Be honest. Do you have a series of effective website landing pages that turn web traffic into paying customers? Do you have one?
Pretty sure that was a resounding ‘No’.
Like so many companies out there, I can only assume then that all your marketing, communications and PR programs have your plain, old website homepage URL plastered all over them. Are you scratching your noggin perplexedly, muttering ‘what’s the problem with that’? Don’t worry, up until about 12 months ago, I didn’t know what the problem with that was either.
Using your homepage URL to drive traffic to your website is a bit like dumping international tourists at an airport without a map (or sat nav or Google maps or a tourist guide): they have no idea where to go next, or how to get there. It all gets too hard and you lose them. They fail to respond to your call to action and your website bounce-rate skyrockets.
That’s why you need to have specific, targeted, optimised landing pages. Landing pages move visitors to your website along the path that you have chosen for them. Landing pages make visitors to your website sign up to your newsletter, subscribe to your blog or buy your product. Landing pages turn visitors into leads.
A landing page is often your first right of reply to a request from a potential lead. So, your landing page needs to acknowledge that. It must draw in your potential lead, suck them deeper into the sales funnel. It must provide detailed information on the features and benefits of your products and services. And, most importantly of all, your landing page must provide a clear call to action.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the top 10 elements of a successful landing page.
1. Your headline must reference wherever it was that your lead came from. So, if your lead clicked on an ad that said, ‘Visit our website to download your free e-book today’, guess what your headline should be? You got it: ‘Download your free e-book today’. Where possible, try to match the language exactly. That way, your lead will know where they are, and what’s going on. How would you feel if you followed a sign that read ‘This way to fame and riches’ and you ended up at a dead-end? Confused. Annoyed. And definitely not in the mood to spend money.
2. Make sure your call to action is clear. Use bright graphic buttons, flashing lights, hyperlinked text or a giant contact form. Or even a combination of all of the above. The main thing is to make it easy for your lead to do whatever it is that you want them to do.
3. Make sure you have only one objective per landing page. Driving website traffic is hard enough as it is. So, once you’ve generated it, make the most of it. Have one, clear call to action. Don’t try to get visitors to sign up for your newsletter, download a demo, like you on Facebook and fill out an online quote, all on the one landing page.
4. Make it all about them. Focus on your potential lead. What benefits will they get from your product? What needs does your service fulfil? A little writers tip on this one: write in the second person. You should be using the words like ‘you’ and ‘your’, not ‘we’ and ‘us’.
5. Write for the web. That means easily skimmable content. Put the most important information at the start of paragraphs. Use bulleted lists. Use visual cues like bolding vital content or using a different coloured font. Make it quick and easy for your potential leads to get the information they want.
6. Write for the screen. Check what is going to be visible above the fold. If you decide to go with longer content, make sure that your call to action is visible at all times. A scrolling sidebar with social testimonials and a link to your sign up form might be the way to go.
7. Write to deliver a message. You have, on average, about 8 seconds to get the attention of your potential lead. 80% of readers won’t even get past your headline. So make your content count. Don’t try to get creative or flashy. Just deliver your message. Be simple, clear and unambiguous.
8. Write tight. For landing page content, you really don’t need a whole lot of extraneous waffle. You can have long copy as long as it’s well written and continues to build a case for your potential lead to act upon. In general, longer copy is useful if you are trying to close a sale. Go for short copy if you are looking for newsletter subscriptions.
9. Give a little to get a lot. The whole idea of a landing page is convert visitors into leads. So, why not offer your visitors a little ‘bribe’ to get them to magically transform into leads. Have them sign up (then you get your hands on their contact details) for a free e-book or software download or webinar. It’s the first step in building an effective long-term relationship with a customer. Plus, it positions you as an expert.
10. Don’t forget about design. According to industry research, the number one criterion people use to judge the credibility of website is whether it looks professional. We’re not suggesting that you funnel millions into overpriced web developers. There are plenty of slick, sleek professional web designers out there who can build a fantastic looking landing page for you.