What is the recipe for an effective landing page?
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While there is no one landing page template that will instantly have hungry customers beating a path to your door, there are some vital elements that – if missing – could turn them away.
We’ve come up with a basic recipe that will have you building healthy landing pages faster than you can whip up a quick salad.
But first, what are you planning to serve your customers?
What’s your signature dish?
Having a clear idea of what you are offering your customers and why they should absolutely love it is the essence of its success.
Just as a recipe book is organised into single dishes, each of your landing pages should be linked to one product or service. So list them out and let’s focus in on just one.
If you don’t already have a unique selling proposition (USP), spend time thinking about what makes you special. Why should people try your dish over a similar one in the restaurant next door?
Getting this clear in your head will make following the rest of the recipe a piece of cake. Then it’s just about following the instructions…
Compose a juicy headline
Now you have a clear idea of your offering and why people come to you, start by stating this clearly or echoing back the question your customer may be asking. Eg, are you looking for a healthy, quick salad recipe?
Expand the message with a sub-heading
The sub-heading can either expand on the message of the headline, answer the question or add a second main message such as an additional key benefit. While this can be a little bit longer than the heading it should still stick as close to the point as possible.
Sprinkle with benefits
You can now set out a few separate paragraphs that focus on the benefits of your product or service.
It is common for businesses to sometimes confuse features and benefits so it is worth remembering the mantra: features tell, benefits sell.
By leading each paragraph with a benefit and explaining the feature below it, you will create a landing page that naturally focuses on your customers’ pain points rather than how amazing your product is.
Sticking with the food theme, here’s an example:
Weak: Award-winning ice cream for sale. Multiple flavours available.
Stronger: Hungry and feeling the heat? Cool down with one of our award-winning ice creams
The benefit is cooling down, the pain point is hunger and hot.
Multiple flavours are a feature and “award-winning” admittedly sits in a grey area somewhere along with the question of whether jaffa cakes are a cake or a biscuit.
Looks good enough to eat
Don’t forget that we are visual creatures, we eat with our eyes, and the same is true when we buy. The same rules apply for images as the features and benefits though, so echo the audience with lifestyle imagery as soon as possible and save the product shots for later.
Example? Well, a banner image of a small child enjoying ice cream with her family tells a story. It states the audience for the product and the benefit of a happy child to the parent. I’m not sure an ice cream tub conveys the same emotion.
Ideally, you should use images you have had professionally taken as these are more authentic and give you total control over their usage.
Whoever left the cake out for Alice in Alice in Wonderland knew all about the call-to-action (CTA). It is amazing how a simple instruction is often all it takes to move people from considering taking action to actually following through.
It is even more powerful if you can combine the benefits previously listed into your CTA button. For example, a button with ‘Start Your Weight Loss Journey Today’ is likely to attract more clicks than one which simply says, ‘Click Me!’ (unless you’re a child in a dream-like fantasy world, of course).
If you are using a form, take the smallest amount of information possible, and get the rest with a follow up call. Noone wants to answer how big their organisation is, what they had for breakfast, or their nans middle name. Get an email or phone number and follow it up!
Some landing pages present the CTA as part of a mailing list sign-up form. This means they can collect a name and email address at the same time. The form can also repeat the main message of the page in its title and description fields.
If you choose this lead-generating method, make sure you include a GDPR-compliant opt-in checkbox with details of exactly what joining your mailing list means (e.g. receiving a monthly newsletter). Again, you should frame this as a benefit to encourage conversion.
Proof is in the pudding
Lastly, consider that you have sold your audience on your product, what is the last thing we need to satisfy our hunger for the purchase? An enticing offer can help but as social creatures we want to see that someone has been before us and had a positive experience.
Conversion rates are proven to increase when there is a testimonial next the call to action. So keep your contact form simple and a positive quote next to it.
Decorate with visual eye candy
How often have you chosen to cook a dish because you came across a tempting photograph in a glossy mag or a TV or online ad?
No matter how amazing your web writing skills are, people generally gravitate towards visual web pages over text-only ones.
Simple clean design is key, and creating something for multiple devices. Get a pro to help you understand your audience, help you identify the content, wireframe the layout, design the template and implement into your website.
And that’s it. By following this recipe, you can start building landing pages that work for you. Some businesses have seen conversions shoot up by over 1000% by making their landing pages that bit more appealing.
You may not get quite such a huge uplift, but even a modest increase in conversion rate can put more money in your pocket – and more food on your table!