Technically, a landing page is any website your customers arrive on. However, the term is usually used to refer to a standalone web page distinct from your main website that’s been designed for the strict purpose of selling something or gathering information. As such, you might have guessed they’re important. Landing pages are where visitors become leads and where the curious become the interested.
It often takes a ton of trials and edits to craft a good landing page, but all of them have a few things in common. In this article, I’ll tell you what they are and how you can nail them on your first try.
To start with, make sure you…
1. Get The Basics Down First
That means a headline, a brief yet value-focused description of the offer, a nice image, testimonials if you have any, your lead capture form, and a call-to-action.
First of all, you need to grab your visitors’ attention. You have less than 8 seconds to do it, so be big, bold, and instantly appealing. The headline is the first interaction with your page, and by many metrics, the most important one. Studies show that 80% of your visitors will only read the headline, and the other 20% will read it before they move on to anything else. A great headline is one that sums up your UVP in the most efficient way possible.
The UVP, or “Unique Value Proposition” is marketing-speak for the reason a buyer should to pick you instead of the virtually infinite other choices the Internet offers. And by coincidence, it’s the next thing that should be clearly laid out on your landing page.
So, what makes you different? Are you the fastest widget manufacturer in Denmark? Did the e-book you’re giving away win an award? Put those factoids on your landing page.
Finally, there’s the call-to-action, which we’ve covered before. In short, they should be simple, bright, and worded in language that reflects the viewer’s internal monologue.
As for the image and testimonials, they’ll be covered as we go on.
2. …And Don’t Add Anything Else
Remember, your landing page has a single purpose and a single focused message. It’s not your about page, and it’s not a preview of your catalog.
Remove as many outbound links from your landing page as possible. Preferably all of them. At this stage, anything that leads the customer away from the sales funnel and distracts from the offer should be wiped out.
Eliminate all other clutter, as well. That means no unnecessary images that don’t serve to enhance the call to action, no tables of statistics and graphs, no walls of florid prose when it can be boiled down to a single paragraph or a bulleted list, and just one call-to-action.
On your forms, minimize what you ask of your customers as well as what you provide them. We’ve covered this before, too: ask only for what you need. Too much form-filling and you’ll need to provide an incentive for them to slog through it. And generally, the less you ask for, the higher your conversion rate.
3. Tailor Your Writing Towards Converting
Tailor all the writing on the page to your call-to-action. For example, if you’re offering an e-book, mention it in the headline, then keep plugging it all the way down to your call to action, which should say something along the lines of “get my free e-book.”
For the copy itself, there are a variety of psychological tricks you can use to get your viewers more interested. For example, KISSMetrics suggests the use of “hypnotic words such as ‘imagine’.” As with any type of copywriting, though, remember that the most powerful word is “you.” The customer wants to be addressed directly, on a human level, with information about how you can help them.
To assuage any doubts they may be having at this point, make sure to incorporate “trust signals,” or little reminders that your company is legitimate and offering what you say you are. The form this takes will depend on the nature of your CTA, but it should always be something that reassures the customer that they’re getting what they were promised, at the price they were promised it. If you’re asking for personal information, this would be a privacy guarantee. If it’s an e-book, this will often be a preview. If you’re trying to sell a product, it might be a free trial.
As for your forms, if the information you’re asking for is anything more personal than an email address, you’ll probably want to include some kind of social proof to reassure your customers you’re not just fishing for their information to sell to third parties.
4. Make Sure The Visual Aspect Does the Same
If you’re not hiring someone else to handle the visual aspect of your site, it’s crucial that you have the knowledge to pull off effective visuals on your landing page, as well.
As with the writing, all the visual elements should be geared toward conversions. That means minimizing unnecessary and distracting visual elements, and making sure all the ones that are left over are effective, eye-catching, and illustrative of your UVP.
The layout of the page also has to be considered. First, plan out how you want the visitor’s eye to move through it. Too much clutter, again, can be fatal here. You especially want to make sure your CTA has plenty of space around it, just to enhance the amount of focus on it.
Contrast can also be employed to make certain elements stand out. For example, if your website is white with smoky gray text, a colorful element will stand out much more than yet another monochrome one. So make sure to ration your colors carefully. You should be employing contrast in general on the whole of your site anyway. Make sure your text stands out from the background, and the call-to-action—along with any particularly important text—stands out from both.
I also suggest you study some basic color theory, as it relates to psychology. (Hint: red and green. People love those.)
Finally, although less is more when it comes to graphical elements on your landing page, the one exception to this rule is video. Videos have been shown to increase conversions by up to 80%. However, they should still be incorporated into the structure of the page rather than tacked on as an afterthought.
5. Make a Lot of Them
According to HubSpot, companies see a 55% increase in leads when they increase their number of landing pages from 10 to 15. More landing pages means finer targeting. If you’re really serious about it, you can make one for each buyer persona that you’ve worked out.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different layouts and copy styles for your landing pages, either, and make sure to test the results. What works for other businesses won’t work for yours, and vice-versa. There might be something about your business or customer base that flies right in the face of marketing convention. So feel free to explore all your options.
These steps are simple, but there are still plenty of companies that get it wrong. Don’t be one of them, and you’ll be miles ahead of the competition when it comes to conversion rates.
Explored any unique landing page options lately? Any feedback or suggestions on what I’ve talked about here today? Please share it in the comments!
Image: Lars Plougmann