This week I’ll be going in-depth on the concepts of landing page design and the elements I found that lead to a successful one. I believe it’s an important area to focus one when managing a PPC campaign because a landing page is what converts the traffic you’ve received through your ads to actual customers. Simbound includes landing pages and website management in it’s simulation and I had quite the experience learning how to build one in the game.
Before I get into all of that though, let’s do a quick recap on what happened during week two.
The first step I decided to do was to review my overall results from the first week. One of the main benefits I’m starting to see from online advertising is the fact that you can track so many different metrics in your campaign. With Simbound, I was able to see how many impressions I’ve gotten, the number of clicks, CTR, conversions, ROI, etc. I exported all of those statistics onto an excel, and started sorting through my ads.
The main criteria I judged for ad performance was cost per conversion. That was found through total cost for ad / total conversion for ad. I ranked my ads based on this and started culling out the weaker ones.
My One Big Mistake
As I was sorting through all my ads and making notes on which I should drop for my revised campaign, I quickly saw what was the underlying problem to my disastrous results. It turns out that I only managed to spend 853€ of my original 1500€ advertising budget for last round. At first, I was confused because of my limited experience with PPC I would assume that a set budget would always be spent in any campaign.
Sadly that wasn’t the case. Instead your ads would only charge you money for every click. And the majority of clicks would go to ads ranked the highest on the search engine results. So what happened was that my competitors were out bidding me and my ads were being placed in position 5th-6th. Thus, not a lot of clicks for me and not a lot of conversions.
Making Myself Profitable Again
I launched myself into editing my campaign with this new-found information. What this led to was a much leaner campaign which will be more efficient at getting conversions and utilizing budget.
Then I focused on recreating my landing pages. After all, it didn’t matter how many clicks my new campaign would net me if I don’t convert.
Landing Page Design
So how did Simbound judge how effective a landing page was?
Each landing page is given a page score. This page score determines how likely a visitor will convert into a customer when they visit your page. In order to get a high quality score you need to include content on your landing page; product description, newsletter sign up, call to action, picture gallery, etc.
There are three types of customers in Simbound. The type of customer you get on your landing page is determined by your advertisement and the keywords you use in it. Using brand names get you more interested traffic, but if you include specific mode types you’ll end up attracting more buyers.
Now each type of customer prefers different content. For example, buyers love content such as specific product description, videos of that product, converting text based content etc.
How to create a great page
My strategy for creating a successful PPC landing page was mainly using trial and error. For every landing page that scored poorly, I simply went back to the drawing board and tried a different configuration of content used on the page. Again it came back to the concept of constantly testing and making small adjustments. Let’s try switching this picture gallery with a video post, oh conversions increased – great! Now let’s see if this Header version works better – oh results decreased let’s switch back. Eventually I developed a general sense of what was working and what wasn’t and my landing pages turned out better and better.
Sweet, moved up to second place! This round I managed to actually spend almost all of my budget, and the results were noticeable. I’m very excited about my progress so far and can’t wait for next round. It seems that a large increase in my bids allowed my ads to gain a lot more visibility and thus more clicks. The improvements in my landing pages also helped with increased conversion rates too.
The similarities to real life ad design?
While Simbound has a simple approach to successful landing page design, there are a few lessons that I took away here that can be applied to real life PPC.
1. Include lots of content
Landing pages are designed to convert traffic into customers — sometimes people know exactly what they want and are willing to buy it instantly. However, most of the time people are just interested and perhaps not willing to buy without further information. That’s where content comes in. Pictures, videos, product descriptions, all of these help provide value to the customer with additional information on the product. It provides engagement to your brand also, and this is what helps to convert them.
In Simbound, content was key in raising your page score. The trick was in finding the right combination of content that lead to the best conversion results. I adopted a trial and error approach by constantly using different designs until I eventually found one that worked well.
2. Be Specific
Each of my ads had their own specific landing pages. I felt that this was key to converting well in Simbound and can be related to real life too. The more specific the landing page you have for an ad, the better you can target the traffic coming in. Instead of a generic page designed to showcase a brand, you can instead build a page to display each and every individual product. Imagine the world of difference in terms of customer experience.
If I went back to my round 1 structure of landing pages, they were too general with a undefined target. For round two, I focused on making more landing pages so that every advertisement would have a dedicated page to what it was listing. I noticed a huge increase in profits from this.
Overall I’m very pleased with my progress in week two. It was very interesting learning about the nuances of how Simbound’s landing page system worked, and seeing the direct results it applied to my campaign. I hope to keep up my momentum heading into third week and start aiming for first place.
What do you think about Simbound’s landing page system? Do the same concepts work in real life PPC landing pages? What are some tips you could give me for round 3 next week? Let me know in the comments!