means you can focus on what matters: getting more conversions and improving ROI.

Want to get faster? Here’s some more awesome Unbounce content that speaks to the importance of page speed and provides actionable strategies for how to address it:

  1. What page speed means for your conversion and bounce rates: 7 Page Speed Stats Every Marketer Should Know
  2. Why AMP is so important (and how to start using it): Get Near-Instant Mobile Loads with AMP Landing Pages
  3. How page speed became one of the biggest opportunities for marketers: 2019 Is the Year of Page Speed

Original Article

How to Create Landing Pages for a Facebook Ad Campaign

When it comes to marketing and advertising, nothing seems to work better these days than social media. People love social channels, and the latest numbers give solid proof to the concept. There are over 2 billion monthly active users on Facebook and most of them spend more hours a day on the platform than on any other website whatsoever. As of consequence, it’s only obvious to use Facebook as solid marketing and advertising platform.

Facebook is the most popular social media platform with over 79% of the Americans using it. More than half of the US residents check with their Facebook accounts several times a day.

social media platforms usage

Are these numbers, combined with the fact that almost half of the users follow at least one brand page giving proof that you should use the platform? Sure they are. And, since Facebook offers an advertising channel as well, one that is easy to use and target the right audience, you can also focus on this if you have a budget for such expenditures.

A Facebook ad is nothing without a Facebook landing page. You need to attract people to click on your message, but at the same time, you’ll need to keep them interested once they do it.

How?

Well, with this article, I will try to show you how to create that landing page for a successful Facebook ad campaign.

What is a Facebook landing page?

Before digging into the subject, it’s only logical to start with the basics. In this context, you may wonder about the concept of a landing page and its usefulness.

Let’s try to answer first the most important question: What is a Facebook advertising landing page?

Definition:

A Facebook landing page is/should be created as an interface that drives in visitors’ action. It can be a standalone page on an external website or a custom tab within an already existing Facebook page. It compels the audience to follow up on what the ad was asking them to do, sign up for a newsletter, donate money, buy a product or a service or just share something like a piece of news or another page.

Today, we’re going to focus on Facebook landing pages, the landing tabs that are created within a Facebook page to drive in the traffic generated by an advertising campaign.

Here’s an example from Disney’s Facebook Shop landing page::

disney facebook landing page

Why you should make a Facebook landing page

Well, we know or at least we should already know that every ad campaign should have a personalized landing page that meets the user intent.

Why create such a page on Facebook and not on a standalone website?

Well, there are a lot of people using Facebook as their main gateway to the world and who don’t wish to leave the platform whatsoever. They might not like to be guided to an external website but they’d most certainly read a page that seems in many ways familiar to them. I am talking about a page hosted on Facebook itself, the platform they’ve seen the ad on.

On the other hand, this one may not be your only campaign. Maybe there are many other campaigns to follow. Leading your audience on a free and easy to set up platform such as Facebook, will allow you to save precious time and money by not having to pay for domain names, hosting and of course, website development.

In other words, it’s easier to set up a landing page on Facebook.

Easier than doing it on your own platform, of course.

Pro tip: But if you’ve already got a website that’s using WordPress, there’s an easy way to add landing pages to it.

How to make an effective Facebook landing page

There are, of course, many ways in which you can make a Facebook landing page. And, there are many landing page types that can prove to be effective for an advertising campaign. Your success may depend, however, on several factors such as the visuals of choice and of course, the professionality of the design and your target audience.

Also, there are a couple of steps that might help you deal with these factors. Let’s try and list them:

1. Choose the landing page that better suits your campaign.

In other words, make sure your landing page properly suits the aim of the advertisement. Ask yourself: What do you want to get from the visitors? What would you want them to do upon landing on that page?

Do you want them to sign up for a newsletter? Then it should be your main focus and the main objective to build the page around. Do you want them to contact you and ask for a price offer? Then this should be your main focus. Whatever your goal is, it needs to be clearly stated on the landing page and at the same time, convincing for the visitor.

The advertisement may have convinced them to click and follow up on your offer but the landing page will convince them to take the next step.

Here’s an example of a great Facebook landing page that invites the audience to subscribe to Gary Vaynerchuk’s calendar of future events:

gary varneychuk facebook landing page

It’s a great example of building a personal brand. Also, it gives you enough incentive to start doing it yourself.

Why is it a good example and why did I choose it?

Well, regardless of the popularity Gary has nowadays, it wasn’t always like this. He built his personal brand piece by piece, and got to the point that most of today’s Internet users know him.

The example, however, is a great one to follow, regardless of the person it advertises. It shows a landing page with precisely thought-out elements.

The elements I’m referring to are:

  1. The text is readable and easy to understand. It occupies the central part of the page and cannot be missed.
  2. The visuals of the main page are visible and occupy the center of the view. In this case, we’re able to see the main account image and colors.
  3. There are a bunch of buttons that give easy access to the calendars available on Google and Apple. Since this is the main goal of the advertisement, they are quite welcome and well placed within the landing page.

2. Create/Design your visuals

This step actually starts with the main advertising banner and expands to the creation of the landing page as well. All the specific visual elements of a campaign should be found in all parts of the marketing strategy.

And, the most important elements, in this case, are the banners and the promotional pages.

Here’s an example from Fox news:

fox news landing page on facebook

As you can see, the visuals are the same on the landing page and the Facebook ad.

The logo is present in both, the ad and the landing page ad, and so are the brand colors.

1. The Facebook Ad. It’ll be the first thing the audience sees, coming into contact with your campaign. You can design your banners right from the Facebook ad manager or, you can include some third-party visuals. Regardless of this choice, here are some of your best options:

  • You can choose to work with professional designers that you can either hire via recruiting platforms or via Dribble or Behance.
  • You can hire freelance professional designers and marketers on Facebook or via dedicated platforms such as GetResponse Marketplace, Upwork or Fiverr.
  • Nevertheless, you can choose to hire a professional agency specialized in this kind of banner advertising, like Smartketer, Mint or Voy Media.
  • Depending on your working habits, your professional and technical skills, and of course, on your money and time, you can design your own banners with Photoshop, Bannersnack or Snappa.

2. The visual elements of the landing page. As you probably imagine, there are a bunch of visual elements you can include on your landing page. They depend on the type of your campaign but keep in mind they should be in line with the banner. Some of the most important elements that should be found on all landing pages are:

  • The logo. This is the most important one. You need to make sure it’s on the banner and the landing page. It doesn’t matter how small the logo is. What’s important is its presence.
  • The visual style of the copy on the landing page.
  • The colors.
  • Other branded visuals/images. You may choose to include specific images in your campaign. If they are included in the Facebook banner ads, you can consider including them on your landing page as well.

In general, your landing pages should be created with your ideal customers in mind.

You can get inspired by the latest landing page design trends, but make sure that your design choice isn’t just based on your own preferences but on what’s most likely going to have a positive effect on your customers’ behavior.

3. Choose the right tools to build your landing page

There are, of course, several ways in which you can design your landing page. There’s one harder, direct way, and there’s one where you get the option to use tools that could make it all easier.

Let’s start with the hard way:

1. Create the tab via Facebook developer

As you may already know, Facebook landing pages can be created as tabs within you already existing page. Tabs are available under the profile picture and they act similarly to a website navigation menu.

How to make a Facebook landing page via develop tab

Step 1: The first thing you need to do is to create the content to be displayed on your landing page. In many ways, the tab is similar to an iFrame, which loads inside the Facebook page. Create a web page outside of Facebook. Later, you’ll tell Facebook to display the contents of this page within the newly created tab.

TIP: If you already have a domain name and a hosting platform, you’re almost ready to start designing your page. But, make sure that you have a secure URL as Facebook requires it to let you create your custom tab. A secure URL will usually start with https:// instead of HTTP://. If you’re still using a regular connection, consider acquiring an SSL certificate first.

(Learn how to track your Facebook campaign and landing pages.)

Step 2: Log in to Facebook developer page to get started. Use your own Facebook credentials for this step.

Click the green button to add a “new app”

create a new app id to add a new tab to your Facebook page

There are some options to choose from. But, to complete the setup, you’ll need a basic understanding of web development, CSS, and Facebook API. Or, you can hire a developer who knows this environment and who’ll be able to help you create the right landing page for your ad campaign.

creating a landing page on facebook

2. Use GetResponse’s professional tool to create your landing page

The easy way, and when I say “easy” I don’t mean unprofessional, is to use a dedicated tool to build your landing page.

GetResponse provides you with such a tool and lets you create responsive landing pages with ease and professionalism. It features all the elements and side tools you need and a complete list of free templates to get you started. You can also register for their essential landing page course, which will teach you how to design high-converting landing pages.

Landing page templates from GetResponse you can use to make an effective Facebook landing page

The above image depicts some of the templates available via the GetResponse landing page creator.

Here’s a demonstrative video that shows the app at work:

Other key elements to consider

Building an effective landing page is a task that takes more than a professional tool or the right coding skills. You’ll also need to take care of issues your success may depend on, such as:

1. Responsive design

We all know how important the mobile community is. At least half of your potential audience will follow through your Facebook ad on mobile devices. This means that you need to take care of this aspect and make sure you’re able to deliver a mobile responsive landing page.

While third-party tools and apps will take care of this issue for you, if you choose to build the page by yourself, it’s a thing you need to consider.

2. An enticing offer

Usually, a banner ad carries a deal. An offer that should entice the audience and convince them to follow up on your link. The landing page should meet this expectation and give your audience exactly what they were searching for when clicking on the banner ad. Here’s an example from Jeep with a beautifully constructed landing page and a clear offer:

landing page with an offer

3. A sub-headline

When it comes to content marketing in general and advertising in particular, clearly stated headlines are one of the best ways to score a deal and convince your audience that you can deliver as promised. Headlines break the text in specific pieces and make your offer more noticeable on a first look.

4. A powerful call to action

Nothing speaks louder in advertising than a CTA. But only if you know how to choose your CTA copy and how to make it visible, readable and understandable in as few words as possible and on the right part of your page.

Here’s an example from Nutella that has many different calls to action, but all of them are clear and visible:

nutella landing page CTA

5. Trustworthiness

According to this report, the online environment is considered to be the least trustworthy among consumers. What does this mean?

Well, it means that you should make sure every tiny piece of information on the banner and the landing page is valid and true. Don’t lie, don’t make promises you can’t keep, make sure your offers are legit and trustworthy. Don’t make them seem too good to be true.

6. Other details

Apart from the above advice, consider this as well: try to keep up with what your audience may need or want based on your offer. Make sure your contact details are available, readable and easy to spot, if you need them to follow up on your offer with an email or a phone call. Also, keep distractions at a minimum and don’t overuse your visuals. Finally, you can offer social proof on your trustworthiness or your overall success rate/fan base.

As you can see, an effective landing page follows a clear structure.

Conclusion

Advertising is an important part of a marketing strategy and Facebook is one of the best channels to run such a campaign. However, apart from the banner itself, the most important thing you can think of is the landing page. This is the page that your audience will get to see after clicking on your ad. But there’s no need to worry, now you know several ways in which you can design and publish your landing page on Facebook.

Are you aware of other means to create and publish landing pages? If so, please share your wisdom with us and our audience here, in the comments section available below.

Author: Robert Katai is a digital marketer, blogger and content strategist at Bannersnack, a professional banner design app. You can follow him on Twitter @katairobi and check out his blog robertkatai.com.

How to Create Landing Pages for a Facebook Ad Campaign (1)

Related posts

The post How to Create Landing Pages for a Facebook Ad Campaign appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

Urge Landing Page Visitors to Buy with a Countdown Timer

I’m excited to share the latest improvement to the GetResponse landing pages that will help you get more conversions by creating a sense of urgency. Add a countdown timer and let your prospects know how much time they have until your offer expires.

We know that the average attention span of a visitor is now down to 8 seconds. That’s why you should design each of your landing pages to capture as much attention as possible.

Today, online marketers use countless persuasive tactics based on human psychology to claim the attention of their visitors and convert them into customers.

Scarcity

I’m sure you’ve seen the phrase “limited availability” used by many businesses. That’s because when something’s running out people tend to think it’s more valuable. In other words, the value of a product can dramatically increase if the quantity’s limited.

Booking.com are masters of using scarcity to influence buying decisions. Just go ahead and search for a hotel room – and see the results for yourself.

Booking example

Loss aversion

People naturally tend to avoid losing things. Especially if those are the things they’re attached to or want to have. Marketers use this sometimes and present their offers not as something you could gain, but rather as something you could lose forever if you don’t act immediately.

Hypeddit example

Countdown

A clock is the symbol of the passing of time. Besides being used in its usual context (e.g. sports games), countdown timers can be super useful to create a sense of urgency, which in the end can bring more conversions and revenue. In fact, research shows that counters indicating urgency and scarcity can increase sales by up to 30%. That’s why all the major ecommerce businesses use them often to boost their revenue, especially during the sales season.

Countdown

Now it’s time for you to add this powerful tool to your arsenal and bring in more conversions for your business.

How to use countdown timers in landing pages

Just drag and drop the timer icon from the toolbar on the right to start.

pick the time

Select a date when your countdown timer will stop running. You can also optimize the time zone to based on your location.

Then – click “save”.

Make sure you choose the right spot for your countdown timer so people can see it right after they land on your page.

You can double click on the blocks within the countdown timer to change the color.

Change Color countdown

Click on the numbers to format the text or change the font.

increase size countdown

You can also customize the labels under the timer blocks. As an example, you can translate the labels to your own language.

How to use countdown timers for your business

One-time offers

Do you have a one-time offer that’s only available within a specific timeframe? Then countdown timers could be the perfect way to convince your visitors to buy.

You can use them to promote your ebook or an online course, a seasonal sale, or a discount on your B2B services.

Place them somewhere close to the headline. Have a look at the example below.

end of summer sale

Webinar invitation pages

Webinars can also benefit from this useful tool – as they’re all set to happen at a specified time. The example below shows how you can use countdown timers encourage visitors to sign up.

Personal brand

Event promotion

You can also add countdown timers to event registration pages. Event organizers often use countdown timers to promote early-bird tickets and other ticket price reductions.

Have a look at the example below to see how you can use countdown timers on your event promo page.

Event promo

Finally, if you haven’t used a countdown timer before and want to know how it would perform, you can run an A/B test and add a timer to your variation. I’m almost sure you won’t be surprised by the results you’ll get.

So, go ahead and use countdown timers to squeeze more conversions out of your landing pages.

Urge Landing Page Visitors to Buy with a Countdown Timer

Related posts

The post Urge Landing Page Visitors to Buy with a Countdown Timer appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

9 Best Landing Page Design Trends for 2019

Landing pages are about first impressions… but if you don’t update them with the latest design trends, the impression will be a company that’s outdated and out of touch.

Design trends are crucial to landing pages because they act as signals, even subconsciously, that communicate to visitors that you’re on the ball. That goes double if your page is the first time someone sees a trend, so the sooner your update yours, the better.

That’s what this article is about. At 99designs, there are process hundreds of design requests every day from all over the world. By analyzing which trends are on the rise — and which are fading away — our team can predict which trends will impress users enough to raise your conversion rates in 2019.

99design’s web design trends article hand-picked the 9 most effective design trends for 2019, but here we adapt those trends to landing pages. For each trend, we explain what it is, who it helps, and how to use it. Apply them now to make your first impression an impressive one!

1. Serifs

Reform Collective landing page

via Reform Collective

Selling the Land landing page

via Selling the Land

Humaaans landing page

via Humaaans

What it is

Serifs refer to those little tags some letters have, and the fonts that use them. With the prevalence of minimalism in digital design these last few years (see #8), serif fonts have been scarce with designers favoring simpler fonts without embellishments (known as “sans-serif”).

But in 2019 serifs will return, bringing with them a little old-fashioned sophistication. Serifs can add a classy atmosphere to a landing page and brand, but can also be modified to be more playful. And because sans-serif fonts are the norm at the moment, serifs can help you stand out.

Who it helps

  • Brands that want to appear traditional and/or elegant.
  • Brands that value professionalism and want to be taken seriously.

How to use it

  • Because they’re more ornate, serif fonts work great for titles and headers, but not as well for large blocks of print. It’s best to switch it up: use serifs for text that needs the most attention, but use sans-serif for longer texts to facilitate readability.
  • Serif fonts come in varying degrees, with some more elaborate than others. If you want to retain some minimalistic elements, you can choose a more moderate font with smaller serifs.

2. Friendlier geometrics

Inkyy landing page

via BrioRom

Supercrowd landing page

via Supercrowd

Vapid landing page

via Vapid

What it is

A popular design trend lately has been geometrics: grids, lines, abstract shapes and other visuals you might find in a geometry textbook. While this style adequately represents modern society’s fascination with futuristic tech, such visuals tend to be cold and lifeless, at times even imposing.

So counteract these drawbacks, designers are starting to use both warmer colors and more curves to make these designs just a little more welcoming. These “friendly” modifications let you have your cake and eat it too: futuristic, mathematical imagery that’s still comfortable and inviting.

Who it helps

  • Tech companies and other brands that need to appear as technologically advanced.
  • Brands that want to emphasize structure and order without appearing authoritarian.

How to use it

  • Don’t be stingy with warm tones — yellows, oranges, and soft red — in the background or for the main elements.
  • If you want to use abstract shapes, you can soften the image by using rounded corners instead of sharp ones. Take this effect further by adding curves to otherwise straight lines.

3. Grayscale color palettes

Fruition Lab landing page

via akorn.creative

NU:RO landing page

via NU:RO

mod&dot landing page

via mod&dot

What it is

Grayscale color palettes (black & white) are a shortcut to more artistic and visually dynamic images. While fun and playful brands should steer clear of this design trend, if you want to appear serious and thought-provoking, 2019’s grayscale trend is perfect.

Who it helps

  • Brands that rely on artistry and creativity, such as fashion, individual artists, and even web designers.
  • Somber brands, such as charities and non-profits.
  • No-nonsense brands that benefit from formality.

How to use it

In conjunction with good photography, using the grayscale can create visuals that wouldn’t look out of place in a museum.

One advantage of black-and-white imagery is that it makes accent colors even stronger. A best practice is to use dashes of color for your calls-to-action and other high-priority elements, like Fruition Labs and mod&dot above.

4. Microinteractions

Femme & Fierce microinteractions

via Femme & Fierce

microinteraction effect

via wenwenzwy

microinteraction form effect

via Leo Zakour

What it is

While all websites and landing pages revolve around user interactions, the term “micointeractions” refers to those that are more subtle, seen as “something extra” rather than necessary. Typically, these entail functions like:

  • confirmation messages
  • hover effects
  • page transitions
  • scrolling animations
  • error messages

For landing pages, microinteractions can help you “wow” visitors with unexpected surprises. Something like a small hover effect or loading animation could be what your visitors remember most about your page.

Who it helps

  • Everyone! This is a trend every brand can use to make their landing page more engaging.

How to use it

  • Microinteractions are supposed to be subtle — it’s in the name! Keep them minimal and unobtrusive so they don’t distract from more significant parts of your page.

5. Glitch art

Makoto Hirao landing page

via Makoto Hirao

DTSi landing page

via DTSi

glitch landing page

via Standardabweichung

What it is

More and more brands are incorporating glitch themes into their artwork, a trend that will grow even bigger in 2019. Like the geometrics trend, glitch art also relies on a futuristic fascination; the only difference is that glitch art depicts a grittier, more dystopian view of tech.

Still, glitch art can create poignant and memorable visuals when done well, and for the right company can provide the bedrock of their brand identity.

Who it helps

  • Edgy and unconventional tech brands.
  • Brands that want to be known for their visual prowess.
  • Digital designers who want to show off the extent of their skills.

How to use it

  • Glitch art is best used as a central or hero image on a landing page. Don’t use it with other strong images, or else they will compete for user attention.

6. Chatbots

Cherrypick web page

via Răzvan I

It’s Alive page

via It’s Alive

landbot landing page

via Landbot

What it is

Once seen as impersonal and ineffective, chats have come a long way these last couple of years thanks to advancements in AI and machine learning. The chatbots of 2019 will be able to hold a conversation with your visitors, or at least answer the most common of their questions.

While usually reserved for main web sites, because chatbot tech has become so accessible, you can use them for landing pages too — and that’s great news, because landing pages are where you need conversions the most.

Who it helps

  • Brands whose landing pages have low conversion rates.
  • Brands reliant on strong customer relations, such as B2B.
  • Brands with confusing or hard-to-understand services that require explanation.

How to use it

  • Naturally, landing pages can’t tell visitors everything they want to know, so use chatbots to fill in the cracks. With programmable chatbots like Landbot, you can write your own responses, so be sure to address the frequently asked questions.
  • If you’re confident enough in your chatbot, you can use it to collect names and emails in lieu of traditional form fields (which most users seem to hate).

7. More video

National Geographic landing page

via National Geographic

A is for Albert landing page

via A is for Albert

What it is

Video content is hardly a design trend — it’s more of a design staple, with its effectiveness online already proven. What is a trend is how video will be used in 2019: bigger, better, and more often.

Some are already calling 2019 the year of video, as past usage data shows video’s popularity continues to rise. On top of that, better browsing technology and more accessible data plans means loading videos won’t be as much of a hassle as previous years.

Who it helps

  • Brands that want show off a human side with relatable video content.
  • Ecommerce brands (product videos are known to improve sales).
  • Brands that rely heavily on social media marketing.

How to use it

  • For landing pages, the most common use of video is as a hero background (a background image that fills the entire screen). These expansive videos draw viewers in more than static images.
  • One of the best parts about video content is that it’s repurposable. Keep in mind multiple uses when filming — just because you’re making a video for your landing page background doesn’t mean it also can’t be an Instagram story or Snapchat ad.

8. Neo-minimalism

Frustration landing page

via Frustration

Libratone landing page

via Libratone

ON-POINT landing page

via ON-POINT

What it is

The minimalist movement took strong hold of digital design in the early 2010s, not just for aesthetics, but for its practical benefits as well. For web design, minimalistic sites reduce loading times and look better on mobile devices, not to mention how they make a brand appear a little more high class.

But thanks to that popularity, in 2019 minimalistic sites have to go the extra mile to stand out from other minimalistic sites. Hence what we call “neo-minimalism,” the latest evolution of the minimalism movement that sees even fewer details and more empty space than before.

Who it helps

  • Brands that want to appear elegant and chic.
  • Brands working within a tight design budget.
  • Brands offering products or services that are self-explanatory.

How to use it

  • Because you’re dealing with fewer visuals, the challenge with minimalism is keeping your site from looking dull or boring. The best strategies are to use bright colors and flamboyant typography to make the most out of the few visuals you have.
  • Neo-minimalism applied to landing pages means stripping away almost everything except the call-to-action. If your CTA is strong enough to convert on its own, minimalism is a smart choice.

9. Diversity

Nowness landing page

via Nowness

ARK landing page

via ARK

Iodine landing page

via Iodine

What it is

Not so much a trend, but more of a progress – diversity in web design reflects a greater change in modern society, and for most audiences it gives that “warm and fuzzy” feeling when they see it.

Specifically, diversity involves representing different ethnicities, nationalities, body types, relationships, sexual preferences, and other such interests in the imagery on your site. Usually this applies to the models in your photography, but in 2019 it’s also feeding into other occurrences like cartoons and on-site avatars.

Who it helps

  • Brands targeting consumers under the age of 40.
  • Brands targeting underrepresented groups.
  • Brands that want to appear socially active and progressive.

How to use it

  • Don’t worry so much about which demographics you’re targeting. If you include a diverse range of ethnicities, sexual preferences, and interests, the particular ones that you are targeting won’t mind sharing the spotlight — and chances are they will appreciate your efforts to be inclusive. Just be sure to be well informed on the social groups you’re representing.
  • If underrepresented groups are a key part of your business or if social issues are directly relevant to your brand, you can go the extra mile with overt messages of support. Social media posts offering help and encouragement to marginalized groups, or even special product lines, are largely appreciated because they’re rare.

Conclusion

You have to put your best foot forward with landing pages—it’s a make-or-break moment when visitors determine whether you’re worth investigating and ultimately patronizing. And because you don’t have much time, every pixel of your page must count. Use these design trends to show rather than tell your visitors just how capable you are.

Which landing page design trends are you anticipating most in 2019? Have you noticed any recent trends that we missed? We want to hear your thoughts, so share your opinions below in the comments now.

Author: Brea Weinreb from 99designs

9 Best Landing Page Design Trends for 2019 (1)

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The post 9 Best Landing Page Design Trends for 2019 appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

How Leading Brands Design Effective Event Registration Landing Pages

Your event registration page plays a critical role in converting website visitors. In addition to increasing event ticket sales, your event registration sets expectations for your audience and defines your event brand as a whole.

To maximize its potential, your event registration strategy should include elements of the following examples as well as your own personal take on each approach. Increasing event contacts and session registrations is a high priority task for event marketers. This is why it’s so important to use your landing page to make a great first impression.

With tips from this guide, along with real-world examples, we’ll surface event registration landing page best practices and the steps that need to be taken to create high-conversion pages. Most importantly, you’ll be inspired to enhance your marketing and promotional strategy to maximize attendance.

What is an event registration landing page?

In its most basic iteration, an event registration landing page is a web page dedicated to converting website visitors to event attendees. It is often separate from the homepage of an event website, although a homepage can be constructed to drive conversions by embedding registration widgets. Alongside a registration form, an event registration landing page often contains information about an event and an overview of ticket types to educate potential attendees.

It’s good to remember that the number of people who register for your event might not align with the number of people who actually attend. Event registration, therefore, requires marketers to maximize the opportunities for conversions through a landing page that follows marketing best practices.

10 examples of effective event registration pages from leading brands:

1. Money 20/20 Asia

money 20 20 asia

Source: Money 20/20 Asia

Your audience has a lot of events they can choose from. So how do you show them yours is the best? Follow this example from Money 20/20 and add trust-building indicators like recognizable brands to let visitors know you’re at the top of your field.

Adding these references adds credibility to your event and helps it stand out from a sea of copycats. So go ahead and brag. Doing so will more than likely boost landing page conversions.

Key Takeaway: Choose your most important affiliation and prominently display it just below the form on your event registration page.

2. MagentoLive

magentolive

Source: MagentoLive Australia

In this example, MagentoLive focuses on an action-oriented landing page UX design. Their site flow streamlines the visitor’s experience by offering them a variety of actions. If the prospect is not ready to register at first glance, they have a few different actions they can take.

For instance, a visitor can share the event on social or apply for a merchant discount if they fit the qualifications. Social sharing is an important addition to this registration landing page because potential attendees might be interested in seeing who in their network has plans to go. Meanwhile, the opportunity to apply for a discount might encourage would-be attendees who face budget limitations.
Key Takeaway: Create multiple visitor experience tracks by optimizing your landing page flow to enable a variety of user actions.

3. Hashtag Sports

hashtag-sports

Source: Hashtag Sports

Spotlighting their Standard Pass is a great example of contact segmentation. Hashtag Sports gathered information from their event marketing software, carefully analyzed offers being made by their competition, and proved that they clearly understand their attendees and their ticketing preferences.

There are more options below the fold that are targeted toward groups and industry insiders, but it’s likely that future prospects won’t even need to scroll and find them. Instead, they’ll simply select this first option since it has been tailor-made for them.

Key Takeaway: Streamline your ticketing presentation by showing the most popular option first, keeping it free from the distractions created by other packages.

4. The ABM Innovation Summit

abm-event

Source: The ABM Innovation Summit

The ABM Innovation Summit has a smart tactic for email list building: offer a coupon. After clicking the orange buttons on either the center of the page or the top right corner, site visitors are prompted to enter their email to reserve their generous coupon.

By signing up, they agree to be added to their notifications which could include newsletters, event reminders, and affiliate codes to expand their reach further. The possibilities are endless with this high-value offer and can be applied to any advanced reservation option.

Key Takeaway: Build your email list through reservation pages that allow prospects to receive something valuable in exchange for future communication with your brand.

5. MozCon

moz

Source: MozCon

As a whole, this event registration landing page by Moz for their MozCon event is extremely informative and helpful for prospects. Their value proposition is immediately addressed with categories like speakers, content, and network displayed towards the top.

Those curious about MozCon can learn, in mere seconds, that attending this event will allow them to gain exclusive educational opportunities from thought leaders, gain actionable insight into their industry, and meet some interesting people while they’re at it.

Key Takeaway: Utilize the power of the psychology behind high converting landing pages by making it easy for viewers to see and understand the value of your event at first glance. Showcase these highlights at the top of your event page.

6. UXSG Conference

uxsg

Source: UXSG Conference

Limited time ticketing offers put the pressure on attendees who are already interested in going to your event to fully commit. Early bird, and super early bird ticketing (as you’ll see presented in this example from the UXSG Conference), help event planners gauge their ability to sell-out from the get-go. Their use of bullet point lists makes the offers easy to skim, which makes the decision-making process easy too.

Key Takeaway: Test out an early bird option, complete with a full description, on your landing page. Also, if you offer more than one early bird option be sure to keep track of each package with the help of an event registration software or another analytics tool.

7. Growth Acceleration Summit

zoom-info

Source: ZoomInfo

This event registration landing page showcases the power of simplicity. By displaying a registration form with a limited amount of questions, the process becomes faster and easier for visitors. User-friendly features like this one eliminate friction caused by lengthy questionnaires and unnecessary information that attendees might not be interested in sharing anyway. Optimize your landing page for lead generation with this simple tactic.

This page also helps generate contacts for a future event, even though the final event website may not be done.

Key Takeaway: Registration forms should be short and to the point. Review yours and pare it down to the bare essentials. If the website for a future event is not yet live, it may be worthwhile to gather contacts from an existing, highly trafficked registration page.

8. Connect Central

connect-central

Source: Connect Central

Connect Central does a great job of using one of the many critical elements of landing pages that convert; three-pronged pricing. Three-pronged pricing is the addition of two extra pricing options that make the bait offer more attractive. The first ticketing option displayed should be the most basic package. The second is the advanced package. It’s more expensive than the basic, but it adds a lot more value and is, ultimately, the one you’d most like visitors to choose.

Finally, your third tier pricing should be your most expensive and include all possible bells and whistles. This more expensive option should interest them enough to get a bite, but be priced so that they’ll lean towards the second package instead.

Key Takeaway: Create a three-tiered pricing option for ticketing that entices your future attendees to select the package you’d like them to choose.

9. The Future of Marketing by The Drum

the-drum

Source: The Drum

Sometimes it only takes one simple change to make a landing page convert. In this example, The Drum highlights the importance of finding your ideal CTA button placement. Try adding your registration CTA to the most visible spot on your webpage. Use the surrounding design to guide your user’s eyes to it. Although it doesn’t appear in this instance, it can also help to make your button color that stands out from the rest of your website.

Key Takeaway: Drive conversions and incentivize visitors to take immediate action by moving your CTA button to an obvious position on your display.

10. Coachella

coachella

Source: Coachella

This event registration landing page does a great job of combining dynamic design elements with informative copy. Through the use of simple and clear navigation, potential attendees can view the many policies and procedures necessary for participating in this multi-day concert and camping event.

Given its popularity, Coachella has to focus on simplifying what could otherwise be a very complicated experience given the sheer volume of attendance and the details involved in the experience. They are able to pull it off without sacrificing the brand in the process.

Key Takeaway: Convert visitors without sacrificing vibrancy by fully displaying registration steps with summaries, descriptions, and all essential information.

Final thoughts

Designing a web page that converts doesn’t have to be complicated. Just keep these main points in mind:

  • Simple is always better. Bulleted lists, summaries, and clearly marked steps make the user experience better and the registration process easier.
  • Look at it with fresh eyes. Consider key elements like visitor flow and CTA placement from your visitor’s perspective when making design choices.
  • Have a ticketing strategy. Whether you offer one ticketing option or three, super early bird or standard admission, make the choice obvious for attendees with smart pricing and clever displays.

Everyone knows that getting a high percentage of landing page conversions isn’t the easiest thing in the world. Luckily there are many ways to alter your event registration page and maximize its effectiveness. Tips from the above examples will likely serve you now and well into your event planning future.

Author: Brandon Rafalson, Content Marketing Manager at Bizzabo

How Leading Brands Design Effective Event Registration Landing Pages

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The post How Leading Brands Design Effective Event Registration Landing Pages appeared first on GetResponse Blog – Online Marketing Tips.

Original Article

Just Landed: Landing Pages on WordPress

We know seamless integration matters – and makes your marketing much easier. That’s why we’re always working hard on our WordPress plugin.

And today, I’m excited to announce you can now use it to publish your landing pages within WordPress.

That means no more coding each page. Just create one in the easy GetResponse landing page editor, then pick your page in WordPress, assign a directory name, and publish it.

Better yet, you can use your own domain. So for example, your landing page can be found at http://yourdomain.com/your-landing-page.

And the best part? Each new signup from your landing page will drop into your GetResponse account. So you can say goodbye to third party integration tools.

Here’s what you can do with GetResponse and WordPress:

  • Build webinar, signup, promotion, download, and sales pages.
  • Use popups, exit popups, and fixed bars to get more conversions.
  • Create A/B tests to check your design converts.

We hope you enjoy using the plugin to get more conversions and grow your audience. Want to learn more? See our Help Center article.

Have WordPress and want to connect your GetResponse account? Get our official plugin here.

Just Landed_ Landing Pages on WordPress (1)

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Original Article