Optimizing Landing Pages for Effective Online Advertising, Part 3: Measurement and Improvement

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In this third part of our three-part series on landing pages, we review some of the most important measurements to track for your online advertising campaigns and ad landing pages.

As we explored last week, testing a landing page is a critical component of any online advertising campaign. However, one area where many online marketers trip up is properly measuring campaign performance. As any good marketer knows, justifying your spend is crucial. After all, if you can’t convince your superiors or clients that your landing page strategy is working, you’re going to have an uphill battle to justify your proposed ad budget.

Marketers eager to justify spend on PPC advertising and accompanying landing pages often seek to compare their metrics to those of other companies to determine what a “good” percentage is. However, this can keep you from seeing how well your page is actually doing. For example, the average conversion rate across the Internet is 2.9 percent, but even this figure varies widely by industry. So if your conversion rate generally sits at 5 percent, 2.9 percent would actually be too low a rate to aim for.

Keeping and tracking historical metrics for your pay per click marketing and other online advertising campaigns can help you determine whether you’re doing better or worse than goals based on your actual business model, which is what’s truly important. Plus, these metrics can help you continuously improve your landing page efforts over time—a key component to growing your success.

Identify Influential Metrics

Before you can actually measure your landing pages, you’ll need to understand what metrics are most handy. According to an Ascend2/Opify study, the most useful landing page metrics, as listed by marketers, are:

Conversion Rate: This is the percentage of users who have performed the desired end action, out of the total number of users targeted. In most PPC advertising campaigns, a sale represents a conversion—though for B2B companies, acquiring a lead could be considered a conversion.

Cost Per Conversion: This is calculated by dividing the total amount spent on the campaign by the total number of conversions it achieved. The resulting figure represents the amount you have spent on each sale, allowing you to clearly evaluate whether your campaign is yielding you an effective ROI.

ROI: Short for “return on investment,” ROI is a general term used to measure how much your campaign is paying off. There are different ways to measure your pay per click advertising ROI, depending on which “investment” metric you’re focusing on, including:

  • Return on Ad Spend: Here, you’re dividing only the money you’ve spent on clicks by the total profit that those clicks generated.
  • Return on Total Investment: As you well know, click costs aren’t the only costs associated with pay per click campaigns. There’s also the time that you put in! If you can estimate a dollar value for that labor, you can calculate a more comprehensive ROI figure by adding your click costs and other expenses associated with the campaign, and dividing it by the profit from conversions that the sales yielded.
  • Profit Per Impression: Useful for brands looking to maximize the efficiency of their campaigns and minimize wasted clicks, Profit Per Impression is calculated by dividing the total profit generated from conversions by the total number of ad impressions. This gives you a bird’s eye view of how much each placement is truly worth to you.

Click-Through Rate (CTR): One of the most commonly used metrics in PPC, click-through rate is calculated by dividing the total number of clicks by the total number of impressions. This figure offers you a cost-independent analysis of how effective your ad copy really is in driving the click.

Bounce Rate/Time Spent: An indispensable metric for landing page measurement is Bounce Rate—the percentage of users who do click through to your landing page, but do not click any links or progress through your sales funnel. While Bounce Rate is a great tool for identifying pages that are severely underperforming, Time Spent offers another angle by showing you how long users are spending on your site before moving on.

Where Does a Landing Page Fit Into My Overall Campaign?

Simply having a landing page is often enough to improve the performance of your pay per click advertising – to the tune of a 25% improvement in conversion rates on average. Having landing pages dedicated specifically to pay per click advertising and other online ad campaigns helps you keep advertising-specific traffic separate from other types, which means you’ll be able to use analytics more effectively to determine how your KPIs (key performance indicators) are stacking up.

How Many Landing Pages Should I Have?

So far, we’ve been talking about landing pages in either the abstract or the singular. But the fact is, there’s no reason to limit yourself. You can hone in on the optimal number of landing pages by measuring and testing pages for campaigns against each other. Consider adding multiple landing pages for segmenting traffic, for special offers or even for holidays or other special occasions. Creating separate landing pages can take additional work, but if it improves your KPIs, then it will have been worth it. And according to MarketingSherpa, 48% of marketers build a new landing page for each marketing campaign.

Plus, consider this:

“While having anywhere between one and 10 landing pages does not produce a significant increase in the number of leads generated, a 55 percent increase is achieved when a company has between 10 and 15 landing pages. Even more noticeable is the more than 100 percent increase when a company has 40 or more landing pages.” Source: Treehouse Blog

You might even want to add new landing pages for each specific demographic you serve. For example, if you’re an e-commerce site that sells both men’s and women’s boots, creating a landing page for each (and tweaking languages and images accordingly) could help you increase your conversion rates.

Wrapping It All Up

While there’s no surefire way to make your pay per click marketing campaign succeed, continuously measuring, analyzing, and optimizing your landing pages can go a long way. It gives you a space to declare your unique value proposition and guide customers through the conversion process. Neglecting landing pages and just tossing your customers onto your homepage can be overwhelming for them—and after they bounce, underwhelming for you as well.

As a top-ranked Ad Network, Advertise.com delivered over 800 million pageviews to advertising clients last month (according to comScore). Contact us to learn more about strategic online advertising and publisher solutions.