In my career I’ve had the unique position of seeing thousands of split tests across virtually every industry. This unique perspective has given me an idea or two regarding what works on landing pages and what doesn’t. I visited two PPC landing pages with the #1 placed ad and wanted to give my evaluation.

I evaluated these pages with the same set of criteria, including:

  • Ad to Landing Page Consistency – Does the landing page reflect what was offered in the ad?
  • Offer Clarity – Is there a clear call to action? What is it? What steps must I take?
  • Conversion Aesthetic – Is the offer in the right spot? Are their competing CTAs? Does the layout have a logical eye flow schema?

When you look at your PPC landing pages, you should ask yourself these same questions. Even better, do some user testing and ask them these questions – the answers will jumpstart your landing page’s performance.

#1 Wayfair

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Wayfair generally does an amazing job with nearly all things digital marketing. That said, I was a little let down when I did a search for ‘Cheap kitchenware’.

Wayfair-Ad

Wayfair’s ad lands at number 1 and the ad copy itself is enticing enough from a bargain hunter’s perspective. However, things went downhill quickly after I clicked the ad.

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I land on a page that is deal oriented but doesn’t say anything about kitchenware. On top of that, I don’t get to see any real offerings until I enter my email address – bummer.

From an ad to landing page consistency perspective, this landing page is a major let down. Essentially Wayfair is using the paid ad to build up their email list instead of providing specific value, e.g., cheap kitchenware, to the visitor.

As far as clarity goes, this page is as clear as it gets. There is a single action and a single outcome. The page really can’t be made much simpler.

Since this page is so simple, it falls in line with a lot of conversion best practices. The CTA is front  and center, there are no competing offers, and the page is very polished. Unfortunately, Wayfair didn’t deliver what the visitor wanted.

If this ad lead to a dedicated landing page that listed on sale kitchenware, it would have been way more effective. This page is focused on building the email list, not the actual sale. Fortunately, after a visitor enters their email address – they are brought to the ‘Kitchen’ category page. However, this interstitial lead generation mechanism may frustrate visitors and they’ll likely never get there.

#2 PaySimple

I know just about as much about mobile payment methods as the person who would be entering this search query. I also happen to be in the market for mobile payment methods, so I am actually a viable prospect in this case! I typed in the search term ‘mobile payment methods’ and clicked the first ad by PaySmart.

PaySimple-Ad

This is a pretty straight forward ad. ‘Accept Payments on Your Phone’ – that’s what I want to do. ‘Easy Setup’ – perfect, I can’t think of anyone who wants ‘difficult setup’. After clicking through I was pleasantly surprised by the landing page (especially after clicking some of the competition’s ads)

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It looks as if the mega-image background trend has hit maximum capacity, it’s really become the new ‘white space’ from a design perspective. There is a clear headline and subheadline that are consistent with the ad copy.

The CTA is well written and clear. It uses an action word ‘Get’ and connects the offer to the visitor with the word ‘My’. Above the fold the only competing CTA is in the top corner, leaving the main offer at center stage.

This is not one of those ‘above the fold only’ landing pages. There is informative copy, a ‘learn more’ CTA, testimonials, videos, and pricing information. Ideally I would like to see a singular CTA on the page, there are three in total: Get Demo, Learn More, and Get Started Now. All of these are strong, but there should be a unified action to reduce confusion.

Overall I like this page, and think if they simplify the CTAs and identify what action is most important then they’ll see a boost in conversions.

I have a few miscellaneous suggestions for this page, that fit outside my evaluation criteria. First, if all fields are required on a form, test out a variation without asterisks and just say ‘All Fields Are Required’. I would also recommend adding a privacy policy near the CTA button to reduce the visitor’s anxiety.

If you’re interested in having your page critiqued in an upcoming column – let’s get in touch.

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