10 Essential Tips on How to Create a Killer Landing Page
The landing page for your ad campaign is the major “make or break” factor. Get it wrong and you may as well throw your advertising dollars down the Googler…
The simple answer is that your landing page is a specific page on your website where you ask for what you want… in the nicest possible way, of course. What you want is generally an actionable request. And only ONE request per page, thank you.
Let’s get more specific here. Your landing page is where a visitor lands when he/she has clicked on:
- a PPC ad (like Google AdWords);
- a banner ad;
- a link in an email or newsletter;
- a link in a content article or blog.
You would be amazed at the number of clients I’ve worked with who have committed thousands of dollars to an advertising campaign (I’m particularly referring to AdWords clients) without giving even a passing thought to the landing page. In most cases, their ads have led directly to the Home Page. And then they wonder why their carefully crafted AdWords campaigns have fallen in a big heap of doggy-doo.
It’s like driving a fabulous 500 yard tee-shot straight onto the green but having no place for the ball to drop and land that hole-in-one you only ever dreamed about.
How to Land Your Landing Page
I promised you 10 essential tips, so here they are:
- Make sure the wording in the Title and Subtitle refers to the anchor text in whatever ad format you used. This is like an indirect “Hello, welcome to my site”, because it reassures your visitor they are at the right place. After all, they’ve trusted you enough to click on your ad, so reassuring them they haven’t clicked and ended up in nowhere land is a good thing. In the above image, you would presume the linking text contains all or a part of the words used in the heading .
- The message you deliver in the Title, Subtitle, main content, pull-outs, testimonials, captions or anything else you feature on the landing page must be clear, concise, compelling and contain a persuasive and motivational call to action. This DOES NOT mean hard sell. People don’t need to be hit over the head with a literary brick to get the message. Similarly, a mamby-pamby, “Well, we’d really like it if you ….(fill in the blanks)” approach will get you bupkiss.
- Your landing page should only contain ONE clear call to action. Don’t confuse your visitor by giving him/her choices. Choices mean thinking; make them think too hard and they’ll click right off the page. It’s okay to duplicate the call to action throughout the page, but your best chances for success are by using the same wording. Use at least 2 calls to action on a short landing page and up to 5 on a longer page.Whether you use hyperlinked buttons or text in your call to action, tell the visitor exactly what he/she needs to do to get what you’ve got. An example is “Click here NOW to download your FREE Ebook”. In the above graphic example, the call to action is prominent at the bottom of the page.
- The message you deliver must be in the second person (you, your, yours) and appeal directly to your visitor’s needs and wants. Who you are and how wonderful your product/service is amounts to diddlysquat to your visitor. All they want to know is how it will benefit them, fulfill a need or provide a solution to their problem.
- People don’t “read” Web content, they “browse”,looking for the important bits, like bold print, bullet points etc. Considerable testing has shown that people read Web pages from left to right (duh!) across the screen, looking first at the heading, sub heading and then images (if there’s any there). Then they scan the page looking for highlighted content as described above. As a general rule, they read the last couple of sentences.So there are a few lessons here: firstly, include the most important information at the top of the page, at the beginning of sentences, at the end of the page and in the highlighted sections. Secondly, images can convey a heap of information about you and what you want to say, so make sure the images “tell your story” without words.
- Maintain your focus throughout the entire page. Don’t waffle, ramble or drift off on tangents. A good content writer can start strong and continue to build desire until the reader has no choice but to say “YES!” Include something extraneous that breaks that rising level of excitement and you’ve lost the deal. Full stop.
- Lose the clutter. A landing page has one primary purpose – to encourage your visitor to take the action you want. In plain speak, it’s a sales page, so remove anything that is going to distract the visitor. Often you have to create a template just for your landing page that does away with side bars, widgets, shiny things that blink, navigational aids and other distractions. When you want some action, the cleaner — the better.
- People like to know that what they’re about to get has been got before, so honest-to-goodness testimonials add credibility. Anyone can write a testimonial, but add a photo of “someone just like me” and you’ve multiplied your credibility (and conversion rate); add a 30 second video testimonial and that’s about as good as it gets, folks. The same goes for the writer of your sales letter. Personalize it by including your name and a photo of yourself.
- Check your landing page in a variety of browsers to see exactly what is being viewed “above the fold”. That’s what the visitor sees without having to scroll down the page. Make sure that the most important information is available without having to scroll. Some landing page professionals even go so far as to suggest you include your first call to action button above the fold. Also check for other page elements like overall layout, font size, image placement, headers and page width so the page looks visually cohesive.
- Don’t assume anything. If you don’t think your visitor will understand a technical term or business jargon, simplify it. Sure, your page needs to appeal to the demographic it’s aimed at, but don’t assume everyone is going to fit into that demographic mold, so allow some room for Joe or Jo Average. S/He may just be in the market for 100 of whatever you have on offer. You’ll never know if you don’t make your landing page as accessible to him as to the rocket scientists or teen hoodlums you’re aiming for.
This is where your analytics program is a must-have. During the early days of an ad campaign, you need to spend as much time as you can monitoring and analyzing page traffic and visitor behavior.
The devil is usually in the detail, so if you’re getting click-throughs but no action, you need to take a good hard look at the content. Sometimes it works to have an outsider look at your page as a prospective buyer and give you an honest assessment. (Ask a teenager, they know everything!)
Split- testing, where you create two or more pages with various, slight modifications using the same ad linking will help you determine which page visitors prefer. You then use the preferred page as your “base model” and re-tweak the other page/s to see if you can better the base model.
Creating killer landing pages is far more complex than the tips and techniques covered in this post. Thousands of books clutter bookshelves around the world about what it takes to “land the sale”; from the art of sales copy to the font size and color to your closing techniques and so much more.
Online, you also need to consider your level of interconnectivity via digital media to further engage and mesmerize your visitor.
This is only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, so I encourage you to conduct your own research project, and then visualize, create and test, test, test.