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When done properly, great landing pages that convert can really add to your ROI.
The object of any landing page is to provide a clear and complete path to a decision, whether that is a download, a purchase, a request for more information, or some other clearly defined call-to-action.
SEO, pay-per-click marketing, and other online forms of generating traffic are designed to direct more visitors to a website. With a good SEO strategy and excellent content based on user-intent, you can grow your targeted traffic. However, getting them to the website is only half the battle. What they do once they arrive is what really counts. Getting traffic to your website is great but if it doesn’t convert, what’s the point?
Whether you call it conversions or lead generation, landing pages that convert are the holy grail of a full SEO or digital marketing strategy.
What is a Landing Page?
By easy definition, a landing page is any page that a visitor lands on from any form of advertising or search engines. So, any page within your website might be the very first page a visitor lands on when they visit your website. This could be your homepage, a sub-page, or even a blog article.
With this in mind, it’s important that you evaluate your entire website to create landing pages that convert. Each page within your site should be a good representation of your brand and should have a clear path for what you want the user to do next.
That being said, many digital marketing companies will encourage you to invest in “landing pages.” These are specific pages designed to match a campaign and user intent.
Some online marketing professionals insist that landing pages that convert must have a form. Others will argue there just needs to be a clear call to action or next step.
Ideally, a landing page is a page with a clearly defined target audience based on a specific topic, usually decided based on a user query. The user is then provided only the information they need to make an informed decision, be it a purchase, a form fill-out, newsletter signup, a content download, or even an offline visit.
Identifying Landing Page Topics
The first step in gaining traffic that converts is to figure out a visitor’s intent and then create content that is a good match. SEO keyword research is a great place to start. You’ll likely narrow down to a variety of keyword queries that will give you a fairly good idea on user intent. From there, you can create landing pages that match the target queries.
- If you’re a real estate agent in San Diego, you might find you could use landing pages that convert for San Diego ocean view condos.
- If you run an accounting company, you might find you could use a landing page for 2019 tax deduction tips.
In other words, you are identifying the demand for your product or service and then you’re going to use your landing page to reel them in.
Before you write a sentence of copy, you need to have a clearly defined message for your clearly defined target audience.
Landing Pages that Convert have Clear Calls-to-Action
What do you want your visitor to do? Be clear. Your general website is the backbone of your online presence. It’s where people might go to to learn more about your company and your services. It’s where you can be different things to different people.
Your landing pages? They have one important job to do. They need to capture the attention of the visitor. Since you’ve already identified the target audience and their user intent, you need to clearly articulate the next step.
Common calls to action include Buy Now, Download, Contact Us, Sign Up, Try It, etc. Don’t distract your landing page visitor with a variety of messages. Make it easy for them to take the next step.
Help The Visitor Along
In a perfect world, a person types in a query and clicks on your ad or organic listing and lands on landing pages that convert right away. Well, unfortunately, the world isn’t perfect and this is a rare occurrence.
You have to work a little bit to help the visitor along your path to conversion. This is where content comes in.
Ideally, you will have a combination of three forms of content.
- And video
Each piece of content should be able to stand on its own, but also compliment the other forms. In other words, you aren’t going to say the same thing, word-for-word in a video that you have in text on your page. After all, there needs to be a reason for the visitor to watch your video.
Having some social proof can also be an important element in landing page content. This is a testimonial or two depicting how your product or service has helped someone to solve whatever it was they came to your website looking for.
So, in order to help the visitor along so they feel comfortable forging a relationship with you, you need to provide them with the answers to their questions, the information they’re looking for, and a hook they simply cannot resist.
Keep It Simple
It’s important to ensure you do not overcomplicate your landing page. More often than not, landing pages that convert are clean, simple, and easy to understand.
This means you have one clear message. Everything that is on that page must relate to that message and must help lead the visitor further down the path to a conversion. Limit the content that doesn’t serve your main goal: moving the visitor down the conversion funnel.
Don’t complicate the page with a variety of messages and calls to action.
If you can, keep your navigation simple. After all, you don’t really want them leaving the page to get lost within your full website. You don’t need to offer them all the information about your company. Eliminate almost any click that isn’t your call-to-action.
Use your brand guidelines, fonts, logo, etc., so that the visitor starts to establish a relationship with your brand; however, keep it as simple as you can.
Important Elements of Landing Pages that Convert
Landing pages that convert generally have a few important elements in common.
1. A Really Great Headline
The job of your headline is to reinforce the visitor’s query while enticing them to stay on your website. You have a second for the user to decide if your page will help them. Your headline needs to help solve their query, look professional, and be catchy enough that they want to scroll a little bit more, rather than hit the back button. It has to capture their attention, their interest, and compels them to learn more about your offering.
2. A Really Great Subheading
The main headline piqued a visitor’s interest so now it’s up to the sub-heading to go in for the kill. Normally the sub-heading is positioned directly below the headline to act as the two in a one-two punch.
3. Enticing Visuals
Visual storytelling helps to sell. Any images you use on your website need to be clear, beautiful, and help inspire your visitor to action. Do you have a video that can help reinforce your message? Many visitors look to video to help them in their decision making.
4. A Benefit (pleasure) Statement
Articulate the main key benefit the visitor will get for completing whatever it is you are asking them to do. If you can use a feeling of pleasure within the copy, you can best play upon their emotions.
5. A Reinforcement (pain) Statement
Does your product or service solve a pain point? Now is the time to remind them of this pain and reinforce how your product or service will solve their problem.
6. Legitimize Your Business – Part 1 – Contact Details
Landing page visitors will look to ensure you are a real business and they will do this by looking for your contact details. Having your address, phone number and email address on your page’s footer is an easy way to show the world that you are real. You can go even further by having a link to your about page.
7. Legitimize Your Business – Part 2 – Social Proof
By showing satisfied past clients, you are providing social proof that your business, product or service is legitimate. Many web visitors are wise to testimonials, so use legitimate reviews cited from third party websites.
8. The Offer
What are you offering the visitor? What are you offering in exchange for the visitor completing the action? Keep it clear.
9. The Value Proposition
What’s in it for the visitor? Just like the offer, you need to keep the value proposition clear and simple. Outline the benefits. This is where you need to talk directly to your visitors about your visitors’ needs, not about you.
10. A Guarantee or Way Out
Want to catch a visitor in a moment of spontaneity or weakness? Offer them a way out. A website visitor is more apt to take the plunge when they know there is a safety net to catch them. A guarantee or unsubscribe at any time statement allows them to know they are not locked into their decision.
11. Simple Form
Did you know that the more fields you have in a form the lower your click-through-rate will be? Only ask for the information that you absolutely need at that moment. You can obtain other information at a later time.
12. A Powerful Call To Action
Ok! So you’ve hooked them and reeled them in. Now you need to seal the deal before they get cold feet. This is where your call to action comes in. What is the one thing you most want them to do? Make it big and bold. Make it unmissable. Make sure it stands out.
Let’s Talk About Layout
Many web designers create website pages on very big monitors. They’ve accounted for plenty of ‘white space’ and are able to design very stunning pages. But, did you know that the average screen size is 1024×768? Yes, that’s a typical laptop screen. Plus, more and more Internet users are conducting searches on their mobile phones. So, while a page might look great on the web designer’s screen, how it looks and acts on a laptop and phone is far more important.
Landing pages that convert well are also very responsive. This means the content and images adapt to fit the browser size of the visitor. This allows for the page to look and function great on any device.
How the site responds to the various screen sizes should be planned out. Often, items will simply begin to stack on a mobile device which can account for an awful lot of scrolling. Is the same information necessary to a phone visitor as it might be to a desktop visitor? Is there a visual indication to keep scrolling? These are all important question that needs to be asked. The most important elements of the page should be front and centre regardless of the device!
It goes without saying that you will test your landing page links and form. What we’re talking about is A/B Testing. This means delivering variations of headlines, copy, images, colours, etc. to different users to determine which combination of elements gets the best click-through rate.
After all, for all the good design rules and how-to’s out there, it can be difficult to predict what will actually resonate with the majority of visitors.
The rule of A/B Testing is to test one element at a time so you can effectively make a determination of the winner. Colour, call-to-action wording, call to action location, etc. are all things that can benefit from A/B testing.
The best landing pages that convert are the ones that were planned and designed with the user in mind. Once you decide what action you want them to take, you can guide, persuade, and convince them to do it. If you make it clear and simple, most people will do what you ask them to.
You might also find Neil Patel’s article interesting entitled, The Definitive Guide to Creating High Converting Landing Pages.