Your marketing machine won’t be able to operate fully without practicing lead generation. That’s pretty common knowledge.
But converting those leads requires high quality landing pages, and those aren’t as common as you may think they are.
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page is any standalone webpage that serves the purpose of an advertising or marketing campaign. It’s where a consumer “lands” after clicking a promotional link of some sort.
Landing pages are built with one goal in mind: to convert visitors into leads.
This is done through a combination of calls to action (CTAs) and offers where a visitor is encouraged to fill out a form in exchange for valuable content.
It’s not uncommon to have several different, unique landing pages tailored with specific offers meant for each stage of the buyer’s journey.
Whether they’re trying to identify a problem (awareness), searching for a solution (consideration), or are ready to close (decision), the copy and offer should reflect where the visitor is at in their journey.
Honestly, there’s only one question that can be asked when it comes to debating whether you should have a landing page. Do you want to convert?
If your answer is yes, which it should be, then you’ll need to use this tool. How else are you going to get a lead’s contact information?
Elements of Landing Pages That Convert
There’s a difference between creating a landing page and creating an effective one.
There are many dos and don’ts when piecing one together, but if you include these elements, then you’ll see a real increase in your conversions.
Craft a Clean Headline.
Your headline should be clean, concise, and clearly communicate the context and value of the page.
It can be tempting to be clever or witty, but people really just want to know what it is they’re looking at. Throw some jokes in at the end in a P.S. if you’ve been saving up some zingers.
A product or service offer isn’t the right time to be vague or general in your copy. Provide as much detail about the content offer, demo, or whatever the offer may be without bogging down the page with a wall of text. Clearly relay the value you are offering as directly as possible.
Make Your CTA Pop.
A colorful, dynamic CTA button is how you’ll entice your visitors to proceed. It should stand out from the rest of the page, drawing the eye so that it’s clear that’s where the next step is.
Make sure the copy of your CTA is engaging and action-based. Hard commands tend to not do as well as an invitation.
Keep Your Navigation Simple.
Having a navigation bar at the top of the page is an important aid when a visitor is looking to learn more about your business.
Link options will direct them across your website and through their buyer’s journey. But, in order for it to be truly effective, you should make sure that it’s designed to be as economical and simple as possible.
Long navigations with a surplus of links can confuse a visitor and discourage them from exploring. It can also be visually distracting, a problem you don’t want to have when attempting to have a potential lead focus solely on your landing page.
Keep Visual Elements Relevant.
It’s not enough to just slap on a generic stock image and call it a day anymore. Whether you choose a still photo or a video, it should always relate back to the content of the landing page.
Maybe it’s an image of the product you are offering, or perhaps an educational video about the services you offer. If you’re promoting a content offer, you can design a unique image that communicates the value of the content while implementing elements of your brand into it.
Break Down the Benefits.
No one is going to give you their information if they don’t know what they’ll be getting in return. Be sure to list out all of the value that they’ll get out of your offer and how it’s going to address their needs. It shouldn’t be a guessing game.
Landing Page Optimization Tips and Best Practices
With the understanding of how important landing pages are, optimizing them should clearly be a priority as well. Landing page optimization (LPO) means refining and improving different elements on a website to increase conversion rates.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” doesn’t really apply to marketing best practices. The marketing industry is constantly evolving and adapting, so businesses must be able to pivot as well. This is especially true when it comes to converting leads and winning visitors.
Here are some handy landing page optimization tips to get the juices flowing on how you can improve your website.
Track Analytics Across All Your Landing Pages.
First things first – if you don’t have analytics set up across your web properties, everything you do will be a “best guess.” Analytics can tell you not only how people get to your page, but what they do there.
Improving your conversion rate hinges on knowing what changes appeal to your audience. And raising conversions is more cost-effective than building traffic.
Split Test Your Landing Pages.
In a traditional split test (also called an A/B test), about half your incoming traffic will be served the “control” version of a page while the other half sees a version with a small, but significant change.
After you’ve gotten enough traffic to make a strong inference, the winner here becomes the new control and another test version is created with a different adjustment.
If you have the determination to run constant split tests, you can easily raise a page’s conversion rate by 10 percent, 20 percent, or even more every year.
When you split test across all your landing pages, you could double conversions and explode your revenue even if traffic is flat.
What page elements should you focus on? These are the heavy hitters:
- The top headline: This is the one thing each visitor is most likely to read.
- The call-to-action text: Another natural focus for your visitors’ attention.
- The color of your CTA button: A traditional way to apply psychology.
- The “P.S.” at the bottom: The last place users habitually scroll to.
Use Exit-Intent Pop-Ups.
Ask someone on the street and most people will say they don’t like pop-up windows. They might even tell you they never click on these gizmos. Still, pop-ups have come this far for a reason: people do respond to them.
Your pop-up can simply re-frame the offer with a different headline, CTA, and button – and it might just work. This is an eye-catching way to give a prospect one last chance to reconsider before moving on.
Everyone who reaches your landing page will be at a different stage in the buyer’s journey, though. Some will be ready for your offer then and there. Catch more conversions from the rest by using your pop-up to make an offer with lower stakes, such as a lower price or fewer required details.
Add a Responsive Video.
The mobile web is faster than ever, and data caps are getting more generous. Your prospects are finally free to check out videos at their leisure through their smartphones – and they love doing it. A responsive video at the top of your page often supercharges conversions.
When you add a video, you’re giving prospects a chance to access your content the way they want: reading or watching. That’s just good user experience.
Incorporate Social Proof.
A landing page is no time to skimp on social proof. Any evidence that people similar to your prospects succeed with your offerings should be readily available. Testimonials are a potent, easily-recognized form of social proof, but you can also get creative.
For example, many widgets allow you to implement a tiny pop-up that alerts your landing page visitors whenever someone buys a product from your site. This leaves prospects feeling like it’s time to get in on a good thing – fast!
Keep Anything Important Above the Fold.
“Above the fold” is a call back to newspaper printing. Remember those?
The articles that were considered the most enticing were placed on the first page above where the newspaper naturally folded. Buyers would get a quick look at juicy headlines and want to buy the paper.
Translate that to a digital page, and that fold can be identified as the point where a visitor has to scroll to get more information.
It’s a little tricky to master this when it comes to smaller screens, like smartphones and tablets, but you can still minimize how far down users will have to scroll their thumbs by keeping valuable content at the top.
Don’t Forget About SEO.
Organic searches lead to landing pages pretty often, but you’ll be missing out on that traffic if you forget to optimize your page for search engines. Depending on the landing page, you can rank for more than just one or two keywords.
Find ways to naturally include industry-related keywords. And don’t forget to include terms related to your brand specifically. If someone searches your company name or one of your specific products, it’ll direct them to it.
Leverage Scarcity Tactics.
Nothing motivates a purchase more than the idea of a limited quantity. Well, except maybe free products.
Scarcity techniques, such as phrases like “limited time” or “limited quantities,” prompts visitors to act quickly so they don’t miss out. It’s a popular marketing tactic, used by everyone from big box stores to resorts.
During peak seasons, you’ve probably seen a hotel advertise their “last available suite”. Or maybe there’s only “three units left” of that reclaimed wood coffee table you’ve been eyeing on Amazon.
Put a small fire under your visitors and let them know that they only have a short window to work in.
Be Consistent in Everything.
Everything on the landing page should be working toward supporting one idea. The page should have a purpose, point blank.
Once that’s identified, you need to make sure that all the elements that compose it serve that purpose in one way or another. If your copy, CTAs, and offers all seem unrelated and meander all over the place, you won’t convert anyone.
Without consistency, you likely will have a tough time keeping people on the page period. Be sure to review your page for a cohesive message, brand consistency, and congruence with your business’ goals.
Encourage Social Sharing.
It’s not conceited to say that your content can be worth sharing. If you have some top of the funnel offers available, encourage new leads to spread the news to their friends and family.
Your audience is sharing dog memes on Twitter and Instagram, so why can’t you be in the mix as well?
You can simplify the process for them by building link sharing widgets into your more popular landing pages.
If the content appeals to a visitor’s interest or has viral potential, they can post it in their personal timelines with ease. That means more visitors, which means more conversion, which means more leads.
Give Leads an Out.
Not everyone who makes it to your landing page may be sold on your offer just yet, and that’s ok! That’s what the landing page is there for.
They’ll learn all of the true benefits of your business and how their lives will be made simpler with your offer. But no one likes to feel cornered, especially when there’s some sort of subscription involved.
Consumers are smart and know that when they give you their information, they’re likely signing up for some sort of long-term engagement with your brand. Make them feel more comfortable about the “relationship commitment” by assuring them that they can opt out at any point.
Ideally, unsubscribing will never be necessary, but you’d be surprised how many more visitors are willing to convert with just the knowledge that they can make that decision when it comes time.
Always Be Honest.
Don’t advertise promises you can’t keep. It’s really that simple.
Whatever products, services, or benefits you offer should be something that you can actually provide to your visitors. There’s nothing more disappointing than receiving an offer that’s not great quality.
Or worse, not receiving the offer at all.
Be honest throughout the landing page. Even when it comes to your social proof. Yes, it’s important to make yourself look good, but forging fake reviews or testimonials is both unethical and easily found out.
Practicing authenticity will increase your brand trust and credibility. Consumers prefer brands who are “real” with them, so don’t try to cheat them just to make a sale.
Engage via Live Chat.
You’re optimizing every element, you’re being detail oriented, you’re putting in the work, and it’s really shaping up to be a great landing page.
Yet and still, a visitor can still come up with some questions that you may not be able to address on your simple, concise page.
Don’t cast those visitors aside as lost chances. You still have the opportunity to convert them if you have a chat feature on your website.
Whether you start off with a chatbot or engage with them directly, you can try and eliminate any obstacles that a skeptical or confused visitor may have that’s preventing them from converting.
Don’t Be Afraid to Brag.
If your business has earned any trust seals, badges, or awards, they shouldn’t be tucked away in your mom’s attic. Get them out in the open so that everyone can see just how great your organization is.
Not only does it boost your credibility, it also lets visitors know that your site is a safe place to do business on.
It’s smart to be wary nowadays with cybersecurity threats becoming more and more advanced. Take the time to put your potential leads’ fears to rest and flex a little in the process. You’ve earned it.
Decrease Slow Load Times.
This is a practice that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Consumers live in an age where they can observe their interests instantaneously from wherever, whenever, and that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon.
One study found that a three second load time can lead to losing about half of your visitors.
All of the time and effort put into building a landing page means nothing if people are going to leave before the page even finishes loading. Prevent this by resizing your images, optimizing your CSS, and enabling browser caching.
There are so many more ways and different tools that can help you optimize your landing pages and we encourage you to discover as many as you can.
But as you analyze the metrics of your existing pages and create new ones, keep these tips at the forefront of your mind. Converting is critical to your marketing efforts. Don’t accept just average if you can optimize for great.