I. What is a landing page?
To answer this question, we'll begin with what's not a landing page. A website usually has more than one page which is called a web page. Some websites have only a single long web page with many sections. These web pages all share the same issue: they carry too much information, targeting various target audiences, thus distracting people from the main goal (if any).
The web page above has header and footer navigation that can distract visitors away
A landing page, is a web page that focuses on a single goal (and most of the time for a single audience). Let's say that we have a new upcoming event, we can create a landing page to contain only information about this event, without any distraction or any link to any other pages.
In online marketing, a landing page is sometimes known as a "lead capture page", "static page", or a "destination page".
Landing pages can be used to capture information on website visitors in exchange for services, branded content or experiences including:
- online courses
- industry events
- free product trials
- free consulting session
- community memberships
A few more examples may help you better understand the landing page concept:
- A registration page for a seminar you are promoting: definitely a landing page to ask for participants registration.
- A business’s page with address, hours, and contact information: probably not a landing page since it doesn’t ask for further action.
- A pre-launch page where visitors can sign up for updates: definitely a landing page.
- Sales page promoting the benefits of one of your membership levels: could be a landing page, especially if it has a button to purchase or sign up.
- E-commerce page listing all your products: probably not a landing page since it offers so many potential choices for visitors to make.
II. How a landing page can benefit you?
As we have noted, a normal website has too many objectives which may distract its visitors. If you are running a marketing/ads campaign, you want to ensure that they perform the desired action. If the visitors come to your marketing destination pages, and they do not buy or sign up then all your ads spend and effort go to waste.
For example, lets say you run an ad for some specific product:
Now when this ad is clicked, which of the following pages should you show him?
If the customer is shown an ad for watermelons, he/she expects to see that exact information when he/she clicks through.
Following the example above:
- A fashion store running a Summer Sales Campaign may want to ensure its visitors to see only the exact products on sales.
- A new Gym recruiting new members may want to show its visitors the instant benefits and capture contact information.
A landing page allows you to laser focus your marketing efforts and achieve optimal conversion rate. In fact, the best landing pages out there help to boost the conversion rate up to 400%.
You can also use a landing page to boost your SEO. Take this opportunity to get your landing page organically ranked higher on search result list. A landing page allows you to focus on a single topic so you can target your audience without making it feel spammy.
Landing pages also give you the flexibility you need to promote a seasonal or one-off deal. It’s much easier and cost-effective to create a specific landing page than remodeling the entire website for a new offer every single time.
III. When you need a landing page?
Whenever you want to maximize the effect of your Call To Action. Landing pages can certainly act as lone rangers (standalone websites) or they can be used to supplement your business’ primary website.
If you’re promoting one-off events or products, you may need only a landing page. If you are a startup launching a new product or service, a simple landing can also do the job and help you to start fast.
However, if your business offers many products/services, in-depth information, you may want to have a primary website where you can structure information in meaningful and easy-to-navigate structure.
At the same time, if you are spending money and effort to promote your product, service, and content, never send that traffic to your website homepage.
Landing pages are great for:
- List building: use a landing page to offer a valuable resource in exchange for contact information, advertise this landing page on ads networks and watch your list grow.
- Contest running: excite, educate, and collect sign-ups via your landing page. You can include social media buttons to encourage sharing within the visitors' circles of friends.
- Direct sales: create a landing for each product and service you offer, include a valuable promotion and a buy now button to drive the sale.
- Relationship building: create landing pages for the best content on your website, collect leads information and put them into your favorite CRM and Marketing Automation software to start sending personalized targeted messages at scale.
IV. How to create a great landing page?
Simplicity is the key. You want your landing page to instantly capture the visitors' attention, explaining your offering and give them a solid reason to perform the desired action.
1. Clearly define your goal
I use the singular form of "goal" to stress how important it is to define a clear, single goal for your landing page. While it's possible to have more than one goal, it's strongly recommended to laser focus your goal to avoid distracting your visitors.
With a concrete, specific goal, you can set up tracking tools to measure the success of your marketing campaign.
2. Limited navigation
You've spent a lot of resources to bring your targeted audience to a landing page where they can take your desired action. Don't distract them! Limit the number of exits from your landing page. In the famous Wall Street film, Gordon Gekko said: "Greed is good". However, for a landing page, greed is no good. Don't try too much by linking to different parts of your website hoping that the visitors will perform more than one desired action.
Sometimes you only need a simple, straight-forward message with a Call to Action
3. Real value offering
To ask your visitors to perform your desired action such as giving up their contact information, you have to offer something valuable in exchange. Ask yourself if your offer is compelling to your audience and make sure your landing page demonstrates that value. One way to ensure your landing page adds value is to show your audience the content they're going to receive -- directly on the page.
Tips: many businesses think their ‘regular newsletter’ qualifies as a valuable offering, but that's not the case. Most visitors are likely to look at these offerings and see: free sales pitches. As if people would generally pay for the privilege of receiving marketing emails. Instead, offer a bonus that gets people excited to subscribe, then immediately delivers the information they’ll devour.
4. Clear and concise copy
Your copy should be clear and concise. It should be persuasive, too.
Every single sentence and word on your landing page should serve the purpose of calling the visitors to perform the desired action. Follow this success proven format for your copy:
- Show What: Tell your visitors what they want to know in as few words as possible. If you have a service to offer, a product to sell, tell them that in the first few words.
- Explain Why: Show them why they should respond to your call to action as quickly as possible, offer something valuable for their actions (free trials, free consulting, super discount).
- Instruct How: Minimize the effort to perform the action, if your landing page includes a form, make sure it’s only asking for the most vital information.
5. Optimize design
The design of your page is just as important as the copy. A good design supports the call to action, while a bad design detracts from it. In general, a landing page design should be clean, clear, simple to help the visitors focus on your offer.
5.1 Long Page vs. Series of Pages
It should be noted that a landing does not necessarily have only one single page. A landing page can have more than one page (in which case it can be called a mini-site).
- Multiple pages (mini-site): generally have multiple pages with short content that funnel visitors from one step to the next along. This works best for longer conversion process that may require multiple steps with lots of content. Moving the users from one page to another can help get them in the right psychological frame of mind to convert.
- Single page (landing page): are perfectly suited for content that’s shorter. A single page landing page is often easier to build (thus cheaper), easier to read (with short content). The downside is that they can get overwhelming with a lot of content, and can come across as spammy if not well-designed.
5.2 Pay attention to the fold
Place your most important messages and Call-to-action above the fold(*) to ensure that all visitors see them.
(*)Above the fold (or "above the scroll") to refer to the portion of the webpage that is visible without scrolling.
A 2006 study by Jakob Nielsen found that 77% of visitors to a website do not scroll, and therefore only see the portion of the website that is above the fold. In a more recent article by Amy Schade and NNgroup, it is stated that there is an 84% average difference in how users treat the content above and below the fold, there is a big dropoff in attention below the fold.
Marketing research done by Google shows that the viewability of adverts is affected by its position in relation to the fold as there is a significant drop-off below the fold.
Place your most important messages and Call-to-action above the fold to ensure that all visitors see them.
At the same time, you not should neglect those users who scroll. Make sure calls to action appear at regular intervals on your page corresponding to the surrounding copy. Make sure that your users have to do minimal scrolling once they decide to convert.
5.3 Match the Look and Feel of Email
6. Test and tweak to optimize
There is no best formula for creating effective landing pages. What works for one site might not work so well for another. You have to constantly measure, experiment, and tweak your landing page for better result. It’s important to test the different versions of your landing page to find the one that works the best for your particular situation.
A few important metrics to measure the success of your landing page can be:
- Conversion rate: how many leads actually completed the action you wanted them to on your page
- Bounce rate: how many people left your page almost immediately upon visit
- Dwell time: how long someone spent viewing your page
- Scroll depth: how far do your users scroll to (particularly important if your landing page is super long)
7. Make the most out of your leads
Once people visit your landing page, you can make an assumption that they have an interest in what you have to offer on your page. You should make the most out of your spent ads money by:
- Following up immediately: strike it while it's still hot. Make sure that you contact your leads as soon as possible. A personalized automatic response can be useful to send out an instant response while allowing your support staffs some time to catch up.
- Running re-marketing ads: retarget the people who already visited your site but has not performed the desired action yet for whatever reason.
- Nurturing relationships: if you have captured contact information via your web forms, now it's time to input them in a Customer Relationship Management system and start building long-lasting relationships.
V. How to drive traffic to your landing page
There are a number of ways to drive traffic to your landing pages:
- Through paid ads: Google, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, you name it. Paid advertising is useful if you have some kind of KPIs that you must meet within a short targeted timeline (e.g: 1000 new leads in August).
- Through organic search: Search engine optimization is the way to go for the long term, long-tail traffic. If you want to learn more about SEO, definitely check out this reference page on improving your organic search traffic.
- Through referral campaigns: Encourage your audience to spread the news about your product, service, launch, or contest. Provide them with a link that they can easily share with their social circle.
Landing Page plays an important role in the Sales Funnel
You need to continually invest your skill, time, money and resources for desired results. Many people make the mistake of changing things on their landing pages too fast, too often. You need to measure the results, analyze the interaction data you collect on your page before making changes accordingly.
When you go fishing, it's important to choose the right lure. When you plan and build your landing page it's important to understand your target audience, their goals and their challenges. Once you know exactly what they want and how to target them, it's not very difficult to see your effort rewarded.