By Oded Leiba
It takes a lot of work to get people to your site and its landing pages—SEO, paid search, banner ads, email marketing, social media, word of mouth … However you get them, it takes time, money, and effort.
But getting them there is only half the battle. You still have to get your visitors to convert (whether it’s buying a product or engaging with your content), otherwise all your marketing efforts will go to waste. To get a visitor to convert, you need a killer landing page. Different sites for different goals require different landing pages, and you should always A/B test to find the perfect page for your site. Having said that, there are some universal do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when designing your landing page.
3 Landing-Page Myths
Your landing page should show visitors everything you have on your site. Landing pages should be targeted and focused—think of the one action you want visitors to complete, and guide them straight into it: One main call to action (CTA) and one main message. That’s not to say you shouldn’t offer any navigation elsewhere on the site—you should—but you don’t want to distract visitors from attaining the intended goal.
Your homepage can double as a landing page. A homepage is the gateway to your whole site, making it automatically more generic. Marketing campaigns focus on a specific message and arriving at the homepage can confuse the message of your campaign. Not to mention that for paid search, making your homepage a landing page will decrease your quality score (in other words, you pay more with each click and score a lower ad rank).
Landing pages should be entirely above the fold. Successful landing pages aren’t necessarily short. We know that visitors aren’t afraid to scroll, and often times providing too little information on a page will actually cause visitors to lose trust in your site (especially in financial or insurance sites). What you do need to keep above the fold is your main call to action. If you do use a longer page, use multiple calls to action so that even if visitors scroll down the page they can still see them.
3 Best Practices for Successful Landing Pages
1. Make your call to action stand out. Your CTA should be the most visible element on the page. Pick a bold color that stands out from all other content. Green and orange tend to be high-converting colors, although the color you choose should be based on your entire landing page design. You want your copy to stand out as well. A CTA that is specific like, “Sign up for our newsletter today!” instead of “Sign up today!” along with words that create a sense of urgency such as, “Today” or “Now” and an exclamation point will get higher clickthrough rates.
2. Spend a LONG time writing your headline. Headlines are make-it-or-break it in conversion. It should take five seconds to read your headline, and your visitor should get the whole gist of the page just from that one line. It should be short, simple and exciting. Yes, it is asking a whole lot of one sentence that’s why you should spend a significant amount of time writing it. A/B test different headlines until you find the perfect one. It really matters that much.
3. Match your landing page to your marketing campaign. Great marketing campaigns are targeted—you want your ad to represent the visitor’s search or area of interest. Think of your landing page as the bridge between your marketing campaign and your site. You want it to have the same message as your marketing campaign. Use the same keywords, the same benefits. Visitors clicked through to your site based on the expectation set up in your marketing message. Make sure your landing page matches that expectation.
Put these easy steps in place and you’ll have your own killer landing pages.
Oded Leiba is vice president of client services at ClickTale. He can be reached at abi(at)clicktale.com