Understanding how to build an effective landing page is extremely important. Most people send their visitors to their home pages, but this is usually not a good idea. Why?
- Not all your visitors are the same. If you sell a $29 book and a $5,000 coaching program, both audiences are very different from each other and need different marketing approaches.
- Creating a marketing message around a specific call to action will get you a much better response. Landing pages are ideal for this.
So, What Do Landing Pages Look Like, Anyway?
These are some of the most important things you need to keep in mind when you’re working on your landing pages:
- Make Them Short. Write a powerful headline that attracts attention, use a bulleted list for your benefits and have a clear call to action. That’s it.
- Keep the Important Stuff Above the Fold. “Above the fold” means “what you can see without having to scroll down”. Get rid of that huge logo you have. It’s not about your company; it’s about your visitors. The three most important elements of your home page (headline, benefits and call to action) should be above the fold.
- Make Sure Your Copy “Flows” Well. Your copy needs to follow a logical path. Show them the problem first, a solution to the problem second and finally show them what they need to do to take action.
- Have ONE Very Prominent Call to Action. If you ask people to do 10 different things, you’ll lose them. Ask for ONE thing and make sure your call to action is the focal point of your landing page. Are you tired of seeing those big, red animated arrows showing you where you need to click? Guess why they’re everywhere. Because they work!
- Include Testimonials. Talk to your salespeople and discover what are the most common objections people have about your product. Then, get testimonials that overcome those objections. For example, if a lot of people complain about your high prices, get a testimonial from someone who thought your prices were really high but decided to give it a shot anyway and now he’s really happy that he did, because your product is much better than the cheaper options.
- Make Your Message Consistent. If your Google AdWords ads say “Get a FREE Trial” and your landing page is all about buying the paid version, you’ll turn people off. Make sure you have a consistent message across your marketing path.
- Get Rid of Distractions. You don’t need a navigation menu or links to other pages on your site. Define your funnel and stick to it. If you absolutely need to display more information about something, make the links open in new windows.
- Don’t Ask Too Much from Them. Ask for only an email address if possible. Maybe a name. But stay away from those long forms and definitely don’t ask for any sensitive information (credit cards, social security number, etc.) If you need to get this kind of information, ask for an email and name on the landing page and then ask for the rest of the information in the next step. That way, if people don’t complete the process, at least you have their contact information and can get in touch with them later.
- Credibility and Risk Reversal. You need to show people why they should trust you (note that I said “show”, not “tell”). In addition to testimonials you can use case studies, expert endorsements, before and after shots and any other kind of evidence that can back up your claims. You also need to show people how they’ll come out on top even if your product doesn’t work for them (think “guarantee”).
- Privacy Issues. A simple line saying “We hate SPAM as much as you do. We won’t send you junk mail and we won’t give your email address to anybody” should be enough.
- Test, Test, Test. There’s no way to know for sure what headlines, marketing approaches and calls to action will work best unless you test them. Use Google Website Optimizer to test the most important elements of your landing page.