Dec 14, 2017
The average landing page conversion rate was 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. With a chance to convert that many visits, it’s worth optimising your landing page.
In this article, we will look at how landing pages are used and who uses them well. For inspiration, we will look at one industry which leads the way in its use – hospitality.
A landing page, in its simplest form, is one which a visitor arrives or lands on when entering a website.
However, in a marketing sense, a landing page is thought of as a standalone page distinct from your main website that has been designed for a single objective – email address signups, membership creation or sales.
In practice there are two types of landing page:
A click-through page has the goal of making a user click through to another page (as the name would suggest).
Usually used in eCommerce, the pages are used to describe a product or offer in more detail in order to help drive sales.
The destination page from a click-through page is typically the shopping cart or registration page.
The Lumosity example above offers users a chance to “get started” in a clearly defined call to action. From there, users are directed to two registration pages that set up accounts and training programmes.
It is only then that the user is sold the chance to get full access to the site.
A lead generation page is another in which the name gives a major indication to its intentions: it is a landing page aimed at generating leads.
Its biggest divergence from a click-through-page is that it features just one field that needs to be filled in order generate a lead.
The page only exists for one purpose: collecting information from potential customers or driving an individual sale.
In the Playbuzz example above, the headline and sub-head are powerful, they leverage social proof and give a clear statement of value about the company. The page also showcases big-name clients, captivating imagery and makes a bold, statistically verifiable claim about the company.
It also contains a very simple, straightforward call to action which asks very little of the user – one email address and you can “get started”.
With nearly half of marketers seemingly ambivalent towards them, you might then question why someone has spent 500 words telling you they’re brilliant.
The answer is really quite simple. The aforementioned Marketing Sherpa handbook says that the number one reason for businesses not using optimised landing pages is that marketing departments either don’t know how or are too busy to.
Pamela Vaughan of Hubspot says that the use of landing pages needn’t be complicated and says that their use generates leads, allows businesses have a “home” for offers and lets businesses get to know the demographic breakdowns of customers better.
“If you could do one thing right now to drastically improve your lead generation efforts, it would be to use landing pages on your website.
Too many companies send their email, social media, and search traffic to their homepages. This is the equivalent of throwing leads away.
“You could capture these leads at a much higher rate simply by sending them to targeted landing pages. Landing pages provide a very easy way to generate leads for your sales team that you can then easily segment, nurture, or distribute to your sales team.”
Over at Wishpond, Krista Bunskoek agrees.
“Yes, you can get traffic to click on your homepage. Those visitors might get interested enough to explore your site further, or even sign up for one your homepage CTA’s. But, when 96% of first time visitors to your site aren’t ready to buy, sending people to your homepage doesn’t bring in the profits and relationship-building opportunities.
“A well-planned, single-focused, fully-optimised landing page however, does.”
The Unbounce guide to landing pages says that the difference between a home page and a landing page is one of mindset. Landing pages filter out the noise and allow businesses seek out specific goals. Home pages allow businesses set out brand values in more detail.
“If you consider the example of sending traffic to your homepage vs. a standalone landing page, you can understand that your homepage is designed with a more general purpose in mind. It speaks more to your overall brand and corporate values and is typically loaded with links and navigation to other areas of your site.
“Every link on your page that doesn’t represent your conversion goal is a distraction that will dilute your message and reduce your conversion rate.
We have already seen some good examples of landing pages, but for examples we will focus on one industry which makes use of them widely – hospitality.
Hospitality is an interesting industry to look at landing pages because the booking button is the goal, not the strategy. This means that good hospitality sites will have numerous landing pages – for rooms, offers, conferences, weddings and events – all with their own unique calls to action, headlines and copy.
Take this example from Galway’s Twelve Hotel:
The offer uses two good, clear, calls to action and places the booking button above the one promising more information. This is possibly because the designers know that 60% of people would book a trip on impulse. The website also uses guest testimony well to play on this.
Or, it could be because the image chosen, known as a “Hero Shot”, perfectly fits the branding that the hotel has created across the hotel’s website.
However, the photo is nothing without the call to action. Take this example from a Santorini resort. The images are high-quality, aspirational and certainly the kind of thing that you would book on a whim.
But how can you book? Can you spot the call to action? It’s in the bottom right corner of the page. It is small, blends in with the page and offers no indication of the benefits of staying in the resort.
The CitizenM chain’s landing page is a great example of a number of things. Firstly, it places a call to action in a dominant spot in the top left. Users are promised better rates for signing up. The page uses striking, high-quality photography that fits the brand and every facet of the page is designed to make a similar statement.
The brand’s value propositions are clearly laid out from every angle: simplicity, value and comfort.
Look now at Expedia. What do you notice about this, the home page?
There are numerous landing page tricks at play here. Firstly, the default setting for deals in the call to action box is for bundled flights and hotels. This, while feeling like a nudge to value for travellers, is actually the most profitable item online travel agencies sell.
Look also at the yellow strip at the top of the page. Nowhere is the customer asked in simple terms to sign up for an account. To create an account, one must click the account drop-down menu. But the yellow strip offers “10% savings with members prices”. This is a click-through landing page tactic used as a banned.
Thirdly, notice how the notifications bar is lit up. This is not a visit that is signed in to an account, but a bright, standout bell is telling the user to sign in to see notifications. Getting users to sign in allows Expedia better track who is searching for what and better opportunities to retarget ads.
So what can you take from the hospitality industry?
Here are some simple tips for landing pages, beyond simply “use them”.
Landing pages, like any other digital stream, require refinement, testing and the benefit of experience. But, properly used, they can turn a good chunk of web traffic into conversions.
And that is something no business can pass up.
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