Wednesday, September 3, 2014
There are multiple factors impacting the overall success of a website. While developers have to put careful thought into the website’s development, including its design and structure, a specific page on that entire site needs to be given perpetual thought. In fact, this single page has the ability to determine whether traffic is converted, a contact is made, or whether or not your website goes on the map. What is this page that attracts such massive attention? This page is the infamous ‘landing page’.
What is a Landing Page?
In essence or from a logical perspective, a landing page is any page that a visitor arrives at or simply ‘land’ on. However, when used as a marketing terminology, it refers to a static page (one that doesn’t change.) NB|| Some webmasters may tweak their landing pages or provide additional information so that search engines revisit to crawl it regularly. Not only is a landing customarily kept static, but it’s used as an independent entity from the rest of your site. This means that if your landing page was to be separated from the rest of your website, it could definitely stand alone and make undisputed sense (make sense?). The landing page is also distinguishable since it has a single focus in mind.
As a marketing tool, your website’s landing page provides all the relevant information about your company, your team (if any), your mission, what you do and extensively, where you want to be. This page has been reported to have failed many companies while giving others an edge ahead of their competitors within their industry. In fact, most landing pages are built with the following conversion activities:
- Membership: Oftentimes, visitors will visit your website for a particular reason, whether to accumulate information or simply ‘checking out’. If your landing page grabs the visitor’s attention or sees a particular product or service, your landing page should be able to provide the requisite membership form to get visitors to subscribe before accessing that product or service. This provides opportunity for the succeeding bulleted point.
- Lead Generation: Membership forms provide great opportunities for a company, especially one involved in lead generation to accumulate dollars. Whether or not you do engage my making a purchase or paying to use the company’s service, a company will still be able to generate sales through lead generation. How? There are many multinational and 500 Fortune companies that would love to get their hands on your personal information. These companies are willing to pay handsomely in exchange for even your name and an email address. While this may not turn out to always be the case, that webmaster leaves the door open for future conversions, whether by offering a free eBook, software, a trial subscription etc.
- E-commerce: Many landing pages also serve as a shopping cart or may link to one. The landing page may also link to a specific product with a description of what the product is, how it should be used, the benefits and other pertinent information. The visitor would then decide as to whether or not they’re interested in that product.
- Relationships: Commercial relationships are often formed through a website’s landing page. It’s able to grab the visitor’s interest to the extent where they subscribe to your mailing list. This then provides a company with all the information needed to send relevant mails that are of interest to you.
Since landing pages are effective elements of a website, they should be able to leave each visitor with a smile or enough interest to want to return. If you’re struggling with creating the winning landing page, here are 6 effective elements that you should consider including on your landing page.
- Use Powerful Headlines
Your headlines tell a lot about your business. A strong headline would create the impression that you’re here for business and you’re aggressive and confident in assuming new projects. Since your headline is the first thing your visitors see, ensure that it’s enticing enough to have them remain on your page. It should clearly outline what a visitor should expect or what they’ll be getting onsite.
According to Joe Sacco, “it’s a visual world and people respond to visuals”. Therefore, your winning landing page should be colorful (please, colorful does not have to emulate a circus). In order to contribute to the color or feel of your landing page, make good use of visuals. These visuals include clear cut images, illustration or even charts (this depends on what your business has to offer). If you offer a service such as lead generation, ideal visuals would include charts or graphs. Since pictures tell a thousand words, you’ll be able to inform the visitor with just one glimpse at the image, in contrast to scaring them away with wordy and superfluous text. Additionally, videos are great tools to use when you personally want to relate to your visitors and build trust. They can be short, spicy and to the point.
- A Strong Call to Action (CTA)
After providing all that information, wouldn’t it be a waste to let the visitor leave without telling them what you want them to do? In fact, would you not have wasted precious time, money and energy getting such a beautiful landing page up without a CTA? My answer? Absolutely! Watch any commercial YouTube video and you’ll definitely understand what I mean. Before leaving haphazardly, the channel owner tells his audience what he wants (or hopes) for them to do. This includes liking the video, commenting on the video, sharing the video, or even to subscribe to their channel. This simply means that it’ll not hurt or make your landing page less effective to encourage your visitors to make a purchase, tell a friend, download an eBook or even subscribe to your mailing list. This is good marketing practice and it’s 100% safe! Common CTAs of commercial landing pages are oftentimes in the form of a button or link. If this is the case, your visitors should not be pissed after fulfilling something you requested. Ensure that there are no surprises and you give your viewers exactly what was promised. If you promise your visitors an eBook, do not give them a broken link or redirect them to a buy site.
- An effective landing page means giving to get
Most commercial landing pages will offer something to get something in return. Oftentimes this ‘something in return’ includes the visitor’s email address. Grabbing email addresses could potentially turn into conversions. Ensure to always give. Likely, if you’re asking people to sign up or leave their email addresses behind, you have to be willing to give something. After all, nothing seems to be free.
- Provide Social Proof
A winning landing page should provide social proof. Since people are more inclined to use what others are using, it’s important that you provide some social facts. This includes, how many signups you’ve received during the weeks, a company or personal testimonial, a count of how many customers you have obtained since your businesses’ inception, any achievements and awards received from reputable institutions, customers and any other that might convince visitors that you’re the real deal.
- Simple and Clear Language
If your audience struggles to understand what’s highlighted on your landing page, they’ll not be able to understand the product or service that is being offered. Instead of using language that your users cannot comprehend, use straight and simple jargons that your audience can relate with. Additionally, think about the geography of your audience. Do they speak the language in which the content of your landing page is written? All these are important factors that could later determine whether or not conversion takes place.
If you’ve created a landing page but are skeptical as to whether or not it works, you can test your website at Usertesting. By including these seemingly simple elements within your landing page, your landing will be more interesting to visitors.