7 Steps to Making a Great Landing Page for PPC

landing-pagesLanding pages are heavily used to attract customers to where you want them on your website: the sales payment page being the ultimate objective for most ebusinesses.  Like everything else in life, there are right ways to go about creating a landing page and a million wrong ways.  Creating a good landing page is vital because this is what many first time users are going to see of your web presence, and you cannot afford for it to be the last they see of you!

Here is our simple, 7 –step program to creating a landing page which works:

Step One: Identify the USP

Every business and product will have a USP – Unique Selling Point.  Your USP may be you are the cheapest company in your zip code for your product or service, provide the tastiest food, the coldest beer, the fastest, the cleanest, the loudest, the closest, the “whatever” you do which sets you apart from the rest of the competition.

A USP will usually be combined in your primary headline, but it may be relegated to a secondary headline where you already have a short and sweet headline.  A good example is this one from Amazon:

“Earth’s Biggest Bookstore”

Step Two: Briefly Outline Benefits

Your USP headline attracts attention, but now you have to satisfy the customer’s initial curiosity.  You should have ONE paragraph, using BULLET POINTS to answer this question from your customer, “Why do I care this product or service?”

You are outlining benefits here – what will this product do for your customer.  For example:

  • We are the cheapest which means you save money – GUARANTEED!
  • You get the best quality – GUARANTEED!
  • We deliver next day nationwide which means you don’t have to wait – GUARANTEED!

Go back and edit this paragraph continuously until you have just bare bones, so taking line one:

  • We’re the cheapest so you save money – GUARANTEED!

Step Three: Use a Picture

This is known as the “Hero Shot”; think the cowboy in the Marlboro ads or the hunk in an aftershave campaign or the smiling couples for Viagra commercials.  They show the product in use, giving context which either forms an empathetic connection with the customer or appeals to their aspirations.

Typically, the hero shot will be a photo, but it can also be diagram showing where the product fits into an existing problem which is typically experienced by your target market readership, or it may be a chart showing where you rank with the competition (top!) or a simple graphic selling a number, e.g.” 50% OFF!”

Step Four: Set the Context of Use

Context of use is important, and this is closely related to step 3 and the Hero Shot.  Context of use provides the user with “real life” application; for instance, if you are selling a beverage, show it being drunk – if its beer, show it being drunk in a bar; if it’s champagne, show it being drunk on a yacht on a blue sea.

Obviously photographic imagery and video are excellent for doing this, but you can also invoke context of use by displaying a client list or by using testimonials.

Step Five: Get the Customer’s Information

Ask for the user’s email and/or contact information – this is extremely important for all landing pages, but it is especially vital for landing pages selling to other businesses (B2B).  In this instance, a landing page’s primary objective will probably be lead generation and unless you gain the contact information, you fail!

The best way to get contact information is to ask for it, typically providing some freebie or promotional pricing for a limited period.  Use a privacy statement too – this enhances your professionalism.

Step Six: Provide a 2nd Chance Safety Net

Not every visitor will turn into a converted lead or sale and you will experience a substantial number of users who are interested in you but not ready to buy now.  Provide them with a second chance to do business with you, known as a safety net, and this can take many different forms:

  • Add a button for the user to subscribe to your Facebook profile, Twitter feed or other social media presence you maintain;
  • Offer to email a reminder;
  • Offer a freebie download such as a whitepaper; or
  • Bookmark the page.

Step Seven: The Call to Action

This is the ultimate purpose of the landing page – the final act you want the user to perform and at some point you have to ask them to do it.  The call to action may be to buy your product, it may be to complete a survey, to navigate through to a sales page, to pick up a phone and call your sales team, to add themselves to your email bulletin…whatever it is that you want the user to do before they leave the landing page.

Examples include:

Meet the World’s Best Browser” and immediately below is the download box for the Firefox browser

Things Mac” placed immediately above a download box and a “Purchase: Buy things Mac now” box

NCover helps .NET teams all around the world deploy applications with fewer bugs” and placed below is a download box with an offer in it, “Download NCover – 21-Day Free Trial


  1. Honestly one of the best articles about PPC and landing pages I have ever read.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. I think number 6 is one that many people forget about. People who do not buy the first time around should not be shrugged off or forgotten about. A lot of people do the equivalent of window shopping online when they know they are going to need to make a purchase in the future. Offering a way to bookmark the site/page or keeping the customer informed is key to getting him or her back to the website when they are ready to buy.

  3. I am confused by the difference between a landing page and the home page. We are just about to launch a newsletter and it would be helpful to understand the difference.

    • Landing pages are created to be the page the user lands on after clicking the ad. This page speaks backs up the ad you placed so the user gets a targeted page to convert them. A home page is really to vague to have the laser-like approach a good landing page has.

  4. I do agree bout this. . very true!

  5. Shell,

    I recently read an article where it was recommended that if you are using your usual website template, you should remove the main menu bar so the visitor is not tempted to navigate away. I am not at all comfortable with that approach. I’d very much appreciate your thoughts… Donna

  6. Great post here, your PPC landing page should encompass all of these things to ensure the ultimate goal of conversion.

  7. typically, i am focusing my landing pages on content that directs customers through my ecommerce content in one eyeshot…it makes way more sense to break it down into logical steps. this article refreshes my old chores into a new project. im going to get started immediately

  8. Solid tips! Though I was also thinking of the most preferred length of landing pages. If a shorter one with an autoplay video is better than lengthy informative content. But will do keep these tips in mind!

  9. It is not always a good idea to send visitors to your homepage.Best overview of types of landing pages that Iâ??ve found to date. Only thing I would have liked to see are more examples, especially for #1. Keep bringing the good stuff!

  10. Good.!!
    Landing page is also concern with Quality Score…