Bringing the right visitor at the lowest possible cost is only half of the battle to achieve a good ROI with paid traffic. Your landing page must convert this visitor into money.
And one of the most overlooked practices to increase the conversion rates of PPC campaigns is segmentation: sending your visitors to different Landing Pages based on a set of criteria. ****
I know. A lot of people do it at some level. But trust me: only a few really explore the power of segmentation at its full potential.
So, let’s go over some classic and some not-so-typical segmentation techniques you could try to boost your PPC results.
In This Article:
- How segmentation helps you
- Segmentation techniques based on user data
- Segmentation techniques based on keywords
- Get as granular as you can
- How to get started with segmentation
How segmentation helps you
Before we move on to the techniques, it’s important to understand why Landing Page segmentation is so efficient to increase ROI that those who start doing it, never go back (even when it takes a lot of effort to maintain a large set of Landing Pages).
By understanding the reasons behind this efficiency, you will make better use of the techniques we’ll discuss next.
You can better connect with each of your audience’s different pain points
Picture a real estate agent that tries to sell a particular house with the exact same sales pitch to every lead she gets: young couples, families with kids, investors, widows … Doesn’t make much sense, does it?
When you’re talking to a family with kids, you’ll want to focus on things like how close the house is to schools or the area it might have for the kids to play.
When dealing with an investor, you might be more successful highlighting the economic growth of the area and how many different people would be interested in living in that house in the future.
It works the same way online.
Even very specific products have different audiences with different pain points, objections, or goals.
You shouldn’t be trying to fit everyone to one single Landing Page, with an “average” sales pitch to everyone. Build segmented pages that will focus on the scenario of each one of your audiences.
You have more control for retargeting campaigns
If you send your different audiences to different Landing Pages, you can set different retargeting pixels/rules on each of these pages. This will allow you to also segment your retargeting campaigns. This way, you’ll have the power to present more relevant, specific ads to each of these audiences.
Retargeting is such an important piece of a good paid traffic strategy that this benefit shouldn’t be overlooked.
You improve your quality score
You’ll notice that once you start being more relevant for your visitor on your Landing Pages, for many different reasons, your Quality Score will increase.
This means you’ll pay less to get the same visitors and also boost your visibility.
Segmentation techniques based on user data
To start discussing segmentation techniques, let’s go with a basic but very important one: is your user on mobile or desktop?
User behavior can be completely different on these devices depending on your business. Even your main conversion can vary a lot.
Let’s use Airbnb as an example.
On desktop, it’s reasonable to believe that a user objective would be the usual: look for a place to stay on the next trip.
In that case, a typical Airbnb ad inviting users to book a stay makes perfect sense:
On mobile, things might not be that straightforward. Some Airbnb services have higher importance for users on the go with their mobile phones.
For example, there’s probably a higher chance that a user on vacation will want Airbnb experience happening tonight close to where she’s staying. Or perhaps she could be attracted by an offer to rent her house while she’s traveling.
Maybe that’s why this option only shows up on the mobile ad (below)?
And of course, the app install (at the bottom of the ad) is a huge conversion for mobile but doesn’t make sense on desktop. That alone could justify an entirely different traffic acquisition strategy on desktop and mobile.
Besides considering changing your main conversion, when building Landing Pages focused on mobile traffic, you should also think about the length of the page.
Should your page be shorter than its desktop version?
I’m not saying that shorter pages always work better on mobile. That’s just a myth. I’ve seen every possible length work and fail on both devices’ Landing Pages.
But one thing is certain: for a variety of industries, mobile users tend to be more in a hurry than desktop users. Consider car rental, for example. Your mobile user could be at an airport trying to get a car to leave immediately.
For this kind of user, you gotta go straight to the point. Handle any objections you have to quickly and then make converting as easy as possible.
One good news is that when you have a good Landing Page segmentation strategy, achieving this minimalism is easier. After all, it’s easier to write less. With one page for each audience, you can add to the page only what is really relevant for that audience. You don’t have to be perfect for everyone.
For most businesses, the location from where a user is visiting their website is an important factor.
For example, think about how users from different cities should be treated differently in many ways by big retailers.
They can dynamically feature products with free shipping for the user’s region.
Or even better, they might identify different buying trends for users from different cities. Maybe what people in Miami are interested in right now is pretty different from what’s happening in New York.
But even more interesting is one variable that heavily influences these regional trends: the weather.
When combining location and weather, many businesses can create powerful segmentation. What users want changes a lot depending on how the weather is at the moment there.
This is obvious, right? Yet, the vast majority of businesses never used the combination of location and weather to segment their audiences.
Time of Day
Necessities from users can also change a lot over the course of the day.
Think about how important it is for Uber Eats campaign Landing Pages, for example.
At 7 am, you might be using an inspiring design with breakfast elements on your page, followed by some famous restaurants for breakfast near the user.
But by 5 pm, you’d probably have a better conversion rate by sending visitors to a different landing page, like this one from Open Table:
Time of the day is also a great element to combine with location and weather.
On the example above from Open Table, if we knew it was raining, maybe we could send the user to a Landing Page without the “Outdoor dining” row. Or at least move it below the “Get it delivered” row, which would make more sense for most users.
A lot of context about users can be discovered by carefully analyzing their sources (the pages or websites where they came from).
Let’s think about users coming from blog posts, for example.
I frequently hear companies complaining that the conversion rates on their blogs are considerably lower than on the rest of their website.
And even though it can bother managers a lot, this is perfectly normal. After all, users on blog posts are in a “reading mood”. Which means they are usually not willing to buy anything at the moment. They want to read stuff.
That’s why you should test segmenting users coming from blogs in your Display campaigns. Send them to pages more content-focused and with “lighter” conversions (i.e. joining an email list instead of buying something).
This way, you’ll better match your message to their current context and “mood”, potentially seeing greater overall results down the road.
Segmentation techniques based on keywords
There’s one information, available specifically on Search Ads campaigns, that is extremely valuable to segment visitors and their landing pages: their search query.
Seer founder, Wil Reynolds, frequently demonstrates how Google has learned to understand even tiny details of their users’ intents based mainly on what they type on the search query (the keyword).
The good news is that you don’t have to be Google to start applying some smart segmentation based on keywords. Here are some ideas for you:
Step of the buyer journey
Keywords can tell you a lot about where a user is in the buyer journey.
How much she knows about your market, her level of awareness of her real problem, how ready she is to buy… Don’t waste this opportunity to adapt your Landing Pages to these very different user intents.
First, if your visitor is using a broad search term, she’s usually still in the early steps of the buyer journey, like Awareness and Consideration.
Let’s take an Email Marketing tool buyer journey as an example.
Someone using a broad term like… hmm… “email marketing” probably doesn’t know exactly what she wants yet and is looking for ways to start sending some emails for a business or to improve what she already has.
For this kind of visitor, you might want to test some of the following approaches:
Start by highlighting your overall Unique Selling Proposition. It might be too soon to get into details. So first, you should say how you’re going to make her life better altogether. Here’s a good example from Constant Contact:
At the beginning of their journey, users are less likely to take bigger commitments, for that reason, test offering them “lighter” conversions, like signing up for free trials (with no credit card requests) or to receive high-quality content. When converting these users, test asking for information that will be useful to better segment these visitors for your future communication with them (i.e. remarketing, email, notifications, etc.)
Think about what information would make more sense for your business. Company size? Revenue? Gender? Remember that segmentation is a powerful tool not only for Landing Pages. But for your whole Marketing.
And this kind of first-party information users give you is what will fuel really great segmentation strategies.
But if a visitor is using more detailed search queries, you have to change tactics.
In our email marketing example, let’s say our visitor used the keyword “email marketing tool with the best deliverability“.
That’s a much more educated user. Just by looking at the keyword, we know this user has done her homework. She studied how email marketing works, she took a look at the most important features and she already identified deliverability (the efficiency of a tool to make emails arrive at the customers’ inboxes) as her main pain point.
She’s clearly deeper in the buyer journey.
General unique selling propositions might not be the best tactic now. You should focus on the user’s pain paint clearly visible in the keyword “email marketing tool with the best deliverability“.
Like this Sendgrid Landing Page does:
You can also test changing your offer. Instead of the lighter conversion, something like a discount to buy in the next 24 hours tends to work better. After all, this customer might be ready to make the move. A final push could be enough.
People might be interested in a product for many different reasons.
One may want a Tesla because he thinks it will help the planet. Another may want it because of the cool technology in the car.
Some search queries make it easy to understand the feature in your product that someone is interested in. And to be relevant, you should build your whole sales pitch around that feature.
Let’s see what Figma, the famous design tool, could do with this as an example.
If someone searches for “collaboration design tool“, why should Figma send them to a generic Landing Page, presenting all of their features with the same level of visibility?
Wouldn’t it make much more sense to send them to a page like the one below?
The page quickly shows that they have what the user is looking for: collaboration features. This is crucial to avoid users from quickly bouncing. Other features could be mentioned deeper on the page. But the sales pitch is built around the main feature the user is looking for.
And the same strategy should be applied to other features people search for. Like “prototyping tool“:
Remember: most of the time, good Landing Pages should do what good salespeople do. And one of these things is adapting their pitch to better fit each person’s interest.
Get as granular as you can
Segmentation is something you should do as much as you have time to. This is especially true for keyword segmentation.
Of course, you should prioritize segmenting the traffic from keywords with reasonable traffic and conversion rates. But keep getting as specific as you can.
Always think about how you can segment your traffic to one more level.
For example, if you sell products for pets, you could increase your granularity by building landing pages following a sequence of keywords like this:
How to get started with segmentation
If you currently do zero segmentation, this article might sound intimidating. But remember, you don’t have to do it all at once.
Start with some basic customizations like device, location, or main keywords and build from there.
There are also many tools that can help you do things faster at a reasonable cost.
For example, if you want to build new pages for your segments, here’s a list of great page building tools that don’t require advanced coding skills:
Another approach is personalizing your current pages, making changes on them based on user information like source, device, keyword, and many others.
A great tool for page personalization is Google Optimize. It has a free plan, it easily integrates with other Google products and it has a powerful list of targeting rules. Take a look for yourself:
With this, you can create a personalized experience for a range of segments.
Don’t wait to get started
Your competitors won’t.
Segmentation and personalization are a hot topic for a lot of companies looking for ways to increase their conversion rates.
Take a look at the audience in the photo below, when I presented a slide with some segmentation ideas in my last talk at a Marketing conference before COVID:
I wish I was so entertaining that so many phones like these would take photos from all my slides. But that’s not the case.
It happened because all of them are trying to explore this topic of segmentation/personalization in particular.
So, no, you don’t have to become great at segmentation overnight. But don’t wait too much to get started.