Landing pages can be an effective tool for educating and directing customers and clients interested in your brand. You can customize the designs and content for a variety of different traffic streams and audiences who will become customers. You can tinker with small variables over time to perfect your approach to better, effective landing pages.
A landing page can also be used in coordination with various marketing and advertising strategies, including SEO, PPC ads, and social media marketing.
But — What Makes a Landing Page Effective?
Defining Your Goals
The first step is defining what you mean by “effective.” Different landing pages can be used to different ends — so, what is it that you’re trying to accomplish?
Some landing pages just want to introduce customers to a brand or a product. If you’re targeting people early in the buying cycle, it might be enough to inform these potential customers about their possible purchasing options. If this is the case, you can consider your goal to be information; if visitors walk away with a better understanding of their upcoming purchasing decision, it’s a win.
You might also want to keep your potential clients interested in your brand and your company. In other words, can you persuade your customers that your brand is a worthy consideration for this purchase? Time spent on-page is a major indication of personal interest.
Are you trying to get customers to trust your brand or earn a better reputation for your business? If so, the best route here is to provide your customers with resources, such as spec sheets, whitepapers, or eBooks.
Of course, you’ll also need to think about your landing page conversions. For most landing page optimizers, this is the ultimate goal – and the most important consideration factor for optimization.
A conversion is a meaningful on-page action taken by a visitor, such as buying a product, filling out a form, or downloading a piece of content. In all cases, a conversion is a necessary step on the journey to becoming a customer. It makes sense, then, that conversions are so revered.
Depending on your goals, you’ll want to lean on a diverse set of metrics and KPIs to calculate your bottom-line results. Keep these goals in mind as you chart a course to a better landing page.
Mastering the Elements
Each landing page you create will include several individual components, each of which can be optimized to achieve your goals, whether it’s educating your visitors or getting them to convert.
Design. What is the layout of the landing page? What colors, fonts, and images are you choosing?
Copy. What are the most important bits of information to convey and how do you word them? Big headlines and bulleted lists are common features.
Functionality. Is it easy and quick to load your landing page? Do all its elements work well on all devices and operating systems?
Before landing. Where is your traffic coming from? Have you optimized your landing page to appeal to them, specifically?
After landing. How do you handle your potential customers after they arrive? Do they have a clear set of steps to follow? How intuitive is it for customers to follow the direction and flow of the page?
What Makes a Landing Page Effective?
Now to the central question: what is it that makes a landing page effective in its goals? Go over each of these points to find those that will help your conversions.
First, you want to have appropriate content. If you’re designing a landing page, you’re expecting someone to discover your content out in the wild. You’ll want your customer coming from ads, a social media post and even from search engine results pages.
Everyone who clicks the link to get to your landing page is going to expect what they’re going to find. Your content needs to be in line with the customers’ expectations. You can surely lure customers in with promises of cheap tractor tires — but if your landing page content is all about disc brakes — you’ll have a high bounce rate.
A direct correlation to them clicking on your landing page will be a loss of trust in you, your product and your company.
A compelling headline
Your headline is typically the first thing a customer will see when arriving at your landing page, so you have to make it count. If they get a bad first impression, or if they’re not sure what the purpose of the landing page is — they’re going to leave. Keep things concise, direct, and original – and if possible, throw in something that will make a visitor keep reading.
Plenty of white space
Minimal designs typically do better than cluttered ones. It’s tempting to load your landing page full of valuable information so your visitors/clients/customers can make an informed decision. Still, if it’s overstuffed, it will only work against you. Prioritize the most important design elements and copy and leave plenty of space for readability and aesthetic reasons.
Do you have a simple, clear path forward?
What do you want your customers to do when they hit your landing page? Are they supposed to fill out a form? Are they supposed to download a spec sheet for more information? You need to be clear and direct – and design your landing page in a way that makes it intuitive. If customers don’t understand what they’re supposed to do, or if you give them contradictory directions, they’ll bounce.
Fast loading times
It may seem superficial, but the loading time of your landing page can have a significant effect on the behavior of your incoming traffic (and an impact on your brand reputation). Most customers leave a landing page if it doesn’t load in a second or two, so you’ll have to work to optimize your loading speed. A good caching plugin and clean backend code will do wonders for you.
Written content is good, but most people want something more. Pieces of content that demonstrate how your product or service works, such as photos, screenshots, and videos, can increase your conversion rates while educating your visitors so they can become customers. Try to showcase your products in action.
It’s tempting to bombard your customers with information about how cool your product is and all the features it offers – but this can be indirect and overwhelming. Instead, make it clear what the benefits are. How much time or money is your prospect going to save? What knowledge will they get from reading your guide? In what ways will their life or their career improve?
A favorable exchange
Most landing pages offer a kind of exchange. Customers pay money in exchange for a product or volunteer their personal information in exchange for downloadable content. No matter what, you can take action to make that exchange more favorable for them. Throw in more freebies or ask for less to close the deal.
Some customers are skeptical when seeing a new company for the first time and interacting with its landing page content. You can ease tensions by facilitating trust. Trust badges, customer ratings and reviews, and testimonials can all help your case.
A sense of urgency — call to action
Some people may be interested in converting, but they procrastinate for various reasons. Unfortunately, most customers who leave your landing page — even if they intend to come back — never return. You need to instill a sense of urgency if you want people to move on your offer; try to imply that it’s a limited-time offer.
AB Testing and Experimentation
You should be prepared for several recursive rounds of AB testing and experimentation when optimizing your landing page.
Measure and analyze your traffic, trusting the data, and pay attention to the tweaks that lead you to the most positive changes in your bottom-line results. What works for one business may not work well for a different business in a different industry — so don’t assume that your “best practices” are all that’s necessary to achieve your goals.
The more you’re willing to adapt and improve, the better your landing pages are going to perform. Do your research in advance and remain flexible so you can keep making iterative progress.
Image Credit: pixabay; pexels; thank you!