Landing pages are an essential component of any well-crafted, effective inbound marketing strategy. Picture these pages as landing pads for the numerous prospects that visit your website. Whether you’re looking to generate leads, sell products, or collect data, your landing pages are where the action happens. Well-optimized landing pages allow you to take the prospects that you attract to your website and convert them into leads. Investing the time into creating well-designed and optimized landing pages is critical because these are your means for generating leads for your business. With the growing challenge of attracting and holding people’s attention online, it’s more important than ever to design your landing pages to trigger instant conversions. This introductory guide will walk you through the basics of landing page creation and best practices that will have you effectively converting site traffic into leads in no time. Let’s get started.
A landing page is a web page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a lead form. Essentially, it’s where your visitors “land” after clicking a call-to-action on your website, blog, offer, or pay- per-click ad on social networks. On your landing page, your visitors will find a form that they can fill out to receive their offer. After submitting their information to your form, they are created as a new lead in your database.
The image above illustrates the path that a visitor may take when they click on a CTA, arrive at your landing page, and fill out a lead generation form.
It is important to create custom landing pages for each type of content or offer you’ll be using to trigger a conversion. You can build landing pages that allow visitors to download ebooks, whitepapers, webinars, or sign up for free trials or demos of your product. Creating landing pages also allows you to closely target your audience using content and images that appeal to different segments of your leads. By offering your visitors relevant, valuable content that addresses their individual needs, you’ll ultimately be able to convert a higher percentage of them into leads.
Too often, companies use marketing strategies that incorporate email, social media, and SEO, but send all that traffic to their homepages in one giant clump. This is not the way you acquire and capitalize on leads. Actually, it’s basically like throwing those leads away.
Once you have a solid conversion path, you can design a series of landing pages to facilitate this conversion. You want to make it easy for your visitors to follow the path you have just laid out – according to Interactive Marketing Inc., keeping relevant, focused, important information on a single page can increase conversion by 55%. So it often makes sense to have a dedicated page for each step (or a series of similar steps) of your conversion path.
By sending your visitors to a targeted landing page, you are directing them to the exact place they need to be for them to fill out your form and complete the conversion. This simplicites the process and keeps your visitors from wandering around your website looking for the ebook or webinar you promised them.
Your goal as a marketer is to deliver the right information, to the right person, at the right time in order to better convert your visitors into leads and sales. You can use landing pages to direct your visitors to the right page for them with the exact offer they are looking for. This will increase the likelihood that your visitor will convert into a lead or sale, and be an advocate for your brand.
Many companies have grown accustomed to using a “Contact Us” form on their websites as the primary means of capturing leads. While this form can admittedly collect information from your visitors, it is far from the best strategy. “Contact Us” forms are often ineffective because these pages are not targeted to specific visitors, are generally hidden somewhere in your website’s About Us section, and frequently attract spam and sales people.
A generic “Contact Us” form lacks the targeting capabilities of landing pages and limits your ability to capture qualified leads. Instead of using a single form, diversify and create more offers that your visitors can download. If visitors are downloading educational content about your product, company, or industry, instead of sending you blanket “contact me!” messages, you’re more likely to acquire leads that are actually interested in your product or service. Leads are great, but qualified leads are even better.
Now that we’ve covered the basic overview of what a landing page is, we’re going to dive into the individual elements that make up an effective landing page.
The headline is usually the first thing that your visitors see when they arrive on your landing pages. With an average online attention span of eight seconds, it is important that your headline sums up the offer as clearly and concisely as possible. You need to ensure that your viewer understands the offer and what you’re asking them to do as soon as they “land” on your page.
Take, for example, the title below. This headline does not just give the title of the ebook, but it actually begins by stating that the offer is for an ebook and gives additional information that the ebook is free. Your visitors know exactly what the offer is by reading the headline. If your title can accomplish that goal before your visitors have looked at the rest of your page, you’re off to a good start.
The body of your landing page should build upon the headline and further explain what the offer is and why your visitors should sign up or download it. The goal of your landing page content is to incentivize conversion by conveying the value of your offer through clear and concise language.
"Get rid of half the words on each page, then get rid of half of what’s left"
Effective landing page copy provides more than just a plain description of what the offer is; it also gives visitors an incentive to download by conveying the value of the offer. You’ll want to highlight the benefits of your offer with a brief paragraph or a few bullet points. Your copy should emphasize how the offer addresses a specific problem, need, or interest your target audience cares about.
A useful technique for instantly attracting your visitor’s attention is to use relevant images to reinforce the benefits detailed in your landing page copy. Believe it or not, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster in the brain than text. So incorporating images is an effective way to entice visitors and convey the purpose of your landing page and why they should download your offer. The images should be captivating and relevant to your offer. For example, if you were building a landing page for an ebook, you could include an image of the cover to further illustrate what your visitors will be getting when they fill out your form.
The layout of your landing page should be designed with simplicity and clarity in mind. You want the page layout to guide your visitors through the page and to the form they should fill out. Determine what you want visitors to do and create a layout that directs them through the steps. Strive to convey the top three or four most important pieces of information almost immediately. Use bullet points, numbering, and bold or italicized text to simplify the visual layout and highlight the main focus points. You want to create a page format that is as easy as possible for visitors to understand the offer, the value, and the action they need to take.
For example, the landing page below has a very clear path that leads the visitors from the headline, to the description, through the offer highlights, and to the form. Each section of the landing page is clear, concise, and relevant to the offer.
As we explained earlier, the goal of your landing page is to get your visitors to fill out your forms and convert into happy leads. You’ve attracted them to your landing page, now you want to keep them there. To reduce the likelihood of your page visitors clicking away and roaming other parts of your website, you’ll want to remove all navigation and links from the page. By doing this, you’ll be eliminating any distractions from completing your form. After all, if you’re linking away from your landing page, you’re not convincing your visitors that completing your form is what they should be doing! Avoiding top navigation and links will help conversion rates on your landing pages.
There are a few reasons why optimizing your meta data and keywords is important. One is that the meta data and keywords are both factors in how Google’s ranking algorithm determines the relevance of your ads and where your website shows up in search results. Another reason is because the description is the text that is shown and shared in social media. You want this text to be concise and convincing enough to attract visitors to your landing page.
The form is, in essence, the main event on your landing page, since your ultimate goal is to get your visitors to fill it out. It is important that you focus on the design and formatting of your landing page because they have a direct impact on your conversion rates. Your form should appear above the fold and remove the need for visitors to scroll down on the page to see your form. Immediate visibility is important, since you want to draw the viewer’s attention to the form.
You’re probably wondering how long your forms should be. This is a tricky question to answer, because the length of your form inevitably leads to a tradeoff between the quantity and quality of the leads you generate. Shorter forms mean that you will most likely generate more leads, but they may be lacking in quality. Longer forms will bring fewer results, but higher quality leads.
When determining the length of your forms, you should take into account that the length will affect the visitor’s willingness to fill it out. You’ll want to nd a good balance between collecting enough information and not asking for too much information that they’re not willing to give it. Your goal should be to collect enough data so that you can contact and qualify the lead. Refrain from asking for too much information, especially information that won’t help you qualify your lead.
Start simple and use fields such as name and email address to gather contact information about your lead. Then you should include fields and questions that will help you identify how likely it is that that lead will become a customer. Use fields such as company, website, role, and number of employees to learn some background information. After that, you’ll want to add questions to help you gauge their need for your product or service, and their likelihood to purchase.
The last piece of your form is a major component when getting visitors to send you their information – the button. For most forms, you’ll notice that the default text is usually “Submit,” but data shows that landing pages with buttons labeled “Submit” have lower conversion rates than those that do not. Try to make your buttons engaging and relevant to your offer. Experiment with different wording and focus on using language that will make visitors want to click the button instead of language that will scare them away. Putting more thought into your button text can signi cantly affect your conversion rates.
What do you do after you’ve converted your prospects to leads? Encourage them to share your awesome content, of course! Having social media sharing links on your landing pages give your visitors the chance to share that landing page with their Facebook friends, Twitter followers, Google + circles, and LinkedIn connections. Remember to include sharing and forwarding options for email as well. You’ll be able to spread your reach to more people, across a broader audience. The more visitors that share your landing pages, the more leads you’ll be able to generate.
It’s important to ensure that the look and feel of your products and services come through in your landing pages. Focus on keeping your language, colors, text, and logos uniform on all of your pages. Maintaining brand consistency will lend additional credibility to your pages and increase the likelihood that your visitors will filll out your form. If your brand is already seen as a transparent and trustworthy source of great content, your landing pages should reflect that image in layout, color scheme, and design.
A good rule of thumb is to make sure your landing page passes the “blink test” – can the viewer understand the offer and what they need to do in less than 5 seconds? Using the “blink test” when designing your landing pages will help you keep things clear and concise. Does your landing page answer all these questions in less than 5 seconds?
The landing page should make it very obvious what your visitors will get out of your offer. When they land on your page, your goal is to emphasize the value, convince your visitors to filll out the form, and give you their contact information. With that goal in mind, focus on making the copy as clear as possible. Tell your visitors exactly what they are receiving, what benefits will come from it, and why they need it now. When visitors clearly understand the value of downloading your offer, they will be much more inclined to fill out the form and convert.
To understand your conversion path, you first need to identify what kind of conversion you’re aiming for. A “conversion” is the behavior that we marketers want the prospects to perform. That behavior must be measurable. The conversion path is a process of clicks that your visitors take to travel from one step to the next, ultimately ending with the action you intend for them to take. The way to measure the success of your conversion paths will vary depending on the complexity of your business model.
So you’ve spent all this time improving your headlines and emphasizing the value of your offer in the copy, what now? You deliver on what you promised your prospects! The last thing you want to do is disappoint your newly converted leads with content that falls short of what you described on your landing page. When you consistently provide your visitors and audience with high quality content, you’ll turn them into advocates for your brand.
Once your newly converted leads have gone through the effort to fill out your form, you should always redirect them to a “Thank You” page, where they can receive the content that you had promised them. You should optimize your thank you page with access to your offer, social media sharing links, secondary calls-to-action, and auto-response emails.
The best way to determine the effectiveness of your landing pages is to track the progress of your work through analytics. Set up your analytics to deliver regular reporting. You don’t need to track every data point immediately, but make sure you set up your tracking to measure the success of your landing pages over time.
For those just beginning to delve into landing page analytics, you probably want to focus on a few key data points, namely your traf c and conversion rates. Traffic: How many people have viewed your pages? Looking at your overall traffic volume can offer some insight on who is coming to your site, and why.
Conversion rates: What percentage of visitors are converting on your landing pages? You’ll want to keep an eye on your conversion rates to help you determine what techniques and best practices have worked to increase or decrease that number.
Finally, check your progress on a regular basis. At Nuka System, we monitor our landing pages on a daily basis, but we recommend looking at your dashboards at least weekly to identify trends in your traffic and conversion rates.
By understanding your analytics, you’ll be able to keep a form grasp on your marketing efforts and better optimize your landing pages to increase conversion rates. To learn more about these analytics, contact us please on chat below
Now that you’ve learned that landing pages are a simple and effective way to convert your website visitors into leads for your business, it’s time to start building your own landing pages.
You now know how to determine your conversion goals, identify your intended conversion path, and create targeted landing pages to address specific segments of your leads.
You are also armed with best practices to create top-performing landing pages. Remember to focus on the key elements to optimize those pages for conversion. Use clear titles, descriptions, and layouts to quickly convey value and incentivize your visitors to fill out your forms. Keep your visitors focused on willing out your form and remove all links and navigation. Be sure to structure your forms to capture the right amount of information to qualify your leads while still keeping the user’s experience in mind.
Finally, with all these new visitors and conversions, you will need to track these numbers closely to optimize your landing pages, so remember to enable your site analytics and check them on a regular basis.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll be able to build landing pages to effectively convert more of your visitors into leads and sales, so you can take the next steps towards advancing your lead generation strategy and growing your bottom line.
Here is a list of useful terms that you’ll want to know and learn when creating your own landing pages. The terms determine important aspects of landing page creation.
A/B Testing Testing two different versions of the same landing page to evaluate which one performs better in converting leads.
Authority Endorsement Visual proof that an authority is recognizing the value of your offer. This is a way to establish credibility.
Benefit to Reinforcement Similar to value proposition, it is a reinforcement of why the visitor wants to complete the form.
Call-To-Action A phrase of button that prompts the visitor to take action, such as “Subscribe Now” or “Download the Template Today.”
Conversion Rate The rate at which a visitor converts into a lead.
FrictionThe page elements preventing the visitor from converting into a lead. (For instance, too many calls-to-action, which distract the visitor’s attention.)
Funnel The process logic as a visitor gets to your page and completes the “transaction.” (Think of a visitor as someone at the top of the funnel. How do you push them to the bottom of the funnel?)
Guarantee Images Images that instill trust and how credibility.
Layout How the landing page is designed.
Motivation of User The visitor’s desire to receive your offer.
Navigation A web page element, usually located at the top, with links that help visitors to navigate through a website.
Page Views The number of views a page has received.
ROI The return-on-investment of your marketing effects.
Security or Accreditation Seals Visual elements proving your o er is secure and risk-free.
Time on Page How much time a visitor spends on your landing page.
Value exchange Providing a valuable offer in order to receive information from your visitors.
Value Proposition The primary reason why your visitor will choose to convert on your page. (The answer to the “what is there for me?” question.)
Visitors/Uniques The number of (unique) visitors who came to your page.