How to create great landing pages

 

create great landing pages

Landing pages are an essential marketing tool for small business ecommerce. They can play a key role in helping increase conversions.  Defined simply, a landing page is webpage built specifically for a particular purpose, such as to generate leads or bring about a purchase. It is the page people land on because they have been directed to it by your campaign channel.

“Specific page(s) on a web site created for visitors referred from marketing campaigns which are designed to achieve a marketing outcome.SmartInsights 

So what is the difference between a homepage and landing page? Unlike your ‘campaign specific’ landing page, your homepage is more of a hub for your whole website.  It usually caters to a number of different purposes, and therefore often has more than one objective and call to action.

Creating landing pages can help increase conversions

So why is it important to create a separate landing page for specific campaigns and what’s wrong with always directing people straight to your homepage ? The most compelling reason to create separate landing pages for each campaign is to increase conversions. A successful landing page makes it clear from the outset what it is you are asking your visitor to do, leading them firmly towards  a specific call to action. If visitors are sent to the homepage after receiving a specific campaign message,  they may get distracted by all the other messages and ‘call to actions’ that are going on the page. The key message of the campaign gets lost and the chances of a conversion are decreased.

How to create a great landing page

What makes a successful landing page? Great landing pages can help engage your visitor, lower your bounce rate and increase conversions. Creating a landing page in itself  won’t automatically increase your conversion rate. You need to craft your  pages so that they actively do all that they can to entice your visitor to perform a specific action. We’ve outlined some tips to ensure your landing pages are working as hard as they can.

Create a unique landing page for each separate campaign.

We talked earlier about the difference between your homepage and landing pages. Landing pages should reflect the campaign you are communicating to your customers. For example if you have sent out a special 25% offer email, then you should have a specific landing page focused on the 25% offer. Likewise, if you are trying to generate leads via a ppc advertisement for a  free e-book download , then you need to create a unique e-book landing page.

Here is an example of a Boden email about new clothes that are ‘New In’ and below is the specific landing page . Customer aren’t directed to the homepage rather they are taken straight through to a specific landing ‘New In’ landing page. By focuses solely on clothes that are new in it is reflecting the promise of the email message and meeting customers expectations.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-14-13-18

 

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-14-12-33

 

Landing page content should reinforce your campaign’s message

Whatever  message you have enticed your visitor to click-through with should be clearly reflected in the content of your landing page. When visitors arrive on your landing page they will have a clear idea if what they expect to find. If the content doesn’t match the promise then they may well leave without bothering to find out more. Make sure that the customers are given the information they are expecting.

Here is an example from HubSpot. The first image is an email I received about a free e-book download and the second is the landing page I was taken through to. Then landing page content clearly reflects the message in the email.

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-14-37-46

 

screen-shot-2016-10-10-at-14-37-33

Consider your goals and have a clear call to action

What is the key purpose of your  landing page – what is the main goal? Are you generating leads, building relationships , looking for sales conversions. For example when visitors arrive at you landing page do you want them to make a purchase, download an e-book, sign-up to a newsletter, refer a friend, complete an order, enter a competition or leave a testimonial? When you have determined your key goal you can then ensure that your content is focused clearly towards achieving that goal.

Visitors should be left in no doubt as to what it is you are wanting them to do. Have a very clear, standout call to actions buttons on both your original campaign channel and the landing page . For example; Add to basket, Buy now, Download now, Register here, Shop Now,  Open an account, Enter here. Here are a few examples of some strong call to action buttons.

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-06-24-40:

screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-06-20-59screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-06-26-58 screen-shot-2016-10-11-at-06-23-20

 

Choose campaign specific keywords 

As we mentioned earlier the relevance of your landing page is essential – your content needs to reflect the message of your campaign. No more so than if the channel is via PPC ads. Make sure that you include the same keywords that you have used in your ad campaign in the body of the landing page as well. Landing pages whose text is directly relevant to the ad text will score better ad rankings. The more relevant your page is,  the more helpful it will be to your rankings and the higher the likelihood of an end conversion. So if your ad is promoting your new line of christmas gifts, then ensure your landing page is solely focused on your new line of christmas gifts.

Plan your layout to optimise response

How you layout your landing page is also important. I well-designed page will support your key goal and help optimise response.  The purpose of a landing page is to convert your visitor as quickly as possible to your key objective – whether that is to download and e-book, make a purchase or enter a competition. So the when you design your page keep this in mind.

Headline: 

Your main headline should directly reflect the message of the campaign that your visitor clicked through with. So if they clicked off a PPC ad then your headline should closely reflect the wording you choose. Your headline should marry with your visitors expectations about what the page is about.

Landing page copy: 

The body copy of your landing page should reflect your headline and support your campaign message. You are looking to convince and encourage visitors to convert to your end goal. Use bullet points, sub headers and images to break up text.  People should be able to skim over the page and still understand the key message you are conveying.

Call to action: 

Your call to action, whether that’s a sign-up form or a button, needs to be clear and standout near the top of the page – certainly above the fold. Your call to action should leave the visitor in no doubt about what you are asking them to do.

Here are a few articles about optimal layout for landing pages which you may find helpful.

The anatomy of a perfect landing page

How to design a landing page that delivers customers

11 Great landing page examples

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences of creating landing pages, so please do leave a comment

 

Advertisements

How to optimise your landing pages and increase conversions

Apollo moon landing

Don’t underestimate the importance of a good landing.

Landing pages play an integral role in maximizing online conversions. Yet, a surprising number of small online businesses overlook their importance.  A good landing page should engage your visitor, generate a response, increase conversions, answer your customer’s information needs, reduce your ‘bounce’ rate and support your brand.

“Landing pages can be described as the entrance doors to a website that only selected customers are directed to” (Gay et al, Online Marketing, 2007)

Put simply, your landing page is the destination web page a customer arrives at when they click on a link – usually from a marketing communication or referring site. The landing page, the page on which your customer enters your website, is incredibly important as it is often the first impression that they get of your business.

Do you recognise this all too familiar scenario? You spend time putting together a fantastic offer and communicate it effectively to your customers via a great, targeted email campaign.  Your customer, enticed by your exciting offer, clicks on the link through to your website – then inexplicably exits your website immediately? So what might be going wrong? One possibility could be down to the web page you have sent your recipient to – the landing page.

Exit signBounce rate – how are your landing pages performing?

“In a nutshell bounce rate measures the percentage of people who come to your website and leave “instantly”. Thought about from a customer perspective rather than I came, I saw, I conquered, the action is I came, I saw, Yuck, I am out of here.” Avinash Kaushik

The bounce rate is a really useful measurement to use when you are evaluating the effectiveness of your landing pages. Your bounce rate is essentially the number of customers who arrive at your website then leave immediately – without looking at any other pages. The basic rule of thumb is the lower the bounce rate the better. A high bounce rate may suggest some issues with your landing page.

A good starting point is to look at your Google Analytics (or equivalent) Landing Page report and look at the landing pages with the highest bounce rate. From here you can visit those landing pages and review what might not be working so well – unrelated or irrelevant content, no call to action, confusing format and so on.

So what is an average bounce rate to measure your performance against? Actually, an average bounce rate is difficult to pin down as it will differ for industry and web page type (for example a contact us page is automatically going to have a high bounce rate due to the nature of it use – in fact a high bounce rate in this case would indicate your contact page is doing its job). However to give you a ball park figure , Google put the average around 40%-60% so this is probably a good starting point to begin with.

“According to Google the average bounce rate for most sites falls in the range of 40% – 60%.  If your site bounce rate is below 40% you are doing well and if it’s above 60% then you definitely need to find out why”. Anders Analytics

Welcome mat imageWhat makes a good landing page?

So, your hard work has paid off. You have successfully grabbed your customer’s attention and they’ve clicked through to your site. How then do you make sure you don’t lose them? The first thing to remember is that the page your customer arrives at may be the first experience they have had of your website. You need to make them feel welcome and reassure them they’ve arrived at the right place.

1. Create different, campaign specific landing pages

Often the first place that visitors are automatically directed to is the home page, and sometimes this is appropriate. However, the problem with the home page is that due to the broad  job it has to do, it can’t be very message specific. This can make  it difficult to develop a customer’s interest and elicit a particular response.

You need to consider where it is the customers is coming from – be it an email newsletter, search engine, social media site or a specific marketing promotion – and direct your customers to a landing page that is appropriate to the message being communicated. For example if your customer has been enticed by a special promotional offer, then you should have a specific landing page dedicated to that offer. The landing page should enable the customer to easily find out further information about the offer and there should be a clear call to action.

2. Think about it from your customer’s point of view.  

Before you write the copy for your landing page, think about what it is that will drive your customer to click-through to your website. What link has bought them to you – what are they expecting to find? You then need to write your copy accordingly. Your landing pages should provide additional, relevant information to your searchers based on the offer or referring site that they have just clicked through on.

3. Have a clear and specific message

Make sure that the message you are conveying to your customer is clear, targeted and specific. Don’t get distracted and try to be all things to all people. Keep your message concise, relevant and to the point.

4. Have recognisable and consistent branding

Make sure your landing page reflects your brand and is consistent with the rest of your website – even if your landing page is just temporary for a time-specific promotion. Remember, even if your ultimate objective is conversion, you must try to ensure all visitors (even those who choose not to convert at this time) have a positive experience. As we mentioned earlier, this maybe your users’ first time on your website and so you need to create a good first impression if you want them to come back.

5. Clear and easy call to action

Make it as easy as possible for your visitors to convert. Your call to action should be obvious and it should be easy for your customer to respond to. If you’ve got them this far, you don’t want to put them off with a complicated call to action or a request for too much information. The more straightforward it is, the more likely it is you’ll get that conversion.

6. Well thought out page design and layout

As with any other web page, think carefully about page design and layout. It should be easy to navigate, user-friendly (for example how easy is it for your user to complete an action?) and visually appealing.

I’ll leave you with some solid landing page advice from Web Analytics guru Avinash Kaushik on improving your bounce rate:

“If you want to have high performing web pages make sure that you:

1. Have a clear understanding of what the purpose of that page is and

2a. a clearer understanding of what drove customers to the page and

2b. what they want to accomplish to ensure that

3. #1 and #2 are in alignment.”

We’d really love to hear your thoughts and experiences on this topic, so please do leave a comment.

Exit sign image courtesy of cbenjasuwan at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Welcome mat image courtesy of John Kasawa at FreeDigitalPhotos.net