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This is a guest post from our friends over at Instapage.

More than 97% of ad clicks don’t convert.

That’s a statistic bound to frighten even the most valiant marketers.  

Scared? Don’t be, because there’s a way you can prevent your ads from meeting the same tragic fate—by using a technique with the power to convert ad clicks into conversions.  This technique is post-click optimization.

What is post-click optimization?

Post-click optimization refers to the process of ensuring that your post-click marketing components (dedicated landing page) have the same message as your pre-click components (the ad).  To optimize the post-click experience every ad should be connected to a personalized, relevant, dedicated landing page.  So, when visitors click this AdWords paid search ad, promoting a digital marketing agency that offers ecommerce services…

…it shouldn’t lead them to a page that looks cluttered and unpersonalized:

 

  • The page headline (“Commerce Connect™”) doesn’t say anything about what the digital agency does, about CRO integration, or ecommerce solutions.
  • There is no noticeable CTA button on the page.
  • There are a lot of off-page navigation links that distract visitors from the conversion goal.

When you fail to optimize post-click marketing components, you essentially pay for ad clicks that have no chance of converting.  There are five basic elements that make an optimized post-click experience. The examples that follow will discuss each element, including ads and landing pages that have perfected post-click optimization.

1. Shopify maintains message match

Message match is when an ad and its corresponding landing page contain similar copy, imagery, branding, etc. When this happens, the user experience is consistent from start to finish and people are more likely to fulfill the landing page’s conversion goal. So, naturally, in a message-matched, post-click experience, the offer promoted in the ad is the same offer highlighted on the landing page.

Shopify’s ad highlights the platform as a simple e-commerce solution, and promotes their free trial:

Here’s the landing page connected with the ad:

 

  • The landing page headline ‘Sell online with Shopify’ refers to the platform as an e-commerce solution.
  • The free trial offer is mentioned under the form field, letting visitors know what to expect when they click the CTA button.
  • There are no navigation links present on the page that can take visitors away from the offer before converting.  

Maintaining message match between your pre-click and post-click advertising components is especially important for retargeting campaigns. You can’t expect visitors to convert on a landing page that has no connection with the retargeting ad.

 

2. Justworks has a conversion ratio of 1:1

Conversion ratio refers to the number of clickable elements on a landing page compared to the number of conversion goals. The clickable element is usually the CTA button.  

A landing page is a standalone page created to promote one offer (one conversion goal) so the conversion ratio for an optimized landing page is 1:1. This means that the only link/element that should take visitors away from the page is the CTA button after they’ve converted.

To demonstrate, this Justworks landing page maintains a conversion ratio of 1:1:

 

  • The logo in the top-left is not linked and the page is free of navigation links.
  • The page is promoting Justworks’ comparison report and all the landing page elements—the headline, copy, image, and form—are relevant to the offer.
  • The CTA button is the only place the visitors can click, and it takes them to the thank you page with the comparison report.

With paid ad campaigns, you spend a lot of time and money targeting the right audience. Set your campaigns up for better success by eliminating off-page navigation links on your landing pages. That way you keep your audience engaged on the page and focused on the offer without escaping through exit links.

 

3. Mixpanel uses ample white space

White space (also known as negative space) is the part of a web page that’s left blank or unmarked—including the space between images, copy, CTA button, etc. This empty space doesn’t have to be white; it’s used to separate elements and reduce clutter for better design hierarchy and visual experience. Furthermore, the space is used as a means of focusing attention on a particular page element.

Mixpanel uses the right amount of white space in their display ad and the corresponding landing page, which helps the visitor focus on the offer and convert through the CTA button.

First the ad and then the landing page connected to it:

 

 

Also, notice how they’ve used message match with headlines, imagery, and color pattern?

Give your page elements ample room to breathe by using white space, and persuade visitors to focus on the CTA button and convert.

4. Campaign Monitor uses a contrasting CTA button

A landing page CTA button should capture visitors’ attention and persuade them to convert. When designing the CTA button, select a color that stands out from the background and surrounding elements. This contrast will get visitors to take notice.

Adding personalized copy for the landing page offer also helps persuade visitors to click the CTA button.

Campaign Monitor uses both techniques on their CTA button, i.e., not only does the button contrast with everything on the page, but it also features copy that’s relevant to the free trial:

 

You can also make use of visual cues to point to your contrasting CTA button as Campaign Monitor does with the arrow.

To help ensure your landing page provides the easiest route to conversion, a contrasting CTA button will be noticed and certainly more attractive to click than a button that blends in with its surroundings.

5. Jumpshot optimizes the thank you page

An optimized post-click experience doesn’t end with the landing page CTA button click. Connecting your landing page to an optimized thank you page enables you to acknowledge the visitor for converting and presents you with another conversion opportunity.

Ideally, an optimized thank you page includes:

  • A thank you note for the visitor
  • An image of the offer (usually the cover page)
  • Instructions how they can access the offer

Most importantly, a thank you page should begin the nurturing process by presenting them with related offers.  When you sign up for Jumpshot’s ad attribution white paper

…you’ll arrive at this thank you page …

 

  • The page has a thank you message with a CTA button that provides access to the white paper.
  • The message below the button lets the visitor know they can expect an email from the Jumpshot team.
  • The “Schedule a Demo Now” button allows visitors to schedule a demo. This gives the platform another conversion opportunity after the initial landing page CTA click.

Have you perfected post-click optimization?

Do all your ads take visitors to dedicated, message-matched landing pages?

Don’t let your ad clicks go to waste. Always connect your ads to landing pages that have message match, a 1:1 conversion ratio, a contrasting CTA button, adequate white space, and a thank you page rife with conversion opportunities. Your conversion rate and ad campaigns will thank you.

Author Bio

Fahad Muhammad is a Content Marketer at Instapage. Being a veteran Instapage writer, he has witnessed the industry progress rapidly. He writes about landing page examples, marketing trends, Instapage updates, and conversion psychology on the Instapage blog. When he’s not busy hunting down landing page examples, he can be found glued to an episode of Top Gear.

 

Max Stewart

Max Stewart is a Customer Success Manager at Perfect Audience with ten years experience in digital marketing. He is a die-hard Cubs fan and a very average guitar player.

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