5 Tips for Creating a Landing Page That Converts
September 24, 2013 - Posted by Angela von Weber-Hahnsberg
How many times have you clicked on a link in a marketing email or social media post, only to be brought to the homepage of the company’s website? Did you take the time to click around the site and figure out where they were actually talking about the contents of that email or post? Of course not! You figured it’d be a waste of your time, and left the site right away.
Or how about this? You clicked on the link, and it took you to a dedicated landing page – but the graphics were so jarring, the design was so confusing, or the content was so unclear, that you threw your hands up in despair and left without giving them the information they wanted.
So what’s the deal with landing pages? Why don’t people pay more attention to them when creating a campaign as part of their online marketing strategy? Marketing emails and social media posts are lavished with attention and care, but the page that people will end up on when they’ve been persuaded to click? Not so much.
This is definitely a mistake – because that click is only half of the purpose of your email or post. What you really want from this online marketing strategy, of course, is for that person to read through the landing page and then take whatever action you ask him to at the end of it.
So how can you create a landing page that will actually lead to conversions? We’ve got five tips to help you do just that.
1. Your landing page headline needs to be perfect. We’re not kidding. What’s the first thing you see when you click that link? The headline. If it doesn’t correspond closely to whatever the email or post was promoting, then people will get confused and leave – that’s all there is to it. A word for word repetition of the same message is ideal, so that people can see easily that yes, they’re in the right place.
But it’s not just reassurance you need to provide with that headline – it also needs to grab the reader’s attention and interest them enough to get them to read on. Sound tricky? It is. But it’s also worth it, when it brings the desired results.
2. Your page design needs to be inviting and clear. What do we mean by that? Well, first of all, no crazy, distracting graphics. They may seem fun, but all they’ll do is confuse your visitors and take their eyes away from the content they need to be reading.
Second of all, the design of the entire landing page should be clean and simple. Include lots of white space around a single column of text for maximum readability. Don’t include text or graphics or navigation menus or anything, really, on the sidebars – they’ll increase the chances that your reader will get distracted and go exploring before they’ve done what you brought them here to do.
Third, make sure the look of the landing page matches the look of your email, or the graphics you used in your social media post. This may mean it will look dramatically different from the rest of your site, but that’s okay – the fact that it coordinates with the promotional email or post will once again reassure readers they’re in the right place.
Finally, make sure your content – including any contact information form you’d like filled out – fits into one screen. People don’t like scrolling down unless they’re really drawn in by something, so to be safe, keep it short and simple.
3. Maintain a laser-like focus on one single objective. Why are you bringing people to this landing page? You need to decide on the one thing you want them to do, whether it’s to give you their email address, or to give you all their contact info, or to sign up for a webinar, etc. Whatever the objective, make that your one and only focus. Don’t confuse things by asking them to also sign up for this other thing, and oh yeah, they can click here to find out more about this sale… Nope. Keep it simple and focused, or they won’t do anything at all.
4. Write in the second person – and make it all about the reader. You’ve probably heard the whole spiel about selling with benefits, not features, right? That people don’t care how great you and your company are – they just want to know how it’ll benefit them? Well, it’s just as true on a landing page. If you want someone’s email address, you’d better be prepared to tell them what they’ll get out of it. So make the content all about the reader, using the words “you” and “your,” not “we” and “our.”
And by the way, you should always provide an incentive for the reader to give you the desired information, as well. This can range from a free white paper to special savings. But in today’s online environment, you can expect some people to sign up just to get the free download or deal – and then immediately unsubscribe. The ideal incentive is one that rewards the person who continues to subscribe – maybe a series of emails that, together, make up an entire course, or a webinar that is sent out in several parts. The more often you can connect with a person, the better, so incentivize a long-term relationship.
5. Write your content with the skimmer in mind. The truth is, no one really takes the time to carefully read through everything they see online. Quick skimming is the name of the game now, so you need to structure your content accordingly. Make sure your paragraphs are short, and that there’s plenty of space between each one. Nothing sends readers packing more quickly than dense text blocks.
Be sure to make it easy for readers to understand your main points without reading, by including bullet points and descriptive headers. And don’t hesitate to make your main points in the beginning of your text – that’s as far as most readers will get, anyway.
By following these five tips, you’ll be able to create a landing page that’ll do exactly what you want it to do: convert. If the prospect of writing and designing the perfect landing page yourself seems too daunting, however, just give us here at Marketing Zen a call. We’d be happy to help you create a campaign and landing page that’ll suit your needs and help to bring your business to the next level.