What is a Landing Page?
Landing Pages are a valuable tool for lead-generation, i.e. getting more clients into your practice.
Essentially, it is a special page within your website, created for the purpose of a specific marketing or advertising campaign. It is called a Landing Page, because this is where a visitor arrives as a destination, after clicking a link in one of your ads, email newsletters, or some other offer. It’s a page deliberately created to help you convert visitors to your site into leads by collecting their email address in return for an offer you are making.
Your website itself, (e.g. your home page, services pages etc) are intended for the general public. Search engines like Google would scour these pages and present them to users when they are looking for information that these pages could provide. Your regular web pages could typically found via your website navigation menu.
What makes Landing Pages different is that they are intended to be “not accidentally found” or show up in Google search results. The only way (in theory) to reach a Landing Page should be by following a specific link provided to specific users. Landing Pages would not be found via your website navigation menu.
Why use Landing Pages?
Tracking: Ad campaigns, promotional offers
Imagine you have a special offer, which is advertised on your home page. You send out a newsletter your subscribers with your excellent offer, and links to your home page where visitors can claim the offer. You can track how many people have taken up your offer, but you can’t tell whether they came via your email newsletter or Google search, or they are regular website users etc.
Now imagine that your newsletter included a link, not to your home page, but a Landing Page. Since this link is hidden from the public, your newsletter readers would be the ONLY people who could see and claim this offer. This way, you can now track exactly how effective your newsletter was for this purpose.
Same thing is done for Google Ads, Facebook Ads etc. You would’t spend money on ads just to send prospects to your home page, not knowing how many people came to your home page as a result of your ad.
Landing Pages make it possible for you to track the effectiveness of your offer.
If you get many clickthroughs to your Landing Page, then you know your ad campaign or offer was good. Then it’s a matter of measuring how many people actually take up your offer (i.e. conversions) on your Landing Page.
A visitor who has arrived at your Landing Page obviously clicked your offer link, because they were curious. So they are not a cold-lead, but a warm prospect. Now your Landing Page needs to “convert” them; i.e. take a favourable action such as:
- Buy your product
- Make an appointment
- Leave you their contact details
- Download something you offer
You already know how many people clicked on your link to arrive at your Landing Page, which tells you how good your original offer was. Now you want to know how many of them you convert (i.e. a percentage). Your conversion rate tells you how good your Landing Page itself performs, in getting the visitor to take action.
There are many best practices for Landing Pages to convert better. We look at some of these later on.
If lots of people arrive at your Landing Page, but no one is taking action, it could mean few things:
- Visitors didn’t find what they came for
- You sent the right offer to the wrong people
- You did a lousy job selling / encouraging action
A-B testing simply refers to making more than one copy of a Landing Page, which is almost identical, but with small key changes. You can then create your dynamic click-through links to randomly to one of the two versions of your Landing Page.
The idea is that if same number of people arrived on each landing page, your difference in conversion rates will tell you which page performed better. So next time round, you can take the “winning” page as your benchmark and create an alternate copy where you make yet another small change for further iterative testing.
However this is an advanced topic, that requires statistically significant amounts of visitors and experienced analysis.
Landing Page characteristics
You need an offer
First off, you need to have an offer. It can be an eBook, a checklist, a recipe, educational video, free appointment, free checkup, discounted membership etc.
The offer must be of interest to your ideal customer and relate to the stage of the buying cycle s/he is in. Generally, when a prospect is at the early stages (e.g., awareness), the offer will be more educational and relate to research on options available.
If you’re making an offer to your non-returning clients, you may entice them with a discount or voucher for your new services. Make sure it is appropriate and interesting.
One door in
Landing Pages will typically have only one way to reach it; by clicking on your advert or link in your newsletter. A visitor should not be able to accidentally stumble upon your Landing Page during the normal course of surfing your website. This means your Landing Page should not appear in Google searches.
This means that every visitor who arrives on your Landin Page must have clicked on your link and have already qualified themselves as “interested in your offer”.
Your website pages (e.g. home page) is geared towards a generic visitor. Sending a visitor that clicked an offer link in your email campaign to your home page would confuse them. You need to send them to a specific Landing Page on your website that addresses exactly the reason they clicked on the link for.
It is imperative that you match your Landing Page theme and message to your upstream campaign offer. Don’t advertise one thing and then offer something else on your Landing Page.
A fundamental aspect of conversion centred design is “message match”, which is the ability of your Landing Page to accurately reflect the messaging presented on the upstream ad. Most visitors are very impatient and will leave your site within seconds of arrival if you don’t reinforce their mission with a matching headline and purpose (quickly and clearly).
One door out
Just like there should be one door in, there should also be only one door out. This is the explicit action you want your visitor to take. Your Landing Page should not confuse or distract visitors with anything other than your core offer. Take away distracting elements, so you can guide visitors through a narrow passage towards the desired outcome.
There should be one major available action on the page, removing everything else that is not essential to this action. This includes your regular website navigation, headers, footers and more. Compare the layout for a typical web page vs a landing page below:
Notice the yellow clickable links.. The Landing page has only one available action. If there are more, they should be simply reinforced copies of that same action.
Google Analytics should be installed to measure not only how many visitors arrive at your Landing Pages, but also how long they spend on the page, how they interact with the page and whether they complete the desired action. You can also determine how many times they may visit the Landing Page before they decide to take action.
This is not only very interesting but vital information for you to be armed with, for your future campaigns.
Don’t be shy
People have clicked on your offer to view your Landing Page. They are obviously interested. So why not go all-out and put on your sales hat? You may not feel comfortable about sales spiels on your home page, but you should feel completely comfortable to sell abundantly on your Landing Page.
Use headings, images, video, bullet points
Nobody likes to read endless text. Break up your Landing Page into digestible sections.
Video works really well on Landing Pages. People would rather watch a video rather than read endless pages. It doesn’t need to be a professional production; just be yourself, pretend that the viewer is in your consulting room.
If you feature yourself or company employees in your images and video, the trust factor is raised significantly.
If you are collecting personal information from visitors, let them know that their data is safe, and you will not spam them. Be clear about how and when you will email them.
Landing Page tips
- Never send inbound traffic to your homepage. Use a Landing Page!
- Ensure the primary headline of your Landing Page matches the ad your visitors clicked to get there.
- A Landing Page should have a single purpose and thus a single focused message. Every element of your page should be aligned conceptually with the topic and goal of the page.
- Stay true to your branding, use same colours / templates as your website.
- Make your call to action (CTA) big and position it above the fold.
- Use directional cues to direct attention to your CTA (arrows or photos/videos of people looking or pointing at your button).
- Show your product/service being used in context.
- Consider video. It’s been shown to improve conversion by up to 80%.
- Remove unnecessary content. Be succinct. Simplify your copy using bullets points.
- Include appropriate “proof”, such as testimonials, other people claiming your offer, comments from other visitors. Include partner co-branding to increase trust by association.
- If you are doing A-B testing, only change small / discrete elements of your Landing Page. Changing too many things will prevent you from correctly attributing changes in conversion.
- Consider a free trial offers. Consider a guarantee to reduce/remove risk.
- Show your phone number so people know you are real and can reach you.