How to create effective landing pages

Studies have shown you may have less than a second to convince a website visitor to stick around. Here’s how to create effective landing pages to capture leads from your traffic

What we will cover

So, what is a landing page again?

We went into the nuts and bolts of landing pages in an earlier article, How to write landing page copy that actually converts. To summarise, a landing page is the first page a potential buyer arrives at when they visit your website.

The misconception is that this is normally the home page but those with an understanding of digital marketing will know that if you are looking at keywords and creating content, or advertising for adwords then the idea is that you create unique, ultra-focused landing pages to highlight the specific needs of the searcher.

You can learn more about landing pages in our next WordPress Training Course so please sign up if that’s of interest to you, today we are going to cover how to create effective landing pages.

Once you have some landing pages up and running, you will need to keep on top of them to make sure they are performing as expected (i.e. driving conversions for the relevant product or service). It is a good idea to carry out periodic landing page analyses so you can act quickly if any pages stop working for you.

How do you carry out a landing page analysis? One method is to go through each landing page and ask yourself the following questions:

Is the entrance hall neat and tidy?

When presenting a home, estate agents will often focus on the entrance hall. If the floor is littered with shoes and the viewer has to brush jackets out of the way to enter the home, they will already have a negative impression of the property as a whole.

It’s the same thing with a landing page. If there is a lot of ‘clutter’ in the form of blocks of text, multiple ‘click here’ commands, noisy designs and intrusive ads, the visitor is likely to feel uncomfortable.

In contrast, a clear, simple layout with minimal distractions will feel calmer and more welcoming. What mindset would you prefer a potential buyer to have?

Does your page follow the AIDA framework?

The AIDA framework breaks down any sales text into four parts

  • Attention. Does your landing page grab the reader with a powerful headline or image?
  • Interest. Visitor attention is a precious resource so you mustn’t waste it. Aim to move quickly from the headline into cementing a deeper connection. Asking questions which relate to the reader’s pain points is often effective.
  • Desire. By presenting your product or service as the answer to the reader’s problems, you create desire.
  • Action. Close the deal! (More on that later)

Are you talking to your target audience?

The best landing pages are created to connect with a specific audience. That audience segment may vary each time depending on the types of products or services you offer. 

For example, if you provide a service to both domestic and commercial customers, the tone and language of your landing pages should be very different in each case. If you are unsure how to talk to a target buyer for any product or service, you will benefit from creating a marketing persona, something we cover with you in our workshops.

Casting your net too wide with your landing pages will reduce their impact. That’s why the home page makes such a poor choice of landing page for many businesses.

Are you saying too much (or not enough)?

When it comes to the text on your landing pages, you have a delicate balancing act to master. In your eagerness to sell your wares, it is easy to write too much and end up rambling. On the other hand, if potential customers are left with unanswered questions then they won’t feel confident enough to click the ‘buy now’ or ‘get a quote’ button.

When analysing your landing page, ask yourself whether you have provided enough info and overcome the most likely obstacles that might prevent someone taking action. It is also a good idea to check out your competitors’ landing pages. Are they leaving questions unanswered? That could be an opportunity for you to fill the void.

Next, use the concept of KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) to replace or take out any words that are overly complex and jargony or that take the reader away from the core message.

Have you added a clear call to action (CTA)?

It is amazing how many landing pages we come across which do a great job of selling the benefits of a product or service and then fail to ask anything of the visitor.

Sales professionals master the art of ‘closing the deal’ and your landing pages, as your virtual sales agents, must do the same.

Selling a product? Tell the visitor to ‘buy now!’ Hosting a seminar? Remind them to ‘book your place!’ Adding people to your newsletter mailing list? Make sure ‘sign up’ or ‘subscribe’ is somewhere on or near the contact form.

You can be direct and assertive or softly persuasive but before your visitor reaches the end of the landing page, you must have asked them to do something!

If your landing page visitor has to scroll to see all of the content on the page, consider adding multiple CTAs. Remember that mobile devices have smaller screens so users often have to scroll

It’s all in the numbers

We live in an era of Big Data and this is great news for businesses with landing pages. By making use of tools such as Google Analytics and Google Search Console, you can see exactly how many people are interacting with your landing pages and what proportion are taking the action you want them to. Some software will even show you how far down the page people are scrolling and where on the page they are clicking.

By tracking the important numbers (e.g. impressions, clicks, click-through-rate, position on search engine pages, etc.) you can ensure you understand not only how to create effective landing pages but how they are performing and pick up early on any problems.

This data is your acid test. You can kid yourself that you have created the perfect landing page but the numbers don’t lie. If your conversions of actual enquiries are disappointing, you need to double down on your efforts to find out why.

We always say, no one leaves a website and tells you why you didn’t win their business, so engage with a trial and error process – know this though, it really does work and you know your customers better than anyone else.

If you are looking for local website design support in Devon, then give us a call or drop us a line for some free advice.

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