“Are y’all gonna create landing pages for PPC?”
This is a question we get all of the time when we bring on new clients who are investing in both SEO and PPC.
There are differing opinions about whether it’s wise for law firms to use separate landing pages for PPC and SEO.
The basic argument by folks who advocate for separate PPC landing pages is that pages for your PPC ads should somehow be more “salesy” than pages from other traffic sources (like SEO, social, email, etc.). And so those pages should actually be designed in a manner that’s distinct from your “regular” web pages.
My opinion is, this is nonsense. Here’s why.
Point of clarification: When I use the term landing page all I mean is a page where folks enter your site. It has nothing to do with the source of traffic. In this way, a landing page could literally be any page on your website.
Landing pages should be designed based on user intent, not traffic source.
The design, layout, and substance of your landing pages should be based on the intent of the user, not the traffic source.
If I get charged with a DUI and I search “dui lawyer near me”, I might click an ad. Or, I might click an organic search result. Regardless, my intent is the same. I am looking for a DUI lawyer.
Why on earth would a law firm create two separate pages for me? Why should I get sent to a different page if I click an ad rather than an organic result?
By creating separate landing pages for PPC you are admitting that the page you have optimized for SEO (or any other traffic source) is not well suited to meet the user’s intent. Which begs the question, why?
If the user’s intent is to find a lawyer, and your goal as a law firm is to convert the user into a lead, why is your “SEO landing page” not designed/formatted/written to satisfy these goals?
But what’s the harm in creating separate landing pages for PPC?
It’s a good question. Why not create pages just for PPC?
- The most obvious reason is that it’s a waste of your resources. My argument here is that your pages should be designed based on the intent of the user, not the source of traffic. So why would you choose to do two times the work rather than to simply create a single, optimal version of each page?
- It creates an adversarial relationship between PPC and other marketing channels. If you have pages that are only intended to be served to people who find your firm via PPC, the folks who work on your PPC are incentivized to hyper-focus on what is good for *their* performance, rather than thinking holistically about what’s best for performance of your digital marketing as a whole.
When might it make sense to create separate landing pages for PPC?
There are some occasions where it might make sense to create PPC-only landing pages:
- When you don’t have the resources to create unique content to the extent required to get SEO traffic. In this case, it might make sense to create PPC-only pages because you can re-use content or use thin content and still be able to run ads, despite the fact that the page is not going to rank in organic results.
- When you are A/B testing different page layouts. Often, marketers will test two distinct pages for the same audience to try and see which performs better. In this case, it might make sense to create PPC-only pages. Then again, I have serious doubts about the efficacy of A/B testing, especially for law firms where the volume of data is so (relatively) small.
While there may be a few exceptions, it’s generally not our recommendation for law firms to create separate landing pages for PPC. The substance of pages that you direct your potential clients to should be based on what that person is looking for NOT what ad channel they use to find you. In our experience, clients who want to see separate pages created for PPC are focused more on outputs than they are on outcomes, and down that road lies failure.