Congratulations—interest in one of your company’s advertisements has brought a visitor to your landing page. This is the first page on your website that potential customers will see when responding to an ad. A visit to your landing page is the first and most important interaction your visitors will have with your website. Why should they use your service or buy your product? How can you entice them to click the purchase button, or even to fill out a form that entrusts you with their personal information? With those questions in mind, you want to make sure each visitor stays on your website and follows the path you (and your marketing strategy) set for them to either place an e-commerce order or to submit their contact information. So what qualities are most important in a landing page that will expand the advertisement and convince visitors to become customers?
Here are five of the most important factors in a successful landing page:
A vibe consistent with your marketing materials. Landing pages are all about bringing in visitors who have followed one of your advertisements to your website. This means they were intrigued by a particular presentation of your company’s offerings, such as a text ad on a search network or a banner ad on a website. Now it’s up to the landing page to keep the momentum going. A successful landing page will build on the advertisement’s lead with content directly related to the ad, both in design and in message. If you have a promotion in your ad, make sure it is prominent on your landing page. Similarly, if your banner ad promotes a particular set of products, make sure that your landing page shows those products.
To make the most of ad-to-site consistency on your landing page, consider creating a unique landing page for each individual ad campaign. This way, you can use a variety of marketing strategies to target varying audiences through different creative approaches. By maintaining consistency from ad to landing page, you can more easily match the specific needs of your site visitors, increasing relevance, which will in turn help them make a quick decision about whether they want what you’re offering. In addition, ad networks such as Google AdWords and Bing Ads emphasize landing page quality in determining how much you pay per click. The higher your landing page score, the higher your Quality Score, and the less you will pay for each ad click.
A clear call to action. An effective call to action will convert site visitors into customers who interact with your page. Think of the call to action as the goal of your landing page: you’ve brought visitors to your landing page, now what do you want them to do? Join a mailing list? Ask for a quote? Watch a video to learn more? Once you set the goal, the landing page should steer visitors toward that goal. Each landing page should ideally emphasize one call to action, highlighted by a clear visual, such as an obvious “submit” button. This button should clearly articulate what will happen when it is clicked. Wording such as “Get your free quote” is stronger than “Click here” or “Submit.” In fact, form submissions are shown to drop drastically when a generic term such as “Submit” is used. For click-through pages, it may be helpful to repeat the call to action at the bottom of the page; it should always be in a place where visitors can easily find and click it.
An effective headline. The landing page’s headline should be a few words or a brief phrase that gets to the heart of your product or service. It should answer the question, “What does this business do?” in plain English, with no industry jargon. If that’s difficult, a less prominent but wordier sub-headline can be used to support a strong and succinct main headline. And to be most effective, the main headline’s visual appearance is just as important as its wording. The headline should be prominently featured on the landing page, standing out even above the site name or logo. Until your brand is a household name, when your name and logo will be synonymous with what you do, a great headline is the most efficient way to teach site visitors about your business.
A friendly design. Depending on your website’s layout, people using different screen resolutions may be seeing a very different version of your landing page. These days, computer displays range from 2560×1440, to the most popular 1366×768, all the way down to 800×600 or lower. And don’t forget the rapidly rising number of users turning to tablets and smartphones to browse the Internet: mobile web browsing accounted for 25 percent of all web browsing last month, up from 14 percent a year ago. With all these different resolutions and devices, the best way to ensure compatibility is to build a “responsive” designed site. When your landing page is crafted with responsive design in mind, it will provide an optimal viewing experience no matter what resolution or device the visitor is using. The website will automatically shrink to fit the browser. Want to see how this works? If you are on your desktop or laptop, go to socalwizards.com and shrink the webpage from right to left. Did you see the content automatically adjust to the resolution? That’s responsive design.
Additionally, checking browser compatibility and site speed will make sure your visitors are getting the best experience possible. With four major browsers (Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Safari) on two major operating systems (Windows and OS X), it is important to test your website on all browser and operating system combinations.
Lastly, check your site’s speed. Is it slow? If so, you’ll want to speed it up. Use a tool such as the Google Speed Test to see what you can do to improve your website’s speed. Some easy fixes can make a big difference.
As the Featured Image shows, you can use before and after picture to quickly show how you can improve a clients service.
Keep testing. If you follow all of the best practices for landing pages, chances are that your page will still not convert. You will need to A/B test multiple designs of your landing page or test your current landing page by sending half the traffic to one page and the other half to your new landing page. Once you have statistically significant data, you can determine which landing page is working. Then you can focus on a new design to improve the winning landing page or start multivariate testing, which is testing a single element such as “Order now” versus “Buy today.” The most important thing is to continue testing!
Follow these recommendations for a landing page that presents a clear action that you want visitors to take, and an easy and compelling path for them to take it. Put your landing page to work converting visitors into customers!
We are offering a free, no obligation website analysis. One of our representatives will study your website and offer a free analysis that includes actionable website updates. Contact us to get started!