How a Simple Landing Page Can Drastically Change the Face of your Business
"If you pick any 5 successful websites and try and figure out why they’re thriving, a great landing page is sure to be one of the main reasons .
What is a landing page, really?
Now, landing pages can be broadly classified further:
- Clickthrough: The very basic kind of landing pages, click throughs, typically contain general information related to the product or service you are offering along with a button guiding consumers to the ‘Place Your Order’ page, where they can make the purchase.
- Lead Capture: As the name suggests, lead capture pages collect personal data like name, age, email, etc. from visitors. This data is then used to send out email marketing campaigns, approach prospects with special offers, and connect with them.
- Infomercial: The online world has its equivalent too.These landing pages feature similar commercials and involve a lot of scrolling.
- Viral landing pages: Viral landing pages generate brand awareness and create buzz among the target audience. Such pages feature creative content, infographics, photos, funny videos and/or flash games among other things. Viral pages are different from other landing pages because they are shareable and typically feature social networking buttons.
- Microsites: A microsite is a minisite used for large campaigns. They come with their own vanity URL and aren’t necessarily single page sites. Customers are directed to it from online, print, or television ads.
- Product detail pages: Probably the most common type of landing page, product detail pages are a part of the main website. They contain information related to the product or service a visitor has clicked on- but tracking your campaign’s success or failure can be quite difficult with them.
- Homepages: Having the homepage as your landing page is not particularly effective. In fact, they have the least conversion rate among all landing pages. This usually comes as a shock to people, so if you’re surprised, you don’t have to feel alone.
Anatomy of a great landing page.Let’s look at the same landing page example mentioned above and talk about what makes them so successful.
A great landing page has 4 essential features:
- A great headline that talks to the potential buyers, intrigues them by giving them a rough idea of what you do and how you can benefit them.
- A great sub-headline (optional, but helpful) that illustrates exactly what you do and makes you sound capable and important.
- Obvious call to action. It needs to stand out and yet be a part of the overall conversation. Behave as though it were saying: “Sounds good? Let’s get started then!” Oh, and feature just one CTA prominently. Too many, and your message can get muddled.
- Supporting visuals. This can be a video too. Show them what it would be like to use your product and remove the guesswork.
So this page includes...
- Relevant logo and branding
- A concise and clear description of the product
- The price in sub-heading
- A repeat of the sub-heading/most important value proposition
- A list of services
- Images of the products in action
Sales BoostersIt is always a good thing to be able to talk with concrete proof... things that make prospects feel a little more trusting of the brand they just met.
Certificate of Authenticity
A major concern for ecommerce websites is assuring consumers of the authenticity of the product they offer. The ‘Seiko Authorized Dealer Site’ boosted their conversion rate by 107% and effectively doubled Express Watches’ sales figures. Interestingly, there was a ‘Never Beaten on Price’ badge on their site, to reinforce the low price guarantee offered by Express Watches. It seems like customers place a higher premium on authenticity than price when buying from new vendors.
Action oriented copy
Testimonials: All day, every day.
The Most Important Elements of a Landing Page.The best way to master landing pages is to break them into smaller sections and study each one in more detail. So let’s get started...
Headline/CopyAs with every conversation, what you say determines what you get out of it. A well written landing page goes a step beyond language and creates an instant connection with visitors (which is pretty much the whole point of having a landing page).
How do you write a great headline?The most important thing to keep in mind while drafting the headline is that, in most cases, the viewers may have little or no idea about you. The headline has to introduce you to your prospects, and it has to do it well.
There are 3 common approaches to writing the headlines for landing pages:
- Ask a question: “Is a slow printer affecting your productivity?”
- Talk up the benefits: “Our printers save you a week’s work.”
- Solve a problem: “No more waiting. Just press print and it prints!”
Regardless of the approach you take, there are some key elements that you need to keep in mind while drafting a landing page’s headline:
- Establish what you can do for them. Clearly define the purpose of your product in the headline, don’t wait to do it somewhere else that they may never see.
- Use testimonials in your headlines.
A. Speak like, and to the Customer.Always speak to the customers in their language, without showing off your expertise in any way. Landing pages are comparatively short, to the point, and action oriented. The risk of losing your prospect’s interest is extremely high. Maintain a tone that is easy for your customers to grasp. Use common language. Maintain a casual tone despite coming across as an expert.
B. Be clear.Figure out exactly what you want to convey on your landing page, and don’t deviate from the message. Boil every word on the page down to its essentials. If you’re not clear, your visitors won’t give you another chance to explain or hunt down the answers. You’ve already proven that you’re not worth the effort. Keep your language simple, your offer straightforward, and the benefits apparent and easy to digest.
C. Talk ONLY about things the customer wants to hear about.
D. Inspire actionYou need to sprinkle trigger points throughout the copy to push visitors to click that ‘Sign Up’ button. Do not confuse these with call to actions. Create a sense of urgency that prompts readers to take the plunge.
ExamplesHow about these?
Benefits of video based landing pagesVideos are more dynamic, involving, and stimulating in nature.
Videos are convenient. Users can watch and absorb your message instead of having to read through it.
More personal. People tend to buy from other people, and a video of a person who has used a product goes a long way in winning the viewer’s confidence. Instead of a mass of words on a webpage, what you get is a real, live person talking to you.
You get to show your product in action! Many products are best described through a demo. A 10 second video can achieve what a full page description cannot.
Testimonials. Testimonials in themselves are a great way to make prospective clients trust you. When you have real people telling your prospects how great your product was or how reliable the service is, it can make a bigger impact than some words on a webpage.
BUT...Image based pages still work
Again, have a clear purpose.
Make it easy.Staying in sync with the clarity of its purpose, a call to action must also be methodically laid out. It should flow as intuitively as possible for the users.
The conventional layout of a CTA is...
- Input fields
- Submission prompt
Feel free to play around with this structure but not at the expense of ease of use. It should be different, but not confusing. It’s also a good practice to make subtle tweaks in your landing page’s CTA and keep testing for increase or decrease in results, and subsequently make the necessary changes.
Design / UX
Header: The header is the topmost section of your page and the first thing that a visitor sees. The presentation of the header should always be in sync with the ad campaign that led prospects to this page in the first place. This helps maintain uniformity in the users’ minds. It also needs to be the most appealing and catchy section of the page. Refrain from having half a dozen menu options in there. You want your prospects to make a decision, not get distracted.
Body: This is where all your copy goes. The length of this section depends on how much you want to say, but other sections around it should balance it out so that the page looks uniform. The most important thing to keep in mind is that people generally skim through landing pages. Therefore, you should separate the copy with color highlights, bold headlines etc., especially if the copy is long.
Stuff to consider:
- A navigation bar is not necessary. Unlike websites, landing pages don’t need a full-fledged navigation. At best, a link to the main website homepage is all that’s needed. In fact, some landing pages do away with that too, reducing any chances of prospects navigating away from it. After all, isn’t the whole point of the landing page to move your visitor into action?
- Cut the fluff. Incorporate the above-mentioned sections and don’t bother about adding anything else. Sleek works best with landing pages... always!
- Formatting shows professionalism. Proper headlines, consistent font size, relevant underlines and bolds, they all add up to bring a professional feel to the page.
- Use contrasting colors wisely. Steer clear of jarring colors, but don’t make the page too vanilla either. Use contrast and highlighting to separate sections.
Can you tell a good landing page from a bad one?
This is a great landing page. The headline is short and to the point, while the intro paragraph gets right into what you will get after filling up the form. While most of the information you need is above the fold, there is plenty of social proofing below it as well, in the form of media mentions, testimonials and trust symbols.