Create Landing Pages that Generate More Leads and Boost Your ROI in 2013 with Landing Page Optimisation
Landing pages are literally the first pages that your website visitors land on when they hit your site. When you consider landing pages think ‘Selling’ pages. These are the pages that will (or will not!) ‘make it happen’ for you.
Landing pages are typically created specifically to service traffic from an external campaign – e.g. a mailshot or a special offer in a newsletter or a pay-per-click advertising campaign etc.
The internet is a massively congested place* and getting found online by your prospective customers and clients when they are searching online is not easy, so when you do get visitors to your website you need to make sure you are doing the very best you can to ‘convert’ those visitors into customers, clients, real prospects, subscribers – or whatever it is that you want them to become.
Just to add a bit more pressure – you will have less than 10 seconds to grab the attention of any visitor to your website pages. This is why you must pay attention to quality of your website content and especially your primary landing pages.
*(Google in a recent video about the future of search marketing said there are now over 30 trillion unique urls – web addresses – on the Internet vs. just the 1 trillion in 2008 and they – Google – service 100 billion searches every month)
As a general guideline an effective landing page will be well designed, featuring;
- a compelling tittle headline,
- engaging copy,
- the minimum amount of navigation
- a clear call to action.
The great thing about landing pages is that you can have as many as you need, and you should have a separate landing page for every offer that you are promoting.
Your call to action is the request ‘to do the thing that you want the visitor to do’. That might be to subscribe to a newsletter, opt-in to receive a download, sign up to a trial, fill in a contact form – whatever it is that you want. If they subsequently take the action you want then that is a conversion.
Landing Pages Drive Conversions – but not everyone knows this!
Your landing pages are your selling pages. If you want to maximise your site visitor conversions you need to ensure that your landing page is fully optimised – delivering the right information to the right audience at exactly the time they are ready to receive it.
A properly optimised landing page will make a significant difference to your conversion rates and ultimately to you bottom line. That’s a given. So it’s always surprising to learn that almost half (44%*) of all clicks through to Business to Business (B2B) companies only go directly to the Home Page. In addition of the B2B companies who do use landing pages over 60%* of them use less than 6 landing pages.
* Figures are from the search marketing research company Marketing Sherpa.
Marketing Sherpa also found out that the main reasons why businesses were not using landing pages was because either they didn’t know how to set them up or their marketing teams were too busy to set them up!
By not setting up effective landing pages, businesses are letting revenue slip through their fingers. That traffic is coming to your website regardless of whether or not you have landing pages – you don’t have to do anymore work for it – and yet when it arrives at your site it is simply being left to chance whether it converts or just goes away again.
If you were running a shop and someone walked through the door would you simply stand there and say nothing and just hope they bought something?! By not using landing pages that is effectively what your website is doing.
Hub Spot (an Internet Marketing Services business) stated that “Research shows that companies with 30 or more landing pages generate seven times more leads than those with fewer than 10 pages” That doesn’t take into account how well these landing pages are optimised either.
Optimising Your Landing Pages
How well optimised are your landing pages? You can make a quick assessment by taking your landing pages and reviewing them in light of these key questions;
- If someone looks at your landing page for 5 seconds will they know what the offer is and will they recognise what the value of that offer is to them?
- Does your landing page have a compelling headline?
- Is there an image on the page and is it relevant?
- Is the page content clear and compelling?
- Is your landing page easy to navigate so that you are not making site visitors work to get through the page?
- Do you have a clear, unambiguous call to action?
- Do you provide easy options for visitors to share the page?
If you are able to answer “yes” to all of these questions then you have a good basis for a great landing page.
The Components of a Great Landing Page
There are a number of key elements that should be present in any effective landing page.
1. The Headline
The headline is extremely important to the performance of your landing page. Expect the headline to be the first thing your visitors see when they hit your page. The headline must show the essence of your offer as clearly as possible. Your headline needs to grab attention and persuade the site visitor that the rest of the page is worth reading. So you must make the headline Clear, Concise and Compelling.
2. Clear the Decks… No distractions
Your landing page should be clear of any irrelevant, unnecessary “clutter”. You don’t want any distractions from the message on the page. You want the site visitor to go on a logical journey through the page arriving at the destination point which is your ‘call to action’. You do not want any distractions on the page that will hinder this.
3. Show the value early
We regularly use sub headings when creating landing pages and these are a good place to show the value of your offer early on. The sub heading can also set the context for the rest of the page, encouraging the visitor to continue on.
4. Reinforce the value
To be honest it’s unlikely that you will be able to do such a fantastic job with your headline and sub-heading that your site visitors dive straight onto your call to action and convert. Usually they need a little more persuading.
Use the remaining body text space to clearly and concisely detail the benefits and the value to them. Stay focussed in what you write, avoiding unnecessary words. Keep it clear and simple, focus on selling the proposition.
5. Relevant Images
We humans like pictures. We take a lot of information in visually, so if you can find or create an image that reinforces your landing page proposition then you will enhance the site visitor’s overall impression, so making a conversion more likely.
6. A clear ‘Call to Action’
This is your make or break moment. Your landing page has taken the site visitor to the point at which they can convert themselves from just a visitor into; a prospect, a subscriber or a customer…whatever it is that you wanted them to be.
Your call to action should be clear and unambiguous. For example if your visitors have landed on your page after clicking an advert for your Quick Step Running Shoes, don’t ask them to sign up for a brochure on your range of ‘All-purpose walking, running and hiking trainers’! Offer them what they came for – a brochure on Quick Step Running Shoes.
Also do not confuse them with multiple calls to action. It may be tempting to put several calls to action on your landing page in the hope that surely your visitors will go for one of them. If you try to accommodate multiple calls to action you could well loose the focused message your landing page should be delivering. Stick to one clear message and lead them to one clear call to action.
If you want them to fill in a form only ask for the information you absolutely need to qualify them and to follow up the lead effectively. There is a tradeoff here though and you need to decide where the balance lies – a longer form will typically provide fewer responses but they will be better qualified, while a shorter form should produce more leads but they will be less well qualified.
8. The Submit Button
Once the form is filled in make sure they submit it or everything you have done up to now is wasted. Have a clear submit button which cannot be missed. It will also help if you have a more descriptive phrase associated with the button rather than just “submit”. E.g. if your landing page was all about getting them to sign up for a download of some kind – use the words “Download Now!” If your offer was coupon based use “Access Coupon” or if you were going straight for the jugular with a sale use “Order Now!”
I believe it is really important that once the “submit” button has been pressed (whatever form it takes) the visitor should get an instant response that confirms that they have completed that call to action successfully. I get really annoyed when, after pressing a submit button, I am left wondering whether the system has received my form or not or if I am supposed to do something else. A pleasant, simple “Thank You” style message leaves me feeling happy and knowing it’s ‘job done’.
9. Share the Love!
This is a chance to get an extra bonus from your landing page. If you have done the right job on your site visitor then don’t deny them the opportunity to spread the word for you by including popular social media sharing icons. Don’t neglect good old e-mail forwarding too. The simple addition of these ‘sharing’ options could get you some additional business for no additional effort or cost.
If you would like help creating specific landing pages for your website in order to gain more leads and boost your website return on investment please just call us on 01793 886294 or contact email@example.com for a friendly, no strings chat. We’d be delighted to hear from you.