Done right, a landing page can be one of your best sales tools.
“A landing page is not a home page.”
If your reaction to that statement is, “I agree,” congratulations—you understand the importance of directing your click-throughs to a separate, dedicated landing page for your offers and resources. But are your landing pages turning click-through into leads?
If your reaction is more, “Why should I waste my bandwidth on new pages when I have a perfectly good home page?” you’re not alone; less than half of marketers build new landing pages for each campaign.
However, when you consider that 61% of marketers say their top challenge is generating traffic and leads, it may be time to consider whether your current landing pages—or lack of them—are keeping your website visitors from becoming solid leads.
So, to help you turn those click-throughs into leads, here are seven tips for offering your web visitors more effective landing pages.
Tip 1: A landing page is not a home page.
No, we didn’t accidentally copy and paste the first line of the article. We just can’t overstate how important a dedicated landing page is to a marketer, so we wanted to say it again.
Think about it: if a prospect is interested enough to click your ad or call to action, do you really want to make it hard for them to find the details for the very thing that enticed them to click in the first place? Of course not!
Even if they are interested in the details of your company (and at this point they’re probably not; they’re just hungry for information or that great offer), home pages can be notorious rabbit holes, with their links. A landing page shows them exactly what you want them to see—no more, no less. And once they’ve filled out the form or read the product description or registered for a demo, then they can click on your Home button to learn more.
Tip 2: Keep it clean.
No, we don’t mean clean in language and graphics (because we already know you will). We’re talking clean, well-organized design. A landing page has one goal: to make it as easy as possible for a visitor to become a lead (someone who requests information from you), and then turn into a prospect (someone who’s engaged in a two-way conversation with your sales area).
You have just eight seconds to make a connection with a visitor to a web page. Don’t waste their time by making them search through page noise for a CTA. Make it easy for them to get what they came for, with:
- An uncluttered page
- Easy-to-read fonts
- Lots of white space
- Colors that don’t fight each other
- Intuitive navigation
- Obvious CTA buttons or links
Also make sure to put your most important information above the fold—the part of your screen that appears without scrolling (but don’t worry, more details can be added lower on the page, below the fold).
Tip 3: “One ping only, please.”
Even if we’re talking offers, not nuclear submarines (“The Hunt for Red October,” anyone?), one ping is all you need. Please, please don’t clutter up your landing pages with multiple offers, which have been found to decrease conversions by as much as 266%. Including multiple offers risks confusing your visitors and trying their patience.
Instead, be like the 48% of marketers who build new landing pages for each campaign and keep it clean, simple and quick, with one easily spotted and understood offer per page. Your visitors will thank you—and even if you don’t end up with a nuclear sub out of the deal, they’ll be more likely to reward you with their contact information.
Tip 4: Consider video.
Did you know that videos on a landing page can increase conversions by more than 80%?
Consider the popularity of YouTube and video in general. The fact is, a growing number of your visitors, especially the younger ones, would rather watch a video than wade through a sea of text. Software review site Techjury.net assembled some statistics to support that notion:
- 80% of people remember a video ad they’ve seen in the past 30 days
- 79% of people would rather watch a video than read about a product
- 55% of online users watch videos daily
- Videos get shared 12 times more than texts and photos combined
- 90% of customers rely on video to decide whether to make a purchase
- Videos lead to 49% faster revenue growth than any other marketing strategy
- Video marketing strategies are responsible for an average rise of 54% in brand awareness
- 83% of marketers claim video gives them good ROI
And videos aren’t just for the consumer market; any size or type of B2B business can showcase itself eloquently with concise text that summarizes key points and an optional video to click for more details. Remember, “a picture is worth a thousand words.”
Tip 5: Don’t forget mobile.
In 2013, mobile devices represented 16.2% of web traffic. By 2018, that number had jumped to 52.2%, officially making mobile the majority of web traffic worldwide. However, only about half of landing pages are optimized for mobile users. Can you afford to ignore that large segment of potential customers?
Since we suspect your answer will be “No” (good answer!), here are a few brief reminders of best practices for mobile landing page design:
- Go for concise copy—short sentences and paragraphs, scannable bullet points
- Use a single-column layout with a simple design and good white space
- Put your CTAs above the fold; if they’re not hooked, mobile users won’t even give your page the eight seconds we mentioned earlier
- Be sure your text and other elements are large enough to read/see
- Don’t go overboard with graphics or videos
- Test your page to make sure it loads quickly
- Optimize your forms for mobile; keep them simple and limit the number of fields so they’re easy to fill out on small screens
- Use high contrast—for example, dark text on a white background
Given the rate of growth in just the last five years, your mobile audience will only continue to increase. Be ready to welcome them with open arms…and an optimized landing page.
Tip 6: Get to know your buyer(s) better.
Are your landing pages all about you…or what a prospect wants from your business? Since the main reason to have a landing page is to attract interest from potential customers, doesn’t it make sense to build your site and landing pages to speak directly to your ideal buyer?
We see heads nodding…but also some apprehensive looks, in an, “Uh-oh, this means I have to get serious about my buyer personas, don’t I?” kind of way.
Afraid so. However, we have some encouraging news: It’s worth it. A well-thought-out buyer persona creates a solid foundation for your marketing strategy. Once you know your buyers, you know how to talk to them—and that’s when your conversions increase. (Take a look at this case study to see how it can work.)
What should be included in a buyer persona? Anything you think would be helpful. It can be as detailed or simple as you want, but some of the most common points we see are:
- Name and photo—No, really; creating a name and finding a representative photo helps bring that buyer to life
- Buyer demographics—Job title, industry, income, gender, age, level of education
- Motivation—Goals, values, fears, pain points, challenges, obstacles
- A day in the life—A typical work day, and how your product or service would solve the issues they encounter in the process
- Communication preferences—How this person wants to hear from you: email, phone, social media, snail mail, Pony Express (oops, sorry, wrong century)
Some companies even include a short biographical paragraph, hobbies and pursuits, marital status, number and ages of children…really, anything you think would be relevant to someone’s reason to seek you out.
Now, as an example let’s take a small college, whose main buyer personas are high-school seniors and their parents. How would you tailor separate landing pages for each persona? Maybe like this:
- High school seniors want to know which classes and degrees are offered, what the dorms look like and more about extracurricular activities and sports. And they don’t have the patience to read lots of descriptive copy; they want to see it for themselves. On this landing page, text will be sparse—just enough to convey the message. But the videos and images of campus life and extracurricular fun are easy to see and click, and a big, bright CTA button leads to a super-brief form requesting more information.
- Parents, on the other hand, are more interested in things like campus safety and how they’ll pay for college. So on this landing page, you’ll find more educational text— not too much, though—along with a few well-chosen photos of happy students and less-flashy CTAs that link to forms requesting informative items, like campus safety stats or a comprehensive eBook or white paper on financial aid.
Whatever personas you choose, the key is to understand the individual experiences they’re looking for before you even build your landing page. A 55-year-old won’t use or read a landing page the same way a 25-year-old will, so be sure to look at your page with their eyes, not your own. Yes, it takes some effort, but when you start seeing more conversions it’ll be worthwhile.
Tip 7: Marketing automation + landing pages = 😊 ever after.
Our final tip is especially for those who aren’t using marketing automation: Don’t wait another minute to jump on the marketing automation bandwagon if you’re not seeing results with your current landing page(s).
As this marketing automation overview from Pardot shows, automation solves many of the challenges that face sales and marketing teams, like finding and nurturing leads, maximizing ROI, making good data-driven decisions and aligning the sales and marketing sides of your business. Perhaps most important, though, the personalization capabilities of systems like Pardot or Hubspot, combined with your CRM and a solid buyer persona, will allow you to more easily identify—and identify with—your audiences like never before. Because the feeling that someone really gets them, and knows what they’re looking for in an increasingly impersonal world, is what will connect you with your audience…and ultimately increase your conversion rates.
To learn more about the many ways marketing automation can help to up your landing page game, call our chief marketing automation officer Jeremy Sterling at 734-546-5434, or drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.