If you have a business – and that business has a website – then you probably understand the importance of driving traffic to your website. But all the web traffic in the world won’t do your business any good if it ultimately doesn’t lead to conversions in the form of more customers, more sales, more leads, more contacts on your mailing list, etc.
Enter the landing page.
If visitors to your website are looking for a specific product, service or information, your homepage is not usually the best place to direct them. Even if your homepage is professional, well-designed and more or less awesome, there is a lot going on there and it may take several clicks for your visitors to find what they are looking for. And the longer it takes your visitors to find what they want, the more likely they are to leave your site without conversion. But by driving traffic straight to what they’re looking for, you dramatically increase the chances of visitors taking action.
What is a landing page?
Essentially a landing page is just what it sounds like. It is the page that your web visitors will “land” on when they click a particular link such as a pay per click (PPC) advertisement. More specifically it is a page that targets a certain audience (e.g. those looking for a specific product, service, information, or promotion).
The purpose of a landing page is conversions. For this reason, a good landing page will always have some kind of call to action, whether it is making a purchase, scheduling a consultation or signing up for an email list.
If the call to action is to provide information, then an incentive to provide such information is sometimes offered. This could be in the form of a coupon, entry into a contest or even a free ebook.
Types of landing pages
While there are many types of landing pages, they can be generally divided into two main categories: lead generation page (sometimes called a squeeze page) and sales pages.
The sales page works great for web visitors who are ready to make a purchase (and many people who click on PPC ads are!) This type of page is great for e-commerce sites and can help them generate considerably more business than they would if they only used their homepage.
Lead generation pages work better for visitors who are still shopping around or who may not need your services just yet but probably will in the future. The purpose of a lead generation page is simply to collect contact information that may come in handy at a later date. These tend to work very well for business owners who rely on building a long-term relationship with their clients such as real estate agents or financial advisors.
Principals of good landing pages
Just like any other marketing tool, a landing page is only as good as the sum of its parts. To be effective, there are certain components that it must have. Let’s take a look at what is needed for a landing page to work.
- Attention-Grabbing Title
The headline is your first point of contact with the reader, so if it is not effective the rest of your page is going to be moot. Generally speaking, the headline should be brief, give the reader an idea of what the page is about and be intriguing enough to make the reader want to keep reading.
- A Persuasive Subtitle
Now that you’ve got the reader’s attention with your attention-grabbing title, you need to go into a bit more detail and persuade them to stay. The subtitle is usually right under the main title, and while the language may be less aggressive, it allows you to give the reader more information about what you are offering.
- Images, Photos and Video oh my!
The human brain can process images 60,000 times more quickly than it can process words on a page. The images and photos you use on your landing page should be large and relevant to what you are offering. They should also be high-quality and professional!
Depending on what you are offering, it may also make sense to include a brief video extolling the virtues of your product or service.
- The Written Word
Good copywriting on your landing page is essential to help the reader understand your product or service. While some of this is clearly going to be in your title and subtitle, here are some other elements that you might want to include on your page as well:
- A more detailed explanation of what you are offering.
- The value proposition for your visitors. For example, tell the benefits of doing business with you.
- As human beings, we are motivated to avoid pain. Tell your reader what they will miss out on if they don’t purchase your product or service.
- Of course, it can’t be all negative as we humans are also motivated by pleasure. Tell your reader what they stand to gain as well.
- If you have testimonials about your product or service, then using them on your landing page can be a great way to build trust with your reader. Readers are always more persuaded by what other customers say about you than by what you say about yourself.
- Call to Action
The most important element of your landing page is your call to action (CTA) – after all, that’s the whole reason you have landing pages in the first place. Make sure that your CTA is prominently featured and compelling. Make your reader feel excited to make that purchase, download your ebook, join your mailing list or sign up for that discount!
Putting Your Landing Page to the Test
Measuring the conversion rate of your landing page on a regular basis is key to keeping it current and effective. What constitutes a “good” conversion rate is going to vary from business to business. A site that sells shoes to the general public, for example, should probably have a higher conversion rate than one that sells expensive high-tech medical machines to hospitals.
One of the nice things about landing pages is that you can run parallel pages on two different PPC ads to see which one is more effective and test different marketing approaches. As you continually test your pages and measure their conversion rates, you can make slight tweaks and changes until their effectiveness is fully optimized.
Once you are getting a conversion rate that is considered good for your industry, periodic analytics reports can help alert you to any changes in the online/buying behaviour of your target audience.
If your business offers multiple products and services, it should have multiple landing pages. The more landing pages your website has, the more potential it has to create leads and generate revenue for your business.