There is a massive disconnect when using Landing Page best practices for automotive websites.
How so? Too many marketing agencies and vendors are using outdated marketing tactics to solve the problems dealers face.
- Dealers are forced to use Landing Pages that contain content simply for the sake of creating content. It doesn’t help answer key questions such as payments and prices.
- Dealers are still using iFrame page solutions. These pages are not structured properly so the Search engines can read the content. (If they can’t read it – they can’t index it)
- Message Matching doesn’t exist. Paid search ads don’t have the ability to include dynamic pricing and don’t take shoppers to responsive, topic-specific Landing Pages.
Let’s examine what happens with other products and industries. There are three basic stages every consumer goes through when purchasing a product.
- They think about buying it
- They research it
- They commit to buying it
This process may take anywhere from six minutes to six months. Sometimes steps are repeated as buyer’s remorse can kick in even before the purchase.
What’s consistent among automotive and other industries?
- 90% of shoppers start their search on the Internet
- 70%+ rely on online reviews
- 53% of shoppers begin their search on a mobile device
- 33% of shoppers’ entire time is spent on a mobile device
What defines a successful online shopping experience?
- Shopper searches, see highly relevant paid search ad that matches intent and includes prices and offers
- Shopper clicks on an ad
- User goes to a relevant Landing Page and takes the desired action
Any experience that differs from this can risk breaking trust, waste ad spend and cause the user to do more work finding answers to their original question. (Or worse – they leave the site)
What’s a Landing Page and Why Is It Important?
One of the best strategic tools for a digital marketing professional is a Landing Page. This single web page has a specific and unique purpose within an online marketing campaign.
This page is the final destination an online shopper lands on after they have completed a search and clicked a relevant paid ad or an organic search result.
While there is a specific goal of this page, there are many objectives which must be satisfied.
- The search result clicked on (whether a paid ad or organic result) must answer the shopper’s question or match their desired intent
- The Landing Page must have the proper hierarchy (Primary content with the offer displayed first)
- Prominent Calls to Action must direct the user to the desired action (submit a lead, click to call, get more info)
- Trust needs to be established (Items that break trust: landing users on the home page or anywhere else the message isn’t consistent, or the offer doesn’t exist)
Successful Landing Pages are simple and don’t confuse. When executed properly they will
- Create better online shopping experiences
- Increase engagement and influence the user towards making a purchase decision
- Improve on-page conversions and assisted conversions
- Improve organic search results presence by occupying more digital real estate
- Increase ad click-through-rates
- Lower paid ad search costs due to the relevancy and on-page performance
This straightforward approach is what makes landing pages the best option for increasing the conversion rates of your Google AdWords campaigns and improving your opportunity to rank higher organically.
Somewhere, at some time, the automotive marketing community decided that shoppers should be directed to search results pages, micro-sites or even worse, to their home page – regardless of the search query or their initial intent.
Why Is It Important To Use Landing Pages?
There’s only one answer this question: To drive more conversions!
Dealers want specific actions from shoppers who are shopping for vehicles. Responsive, relevant Landing Pages help accomplish these objectives because of their ability to feature a single goal, on specific vehicles.
This is a fundamental element of targeted marketing. Send highly specific users that have a specific objective to a relevant Landing Page that matches their original intent. They clicked the ad for a reason – because they expected to land on a distinct page that will solve their problem.
The user is forced to begin the second stage of their search if they land on the home page or a search results page. Shoppers looking for a Toyota Camry lease offers do not want to search your website to find the lease offer they just saw on TV.
Break your ads down to simple intent categories and let that determine where you land shoppers.
- Make-specific leaderboard Landing Pages are great for mid-funnel shoppers looking for ‘Ford lease deals’ and haven’t indicated their specific model intent.
- Body-style Landing Pages are also great for mid-funnel shoppers. They may not know the exact vehicle they want, ‘GMC SUV deals’; a Landing Page with specific examples can influence their decision.
- Model-specific Landing Pages are the perfect destination for in-market shoppers – those who have indicated their intent by searching for ‘Ford Explorer lease deals’.
Contrast the experiences of your home page and your SRPs vs. any of these types of Landing Pages. Your home page is a general experience – a way to display your brand and showcase your unique selling propositions. Your SRPs are just a list of your inventory that makes the shopper do all the work. It has become the defacto destination for many marketers and is mostly a lazy solution.
Your home page, your SRPs and any other page that isn’t a relevant Landing Page are guaranteed to include a multitude of links. Most of those links serve solely as a distraction and don’t contribute to your desired goals. This is one of the biggest reasons ad spend, and conversion goals are wasted and miss their mark.
Why Is Message Matching Important?
Message matching is a vital aspect of a successful marketing campaign. When your Landing Page message is consistent with your paid search ad, you are making Google very happy. Google wants to know the message in your ad is consistent with where your visitors land.
Search Query: Ford Explorer Lease Deals
Sample Paid Search Ad: Ford Explorer Lease Sale Going On Now! Check out our huge inventory
Landing page copy: (SRP’s) 47 Ford Explorers for sale – no lease prices shown.
Search Query: Ford Explorer Lease Deals
Sample Paid Search Ad: Ford Explorer Lease $299/mo W/$2500 Dn. $389/mo. W/Zero Down.
Landing page copy: Multiple Model/Trim-Specific Ford Explorer lease offers with monthly lease payments displayed.
This tactic tells Google your messages match and your site visitors now have a better opportunity to convert. Your campaign quality scores now have a better chance to improve as well.
9 Tips To Improve Your Landing Pages
- Optimize your Page Meta Titles to match the page theme. Titles should be within 60-65 characters long.
- Your page headlines should summarize the page theme so there is zero confusion as to the topic of the page.
- Be sure your primary conversion calls to actions are prominent and not cluttered with non-essential actions.
- Page Copy should focus on the key topic. This is how you frame the context of the page for both the user and search engines.
- Include video. Video influences automotive shoppers by up to 80%.
- Use a responsive page that displays the same content on the desktop version as the mobile version – not an iFrame solution that prevents Google from reading the page content!
- Include social proof whenever possible.
- Use short paragraphs with line breaks and use bullets or lists for easily digestible mobile content
- Don’t send paid traffic to your homepage. Always use your relevant landing pages!
Use these tips to create and manage your Landing Pages to improve engagement, increase conversion and lower your ad costs.
How are you using relevant landing pages for your dealership marketing efforts?