Clicks, conversions, targets – we can cloak consumer actions in buzzwords all day long, but it doesn’t change the fact that we’re talking about human behavior here. People can be unpredictable, so in order to understand behavioral response to advertising, it can be helpful to understand how the human brain works.
A relatively new subfield within marketing, neuromarketing aims to address consumers’ responses to advertising and calls to action. When it comes to marketing on the Web, and pay per click ads in particular, one potentially lucrative strategy is to capitalize on the human brain’s need for shortcuts and novelty.
There’s a reason why the average PPC click-through rate is usually in the single digits – convincing the brain to divert from its planned path and spend time on your site can be tough. Aside from optimizing your PPC ad content (which we hope you’re already doing), it’s also important that your landing page is optimized for the highest chance of converting each visitor. In this article, we’ll review some landing page strategies that can help you capitalize on those clicks, using our knowledge of cognitive function.
What Do We Know?
When we get right down to it, what is advertising, from the consumer’s perspective? When they see a message that they can benefit from on a deep, instinctual level, they will be more likely to act. People want to purchase products that enhance their ability to survive, but they also want to go through the process in a manner that is also beneficial to survival—and this is influenced heavily by how you present choices to your visitors.
Limiting Choices is a Matter of Presentation
The human brain is wired to process simple choices more efficiently than complex ones. As marketers, we often find ourselves in the position of encouraging certain choices over others, whether it’s promoting a sale, an overstock item, or a service that depends on user participation.
When laying out your pay per click ads’ landing pages, offer users a few qualitative, broad categories rather than lots of specific ones. For e-commerce sites, for example, “Most Popular,” “Lowest Price,” or “Best Value” can offer visitors more clear choices.
The same can be done with any company offering services packages: implement a landing page that doesn’t simply list each configuration along with the price. Use a “Best Value” or “Most Popular” ribbon to highlight the appropriate packages, along with simple descriptions that highlight the differences between each choice.
And across all types of websites, limiting the number of choices that the user can choose from should be limited to 5 at the very most—the human brain remembers information in chunks of 3-4, ideally.
To further influence audience decision-making, re-consider how you order your products or services on your landing pages. Readers read from top to bottom, so if there’s a big ticket item you want every visitor to see, you best place it near the top of your page. Even if the item is among your site’s most expensive, it will still likely get clicked on more if it’s at the top of your page. And if your landing page is a non-static product list, consider having it sort by “Price: High to Low” by default. On the contrary, if the competitive advantage of your business is its low cost products, you might take the opposite route for a similar reason.
When customers purchase from your website, they’re not just executing a transaction. They’re also agreeing to take your product or service and integrate it into their personal identity. Our tribal instinct encourages us to seek like-minded relationships, and when it comes to purchasing, it’s no different. Consumers are more likely to buy from a brand that they can emotionally identify with.
When writing copy for a search network ad’s landing page, consider writing specifically for your audience, not only in content but also in tone. Business-to-business brands, for example, might strive for a more formal style, while that hip new tech product might lend itself more to an informal, conversational tone.
Also, try setting up more specific landing pages that are focused around a specific type of user rather than the product you’re selling to them. For example, if your brand sells armbands for iPhones, consider setting up a page for “Runners and Joggers” rather than “Armbands”—here, users may be able to better connect with your brand.
Shopping online might not be a life-or-death scenario, but the motivations behind doing so are still decidedly survival related. The brain processes this type of information in a way that places high value on conciseness, clarity, and community—and by designing landing pages with this priorities in mind, you can generate conversions and make a much deeper connection with your audience.
As a top-ranked Ad Network, Advertise.com delivered 722 million page views to advertising clients last month (according to comScore). Contact us to learn more about strategic online advertising and publisher solutions.