Online marketing is serious business. The odds are, if you're trying to grow your company and expand your client base, you've got a website up and running already. Websites are great for telling people who you are and what you can offer them, and you likely have done some marketing to try to funnel your potential clients to your site.
But maybe your numbers haven't been as high as you would like, and you're looking for another idea. Something simple, something that will stand out, and something that will draw your clients in and make them want to invest more time in your site and ultimately your business.
If you weren't already thinking, "I want to design a new landing page!" this is probably the time to start.
A Wordstream article says, "An effective landing page is the cornerstone of successful online marketing."
And everybody wants to be successful with their marketing, right? Right.
So what exactly is a landing page, what can it do for your business, and how can you design one effectively to maximize your online marketing?
If you're like me, you probably thought, "Gosh, what exactly is a landing page?" and then, on Googling it, realized that you already knew precisely what it was.
To break it down as simply as possible, let's use the bestselling guide book Landing Page Optimization: The Definitive Guide to Testing and Tuning, which really lays it out for the uninitiated.
"Any web page on which an internet visitor first arrives on their way to an important action that you want them to take on your site. The landing page can be a part of your main website or a stand-alone page designed specifically to receive traffic from an online marketing campaign."
You can probably already think of a few examples off the top of your head, but here's one to get you started.
A landing page can also be known as a lander, a destination page, or a lead capture page. The lead capture part is definitely something we're going to be focused on; after all, the whole point of the landing page is so you can generate more business for your business.
So how does that work?
Landing pages are all about optimizing your marketing for your business and contributing to a higher conversion rate. "Conversion" in this case is talking about turning a casual browser into an actual customer.
So it isn't just about optimizing the landing page, of course, because you don't want your clients or customers to just stop there. You have a goal in mind for them. To shop, to order, to buy, to sign up, to read, to think. The landing page should lead on into the rest of the site, moving them and motivating them to want to continue in this budding relationship that they've started with you as the business owner or offerer of services. The landing page is a path, not a destination.
What does the path lead to? That depends on you and your business. The path could lead your potential customers to browsing, purchasing, filling in forms, or downloading. Ultimately the landing page is there to convert web surfers into clientele
So what's the point of the landing page if you really just want to draw people in?
The point is to draw people in.
Landing Page Optimization invokes the 80/20 rule in discussing the landing page. This is also known as the Pareto principle, the principle of factor sparsity, or the law of the vital few. In marketing terms, it breaks down to the fact that 80% of results come from 20% of action.
An article on landing pages, the 80/20 rule as applied to marketing states that "20 percent of marketing messages produce 80 percent of your campaign results." So, in other words, your landing page may be a small percentage of your overall website, but it can potentially yield a lot of the desired result.
So what, specifically, are some of the possibilities for landing pages?
The example already listed, the page that comes up when you go to Tumblr's site (unless you're already a user and logged in, in which case it will be your dashboard) is a fairly classic example of its type. Tumblr's ultimate goal is to get the casual visitor to sign up and start a blog, and the landing page reflects the basic details that the visitor needs in order to do this.
Pinterest has another example.
Depending on the purpose of the site, the landing page can include everything from more information on the business to simply a form for signing up for services.
Or it could be something that will excite the casual visitor, making them want to learn more, do more, or buy more.
Landing pages may be created specifically to be used with special advertising campaigns, as well. Take, for example, an advertising campaign started on social media, or through a YouTube video.
This article also has several suggestions for campaign-based landing pages, including setting up a reward for new visitors. "Giving something valuable away for free," it says, "can be a powerful motivator, especially when used on a landing page."
Basically, no matter who you are, you only have the attention of your potential customer for a fleeting moment. You need to make the most of it. Landing pages can help you with that.
So what can it do for your business?What Can It Do For Your Business?
Let's talk again for a moment about the conversion rate. Conversion refers to taking a casual viewer and getting them invested. You want your potential customer to stick with you, to be drawn in by your landing page, and then to move on to the things you really want them to do, depending on what your goal is. There are some ways to do this that are better than others. Optimizing your landing page is a great start.
Of course, there are a lot of things to consider when doing this. Here are some potential factors to keep in mind:
You don't know all these things automatically, of course, since these are probably new potential clients. But this is where doing your research beforehand on who you have been marketing to and who your potential audience might be will really come in handy.
With these factors in mind, what exactly do you want in a landing page?
This article on designing landing pages with a high conversion rate includes a lot of things to include in the design. A few of them are:
Making sure what you're offering adds up to what the audience wants or needs. You should immediately notice what this landing page is offering.
eye catching copy, words that work for you and speak well to the audience. Sizing, font, and word choice all play a part in this.
Balance your copy:
there's a fine line between too many words and not enough. You have to be able to communicate effectively what you want your audience to know, without overloading them and scaring them off because of all the reading. This, of course, depends on who your audience is and what you're offering, so make sure you know your stuff, like this page does.
Not too many options:
the point of the landing page is to then move somewhere else, not to spend a lot of time checking out the possibilities of your landing page. Keep it simple and don't distract from the main message.
sites with responsive design will adapt to the avenue the viewer is using, whether a tablet, a phone, or a laptop. Check this site out on your tablet and phone, and observe the difference.
a few verified reviews or comments from users can be very helpful in making your potential customer feel more confident in moving forward with your site or service. You don't want the testimonials to be the only thing on the landing page, but they can definitely add a lot of motivational appeal when they are included.
Call to Action:
also known as a CTA, these are fundamental in pretty much any kind of marketing. If you stop and analyze how many times you've actually signed up for something on a website, it was likely due to an effective call to action. There are ineffective ones, of course; those that don't show the benefits of signing up/signing in/pursuing the goal of the website, or that make it look too complicated, or like too much of an investment of your time. Dropbox is a good example of an effective one, however.
Lead capture forms:
these can help a great deal with your conversion rate and really making the most of your web traffic. Lead capture forms basically exist to facilitate a closer relationship between your business and your site visitor. Again, these are not things that you want to make too complicated. Additionally, putting in an incentive, such as a 10% coupon for signing up with your email, can be a useful tool. Or using the word "free." Everyone likes the word "free."
All of those are principles that are should be considered when putting together the general layout and design. And then, of course, you have the classic basics that are involved in pretty much every design for everything, ever. (Or, as I call it, "the fun stuff.")
your color scheme is no less important on your landing page than it is elsewhere. Keeping in mind the psychology of colors is really important as well.
Since you likely won't have a ton of information on your landing page, you may choose to use a larger size than you might for the majority of your site.
Easy to read. Remember, you don't want your potential clients to feel like they have to invest too much time into this.
Keeping your landing page open and easy to use is a good idea.
Don't overwhelm your audience. If your goal is to get them to fill out a form or sign up for a service, keep it short and sweet. If you're funneling them to your site, don't give them all the possible pages, but send them to the front page or the directory.
Background images or logos can be included, or you could create something specifically for the landing page.
Remember, your landing page should make people want to investigate your site more and invest time and interest in you and your business.
Since your landing page is likely there to direct people onwards to your main site, you'll probably want to keep in mind your site's general aesthetics as well, so you can have a confluence of design. The last thing you want is to have a sudden, unexpected disconnect between the landing page and the main site. You don't want your potential clients to think that they got lost somewhere between clicking and arriving.
Another thing to consider is the fluidity of movement between your landing page and your main site. Are your mechanics clunky? Is the link to your main site obscured or hard to find?
Finally, remember to keep your landing page on-message for the rest of your site. Another way to put this is to keep any promises you make. "Adding a promise to your landing page can be highly persuasive, says the Wordstream article Just make sure that you follow through from landing page to site proper.
Now it's time to put your own awesome landing page together and generate some serious lead for your business. How do you plan on doing that?
Well, borrowing some of these ideas is a good start. Remember that simplicity is an important factor. You don't want your customer to feel like they have to invest too much time in your landing page. The point is to motivate them to move forward with your site or service. So pick through these suggestions listed earlier in this article, then pare them down to a handful.
Testing your landing site out is also a great idea. You may need to develop a few different variations along the way, but that's okay! As your business grows and you come up with new marketing campaigns, you will likely want to adapt or redesign your landing page to meet your needs. The great thing is, these tips will be useful for any landing page you want to put together.