It should be clear by now that your website and all of its pages have a few simple reasons for existing: informing or educating visitors and eventually converting them into paying customers. A huge, and often overlooked, component of conversion is the landing pages that get this job done. And while landing pages and their role are simple to understand, they are not always easy to design. To help you build killer landing pages that convert visitors into leads, here are some tips to make your landing pages diligently perform their best.
First Things First: What Is a Landing Page?
The landing page is a page on your website that is intended to convert visitors into leads or paying customers. The landing page can include a number of different call-to-actions about your business including ways for consumers to buy or learn more about:
- White papers
- Pricing information
Example of a Landing Page Ad and Landing Page
Below we see one example of a landing page by Hewlett Packard (HP) promoting their tablet/notebook. We will be referencing this example in many of our tips below but for now just take a look at the text and call-to-actions involved in the ad and how they are consistent with the landing page.
HP ad seen on Yahoo.com:
Landing Page for Above Ad:
Deciding Your Landing Page Goals
It is important to decide on your goals before you design a landing page, not during or after. It is good practice to have multiple landing pages on your website, each promoting one idea, product or service. Some examples of goals include:
- A newsletter signup
- Mailing list subscription
- RSS feed subscription
- Request for more information
- Obtaining leads
- Selling products or services (HP ad above)
- Providing information on products or services (HP ad above)
- A combination of the above
Creating Your Landing Page
Now that you have decided on your landing pages goals you are ready to get started on designing and building out your landing page.
Landing Page Must-Haves
For starters, your landing page must closely resemble the call-to-action that brought the visitor there in the first place. In the above HP ad, the consumer is first drawn in by an image, the title of the product (HP Split x2), and two call-to-actions (expand and learn more). Notice how the landing page is consistent with these components.
One other thing to take note of in this example is that HP is trying to sell a product. Thus, they have a link to “Buy Now.” If you are not an ecommerce website or your landing page is not catered around a purchasing goal you should instead be trying to capture information rather than promote a checkout. For this, you will have a lead capture form that gathers the visitors’ information in exchange for something else (more information, a call back, subscription to mailing list, white paper, etc). More on the lead capture form later.
Removing the Clutter
Consumers can easily be distracted so it is important to keep things simple for them in terms of your landing page. The HP ad is a good example of a clean, un-cluttered landing page that simply promotes the product the ad said it would. One thing that HP did that we would generally advise against is the two menus at the top of the page and the search bar that can take the consumer away from the page they were originally seeking information for. These three separate areas (highlighted) run the risk of distracting the consumer, thus decreasing the chance they’ll abandon the page before converting. Ideally we would say remove all of these menu distractors. Why do you think HP added all of these?
Besides the distraction factors, HP accomplishes the other goal of clutter removal and kept up with the principle of keeping things simple. What the above image does not show is that there is more information below the ‘above the fold’ component illustrating (both with imagery and text) the highlights of the product. With something as complex as a computer/tablet, you can imagine there is a lot to talk about. HP knows not to flood the user with too much information and keeps the text and visual information to a minimum, careful not to inundate the consumer with too much distracting information. Keep your information simple and to the point, being careful not to bombard the consumer with too much info. If they want more info, they will request it from you via your contact form.
More in Part Two
There is a lot to learn in landing page optimization; so much so that we have broken this into two separate posts. Stay tuned for the next post and remember to subscribe to our RSS feed so you don’t miss out on the next post!
Thanks for reading,