Landing pages are among the most common types of content on the internet.
With so many out there, why are so many of them mediocre?
This article explains what it takes to create engaging landing pages that get results.
Landing Pages: The Basics
A landing page is a page you arrive at when you click on an ad or a call-to-action. They can live on a microsite or be the homepage or another page of a website. No matter how you “land” on the page (or the form it takes), its goal is to get you to take action, such as book an appointment, become a lead, or purchase something. In many cases, landing pages exchange something of value, known as the offer, to get the visitor to take action. The offer must be valuable enough to get people to give up their personal information — something more precious than ever these days.
Because landing pages are a significant contributor to business results, they should be central to your digital marketing strategy.
Why Create a Dedicated Landing Page?
There’s value in developing a landing page rather than just using your homepage or another website page. The primary reason for creating a landing page is that it eliminates distractions by removing navigation, competing links, and other things that could prevent visitors from taking the direct action you want them to take. It will also be more likely to tie the story on the page to the ad, post, or link that brings people to it.
How to Create an Effective Landing Page
Here are some tips that will help you develop landing pages that get results.
Ensure Your Offer Is Relevant
Whether you’re using a landing page to go all the way to making a sale, or simply gathering email addresses, the offer must be compelling enough to get the user to do what you want them to do. Consider whether the product, service, piece of content, subscription, or anything else is the most relevant thing you can offer. This will help ensure your campaign is successful and that you don’t waste time and money offering the wrong thing to the right people.
While you’re at it, position your offer in a way that website visitors can’t say no to. If you’re not sure, test it with customers asking for their feedback.
Write a Benefit-Centered Headline Tied to Your Advertising
To get people to engage with your landing page, make the headline compelling and connect it closely to the promise made in your promotion. Tell them what’s in it for them right away. The landing page headline is the first thing visitors encounter. It must tie to what got them there and clearly and concisely communicate the value of your offer, especially on a small smartphone screen.
Choose Images that Reflect the Visitor
An all-text landing page won’t look attractive to today’s visually-savvy consumer. A landing page image is necessary, which makes most small business owners and marketers nervous. Don’t worry: Select a picture that represents your target audience. It should convey how your visitor will feel once they accept your offer and do business with you. Another option: Select two images, one a “before” of a representative prospect in their current state and the same person in the “after” (better) situation.
Write Copy that Moves People
It isn’t enough to craft the perfect headline and find the ideal image. Those things will encourage people to engage with your page, but they won’t get them to take action. You must also create copy that compels visitors to make a move that benefits your business. Your copy must be clear, concise, and guide your visitor to the action you want them to complete. Landing page copy should speak directly to the visitor by using terms like “you” and “your.” This will make them feel you’re talking with them — not at them.
Make Your Calls-to-Action Clear and Visible
The call-to-action (CTA) is the most critical element of any landing page. It’s the thing that gets people to do what you want them to do. The CTA button needs to stand out. Use a color that contrasts with other elements on the page. Make the typeface bold and readable. Be clear about what you want visitors to do. Leverage action words that spell it out for them, such as submit, download, book an appointment, or buy now.
Include an Opportunity to Take Action on Your Opening Screen
Some visitors won’t need convincing to do business with you. So why make them search for a call to action? Place one on your opening screen so they can connect with your business instantly. Make it easy to capture information and get business from your hottest prospects.
Request the bare minimum information needed.
You want to gather as much intel as possible about your leads. However, the amount you request — and can expect to receive — depends on several factors:
How well they know and trust your business
Where they are in their buyer’s journey
The offer itself and its value to visitors
The device they’re using
Request as little info as you need in your lead form to create a low barrier to entry. A name and email are usually enough to nurture a new lead. Anything more may have people questioning why you’re asking for it and what you’ll do with it. It may also be too cumbersome to input on the phone. If you require additional info, gather it in easy-to-use pull-downs or checkboxes.
Clearly Disclose How You’ll Use Personal Data
People are careful with their data, and for good reason. Don’t just explain how you’ll use people’s personal information in small disclosure type – make it a key and prominent part of your messaging. This will build trust with website visitors and encourage them to share what you need.
Eliminate Navigation and Other Distractions
Once again: The objective of your landing page is to get people to take action. If you give them other options they may not act. For instance, if you allow them to navigate to another page, they may never come back to the landing page to purchase something or input their information. One option is to give them a lesser secondary offer that still gets you a name and email address if a visitor isn’t ready to buy.
Make Your Page Mobile-First
Responsive websites aren’t good enough anymore. Mobile-first is a must. Most people will view your site on a smartphone. Ensure they have a good experience when they visit, whether on a phone or computer screen – no excessive scrolling or hard-to-read type. Give visitors every opportunity to convert, no matter how they view your page. Otherwise, you’re wasting money on clicks that don’t turn into business.
Optimize for Search
Of course, you’ll be driving traffic to your landing page through advertising, email blasts, social posts, and other promotional methods. Still, your page should be optimized for search. If your marketing is booming, and your page delivers an excellent experience to visitors, Google may recognize it and start delivering free organic traffic to it when people search for what it offers.
Say “Thank You”
Send people who take your desired action (for instance, those who become a lead) to a "thank you” page. A “thank you” page can:
Deliver the offer if it’s a download
Give you an opportunity to upsell, cross-sell, or share additional content
Deliver a fitting end to a good customer experience
Even if you follow all the advice in this article, your landing page may require optimization after launching it. Monitor your advertising metrics, on-page behavior, and sales results. Look for breakdowns in the funnel. Regularly tracking your traffic from beginning to end will help you not only optimize your landing pages but your overall campaigns as well.
Even when you have a winning landing page, there could always be a better one. Regularly test new pages and variations to find a bigger winner or a substitute when your page or campaign goes cold.
Landing Pages: The Last Word
So much time and energy is spent on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) these days that it’s easy to forget about landing pages and their value.
The truth: The right landing page could actually generate more revenue for your business than your website ever does.
Leverage the tips in this article to help ensure your landing pages generate the results you want.