WHAT IS A LANDING PAGE?
Formally, a landing page is any page that a visitor can arrive at or “land” on. In marketing, however, a landing page is a standalone web page that has a single focused objective separate from your main website. It contains only limited information as the main purpose is to guide your visitors toward your intended conversion goal.
There are two basic types of landing page:
- Click through landing pages. Used to persuade the visitor to click through to another page, usually a shopping cart or registration page. They usually contain product or service information with just enough detail to “warm up” the prospect to the point where they are close to making a purchasing decision.
- Lead generation landing pages. Used to capture visitor information (eg. email address) that will allow the business to connect with the prospect later. Lead generation strategies usually offer an incentive (eg. a free eBook or free trial) in return for the prospect’s data.
WHY DO YOU NEED A LANDING PAGE?
Homepages usually contain a broad spectrum of business information and are not designed for targeted marketing. Rather than risking visitor distraction by searching through your website, the landing page offers a direct call to action. For this reason, landing pages should be used for every inbound marketing campaign.
SEGMENTED PROMOTIONAL OFFERS
Certain promotions are only valid for some portions of your market, for example, a 30% discount on new subscriptions to your private website may only be valid for new customers. A landing page is an effective way to ensure that only targeted customers are privy to this offer.
SINGLE PRODUCT OFFERS
Most businesses sell more than one product, and each separate product is advertised through the website. When a visitor browses the site, they have ample opportunity to be distracted by other product offerings on the page. Whilst this may help develop brand awareness, it reduces your ability to measure the effectiveness of a specific marketing campaign.
By linking a single product campaign back to a landing page, it is easier to record the origin of the visitor, and also to direct the visitor to the cart. A regular visitor would follow the path:
Homepage → Product search → Product details → Cart
Whereas a visitor that arrives at your site through a targeted campaign would follow the path:
Advertisement → Landing page → Cart
thereby simplifying the buying process.
TRAFFIC SOURCE SEGMENTATION
In most cases, your marketing campaign would be spread across a few separate platforms, eg. email, Facebook and Twitter. A customer who has heard about your product through a Facebook ad likely has less information than one who has read an email describing the product features, so should be directed to a separate landing page. In addition to the customer-centric benefits, multiple landing pages based on traffic source allows for more effective conversion analysis.
ELEMENTS OF A GOOD LANDING PAGE
Message match refers to the ability of your landing page to accurately reflect the message that is being promoted through your advertising. For example, if your ad is promoting “30% off subscription services”, the landing page should match this message and offer only 30% off subscription services. If other options are available or the prospect is required to navigate the site to find the offer, there is a risk that they will become fed up and leave the site.
Take, for example, this Facebook advertisement for Regent University:
Which links back to this landing page:
The landing page is very effective as it does not contain any superfluous information, it merely requests information from the prospect and highlights some very basic facts about the school. The visitor is not given any opportunity for distraction until they have completed the form and provided the requested details.
In contrast, consider the below advertisement from Database Advisor Global, an online market research company:
The advertisement seems to persuade the prospect to sign up for an online survey service. However, upon reaching the landing page there is no clear direction as to what the visitor should do next.
There is no call to action, no acknowledgement of the message in the advertisement, and the page is in no way directed at the target market of individuals who wish to take part in market research.
After the call to action, the headline is the next most important text on any landing page. Visitors won’t always spend time reading the text copy, so the headline must succinctly explain the value proposition. Three proven strategies for constructing high-conversion headlines are:
- Testimonials. Use social proof to persuade new customers to sign-up or purchase your product. The below example uses a real client testimonial instead of a traditional headline, highlighting the product benefits and lending a personal touch to the landing page.
- Statistics. Numerical values add credibility to your claims.
- How-to. Most effective when the goal is to collect customer information. A how-to landing page teases your prospect with an instructional component and requires further action for them to access the full information.
The purpose of the sub-headline is to expand upon the headline and offer extra information to the visitor. You can use this text to highlight the value proposition or add further detail about the product. A sub-headline can be effective but is not always essential, so if your sub-headline text does not add something unique to the landing page it’s best to leave it out altogether.
Text copy for a landing page should be kept to a minimum. Where required, text should only be used to promote the salient features of the product/service, and any text that does not directly encourage the visitor to engage with the call to action should be removed. Use short words so that the text is easy to skim and stick to dot points wherever possible. Remember, the focus of your landing page should be on the call to action.
CALL TO ACTION
The call to action is the line of content that directs your landing page visitor as to what they should do next. It is the most important element on the landing page, and all other content should direct visitors toward this section of your page.
Placement of the call to action is critical in encouraging customer conversions. In most scenarios, the call to action should be placed above the fold (ie. on the first part of the webpage that can be seen on a standard screen without scrolling). Placing the call to action below the fold is appropriate in certain situations which require a high level of trust. For example, studies have shown that a below the fold call to action leads to higher conversion for medical websites, presumably because it gives the visitor some time to digest the product information and develop a basic level of trust.
Graphics are not vital to a high converting landing page, though in certain situations they can be very effective. Images that are used to increase conversion include pictures of real customers (particularly when used in conjunction with a testimonial headline), high quality product images, or photos of people with their eyes directed toward the call to action.
Use of video on landing pages has been shown to improve conversion by up to 80%.They allow the visitor to passively engage with the product whist increasing the time spent on your page. The video must promote the overall message of the landing page, so keep it short and sweet and include a call to action.
By featuring yourself or your employees in the video, you can effortlessly increase the trust factor. Video is also great for SEO, so your chance of appearing in a Google search is significantly increased.
FONTS AND COLOURS
To keep your landing page professional, fonts and colours should be in line with your brand message and goals. Fonts must be clean and easy to read, so if you don’t have much web design experience it’s best to stick with sans serif font types. Before starting, we recommend you read Design Shack’s article for beginners regarding selecting effective fonts in web design.
The psychology of colour in advertising has been researched for more than 100 years, so there is plenty of information available to help you make colour palette design decisions for your website. Ensure that the colour palette doesn’t distract from the message and use contrasting colours to highlight the call to action. When in doubt, use white space rather than more colour to draw attention to your featured message.
Now you have the basic information, it’s time to get started and create a landing page to drive your campaign! We recommend WordPress or Webflow as great resources to start building your page, even with no coding experience. If you need help with your landing page, contact us at the-oop.com for a no obligation quote.
Need help getting people to your landing page? Check out our free digital marketing resources for tips and tricks to get your business moving.