Surprisingly, 96% of first time visitors aren’t ready to buy the product you are trying to sell on your page. So how does a landing page help with this? A landing page is designed to gain vital information about a visitor so that can eventually be converted from a viewer to a consumer.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A LANDING PAGE?
It’s not the same as your homepage. People go to homepages because they are familiar with your brand or product. They have a basic understanding of what your product is. They’re probably visiting your homepage to continue their research or to go ahead and purchase the product. Landing pages, on the other hand, are pages people click on because they see a link or ad. This page should give the viewer a quick overview of the product and a resource that allows them to try the product such as a free trial or an option to give an email address so more information can be sent later. Landing pages should have less clutter than a homepage.
There are many types of landing pages and each one has its own benefits. There are two major types – click-through and lead generation.
Click Through Landing Pages
They’re also known as jump pages. Click-through pages should be able to persuade your viewer to ‘jump’ to another page. Many ads lead customers straight to a shopping cart where they are pushed to buy something. This is the last thing you want to do. You want your customer to ‘warm up’ to the idea of your product or service.
Click-through pages are commonly seen in ecommerce funnels. There should be enough detail and information that once the viewer finishes reading, they want to explore more on the main website.
Lead Generation Landing Pages
Lead-generation landing pages have one job and that is to capture the information of the visitor. Once your visitor leaves the landing page, they should be a new lead for you. Once you get their information, you can market your product to them whether it’s via email or phone. This type of landing page is most likely to be used when there is a free trial or webinar available. Lead generation pages are also great for notifying people about the launching of a new product.
Other Types of Landing Pages:
A mobile landing page is exactly what it sounds like – a landing page specifically designed for a mobile phone. The goal is to maximize the message so it can fit onto a mobile screen. It sounds difficult but it is possible. Phillips Sonicare was able to successfully accomplish the reasonably new idea of mobile landing pages. They condensed all of their text and made their call-to-action submit button large and simple.
A microsite landing page
is a small website that corresponds with a marketing campaign or even a message. These pages have a few pages within the site. These should not be confused with a click through or lead generation landing page. While they are very similar, there are enough differences that separate them. A microsite’s job is to inform a visitor about a specific product. Car companies are known for using microsites for specific vehicles.
Landing pages, no matter what kind, have one job. And its job is to convert. If you have your visitor go straight to your homepage, there is too much clutter for them to navigate, especially if they aren’t familiar with your product or service. Your visitor shouldn’t have to dig around your landing page to figure out what your product is.
Even if your visitor is familiar, there is one thing that is certain – people want results. They want the quickest action as possible, whether it’s signing up for more information at a later date or a free trial until they can sit down and make the payment. This is why landing pages are great. They don’t take a lot of time and give people the instant confirmation they’re looking for.
Generating leads also helps your company build relationships with your customer. You can do simple things such as send out a small promotion for their birthday. You can gather this information from the landing page and then put it into your system so every year their email will receive a message from your company. You want to show your customers that you care about them.
The next big question.
When should I use a landing page? Landing pages can be used for a lot of different things. They can be used for marketing campaigns but can also be used for longer periods of time. In fact, you should always have landing page when starting a marketing campaign.
While landing pages are great for marketing campaigns, they can also be used for long term uses. Anytime your company is offering anything free, a landing page should be used. It can be free content such as an ebook or a free trial.
Now that you know when to use a landing page and why everyone should use one, let’s talk about what should be included on your landing page. There are many landing pages out there and some are better than others. The best of the best always convert.
Clear and Strong Call to Action
Instantly, they should know what your product is and what you want them to do. Do you want your readers to sign up for something? Are they receiving a free trial? Or is their email going on your subscriber list?
The first step is to get rid of the word ‘submit.’ It’s too broad of a term and doesn’t give the viewer a concrete idea of what the final action is. You want words that will eventually convert them into customers.
Words such as download, free, get and create, grab people’s attention. They also give the reader a concrete idea of what will happen when they click on the button. Research has been done showing that landing pages that use words similar to these end up converting more than pages that use the word ‘submit.’
Your call to action button should also be customized. Design is everything. This button should stand out. You don’t want it to look like you took the button from another landing page because it will probably look ordinary and plain. Spend extra money to have it customized. In turn, your page will convert a lot of people from viewers to customers.
Imagine you could fold the entire landing page in half. What’s seen on the screen without scrolling down when you first arrive to the page is what is known as ‘above the fold.’ You want all of your important information above the fold. People shouldn’t have to scroll down to figure out what the landing page is about. This also helps you pass the five seconds test. Within five seconds, people should be able to understand what the landing page is for and what the call to action is. Utilizing the space above the fold will help you pass this test. By placing your important content above the fold, it will make it easy for your visitors when they look at your landing page.
You’ll want to remove your top navigation menu too. It’s important to remember your landing page is not your homepage. Viewers shouldn’t have to click through every single button in order to find out what the page is about. Removing the top navigation menu makes your landing page minimal and simple. It’s to the point and your viewers aren’t distracted by the other pages of your website.
The first thing you should ask yourself is, “Does this tell the viewer what the page is about?” If you answered yes to the question, then you’re on the right track. You want your headline to be large, effective and compelling. Without any hesitations, your reader should be able to tell you exactly what the landing page is about. Your viewer is most likely a newcomer to your product. You want to pull them in and a strong headline will do the job. With this being said, your headline should not be an essay. If need be, you can include a subheadline but it shouldn’t drag on.
Include an Image or Video
You don’t need a gallery, but there should be an effective use of media; whether it’s a video or image of your product, that’s up to you. You’ve heard the saying, “A picture is worth a thousand words,” right? This is a perfect example of this.
The images used should also explain the basics of the product or service. With the right image, you can convey a lot of information to your customer. A perfect example of this would be Apple’s landing page for the Apple Watch.
The Apple Watch’s landing page perfectly utilized the strong image. The image is large, compelling and everything on the watch is easy to read. It shows what the watch looks like when being used rather than an image of a watch that’s not even turned on.
Include the Benefits
You want to answer every user’s basic question, “What’s in it for me?” You should always include the benefits so this question can be answered. There are thousands of landing pages out there and many of them have similar products. You want yours to stand out. On one page, it should answer all of your viewer’s questions without overwhelming them. This is most important part of your copy. Listing the benefits is what’s going to convince the visitor. It shows that you are there to inform them about the product.
Using bullet points is always a good idea when listing the benefits. It’s straight to the point and helps you limit your wording so it’s easier to read.
Provide Trust Factors
If you position yourself as an authority, people are more likely to convert. You have to convince your visitors that your product is the best. You can say everything you want but if it’s a stranger visiting your landing page, chances are they want some backup input. You can use testimonials, social shares or show the number of downloads or users. These will all give your landing page the credentials it needs. All of these are easy and cheap ways to gain trust from your visitor.
Codecademy has a great landing page when it comes to providing trust factors. Not only did they include testimonials, they also included a total number of learners. Offering both of these pieces of information gives it that little extra push. It shows that your viewer isn’t the first person to use your product.
How many hours do you spend on your phone each day? A recent study by mobileinsurance.com revealed the average person spends about 90 minutes a day on their phone. It doesn’t seem like a lot until you add it up. This translates into the average person spends 23 days of the year on their phone. You definitely want your landing page to be mobile-friendly. If it isn’t, think of how many people you aren’t reaching.
Your landing page design should still have the large call to action button as well as the image or video. Everything else such as copy should be easy to read. An easy way to check this is by asking yourself: do my visitors have to do the pinch-and-scroll move? We all know how much of a pain it is to zoom in to read something on our phones.
Strong Closing Argument
This is your last chance to convince your visitor about your product. You don’t want them to close out of your landing page without getting their email or having them sign up for something. You’re closing argument should be compelling and should back up your value proposition. Be sure your call to action button is working next to your final closing argument.
Less is More
Your copy doesn’t have to be a page long, just make sure it is clear and concise. This can be done with one sentence. Pinterest is no stranger to this. In one sentence they tell you what they offer: Collect and organize the things you love. In fact, the suggested length of copy is no more than 100 words. It may sound difficult, but it’s possible. Check out Apple and Evernote as well. All three of these landing pages make their copy concise.
This rule also applies to the white space on your landing page. White space is the blank area surrounding the important information or area. It should be used to your advantage. It can be helpful when you want to draw the eye to a focal point. If you do this, it will look overwhelming and the chances of your visitor leaving the page are very high. Many of the worst landing pages are overfilled with information, text, and images.
Instapaper is a prime example. Their landing page utilizes the whitespace and your eye is drawn to the center. You are able to focus on the product and what it has to offer. This is how every landing page should be. Don’t distract your visitors and make them confused.
Is Your Thank You Page Set Up and Ready to Go?
This is the final step in your conversation with your visitor. Bring it all to a close with a thank you page that they are taken to after they fill out the form. It shows your appreciation and opens up opportunities to market at a later date. Just this small and simple action will help you build a relationship. Double and even triple check this is working. This small step is sometimes overlooked and it really does make a difference.
HAVE YOU INCLUDED THESE POINTS IN YOUR LANDING PAGE?
Similar to many other things, landing pages can always be improved. A lot of this is trial and error. The suggestions listed above will help, but you can never do too much testing. Keep changing your landing page. By doing this, you will be able to see what needs improvement and what is working. But no matter what, landing pages are beneficial and definitely help when trying to generate leads.