First off, let’s address a common misconception. A landing page is not necessarily your homepage, in fact it’s likely not to be. Sure, your homepage is where visitors to your website “land” when they click on your site in search results or type your url in, but it is to address this singular entry point to your site that landing pages exist.
A landing page is a page you create so that you can provide a tailored point of entry to your site that serves a particular kind of visitor specifically. Your homepage’s content needs to remain broad enough that it appeals to anyone who stumbles across you, but a landing page can (and should) be laser-focused to speak to one type of visitor, and get them to accomplish one specific action.
So what are the best ways to accomplish this? Stick around for a sec, and I’ll tell you!
Get a Goal
Since building a great landing page is all about getting people to undertake a singular task, it is vitally important that you have a very strong and clear idea what you want that task to be. Ask yourself what you want to happen when visitors land on the page and what the most effective call to action for those visitors would be.
To Navigate or Not to Navigate
One of the first choices you will need to make is whether or not you want the landing page you are creating to display navigation to the rest of your site or not. Sometimes you will want your landing page to be more of a “soft sell” — you’re offering a download, but you also want them to poke around the rest of your site. These landing pages are often reachable from the navigation itself as well, and serve as the page for the product or service on your regular site. Conversely, sometimes landing pages are meant to get people to opt-in or leave, in which case, having navigation to the rest of the site can be a distraction. These types of landing pages function more like a squeeze page. Either way is fine, but it’s important to understand what the purpose of your landing page is and where it fits or doesn’t fit in your overall website.
Keep It Narrow
Remember to keep the focus of your landing page as narrow as possible. You want them to take one action, and everything on the page is directed at getting them to take it. The action can be anything you want — watching a video on a program, downloading an e-book to solve a problem, purchasing an item — but whatever that action is, keep it solo. Anything else you add to the page will only distract people from the thing you actually want them to do.
Massage Your Content
There are a few things you are going to want to do to make sure your landing page content sparkles — for one, use strong, effective headlines that speak directly to a problem that your target reader is having. Position the offer you are making as solving that problem. Include features of the offer, but focus on how they will benefit, what the pain points are, and how the offer will solve their pain or meet their desire. Build credibility and trust as succinctly as possible. Include really compelling social proof — explain why you or your company are knowledgeable and suited to solve their problems with the offer, highlighting results with testimonials (preferably with pictures). It may be appropriate to use media logos or logos of recognizable brands you’ve worked with, but make sure they carry some weight. Give enough information for your visitors to make a decision and anticipate what questions or reservations they may have in advance and address them.
Make It Pretty
You probably know the page needs to look good, but still, make sure your landing page’s design is attention-getting, looks professional and is clean and uncluttered. Make sure that every visual element of the page is working toward your overall goal of making the visitor take action. The button people need to click in order to opt-in will need to be particularly attractive, with compelling wording (don’t use “submit”). For your opt-in form, you will see higher conversion rates the less information people need to input, so use only first name and email if it will be fine, and you can even drop the name unless you think you will need it later.
Measure It All
So you think you’ve built the perfect landing page! How will you know for sure? The only way to be certain is to have analytics installed on your website that can track your conversions. You’d be surprised how often a very attractive, seemingly perfect landing page won’t convert because of some small oversight. You need analytics so that you can analyze any problem areas with actual data, rather than with your emotion-prone gut instinct.
Want landing pages the rake in the conversions? Give us a shout!