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Landing Page Costs – Should I Invest in Landing Page Creation?

Michael Candullo October 12, 2009 Category Paid Search (PPC)

Clients sometime question the cost of designing a landing page.  Many feel their current site is sufficient enough for search marketing and they don’t need to spend more money on rebuilding something they have essentially already invested in, their website.   Sounds reasonable right?  From a client point of view, why outlay more money if they already have a website they’ve spent time and money designing.

Many SEM agencies are happy just to get the business and may easily agree with the client.  This in many cases is a disservice.  Even a well designed PPC campaign can fall short if the landing page is not addressing the visitor’s core needs and leading them to the desired action the client wants.  This usually shows in lower conversion rates and a higher CPA (cost per action).   A client’s site should be looked at carefully before doing paid search to determine if the pages of their website are sufficient enough to accomplish their stated marketing goals.  If not,  landing page creation should be recommended to help them achieve and exceed their goals.

Case in point, Path recently obtained a service industry client who had been running paid search with a prominent  local search company.   The client wasn’t totally disenchanted with the service, but they weren’t blown away with the results either and like most businesses they wanted more and were willing to try another shop in hope of improving results.  The campaign’s CPA with their former shop was over $100.  Kind of rich in our eyes.  After reviewing the goals of the campaign we determined sign ups were the most desired goal.  We now had our goal, more sign ups at a lower cost.

Upon careful review of the client’s site, which by the way is a robust national site, we realized that their site had excellent content around the category we were targeting, but it was scattered among several pages of the site and there was no clear call to action on ANY of these pages.  This was problematic, as we would have to rely on the visitor to navigate through various content pages and eventually find a way to request info, if they ever made it to this point at all.  This was a tailor made case for landing page design

Our recommendation was to design a landing page where all the key selling points for the client were communicated on one page.  The landing page also needed a very strong call to action, which the current site lacked.  We presented this strategy to the client and after some discussion they agreed their site really didn’t match their marketing goals.  We could do better and they needed to invest in a landing page.  We began the work.

So, what were the results?  The first month running with the new landing page the client received a record number of sign ups and had achieved their best performance ever recorded from paid search.  Their Cost per action dropped by 60%!  They went from paying over $100 per sign up to under $40.  In month 2 their CPA became even more efficient dropping below $30 per sign up!

The client averages 100 leads per month and has cut the cost per lead by over $60.  So was the landing page cost worth it?  The numbers speak for themselves.  Of course results vary from client to client, but in most cases landing page costs cover themselves and then some.

I then ask is the more appropriate question not what a landing page costs, but what’s the cost of not doing a landing page and how much profit might your campaign be leaving on the table?

Michael Candullo is Co-Founder and President of Path Interactive

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