If you’re trying to gain traction online in any way, you probably have a landing page or two in place to sell what you do.
Landing pages are imperative to the online sales process. Yes, customers will scroll through a poorly produced website to get where they’re going and buy what they desire. But you’ll lose a whole bunch more as they back away from your pages, going back and searching out one of your competitors who makes the process easier.
Landing pages are that important. So what does it take to craft the perfect one?
What is a Landing Page?
In theory, any page you click over to could be considered a landing page. It’s merely a page you’re directed to via a link. If someone talks about a product on Facebook and provides a link, when you click, it becomes a landing page.
But a true landing page has an extra element in it that makes it beneficial to your sales process. It’s as much about conversion as it is the content of the page itself.
Landing pages should have a specific focus. It should never be a hodgepodge of ideas, products, or services, leaving where your reader clicks to chance. Instead, it should be about one product, one service, and have one course of action. It should be well thought out, and easy to follow.
Landing pages are also sometimes called squeeze pages. That’s because it’s the middle ground between what your reader wants and what you choose to deliver.
If you advertise a free ebook on Facebook, for example, when a viewer clicks over to the page, the landing page would require them to provide a name, an email address, and possibly additional contact information to have access to the free ebook. It squeezes just enough information out of your potential customer for you to follow up with in the future.
The best part of it is it’s one page.
That means you have one page to play with and optimize.
Sounds easy enough. Yet it’s also one of the most challenging processes to get right.
John Wanamaker stated over a century ago that “half the money I spend on advertising is wasted, the trouble is I don’t know which half.” That sentiment still rings true today.
To get a landing page right takes practice. Testing becomes your friend. Because there are always tweaks you can make to create an even better page that reaches out to your prospects in different ways.
Why are Landing Pages Important?
If you want more people to convert and take action, a landing page is your perfect marketing method. But there are other reasons to create a landing page as well.
SEO – We frequently talk here about the importance of getting into Google. Google currently has 91.75 percent of the global market share. If you want to be found in search results, it’s important to make Google happy. And landing pages are the perfect way to do that. Because landing pages are uber-focused on one specific topic, it makes them especially noticeable to Google. When you combine landing pages with other strategies, you’ll quickly find yourself moving up ranking results within the search engines.
Promotion – You don’t have to be promoting a specific product or service to run a promotion. Maybe you’re offering a free class to go more in depth on something that matters to you. Maybe you’re running a sale. Maybe you’re hosting a special event, and you want to get the word out about what you do. Promotions can be about whatever makes your business tick, and how it will bring you closer to what your target market thinks and does.
Automation – The key to survival in our new world is giving prospects and customers what they want, when they want it. But that doesn’t mean you have to work twenty-four hours a day. Landing pages are the perfect way to speak directly to your customers, and give them exactly what they are looking for when they want it, no matter if it’s two in the afternoon on a Wednesday, or two in the morning on a Sunday.
Keep in mind that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy for landing pages. You can’t sell out a TED talk and create interest in a new vintage year of wine, all with the same landing page strategies. You have to get to know your audience and understand what they want.
Then, you have to deliver.
Essential Landing Page Elements that will Help You Convert
Designing a landing page starts when you have a goal in mind. That’s your beginning point.
Define who your ideal customer is. Establish their pain points, and what you’re offering to help them. Only then can you start the design process, focusing in on these attributes.
A headline is everything. It grabs the reader’s attention, tells them what to expect if they click, and does so concisely. Make your headlines short – never more than ten words. Your headline is one of the critical items to test and test again. There are always ways to make it better.
We live in a visual world. According to research compiled by 3M, the human brain processes visuals 60,000 times faster than words alone. If you’re not complementing every landing page you create with high quality graphics, you’re not converting as well as possible.
What message does your landing page convey? Is it clear? If a potential customer doesn’t understand the purpose within seconds of clicking thru, they’ll back out just as fast. This isn’t a time to be “cute” with words. Get to the point.
This is marketing 101. People buy to make their lives better. You have to show why signing up for your information will do that. Will you add value? Will you make someone laugh? Will you add insight? Relieve the “pain” and you’ll get your visitor to take action.
Once they see the pain, it’s important to show how you can take that away. This is an “if, then” strategy. It takes your reader to the next place in their journey.
Social proof that you are a legitimate company is mandatory. Give them a variety of ways to connect with you. Your social media handles. Your address and phone number. Whatever is relevant to the information provided.
Call to Action
And let’s not forget a compelling call to action. That’s the entire point of your landing page to begin with. Don’t try and breakaway from the norms. Use standardized fill-in-the-blank boxes, buttons that are large and easy to click, forms that look as good on desktops as they do on mobile devices. The sole purpose is to move them forward.
How are your landing pages performing? Need help?