What Is a Landing Page and How Do I Use It?–Best Practices

what is a landing pageIn a few of our recent ebooks, Building a Total Online Presence and The Total Online Presence Blueprint, we’ve provided some details on the benefits of employing landing page campaigns.  Because this is a concept that I get asked about a great deal lately, I thought I’d write a post detailing how to use landing pages and some best practices.

Landing pages are a great tool for getting prospective customers to act upon specific marketing campaigns.  The intent is that each landing page has a very clear call to action—whether that means filling out an online form, signing up for a free-trial, or actually making a purchase. In addition, landing pages enable us to easily track the effectiveness of individual marketing campaigns through the measurement of click-through-rates and numbers of acquired leads or customers.

Landing pages have two goals:

  • Drive prospects to the page, and
  • Get prospects to take action once there.

In terms of employing landing pages as part of your marketing campaigns, here are  9 ways of optimizing  the success of your landing pages:

1. Clear Call to Action.  This is the offer component.  Be very specific about what you want the visitor to do.  If it’s signing up for a  newsletter or a special report, or to buy a certain product, set that call to action apart from the rest of the page to ensure the reader can’t miss it.  Employ white space or feature boxes, lines, whatever it takes to make the action stand out.

And clearly communicate what will happen when someone fills out the form or clicks on the link.  Set the expectations as to what they need to do next.

2. Deliver the expectations you set.
  Your visitors clicked on your landing page link from a pay-per-click ad, a blog post, or a feature box on your site or social media channel. And you set an expectation as to what you would deliver in the ad or post.  Be sure your message and process support how you enticed visitors to click through.  The headline, subheadings and call to action must be relevant to whatever messages you delivered.

3. Remove Distractions.
  Landing pages should have one and only task for the reader.  Eliminate any other links or distractions that don’t lead to the conversion.

4. Simplify design and text.
  Avoid using a variety of font styles, colors and sizes.  And limit images to something that will directly support your conversion goal.  Studies suggest that very plain and simple landing pages are often the best converting.  The goal is to minimize distractions.  Even go so far as to edit your test down to simple headlines and short bullet lists.

5. Use Images with Caution.
  Images are good for visual representation, however, avoid over-doing it.  You want to avoid having the images or graphics overshadow your headline or push other content below the fold.

Add captions to your images as well.  Next to headlines, captions are the next most read pieces of text.

6. Build trust with brand validation.
  You can relay recognition or good will from other sources by adding logos of well-recognized  client brands.  Add any badges or awards you’ve received from the media and any testimonials from existing customers.

7. Enable social sharing.
  Social sharing can have a huge multiplier effect and also provides social validation as to how good an offer is.  Make sharing easy by including popular share buttons conveniently located and near the sign-up form.

8. Use tried and true landing page tactics.
  There are many strategies that are tried-and-true to deliver the desired response:

  • Keep barriers to converting to a minimum by removing any unneeded fields from your forms.
  • Create a sense of urgency by inlcuding a countdown of offers available or limited-time bonuses or other time sensitive copy.
  • Using simple buttons like “Click Here” work.
  • Think about adding a money back guarantee or no obligation information, free trials or something similar that continues to increase trust and reduce the risk.

9. Testing and tweaking.
  The key to ongoing improvement is being able to measure the effectiveness of what we’re delivering and then altering it to improve the results.  It’s important to be able to use tools that will help you determine the effectiveness of the landing pages you’re putting out there.  Measuring ROI will help you become more efficient and effective at driving down costs per new customer acquisition.

Landing pages are an extremely effective tool for generating new leads.  If you’re not employing this marketing tactic today, it should be on your to do list.  Employing landing pages is a way to make your business work even when you’re not as it takes advantage of the internet’s ability to work 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.

If this is something you need some help with, we offer the right tools and direction to get you started.  With landing page plug-ins or marketing automation software, you can be up and testing your own landing pages within minutes.  Contact us for more information.