A landing page (also referred to as a squeeze page) is any website page where you direct traffic to prompt a specific action on the part of the visitor. This is where your visitors “land” by following an ad, a call to action in your website, or a link in social media.
Q: Why not just lead visitors to your Home page?
Because your Home page will be too general presenting your audience with a lot of information that can distract them from taking any one specific action.
Whereas landing pages have one very specific goal and are designed to accomplish that single purpose.
Q. Why Bother with Landing Pages?
Landing pages serve as your automated lead generation engine on your website. In most cases, the purpose of landing pages is to capture visitor information – an email address or other lead generating information – for future follow-up.
Your offer to entice the visitor to leave their contact information may be access to an instructional video, a free ebook, a free book chapter, a significant discount on merchandise, registration for a free webinar or telecast. You can also introduce a free product trial or whatever best suits your business AND your visitor.
Q: Isn’t it enough to have an email capture form in the side bar or a Contact Us page on the website?
Email capture forms are fine, but landing pages gives your lead generation efforts an extra boost and makes the process smarter and more targeted.
By creating more individual landing pages that are relevant and of perceived valuable to your visitors, you can effectively convert generic leads into qualified leads.
Initially, you have to think about the different types of visitors visiting your site – the novice, intermediate and the experienced buyers – and where they are in the buying cycle. Each has different needs and will see your product offerings in a different light as illustrated in the Buying Cycle diagram below.
You can tailor your free offers and associated landing pages to address the unique concerns of each type of visitor that moves them from just being aware of you, to consideration and ultimately to becoming a purchaser.
The benefits of creating a lot of tailored landing pages for different types of buyers are:
- More landing pages leads to more qualified leads.
- More qualified leads lead to more conversion opportunities.
- More landing pages enhance the SEO of your website increasing the possibilities that your website will be found and visited.
- You need more sales collateral (or free offers) to present to each type of visitor which creates onsite variety enticing visitors to stay on your website longer.
- Landing page leads are naturally segmented into different types of visitors so you can continue to tailor your ongoing messages to where they are in the buying process and thereby increasing your chances of creating a sale.
Bottom line: The more landing pages, the better it is for your business. HubSpot has demonstrated this through its research of over 7,000 businesses and this is true for both B2B and B2C type businesses. The bottom line? More landing pages equals more leads.
How To Create Good Landing Page Content
A lot has been written about the contents of a good landing page. After some research, I’ve distilled the information into the following list of characteristics. This list is not comprehensive, but it is a great beginning.
1. Each Landing Page should have a single goal.
2. Ad copy, Call to Actions, emails should match the landing page in some way so people immediately understand they are in the right spot.
3. The headline should stand out and quickly communicate the problem or the solution you are offering.
4. Visual design: a) clean and uncluttered, b) directs visitors to the specific action you want them to take and c) reflects the type of experience you want to give your visitors. You’ll find an infographic from Formstack at the end of this post that provides more design tips for effective landing pages.
5. Research has shown that centered single column formats convert better than two columns, yet many landing pages are two columns. Best to test to determine which works best for you.
6. Use concise, crisp body copy that describes not only what you are offering but also gives the visitor an incentive to act.
7. Include a relevant image of your free offer.
8. No navigation or additional links on the landing page to distract them from the goal.
9. Visitors should have instant visibility of your call to action and form. Ideally, both are positioned above-the-fold so visitors don’t have to scroll down to see it.
10. Lead capture form length needs to be short enough to encourage participation, but sufficient to qualify the lead. Which is most important – a lot of leads or a smaller group of qualified leads so you can make more intelligent follow-up?
11. Where appropriate, include some trust factors such as customer testimonials, no SPAM policy, product performance, etc.
12. Research has proven that the word “submit” is least effective in converting visitors into leads. You should experiment with other more friendly terms like: Download Now, Get it Now, Let me See it, etc.
13. Include convincing, enticing and keyword rich meta tag descriptions for your landing page so it pulls in visitors from search and through social media.
14. Social Sharing links should be included on the thank you page once the visitor has provided you with information as well as inside your ebook, white paper, etc. to encourage them to share with their networks. The more sharing, the more leads.
15. Testing of your landing pages will yield the best results. Sometimes tiny tweaks yield significant increases in conversion.
Design Options in Creating Your Landing Pages
You could hire your web master or a web designer to design your landing pages although this approach can eat up time and money.
There are many options you can use to create your landing pages. You can generate a landing page inside of WordPress by using plugins. If your site is on WordPress, just search for landing page plug-ins.
You could also check out a 3rd party software such as Optimize Press specifically designed for this purpose. OptimizePress does a lot more than landing pages. It can also serve as your website theme and facilitate membership sites. When you factor in these added features, it is offered at a pretty good one-time base price of $97.
Another option is to consider are 3rd party vendors who, for a monthly fee, provide online access to design platforms, with templates and the ability to A/B split test landing pages. This includes Unbounce, Formstack and others. Conduct a Google search to find more.
There is also a new landing page resource in town. LeadPages. You can test it out for $25 a month. This level won’t allow you to A/B split test, but the product is popular and it does have some great features.
The infographic that outlines the anatomy of a good landing page is below along with a few additional resources for you to review.
After you review this infographic, continue to read about the value of adding credibility on your landing pages. WhichTestOne conducted a very interesting study that makes the process of creating a landing page a lot simpler.
Landing Page Credibility – Does it Work?
If you’ve been online for any length of time, you’ve probably have heard that adding credibility, (aka social proof, testimonials, etc.) helps make visitors feel more inclined to take whatever action you are asking them to take.
Well, that might be true on one’s Home page, but perhaps not on landing pages. Whichtestwon is a great site that conducts a variety of split tests to determine what does or doesn’t work online. Recently, it conducted a test to determine the value of ‘credibility’ on a landing page.
The difference between the two landing pages:
Version A: Long-form homepage emphasizes credibility through customer logos, testimonials, and video tutorials
Version B: Short-form homepage focuses on a sign-up form rather than credibility features
Which version do you believe won? Version A or B?
Don’t cheat! Take a guess and then scroll down to see if you were right.
The results were convincing. The cleaner, more focused design (Version B) led to a 16.3% increase in free trial sign-ups, at 99.9% confidence.
Clearly, there were numerous elements that changed between the original web page and the radically-redesigned version. As a result, it’s difficult to isolate the exact conversion effect of any one change.
However, it’s obvious the winning version did one thing very well: it emphasized the sign-up form.
Although credibility may be important for conversions, this test shows a clear, focused CTA can trump all. In the original version, the CTA could have been easily overlooked because there was so much competing information on the page. Credibility means little if viewers can’t easily find your CTA.
In the revised version, the CTA simply couldn’t be avoided. Also, the upfront sign-up form may have helped conversions because it provided additional transparency. There was no question whether visitors needed to sign-up for the trial.
In the original version, visitors could only assume they needed to sign up. But they first had to jump through the hoop of clicking the orange “Sign Up For A Free Account” button before inputting any information.
A clearer CTA with better transparency may have been behind the winning design’s conversion lift. There may have been other reasons, too. Why do you think the redesigned page won? Tell us in the comments below. Or, let us know through WhichTestWon’s Forums.
Now you should have everything you need to start creating smart(er) landing pages for your site so you can capture more email subscribers so you can turn them into customers.
Oh…and don’t forget to check out how you can treat your visitors from your social media accounts like VIPs.
Let me know if this piece was of value to you in the comments section.