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The goal of a landing page is to nurture customers who aren’t yet ready to
Landing pages typically have one of five purposes:
- Encourage a visitor to click (to go to another page, on your site or someone else's).
- Get a visitor to make a purchase.
- Encourage a visitor to give his/her permission for you to follow up (by email, phone, etc.).
- Get a visitor to tell a friend about your products/services.
- Get a visitor to learn something, or leave feedback. This might include posting a comment or rating your products or services.
When a potential customer visits your landing page via organic search, PPC ads, social ads or promotional emails, they’re showing interest in the specific value proposition or product on which they’re clicking; however, a landing page isn’t enough to drive a purchase by itself. There are specific ways you can organize the content to drive conversions, and eventually sales. Here are five best practices to achieve landing pages that attract more customers and amplify their signals of interest
1. Craft the perfect headline
A headline is the first thing a user sees on your landing page, and the majority of visitors will read your headline but only skim through the copy. Avoid headlines that are ambiguous or don’t sum up your content correctly. Firstly, it’s important to make sure you cover your content in an engaging, concise and eye-catching way. Secondly, make sure the headline conveys the benefits of your offer. This will make users more likely to stay on the page and act on the call to action.
Thirdly, keep in mind that an optimized page title (including a keyword you are targeting) can also help you rank better in the search engines. Having an indexed landing page on your site that is keyword optimized raises its visibility for that particular query.
Finally, always ensure that the headline of your landing page matches the headline of your email, ad, SEO copy, etc. for a seamless user experience. For example, if your ad is for “boutique stores San Francisco” then the headline of your landing page should have the words “boutique stores San Francisco” in the headline and be accompanied by relevant content. This landing page from Pinterest drives engagement with an inspiring headline and romanticized images and copy.
2. Build a Separate Landing Page for Each Active Promotion
It’s crucial that the content a user clicks on closely matches the headline and body content of your landing page. According to Hubspot, this is called “message match,” and it’s defined as “[...]matching the heading of your landing page with the headline of the ad or piece of marketing your visitor clicked.” Message match is an important part of a great user experience. And because most B2C companies offer a large amount of content across many different categories and product types, simply sending users to your homepage or a different product page from your promotional pages won’t allow that message to match up properly.
For example, if you send an email advertising local concerts in your area, including a Lorde concert in which you’re interested and a user is interested in attending the concert for the artist Lorde, he/she will click on your CTA button to buy tickets for that concert. If instead of a ticket page for Lorde, you send that user to your site’s homepage where the promotional content is for baseball tickets, he/she will probably be pretty annoyed.
Even if Lorde tickets are still available, the user may become frustrated or confused and give up on buying them altogether. To combat such an issue, any promotion you run should direct customers to a dedicated landing page where the headline and content match your ad or email promotional copy. The user should immediately see contextual clues that relates to her click or search. You don’t want to make users have to take additional steps to find the correct content.
3. Use Images Carefully
65% of people retain information paired with relevant images — compared with just 10% of people who only hear the same information. Because of this, it’s best to provide an image that highlights someone using your product or service, or illustrates what the visitor will receive if they convert on your landing page.
But be careful. Your images should always help you earn conversions, not distract your visitors. Not only should your images be inspiring, original and eye-catching, but they should be carefully positioned to inspire the reader to action. A concise, educational video can also help boost conversion rates if you’d prefer to go that route.
Keep in mind that using images of people can be especially tricky. These types of images should have the person/people facing toward the call to action button. See the eye tracking survey below based on which way the baby is facing.
Humans are social, and we’re wired to look where other humans are looking. The red area above illustrates how people interacted with the form based on the baby’s direction, and the one in which he was looking at the form is the clear winner.
4. Craft Engaging CTAs
Your call-to-action (CTA) button is the most important part of your landing page because it’s the way that new leads are created in your system. Without this button, you don’t get potential new customers, and the rest of the copy and images on your page lose their importance. Great CTAs can increase your conversion rate by tens or even hundreds of percentage points.
Visitors need to feel compelled to click on the CTA button, so you must convince them to do so. Avoid boring or unclear copy like “submit” or “get started” and focus on engaging, personalized copy such as “Send me the eBook” or “Get my free trial.” Make it crystal clear what the user will receive by clicking on the button.
In terms of CTA color, your button should contrast with its surrounding elements to draw the maximum amount of attention. Use A/B testing to see which colors work best for your business. Preferences can often vary by industry and persona, so it’s important not to make assumptions based on “best practices” that may not be applicable for you. That being said, it’s typically best to keeping your page color and the objects on it to the left hand side of the color wheel shown below (green, blue, purple) and use contrasting colors for your CTA button(s).
To demonstrate great CTAs that work well with text and color, here’s an example of a current Zola advertisement. The advertisement was served up on Facebook in the following way:
After clicking on the image, we were directed to the homepage, which has an engaging CTA that gives a clear indication of next steps.
There are actually two directions the user can go - confirming his/her wedding date or creating a registry. Both lead to creating a registry, but one is a softer CTA. The images are appealing, and the highlighted boxes stand out and offer clear directions. It’s an all-around winner.
5. Don’t Overcomplicate Your Forms
A poorly-designed lead capture form can be the death of your conversions. Prospects don’t want to spend a lot of time divulging large amounts of personal information just to claim an offer. Only ask for the information you really need, and keep in mind that users will provide additional information later when they become customers. The popular website WhichTestWon, which catalogues A/B tests, currently has 40+ tests on forms alone. This topic has been highly contested, but experts agree that forms that take less time are generally better. Many companies are now giving prospects the option to fill in their information via their social media platforms. This easy option is a great fit for many busy consumers. Here’s a great example from Salesforce:
To make your landing pages more effective, you should:
- Make headlines clear, concise, and engaging.
- Build a separate landing page for each active promotion. Make sure the text and images in your advertisement or email directly match your landing page offers.
- Use images carefully. Make sure they drive conversions - not distract your potential prospects. When using photos of people, make sure they are facing the form you want your prospects to fill out.
- Build engaging CTAs that include text that inspires action, and consider your colors carefully. Make sure your language is tailored for each specific offer.
- Keep your forms simple, concise and easy to fill out. Consider giving users the option to fill out their information via their social media accounts.