Your website is more than a digital home. It's an extension of your business, and a viable source of new customers and clients.
A well-structured digital presence, with the experience of the potential customer in mind, can lead to ample growth. On the other hand, hastily made landing pages that are difficult to navigate, don’t contain a clear call-to-action, or leave the visitor confused can actually harm your business's growth.
WHAT EXACTLY IS A LANDING PAGE?
A landing page is any web page on your site that your customer "lands on" or is directed to. These are standalone pages with a single objective and call-to-action. Unlike your homepage, which may have several messages and represents your overall branding, a landing page has a highly targeted purpose.
Every marketing campaign you create should have a dedicated landing page. Whether it’s an email newsletter for customers or pay-per-click (PPC) advertising, for higher conversions you should be linking to a specific landing page rather than your homepage.
Landing Page vs. Homepage
The example below shows the landing page for Regus’ PPC campaign for Google AdWords "shared office space:"
Now, contrast the landing page above to the Regus homepage below. The homepage does a nice job of covering all the areas of business with many links to different service categories. If you wanted to understand at a high level what Regus does, then the homepage would be on okay destination.
However, if you performed a Google search for "shared office space," the homepage might feel overwhelming. Can you see how it wouldn’t be the best destination to land on if you were specifically looking for shared office space? The more targeted landing page answers the question the user has and thus would be the better destination for higher conversions.
Why Conversions Matter
Now that we’ve established what a landing page is, let’s focus on actionable tips to make sure your landing pages are built to convert visitors. In marketing, measurement is always important and sometimes hard to capture. One great thing about landing pages is that they’re easy to measure and understand. Visitors either are or are not converting – no gray area here.
Conversion measures the effectiveness of landing pages by capturing the number of visitors who complete the desired action. This desired action can be completing a form, requesting a quote, signing up for a newsletter, or other steps. Conversions matter because higher converting campaigns equate to a lower cost per lead.
Tip #1: Design With the Target User in Mind
Creating a page that is aesthetically pleasing, easy to navigate, and contains a clear purpose is important. Each landing page exists for a specific user persona, so it's important to consider the unique user experience, too.
A user should know, from the moment they arrive on the page, that they’re in the right place. Similarly, it shouldn't be difficult for the user to take a desired action. Buttons should be bright and obvious, and the content should be written in clear, easy-to-understand language.
In the example above, for Regus’ "shared office space" campaign, you immediately know you’re in the right place. The landing page has a clean design featuring a concise headline and hero image, which both resonate with users searching “shared office space.”
Tip #2: Tell Your Visitor Who You Are
There should be no confusion as to who you are and what sets you apart. Your USP, or Unique Selling Proposition, should be front and center. This statement is what tells the visitor how you differ from the competition, making it clear what you do and who you serve. This information should be above the fold (or on the top part of the website) so there’s no scrolling needed to find it.
On Netsuite’s landing page below, they do an excellent job of identifying themselves and stating their USP. The contrasted white banner at the top not only identifies the company name, but makes a clear association to the better-known Oracle brand.
The headline and USP on Netsuite’s landing page offers confidence to visitors by touting that Netsuite is the most widely used business management software.
This headline is your visitor's first experience with you and your product or service, so make sure it speaks clearly to your audience's needs. According to Small Biz Trends, the headline tops the list of most crucial parts of a landing page and often determines whether a visitor sticks around or makes a break for it.
Tip #3: Make Your Purpose and Call-to-Action Clear
Similar to making sure your audience knows who you are, they should also immediately know what action to take. This involves tapping into your audience's frustrations, or pain points, and making sure they’re highlighted within the headline – providing insight into the benefits of taking the intended action.
In the example below, Experian’s Identity Theft Prevention service calls the user to "Protect yourself now." This is a strong call-to-action that targets the user’s pain point of feeling vulnerable to identity fraud. The key benefits are highlighted next to the checkmarks on this landing page.
Tip #4: Appeal to Emotion, Not Features
When determining which pain points or benefits to highlight, focus on those that are likely to be emotionally charged. The loss of property due to a lack of insurance can be devastating, and that sensation of loss is powerful. The sense of relief when something happens and you’re covered is equally emotional.
The landing page below for Liberty Mutual Insurance taps into the peace of mind associated with having business insurance. The image shows the business owner doing what he loves with the confidence of knowing his business is covered.
Maintain a focus on the emotional experience rather than the features of a service or product. The benefits of having insurance coverage are far more persuasive than the technicalities behind the coverage. While that information may be important, it often isn't what convinces someone to convert.
Tip #5: Continue the Experience
If there’s a way to get the information of a website visitor (e.g. their email address), you can continue the experience. Perhaps a first-time visitor to your landing page isn’t interested in buying – but after receiving several emails about the service, or after seeing more advertisements, they become more likely to convert.
In this landing page for business accounting software, Intacct utilizes a form to grant access to a whitepaper. A visitor will enter their information in exchange for downloading the research paper. From there, Intacct can continue the conversation and nudge a visitor along in the sales funnel by emailing relevant information.
Make Landing Pages Work for You
All of these factors are important when creating a landing page, and you should evaluate them regularly. The rule of thumb for creating an effective page is to continue testing and tweaking, adjusting for optimal results.
Schedule time weekly or monthly to review your conversion rates for all landing pages. Keep the well-performing pages and tweak the ones that aren’t performing as well. Like many other online marketing initiatives, a little effort goes a long way in increasing your landing page conversions.