On today’s Reach, Dan Parscale talks with Amelia Dale from Audigy’s Paid Search team about landing pages. What are they? Why are they crucial for your paid search campaigns and how you get started with landing pages is discussed.
DAN PARSCALE: Welcome to Reach, a podcast for audiologists, ENTs, and other hearing care professionals who want to reach more patients and maximize their marketing potential.
My name is Dan, and each week I’ll bring you interviews from industry experts who are specialized in marketing to the hearing care industry. Reach is a production of the Attainable Podcast Network. Visit attainable.fm for more information or to access a transcript of each show.
Today on Reach, we’re going to talk with Amelia Dale about landing pages. How much thought have you been putting into your first impressions from a PPC campaign? Listen in and learn tips that will help you identify ways to improve your PPC results. OK. How are you doing today, Amelia?
AMELIA DALE: I’m doing fantastic. How are you, Dan?
DAN PARSCALE: I am very good, thank you. We’re going to be talking about landing pages today, and I wonder if you can give us a brief synopsis of what your team’s philosophy is on landing pages, why they’re useful and just how you categorize them usually.
AMELIA DALE: That’s a great question. And for you listeners out there who don’t really know what a landing page is, you think, oh is it like a website? Well it is. It’s kind of like a website. It’s like a mini website. Landing pages are a fantastic way for us, the paid search team, to narrow your patients down into specific calls to action.
So a call to action is something like hearing aids. If someone types in a Google, I’m looking for hearing aids in Tulsa, Oklahoma, you want a landing page to pop up at the top that specifically talks about your practice, the kind of hearing aids you sell, the services you offer associated with hearing aids, and the awesome technology that’s out there. Those landing pages are a great way to get your patients into your practice immediately, rather than have them spending hours searching the internet looking for hearing aids.
Landing pages on our team are a fantastic way to highlight different features in your practice. Let’s say you really want to focus on getting those free hearing screenings, consultations, or tests, you’re running a better hearing event. Landing pages are a great way to just dial your patients in to what they’re actually looking for.
DAN PARSCALE: What are the primary components that go into a landing page that make it different than a standard page on a normal website?
AMELIA DALE: There are a lot of components, actually that go into a landing page, but the number one that we like to focus on is form submission. So there’s going to be a little form box on your landing page that says please write your name as the patient. You know, I would write Amelia Dale. You’d include contact information, cell phone number, email, et cetera, and then what you’re looking for.
So if you’re looking for those hearing aids, you could say, I’ve had hearing aids for 10 years. I’m looking to update my technology. Can I schedule an appointment? Those form submissions are where you convert landing pages from just awesome websites to something that actually drives revenue for your practice.
DAN PARSCALE: Are there any other components that are different? I’m thinking about like comparing it to a home page, for instance, where you would have maybe the initial call to action but you might also have a whole list of other services and things like that. What else is essential on a landing page that might not be present on a home page, for instance?
AMELIA DALE: Something that landing pages really have to have to succeed is a single call to action. Those home pages can get a little busy sometimes. They’re great sources of information for your patients, but sometimes people don’t want to sift through everything. They just want to see one thing, you know about hearing aids or about tinnitus or what else they might be looking for.
So those landing pages really dial in what your services are. Like if you’re offering a free hearing screening, we are definitely going to list the four-step hearing screening process on your landing page. So your patients know what to expect when they come in. They’re going to have an interview, a diagnosis, an exam, and recommendation for technology.
DAN PARSCALE: One of the things that it sounds like to me is that your landing pages that you’re building are really just they’re hyper-specific to the needs of the person who’s landing on them, right?
AMELIA DALE: Absolutely.
DAN PARSCALE: So that’s different from a home page or any other website, because who knows what they were looking for when they landed on a home page. They could have been looking for any of the things that you just mentioned. I would imagine that that’s one of the primary reasons that you would use a landing page for an AdWords campaign for instance.
AMELIA DALE: Definitely. And another great thing about landing pages, thanks for bringing that up Dan, is that when someone types in a search query into Google, a lot of things can pop up. Google’s trying to understand what you’re searching for. They’re looking for relevance in a bunch of websites, landing pages, ads, et cetera. And by having a quality landing page, your page should pop up at the top of people’s search results, which is a great way to drive people to your practice.
DAN PARSCALE: So one of the words that you used is relevance. And when I’m thinking about relevance in let’s say an organic search, then I’m thinking about how good the content is on that page so that it will show up for whatever that person is searching about. But with the landing page, you’re talking about something that is so hyper-specific that it’s only relevant to one kind of query, for instance. So for instance, if it’s about a specific kind of hearing aid, the landing page is going to reflect the keywords that are in that search almost identically, I guess might be the way to put it? Is that accurate?
AMELIA DALE: Definitely. Those home pages on your website are a great way to get a general understanding of what your practice is offering, which is great for patients who are looking for maybe a new provider, a good opportunity to gather more information. But those people who are ready to convert, ready to make appointments, get technology, those landing pages are a great place to dial them in.
DAN PARSCALE: Let’s talk a little bit about the actual content that you’re building out for these pages. Let’s start by looking at a call to action, because we’ve talked about that already. I have in my mind some of the things that have been convincing calls to action, for landing pages I’ve hit personally in the past. How do you determine whether a call to action is really what it should be?
AMELIA DALE: Calls to action are really important to be specific. So you wouldn’t want to just say, get more information. You would want to say, schedule your tinnitus appointment today. That call, that action is dialed in. People wouldn’t get confused about what they’re looking for or what they’re contacting your practice about. And we do a lot of A/B testing with our landing pages. And for people out there who are a little iffy on A/B testing, it basically means, something I like to use to describe it is build your favorite sundae. It has ice cream, it has sprinkles, maybe even like whipped cream and a cherry on top. Oh, but someone else’s favorite sundae, chocolate ice cream, butterscotch syrup, and a bunch of nuts. So they’re both sundaes but they’re both different.
A/B testing is kind of like that, but let’s say your ice cream is the same flavor and maybe you both have sprinkles but one has a cherry on top and one doesn’t. So when we A/B test your landing pages, that’s what we’re doing. We’re building two identical pages but changing one key element and then competing them against each other for a length of time, which is about three to four months, to see how your patients and your community are responding to your planning pages to see which sundae they prefer better.
And so when we go forward, we decide oh you know, the sundae with the cherry on top performed really, really well. So next quarter, we’re going to keep the cherry on top and maybe this time we’re going to add chocolate syrup and see what happens. And from there, we’ll continue to improve your landing pages over the year and then compare and contrast going forward to see what we can do to better convert those pages.
We make two landing pages on the same subject for the same member, for the same location, and we run maybe different images on them or we’ll run different calls to action for the form submissions. So there are a variety of ways that we can improve our calls to action, but those actionable statements I guess you could say, where you say, schedule your appointment, call us today, contact our practice now. Those are the best for getting patients into your front door.
DAN PARSCALE: What kind of imagery tends to go well with this? Or does it really even matter that much? Can I just put a picture of anything on the page, or what’s your thought process?
AMELIA DALE: It really depends on what the landing page is addressing. If we are talking about hearing aids, nine times out of 10 we’re going to put a picture of technology. You know, we’re going to put the AGX9. We’re going to put the AGX7, or whatever we can to help the patients better understand what the page is about.
If it’s about consultations, we usually put an image of a provider talking to a patient or maybe a patient talking to a spouse, thinking about their options that are available to them. But those are a lot of really high-quality images that we cycle through and figure out what works for what region best, because every part of the country is different, every practice is different. And every patient is different. You have to figure out what brings them in, what hooks them.
DAN PARSCALE: So the last qualifier you just tossed out there was that every patient is different. Is there a limitation on how specific you can make this landing page? Like for instance, you can talk about A/B testing for a region, but can you really do A/B testing for a specific patient? Or do you? It is it worthwhile?
AMELIA DALE: We have not found that it’s really been effective to go that specific with the landing pages. I feel like it’s more practice driven. We get a better understanding of the general population, but to get so specific for individual patients, I really feel like that’s where the handoff happens between getting someone to fill out a form submission on the landing page and contact the practice. And from there, the front office staff will better be able to address that specific patient’s needs.
DAN PARSCALE: So if we’re going to be looking at this from the practice level then, are you just kind of A/B testing till you find that sweet spot? Or does the branding of that particular practice play a part in this also?
AMELIA DALE: The branding definitely plays a big part. We in the past have built a lot of landing pages based on high conversion rate. We’ve really specified in our own best practices what works and what doesn’t as far as landing page development goes, but having the brand on the landing page as far as colors and logo and having images of your staff on there, that is so important for getting patients in the front door, because it makes you human. It makes your business human and makes people want to trust you and get to know you and work with you going forward.
DAN PARSCALE: Does it matter if your button is red or green or if you have a certain order to the way that things are laid out on the page? Or are those things that you take into consideration, too, and why are they important if they are?
AMELIA DALE: Absolutely. We have found that if the form is not in the top third of the page, people won’t find it. If a landing page doesn’t load within a certain amount of time, or a website, for instance, people will leave because we like things fast here. Technology has improved a lot in the last 10 years, landing pages included, and those forms really need to be at the top of the page.
Having an image of your provider in the top of the page is also really important. Putting a face to the practice rather than just a name. And having the phone number for your practice actually listed all over the landing page. We usually list it about three to four times, just so there is no miscommunication about how to contact you. It’s very important.
DAN PARSCALE: Something that you just said really interested me. And that was that if the form isn’t in the first third of the page, it’s less likely to be seen, right. So that makes me wonder as an analytics guy, what kinds of metrics are you paying attention to here, and what can you determine when you’re analyzing these? And then what’s the most important stuff to pay attention to there, too?
AMELIA DALE: One of the number one things we look at with our landing pages is actually the clickthrough rate. So it’s if somebody sees our ad for paid search pop up in their search query in Google and they click on the ad and go to the main page, that’s a clickthrough. It means that they saw it. They liked it enough to click on it, and they looked at your information. Maybe they don’t convert just yet. Sometimes the cycle for patients converting can be a little bit longer, maybe a couple of days, a week, a month, depending on what level of service they’re looking for. If they’re buying new technology, usually takes a little longer to convert them.
But another metric we look at when assessing quality landing pages are impressions. Those are just when your ads pop up. How many people have seen them? Because it’s actually really effective if your brand and your message are being projected to your community on a consistent basis and say 30,000 people in your area saw your ad and saw your landing page. That’s a lot of people saying, oh you know I’ve heard of them. Word of mouth gets around. Your branding starts becoming part of the community in that way.
The third metric we look at when we’re assessing the quality of landing pages is conversions. When your patients fill out those forms and they call your practice, want to contact your practice to schedule an appointment, that’s really a way for us to decide if the landing page is successful or not because the more patients you get in your door, the more patients you can help. And that means we’re doing our job better.
DAN PARSCALE: Some of the feedback that we will get from time to time about landing pages is that it doesn’t represent a practice’s brand in the same way as their website does. How would you respond to criticism like that?
AMELIA DALE: Landing pages have their own kind of beauty. They really divide your patients into two groups, the ones that are ready to convert, ready to make appointments, ready to purchase technology, and already know that they have a hearing loss or know that they need help.
And patients that are just getting information, maybe not even for themselves. It’s surprising how many people go through this process for a parent, a sibling, a significant other, anybody, just to get more information. So these landing pages, they’re templated and have been tested to convert, because those patients are ready.
DAN PARSCALE: So let’s consider the conversion funnel and where in their journey people are in terms of really taking action on their hearing. Are you building out landing pages and running ad copy that are for people who are ready to start educating themselves on services and technology as well has people who are ready to make their first appointment, and people who are also ready to make their second or third appointment or how deep into that are you going?
AMELIA DALE: When we construct a paid search campaign, one of the things we do for landing pages is we like to highlight four key areas of your practice. And this can be specific for any member, so give or take a couple of pages depending on what they want to focus on. We always build out an audiologist or provider hearing instrument specialist page to have your patients understand what of people work in the practice that they’ll be meeting and working with and getting care from. Then we build out a tinnitus page. That’s very common. We build a hearing aids page, and we build out a free screening consultation or test page.
Patients that come in looking for more information nine times out of 10 are headed towards hearing aids, because they want to talk about what kind of technology they can get for their lifestyle. If you have a more sedentary lifestyle, maybe you don’t need the highest brand of technology because your favorite things to do are to sit at home and hang out with your grandkids and read books and have a really relaxed life. Or vice versa, if you’re very active and you like going out to a lot of football games and concerts and stuff, you might want a different kind of piece of technology.
People who are looking for information usually also go to the audiologist provider HIS page because they want to get to know, like I said earlier, those people that they are going to be meeting when they come in to your practice.
On the opposite end of the coin, people who are ready to convert, who are like I’m dialed in, they schedule those free hearing screenings and consultations and tests. And they usually know that they have tinnitus or that they need a tinnitus appointment.
Because one of the things we focus on in our ad copy in either what you see on the Google search query or on the landing page itself is, do you have ringing in your ears. And that’s something that people really struggle with. It’s uncomfortable and they need care almost immediately when they decide that there are options out there for them. So they’re more likely to convert directly from that tinnitus page.
DAN PARSCALE: If I’m looking to add landing pages to my web presence, what do I have to do?
AMELIA DALE: That’s a great question. It’s actually pretty simple. You have to be on the page search program, but it’s a really easy program to sign up for. All you need to do is contact your marketing manager or contact our team directly. Our contact person is Eric Kammer, and you can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, Eric Kammer. Or you can look him up on our website, actually. He’s a pretty great guy.
And what you do is you sign up for a monthly fee with paid search. And it’s whatever you designate. If you decide you want to put $400 a month towards your paid search ads or if you want to put $1,000, it’s up to you. But those landing pages are free. We do not charge you to build more. We do not charge you to A/B test them, and we will constantly be optimizing your campaigns throughout the time you’re on our program.
It’s a fabulous setup, and we can have monthly calls with you, quarterly calls with you, whatever you want so that we can better understand what you want on your site and how we can convert your patients for you.
DAN PARSCALE: OK Amelia, we are at the point in the show where we’re going to wrap things up with our top three takeaways. What are the most important things that people should remember about landing pages?
AMELIA DALE: Number one, landing pages make an average website extraordinary. They allow your patients to access the information they need immediately. Number two, landing pages are a fantastic way for practices to directly address patients who are in a different part of their hearing journey, whether they’re ready to purchase technology and commit to an appointment or just searching for more information either for themselves or for a loved one. The third and final point that you guys should take away from this podcast is to A/B test your landing pages. Even the smallest change can dramatically increase your effectiveness.
DAN PARSCALE: Thank you, Amelia, so much for helping us to understand landing pages. There’s a lot to cover here, and I think we covered a great deal of it in this short period of time. I really appreciate your time.
AMELIA DALE: Thanks for having me, Dan.
DAN PARSCALE: Thank you for listening to Reach. As always, make sure to subscribe to our show via iTunes or Google Play. Access full transcripts for every show by visiting attainable.fm/Reach or just say hello by dropping me a line at Dan@attainable.fm. We’d also appreciate your feedback on Reach by leaving us a review on iTunes or Google Play. Did you learn something new today? If so, let us know by leaving a review. It’s quick and easy, and it helps us to improve.