This article was originally published on the Bookmark Blog
How to Create an Effective Landing Page
All your digital marketing efforts are geared towards bringing in traffic to your website. That’s a given; however, it’s only half the battle. It’s important to get eyes on your websites, but, if you’re a small business, it’s more important to have those eyes convert.
This is where creating effective landing pages comes into the equation. You may be asking, “what is a landing page?” A landing page or lead page is one dedicated page on your website you send traffic to.
You’re most likely wondering, “why should I send traffic to any page other than my homepage?” The answer is your homepage isn’t segmented to any particular user.
For marketing purposes, your homepage is a wide net you cast to attract all kinds of visitors. On your homepage, you’re trying to explain your business’ products or services in the most economical and unsophisticated way. This is because you want to appeal to every visitor.
With even a simple landing page, you can write specific copy to a specific audience. If you understand your audience, you can create more engaging content designed to motivate them more effectively than your homepage.
Landing Page Optimization
If you’re receiving traffic in good numbers but not seeing important metrics like sales increase, it’s possible your landing page design needs adjustment.
One area to look at when optimizing your landing page design is to check what your visitors do on your landing page. Using heat maps, you can determine how visitors interact most with your landing page. If you find there are elements to your landing page that receive the most engagement, you can test placing them higher on the page.
Optimizing your landing page will be a process of trial and error. The important metrics for landing page optimization are dwell time, bounce rate, and conversion or goal completion rate.
Improving your dwell time is an important metric to measure because it gauges user interest. Dwell time is the amount of time a visitor stays on your website page. Over time, you’ll find an average dwell time leading to a conversion. It’ll be your job to increase your landing page dwell time to be in line with this average. By doing so, you’ll drastically increase the odds you’ll receive a conversion. One trick to get visitors more engaged and increase dwell time is to use video to highlight your product.
Bounce rate is the rate at which visitors see your landing page and immediately leave thereafter. Bounce rates can help us understand visitor interest as well. High bounce rates (anything typically above 55 percent) will tell us there is nothing compelling about our landing page, we’re targeting the wrong audience, or we’re not addressing a paint point people resonate with. Adjusting copy will have significant impact here.
Lastly, conversions are the most telling of whether or not your landing page is effective. Improving conversions comes down to how you’re targeting visitors in your funnel and whether or not you’re giving them a compelling offer. If the offer is a purchase, including an automatic discount from the landing page to checkout can be enough to sway visitors.
You can also improve your metrics by incorporating a number of other compelling elements:
- Have good visuals
- Craft clever headlines
- Show some social proof
- Write targeted copy around pain points
- Use great offers or lead magnets
- Compelling calls to action
Have Good Visuals
The colour, placement, and size of visual content should match the overall design of the website and should never appear to be jammed in or without a clear order. Everything should flow.
Some people are using outdated technology to search. This means that the overall landing page visual you see on your computer monitor may not be the same for all your visitors.
To find out how your landing page looks like to all potential visitors, examine the page layout at different resolutions on your computer and on mobile and tablet devices. This will give you a good idea how your landing page comes across.
Here’s a quick guide to incorporate when using web builder tools for your visuals:
- A simple, clean design with lots of white space keeps people’s attention locked onto the most important content
- Large fonts make it easy for visitors to scroll and read the content quickly to learn what the website is about
- Bullet points are great for highlighting important sections and product or service benefits
- Videos have a lot more impact than written content and they may be used to increase conversions by explaining details about products and services and other information such as the signup process.
Craft Clever Headlines
Research has shown effective headlines tend to be clever, funny, or even outrageous. This may be the case since headlines of this nature are meant to get your attention and compel you to read the following content.
When visitors reach your landing page, at most, they have a few seconds to decide whether to stay or leave. In these crucial seconds, they scan the landing page to see if there’s anything of relevance to them. By creating a clever headline, you can capture their attention and use the relevance of the content beneath to hold their attention.
It’s only after you’ve held their interest, you can successfully promote your offer. Think of your headline, content, and offer as a micro funnel. Your headline captures the attention of interested parties, the content qualifies their attention, and the promotion convinces them to further invest their attention.
Keep in mind, if your product or service solves a simple problem, the less copy you need to write in order to take a visitor from headline to offer; however, if what you’re offering is complicated in nature, you will need to write more copy to educate and qualify your visitor. This can affect whether you place your call to action or offer button at the top or bottom of your landing page.
Lastly, if visitors are taking too long to understand what it is your business does, they are less inclined to complete actions by the time you give your offer. When writing the headline, make it clever, clear, and explanatory. The headline should stand out more than your business logo or the name of the website.
Show Some Social Proof
Humans are social creatures. As social creatures, we tend to trust things that have been approved by other people.
This is the reason many websites tend to display evidence of social validation in the form of testimonials, accolades, press mentions, number of customers, and usage statistics.
For new businesses, some of the above examples may not be available for your landing page. If that’s the case, begin with encouraging the most important social proof: customer testimonials.
If you have a newsletter, begin sending out links to encourage customer testimonials on Google My Business. By sending your subscriber list a link they can easily click to submit a review, you can grow a small pool of reviews and leverage them to use on your landing page as social proof.
You can also include Tweets and Instagram posts on your page to give newcomers to the impressions of happy customers.
Nothing shows more goodwill to customers than community engagement. If you’re struggling with social proof, create social media campaigns that encourage user generated content. Task your community to use your product or service in crafty ways and post about it. Curate posts from your community and reward creative posters. This will show your business is actively engaged with its customer base. Include the most notable posts as examples on your landing page to sway newcomers into joining your business’ community or customer base.
Finally, if your landing page is long lasting, you always have an opportunity to update it with content showing social validation by using customer comments, user numbers, and reviews.
Write Targeted Copy Around Pain Points
Did you know that offering your visitors a lot of choice can, in fact, hinder their ability to make a decision? It’s commonly known as choice fatigue.
For that reason, you should keep your page clear of multiple offers, speak to your customers, centre your message around their pain points, and provide a solution to their problem through your call-t0-action.
Every business is different. You’ll hear us say that a lot. As redundant as it may be, it’s true. That’s why the best place to start in understanding your customers’ paint points is by asking them directly.
Do your qualitative research and ask your customers for feedback based on their experience with your product. Record your sessions and listen back to the recordings to identify if there are any commonalities between customers. You’re looking for 3-5 similarities between customers. That’s all you need to identify a paint point. You’re looking for if they said the same words, shared the same sentiment or frustration, and if there are any features they most use and why.
After about 25 interviews, you’ll get a good sense of what your customers’ paint points are. It’s then time to specifically address those paint points in your marketing copy.
Write about how your product or service can help alleviate the common issues you’ve learned about in your interviews, why customers will be successful with your product, and what results they can expect.
Finally, direct visitors to a call to action that brings them to your product or service offer or lead magnet.
Use Great Offers or Lead Magnets
An offer or lead magnet is anything you give to a person on account of them visiting your sign up page and clicking your call to action. It can be anything from online resources, coupons and discounts, free trials, or even a free version of the product.
Match your offers and lead magnets to reflect your visitors’ interest and your business.
For example, a consultation agency might offer an hour of free consultation as a way to attract new clients.
A billing service website, on the other hand, might offer to waive the first $10 when new clients pay their first bill; and this would require them to sign up for the service.
When making these types of offers, it helps to include a deadline, timers, and limited supply counter to convey a sense of urgency in order to generate a conversion.
Write Compelling Calls to Action
The call to action directs and compels your visitors to do something.
Buttons, text links, and images like “Shop Now, Sign Up, and Call Us” are all examples of call to actions.
Whatever it is you want the visitor to do, you should ask them clearly.
Consider this layout:
- Display the CTA at least once in a central location using a distinct button. Make sure the visitor knows where the button is.
- Add a few visual cues such as images or arrows pointing at the button, as a way to draw the eye.
- If your landing page has several CTAs, de-emphasize the less important ones by using smaller fonts or by using less eye-catching colours compared to your primary CTA.
- In case you have more content below the fold, it may be necessary to repeat the CTA. But remember to keep it simple and compelling, so the visitor can follow through with the instructions.
Remember, when marketing to your customer base, creating ads and social media content is only half the battle. The other, more important half is getting your customers to convert and there’s no better way to do it than landing pages. So, do yourself a favour and implement the above tips into your new and existing landing pages and watch your conversions rise.