A landing page is any page on your website that’s sole purpose is to prompt a visitor to take a certain action.
For example, maybe you’re promoting an eBook on your website and the landing page exists to encourage the download. Or you’re running a paid search campaign where the ad drives users to fill out a contact form. The landing page is what serves up your call to action and gets someone to take that next step.
If your landing page doesn’t drive users to take the action you’ve laid out for them, it failed. Don’t fail.
Below are seven tips for creating powerful landing pages:
Have a Clear Objective
For a landing page to be successful, the objective of the page must be clear, both to you and a person landing on it. For your part, you need to identify exactly what is this page is designed to do. Do you want a user to:
- Fill out a contact form?
- Download something?
- Make a purchase?
- Take another specific action?
Once you know, all action on the page should be crafted to push users toward that one objective. If it’s not relevant to the action, it doesn’t belong on that page. That includes content, visuals, extra buttons, etc.
Match Your Headline to What Came Before
As users, we always want to make sure we’re in the right place. You can help your visitors feel safe on your site by matching the headline of your landing page to the text they clicked from. If the ad text you used matches the landing page headline, this is a sign to users that their jump made sense and they’re exactly where they need to be.
If it differs, even slightly, then users may become uneasy or unsure of their footing and hit the back button. You want visitors engaged with your site content. You don’t want them wondering if they took a wrong turn.
Highlight Important Points
Let’s be real, most people who land on your website will be skimming it. They’ll be on the hunt for the words and phrases that are most important to them and which tell them your website is relevant to their needs.
So know what those words and phrases are (this is where keyword research comes in) and highlight them on the page. Use them early on in your content, toward the beginning of sentences, and then again at the end as this is where their eyes are trained to go. Make it easy for visitors to find these words inside the rest of the text.
Talk Directly to the Visitor
Because your landing page is designed to specifically convert a visitor, you want to talk directly to them. Use “you” and “your” as you explain how your product or service benefits them. Talk directly to their biggest pain points and focus on how you’re going to help them and how much easier it will make their life.
The more you can talk to someone and help them visualize your ability to help them, the stronger your argument.
Vary Paragraph Length
Another way to create a page that is engaging to users is to vary text length used in paragraphs. What this does is to help create visual separation to make the page easy to read and digest. It’s also more visually appealing than landing on a page filled with large blocks of text.
Varying paragraph length will help draw users into the content and make the content easier for them to skim.
Provide a Clear Call to Action
Considering we’re talking about a landing page, you’d think this would be obvious. But you’d be surprised how many sites create landing page without clear calls to action!
Make sure the CTA is obvious to a user, either via graphic element or large, linked text. If the copy is short, then placing a CTA on top of the page, as well as toward the bottom should suffice. If the page is longer, then you may want to add additional CTAs to make sure that users notice them. But if this isn’t clear, then the entire message of the page has been lost.
Remove All Distractions
This is essential. If it does not inspire someone toward the specific conversion, it does not belong on the landing page. This includes navigational elements, other links, extraneous text, humor, images, etc. Everything on the page should be related to the action you’re trying to get someone to take. If it does not, then it’s a distraction. And it should be removed.
Creating stronger landing pages is something every business owner should aspire to do. Your landing page is very often the deciding factor in whether someone converts or they get distracted and leave your website.
Great advice and two points are worth emphasizing: message match and clarity.
First, most people view the landing page in a vacuum and don’t consider how the user arrived at the page. If it’s just a sub-page of your website and you’re using it for paid traffic, the messaging between your PPC ad and the page headline/copy is probably not matched precisely. Create a dedicated landing page and make the message match to get higher conversion rates.
Second, clarity is key. If users can’t quickly determine where they are, what you offer and why they should buy from you (shout out to MarketingExperiments) they will quickly leave.
Very nice article with several key points. I found you via Social Triggers, by the way. 😉
I was one of those with a landing page that really did NOT have a clear call to action, like you say, as ridiculous as that is.
We made the change and the same DAY doubled our conversions.
Thomas @ NE1UP.com
Interestingly we also follow a framework for landing pages…we call it HABITS of conversion optimized landing pages. This depicts the basic 6 things that any landing page is based on – compelling Headline, strong call to Action, Benefits that a visitor will get, Image/video, the Trust factor and finally the Speed with which it delivers.