Companies spend a lot of time planning out how to best reach customers online. Creating a landing page for your website is just one step in a massive process that drives the consumer from mildly interested to raving fan of your brand. You likely have a budget to drive traffic to your pages, but once the consumer lands on your page, what does he or she see?
Seventy-five percent of brands have trouble finding expertise on how to build a landing page. That means you have to be proactive and figure out what works for you and your company. The five tips below are a good place to start when figuring out the best ways to present a landing page.
Your first step to figuring out what your target audience wants is to know who they are and what makes them tick. There are a number of ways to figure this out. A good place to start is with website analytics. Figure out who is visiting your site, from where and at what times of day. Next, poll your current active users and figure out some additional specifics. Do they have families? Why did they come to your site? The deeper you can dig into the people who use your site, the more targeted your information becomes.
Shopify’s landing page gets right to the point. They understand that someone visiting their website is likely looking to open up shop, so they want to make it as easy as possible. Note the limited choices on the page. They are an e-commerce platform, so they point out how they can help you sell on a website, social media or even in a brick-and-mortar store.
Taking the time to perform A/B testing can mean the difference in conversion rates. Try different methods on your landing page or even different pages. Test not only when you first create the page, but throughout the life of your website. Your audience demographics can change from time to time. Be prepared to change with any audience shifts. Simply refining your landing page over time will bring your conversion rates up.
Bills.com seems to understand their target audience well enough to know that the average person landing on their page is concerned about being in debt and is looking for solutions. They get right to the point, inviting the user to choose their debt amount and “Continue.” Over time, Bills.com has changed the look of their landing page. This is most likely the result of extensive testing. Note the colors on the page. The blue is soothing. They’ve added trust factors to the bottom of the landing page. The invitation to continue is in a bright orange-red to draw the user’s attention.
Users respond well to video for the most part. Today’s internet surfer has faster connections and is visually driven. Adding a video to your landing page increases conversion rates a whopping 86 percent. However, you do have to ensure the video is high quality and that it pertains to the topic at hand. Throwing just any old video up won’t work. The video itself needs to be aimed at conversions.
Readitfor.me takes books and research on the ways people learn and then provides the information in a highly personal and satisfying way. By presenting the books in video format, in smaller snippets, the information can be utilized in business meetings or for personal growth. Because their product is a video platform, it makes sense that they have a video when you land on their page. The video explains what Readitfor.me does.
Some site visitors will head to your website because they’ve already heard about your company and want in-depth information. While this is only a portion of your site traffic, you do need to have an option for these people who already have the basics and want more. Providing a FAQ section, a link to click on for “more information” and contact forms will allow this particular demographic to gain the information they want.
Note that Semcor has a “request literature” call to action button on the bottom left. The button is in orange to grab the user’s attention. One of the main reasons the company drives traffic to their landing page is to get their resources in the hands of potential customers. Adding a CTA button with clear instructions is an easy way for their audience to get in touch with them quickly and get the info they need.
Is your landing page loading quickly enough? The average mobile user will wait six to 10 seconds for your page to load and then will simply leave. Studies show that every second you can speed up your website, your sticky factor improves. If your landing pages aren’t converting the way you want them to, one factor might be the speed of your page and how well that is meeting the needs of your audience. Improve speed by optimizing images, limiting elements on the page and paying for a fast server.
Note how Groupon loads at lightning speed, even though there are images on their landing page. They understand their users are as likely to shop on mobile devices as desktops. The page loads quickly even at slower internet speeds, such as on a cell phone in an-out-of-the-way location.
Fans tend to be forgiving of a few minor issues here and there. Use an orange button instead of a red one or have a small typo, and they will likely overlook it. However, if you fail to pay attention to what your target audience wants and to fix those issues over time, then you will start to lose customers and lose conversions. Taking the time to consistently test your landing pages will ensure that those who land on your page are engaged and happy.
Lexie Lu is a designer and writer. She loves researching trends in the web and graphic design industry. She writes weekly on Design Roast and can be followed on Twitter @lexieludesigner.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.