What is a landing page?
Did you know that there are different types of web pages that can all serve different purposes? Whether it’s a homepage, a product page, a service page, or a landing page, the thinking behind it doesn’t have to be exactly the same to reach your ultimate goal. Having a variety of pages is helpful.
In this post, I’ll explore what landing pages are and how to create them for success.
A landing page is a web page that allows you to collect information about a visitor via a lead form. A quality landing page targets a specific audience with one goal in mind… conversion. Conversion could mean a user simply giving their email in order to get your free eBook; or a long-time newsletter subscriber buying your online course you’ve been selling. The goal of a landing page is to “graduate a user” to the next level in your funnel. For example, converting an Instagram follower to an actual email subscriber, then taking that email subscriber to becoming a paying customer, then turning that paying customer into a higher paying customer. Got it? So this means it’s important to design a unique, relevant landing page for each level of your funnel.
You can design landing pages that allow visitors to download your content offerings (e-books, white papers, webinars, etc.) or to register for free trial offers or demonstrations of your product. By creating landing pages, you can target your audience, offer valuable, relevant content, and convert a higher percentage of your visitors into lead, then leads into customers.
Whether you’re designing a landing page for a new lead, or for an existing lead or customer, the end goal is the same: get them interested in the product or service you’re offering and use that opportunity to get them to go far into your marketing funnel and get closer to a sale. Thus, these landing pages are intended to meet the needs of the user who has been challenged by the offer or the promise you made them in the call-to-action. So, the purpose isn’t to show them everything you do, but only show them more about what drew them to this page and to allow them to subscribe to it if it meets their expectations and needs.
In short, a landing page is the opposite of a homepage. The homepage tries to point the newcomer on your site to all the different content and offers of your business. It is a 30,000 ft. view of who you are, what you do, and how you do it. The landing page, on the other hand, focuses on just one thing in order to convert the people who visit it.
The role of landing pages in inbound marketing
If you’re a fan of inbound marketing, you have not stopped hearing about landing pages! These are a key part of the prospect generation process as they serve to highlight outstanding content strategy offerings intended to engage your visitors and build customer loyalty. Landing pages include forms that allow you to generate leads and gather information about them in order to qualify them and convert them into a customer.
The four questions your landing page must answer
A good landing page allows visitors to answer the following four questions in seconds:
- What is the exact offer? You must answer the question, “What attracts me enough to give you my information? “
- What are the benefits of the offer? You must explain why the visitor cannot do without it.
- Why does the visitor need this offer now? You must create a sense of urgency around your offer.
- How to get this offer? The page should easily guide the lead to the exact conversion goal.
The goals and characteristics of an effective landing page
Design is the first thing people see. Therefore, it’s important to adopt a clear and organized design so that users don’t feel lost when they arrive on your page. Make sure you have a title and subtitle and that the information is easily readable. Avoid weighing down your page by inserting dozens of images. Choose photos that reflects the theme of your page. Also, I recommend that the main information and your form appear above the fold to encourage users to become more interested in your services (The above the fold area is the part of the web page that is visible without scrolling).
Calls to Action
When people arrive on a landing page, it’s important that they understand in a few seconds why they are on this page. The calls to Action or CTAs are the buttons or forms that stand out from the rest of the elements on the page. The CTA should blatantly tell the visitor the very next thing they need to do in order to get what they’ve been looking for.
Opt for a Short Form on The Landing Page
For a page to be effective, it’s recommended that the form be short so that users complete it. Avoid asking for information like birthdays, which is probably not necessary for a first contact. Of course, it depends on the company and what the conversion goal is, but stick to must-have information like name, email, and maybe things like job title, revenue, etc. (remember these things vary with business goals). If your business only needs the minimum of information on a form, take advantage of it to offer few fields that can be completed in seconds. The faster the form, the more users will appreciate it!
Responsive Landing Page
As the number of people using their smartphones and tablets to browse the Internet continues to grow, it’s critical that the landing page be responsive to be effective. Having a responsive page can increase your chances of conversions because users can read your information without having to zoom in on their screen. In addition, the responsive feature allows them to fill out a form easily, regardless of the type of device used. If your page isn’t readable on all types of screens, you will most certainty register a high bounce rate and lose potential customers!
Use the same terms as Ads
A good landing page matches the information on your ads ( Google AdWords , Facebook Ad, etc.). If your ad indicates a 20% discount on winter boots, it’s important that users find this same promotion on the page when they get there. Using the same terms as on the ad tells users that they are on the page they want. This can be frustrating for the user if the promotion isn’t shown on the page, and your conversion rate will be frustrating to you.
Keys to building an effective landing page
- Understanding the offer at a glance
Make sure your landing page helps visitors understand at a glance what is offered on this page. If it’s too long and doesn’t seem to match what was promised in the call to action they clicked on, you’ll quickly lose their attention and they will leave the page without giving you the information you want to know!
A good way to know if your landing page meets this goal is to conduct a blink test. This is a kind of survey to see if your page can be analyzed quickly. To pass the blink test respondents must say what they have retained from your page after reviewing it for only 3 to 5 seconds.
Seems short? The truth is, visitors will leave the page if they don’t understand generally what it’s about in a 3 to 5 second glance.
- Convincing the value of the offer
After the fateful 3 seconds the potential customer uses, you have to convince them that your offer has enough value that they have no choice but to subscribe or take the next step. The images, the videos, the text, the layout and the design will be your allies in doing this.
Highlight the benefits of the offer and not on the attributes. Answer the question in the head of all visitors: “What’s in it for me?”. Make them feel happy to give some of their information in exchange for such an incredible offer!
- Only ONE offer at a time
As I stated before, a landing page isn’t a home page or any other web page. It shouldn’t contain anything other than the offer that is being promoted. There isn’t enough time to attract a visitor’s attention to more than one offer. Your only goal is for the visitor to complete the form to get your offer. If you’re burning to expose all your content, right away, don’t! Remember your long-term strategy and present things strategically! Hint* You can use the thank you page of your offer to direct your visitors to other content.
The anatomy of a landing page
There are certain elements that any good landing page should contain. Here is a general template for creating effective landing pages. This isn’t an exact science and each industry has its own traits, but if you include all these elements on your pages, it’ll be a very good start!
Landing page must-haves:
A clear and attention-grabbing header
First of all, to keep visitors on your page when they arrive, get their attention and make sure they’re where they want to be with a clear and engaging header that relates directly to the call to action they clicked on. You can also support your header with a strong subtitle.
A “hero” image
“Hero image” is a web design term for the image at the forefront of a web page. The image should do a great job representing the offer and be similar in design to the call to action that visitors click getting to the page. You want the visitors to know they’re in the right place and that the offer on the page will allow them to fill a need they have.
Descriptive text about the offer
It’s obvious, the text remains element #1 to explain your offer to your visitors. Stay short and focused on the benefits. Use bulleted lists for faster viewing of your content. Don’t write a novel, only enough to satisfy people who need a little more substance to be convinced.
A prominent form
If one of the main goals of a landing page is to get visitors to subscribe to your offers, make it easy for them. A visitor shouldn’t have to look for how to subscribe to your offer. It should be obvious at the moment he or she arrives on the page.
That’s why the form should be prominent if you’re looking to generate leads with your website. You can use a “hard-hitting” color that isn’t found elsewhere on the page for its header and submit button. Form design is a complex art and I plan on writing about this in the future.
Elements supporting the “social proof”
The “social proof” is a marketing concept that advocates that an individual is more likely to want something (offer, product, service, etc.) if other people have it. So, for an advantage, you might add to your pages the following elements:
- Testimonials from satisfied customers.
- Received awards or reviews (Google my Business or Yelp)
- Number of shares of the offer on social media.
- Number of subscriptions to the offer since it went online
The expertise of your team
In some industries, it helps to position your team as experts in the field. So, putting your best talents on your page can boost the credibility of your offer! For example, a blurb from the president or the professional biography of the author of a downloadable document are elements that really humanize your business and increase visitors’ trust.
The lack of navigation
This is a feature of landing pages that keeps visitors on the page so they are more likely to complete the form. The main and secondary navigation menus of the site as well as the footer should be removed. In addition, the page should not contain any outgoing links to other content. The only clickable element should be the form button. They’ve come there to do one thing and one thing only. Giving them other options distracts them from the goal.
It’s a good idea to end your page with a quote or a strong closing element. A final argument that will force the visitor to fill out the form. This sentence should connect with the elements of the header bringing it full circle. Having a great landing page increases the conversion rate on your digital advertising campaigns. If your landing page is aesthetically pleasing, scannable, and valuable to the right audience, you have a winning recipe for a high conversion rate.