Simply put, a landing page is the page of a website that a person first lands on after clicking an offsite link. When built effectively, landing pages are highly targeted pages aimed at converting a specific group of site visitors into customers.
Why are Landing Pages so Important?
Whether your website’s goal is to sell products, generate leads, generate phone calls, or anything else, using and optimizing landing pages will ultimately lead to higher conversion rates and more business for you. One of the biggest misconceptions about websites is that all of the traffic should be sent to the homepage. Imagine what would happen if all of New York City’s traffic, no matter where each vehicle wanted to go, had to drive through Times Square, the “homepage” of NYC. After seeing the mess, most drivers wouldn’t go at all. Of those who did, the majority would give up before ever reaching their destination. While a ridiculous example, this is no different than traffic coming to your website.
What Makes a Good Landing Page?
In an Adwords campaign, a landing page must be relevant to the ad campaigns sending visitors there. A good landing page directly reflects the messaging from the ad text. Since a user is interested enough in the ad messaging to click on it, they are expecting a page that mirrors any offers in the ad. Having mixed messaging, ad-to-landing page pricing discrepancies, or hidden offers can be confusing and will lead to a high bounce rates, low conversion rate, and wasted ad spend.
Almost immediately, a visitor should know what your site wants them to do. While visitors won’t necessarily think about your site in this way, if your landing page is designed effectively they will tend to navigate down the correct conversion path. A good test is to watch over the shoulder as a few people who are not familiar with landing page design visit for the first time and ask them, “What do you think the page wants you to do?” If they are wrong or it takes them more than a second or two to figure it out, it’s probably a good idea to re-evaluate your calls-to-action and their placement on the site.
Placement of Site Elements
Even if your PPC campaign messaging mirrors your landing page perfectly and you’ve written a captivating call-to-action, your site still may not perform well. The placement of that messaging and call-to-action is equally as important as the words themselves. The perfect call-to-action doesn’t do any good if a user doesn’t read it. Placing key elements like this “below the fold,” or the part of a webpage that can’t be seen without scrolling, is a big no-no and should be avoided.
It has been said that visitors decide whether or not to leave a site within 5 seconds of landing. Talk about a first impression! A landing page with too much information scattered in every which direction is going to make a visitor’s head spin and cause them to quickly hit the back button. Don’t bog the page down with too many buttons or links. You want the potential customer to quickly find and stay interested in your offer so that they make the next step to becoming a conversion.
So you’re not Amazon.com and don’t have wide spread brand recognition. So long as you can answer yes to any of the following questions, not a problem!
- Have you ever had a happy customer?
- Does your business have any certifications?
- Has your business ever won an award?
- Does your website use a secure checkout?
- Do you keep personal information confidential?
You should be able to answer yes to one of these questions. Especially if your brand is not a household name, showing visitors that your past customers rank you 5/5 stars and your business is fully certified goes a long way. Don’t be afraid to brag through testimonials but be careful using testimonials that seem too good to be true or fake; these can have the opposite effect than what you hoped for.
Whether you’re crafting a click-through or lead generation landing page, you know that the design should be simple and easy to navigate. Lead the horse (potential customer) to water (your product or service), as they say. If you’ve provided a flawless user experience and a valuable incentive, they’ll have no choice but to drink (convert on your site). This may all seem like common sense, but sometimes it’s best to go back to the basics. Take a look at your current campaigns and landing pages and analyze them to see if there is any way you can make the process more streamlined for potential customers. Make sure that your landing pages are attractive, clean and most importantly, relevant. Do this, and you’re on the path to maximizing your conversion rate and, ultimately, your profit.