Landing pages are not necessarily squeeze pages, although they often are. The main purpose of a landing page is to direct your visitor where you want them to go. You cannot really predict where on your site your visitors will land when they come through organic SEO, which is why certain elements of a landing page should remain on every page of your site – a subscription form above the fold or below every post, for example. However, any Internet Marketer worth their name will have dedicated landing pages on their site, and make an effort to direct traffic to such pages through organic, or paid search (or social connections).
Listed below are 10 tricks to getting more leads through highly optimized landing pages. These should give you a solid foundation that you can build upon with what you gather out of your own experience.
1. Burn your visitors’ bridges
That is, don’t leave them with a way to get to any other part of your site, never to return to the landing page. Simply remove the main nav from the page. There is the opinion that a visitor would trust you more if allowed to look around your site and get to know you better – but that’s where the subscription forms below posts come in. For a landing page, keep things tight.
2. Design with care
Rule of the thumb is that a landing page should focus on only one thing: getting your visitor to focus on your offer. The design should be plain and uncluttered. However, a drab and bare page with a subscription form is hardly any form of enticement. Include elements in your design that add attraction to the uncluttered look. Things that help are : an attention grabbing Headline (perhaps with an intelligent tag line as a sub-head), an attractive Image NOT in garish colors, some elements that add Trust – a verisign certification, for example and, if you can fit them in unobtrusively, believable Testimonials – where applicable.
3. Walk the talk
About that attention grabbing headline we just mentioned? Make sure it reflects whatever headline the visitor clicked on to get to your page. You can’t con your way into people’s good books. Don’t advertise ‘free’ stuff if there’s a catch on your landing page.
4. Use the white space
And we are back to the design elements again – the white space in particular. This would be the part immediately visible to your visitors – the part you have not put your mark on. Proper use of white space adds to relief and helps to settle a person to the viewing of your page. Compare this with a page that is going breathless trying to convince you of its usefulness with loads of text and images and what not all crammed in, and you will see why the white space is so important.
5. Would you accept your own offer?
A bullet list stating all things nice about you may not work on a landing page. What problem does the visitor have that you can solve? And easily, too? How do they benefit? Exactly? ‘Increase your conversion by at least 68%’ is better than just ‘Increase your conversion’ or ‘Increase your conversion by 100%’. The first alternative is not specific enough and the second is too generalized (not to mention, good) to be believable. This was just an example, but bearing in mind the principle behind it will certainly help.
6. Keep the sharing buttons
Just because a landing page is not a blog post, there is no reason to not include the social sharing buttons. Even someone who is not personally interested in your offer might be thinking, ‘Wasn’t John looking for something like this?’ – any guesses as to what that someone does with the ‘share by email’ button you inserted?
7. How good is your form?
There are broadly two kinds of lead generation – those prioritized on the basis of quantity, and the ones where quality takes precedence. If you are looking to generate loads of leads, don’t put in anything more than a text area for email. Not even optional fields. However, if you are looking for people who actually gave some thought to taking you up on your offer, keep a slightly longer form with more fields – some compulsory, others optional. You will generate fewer leads, but you will probably require less effort at converting or keeping them.
8. How good is your form, again?
Having said what we did in the last point, don’t push it! You can have more fields to fill out, but don’t make the form appear too long (and, therefore, overwhelming). This is one place where you do NOT want to use a lot of white space. Keep less space between fields and otherwise design in a manner so as to make the form look compact rather than drawn out. Also, dynamic fields that recognize already registered emails, as well as ‘Already subscribed/ a member?’ kind of options usually help. The latter seems to convey the impression that a whole lot of people have already visited and subscribed – even if they have not!
9. And how do you close the deal?
Don’t put the ‘submit’ button at the end of the registration form. Apart from the possible, albeit unwitting, psychological pressure that you are putting on people to submit to you, that kind of button is really, really old! And it makes no contribution to your form design or call-to-action at all. Write something simple like ‘Send me the e-book’ (or whatever), or ‘Yes, I want in!’. In other words, don’t gloss over the submit button – it is as important as the rest of your page design.
10. Don’t stop at one!
Have great ideas for landing pages? Don’t choose, use all of them. More is usually better than less – probably because you can appeal to different kinds of people with different corresponding call-to-action ads. This would focus your campaigns better – someone who does not care for a ‘deal’ might want to click on an ad that offers an email course. And yet others might fall for a trial membership. If you can think of an offer that might sell, design a landing page around it.
That was our 10 tricks to getting more leads through highly optimized landing pages. If you have better ideas, we’d love to hear about them. Just leave us a comment below and tell us what has worked for you best.
Jason Smith is an online manager for Victorpest – Mole Repellers. He likes blogging about online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.