What is a landing page
For purposes of marketing your website, I like to define a landing page as a page your visitor will arrive at when clicking on a link, usually a PPC (Pay-per-click) link such as Google Adwords or Yahoo/Overture (See PPC page – Why use a PPC). It is usually exclusively focused on one particular service or product, with the aim of getting the visitor to immediately take an action that will ultimately lead to a sale. Existing pages are often not the best things to link to a PPC ad.
The landing page should be a purpose-built page with a specific goal. It should be wholly and solely dedicated to one offer, and nothing else. It should also match the PPC link that it comes from. The preciseness of this match cannot be over emphasised.
What is the purpose of a Landing Page
The purpose of a landing page is to offer your visitor an option that will persuade them to take a particular action. You may want to sell a product; announce a sale; complete a questionnaire or some other action that is important to your business.
You are using PPC advertising to drive your clients to a specific offer. PPC
ads are very targeted, so traffic from this source will be quite focused.
The important issue here is that PPC costs money, and therefore you have to be sure that you are paying for the right link to the right page. In order for the PPC campaign to work efficiently the landing page must be an exact, precise match. A landing page is not usually accessed from anywhere except the PPC ad, although it should access all other pages in your site.
Designing a Landing Page
Before you start designing your landing page make sure you can answer the following questions clearly!
- What are you offering?
- Who do you wish to appeal to?
- Why would they be interested in your offer?
- What do they need to do to participate/purchase?
Write down all these answers, take as much time as you need, make it as long as you like, just be sure you have it all. Then, whittle it down to its core elements, trying to make it as concise yet motivating as you can.
You need to be clear about what you want to achieve from this page. You should have only one goal per page; any more just makes the whole page less effective. Once you know what this page is supposed to achieve, you need to design everything on the page with only that one goal in mind. Headlines, text, pictures, graphics must all have the same objective. This is your landing page – it has only one purpose. Don’t allow yourself to become sidetracked by technology; videos, animations, links and other extraneous information – do you really need them? Will they help you achieve the goal for this one page, or are they just unnecessary distractions.
- Clear and sharp
- Instantly states the purpose of the page
- Grabs the attention of your visitor and encourages them to stay
- This is the most valuable space on your page - use it wisely
- Keep your headline at the top of your page
- Use brief dot-points
- Use single sentences
- Your sentences should be brief or dot-points, but provide valuable bite sized chunks of information.
- Your Visitors will scan the page rather than read it, even if the text is pure poetry.
- Ensure that any obvious questions are addressed in your copy.
- Always offer an avenue of communication for further information for the more inquiring and discerning potential clients.
- Include prices (including shipping and handling costs where possible). Keep these to the bottom half of your page.
- Keep it uncluttered - leave a space around your text, preferably white so it doesn't distract the eye.
- Use lots of headers, sub-headers and bullets – anything that makes your page easier to scan
- The first sentence of each block of text must include the critical information you your visitor to see - never forget you have only 5 seconds to grab your visitor.
- Stick to simple, easy to read fonts - this is a business project, not an art project!
- Stick to a logical sequence - don't bounce around from point to point. It will confuse and distract your visitor.
Provide a bonus
- We all love something for nothing.
- Offering a free report or free information of some sort will often give you a second chance at acquiring business from this visitor.
- It also offers an opportunity to build a relationship with visitors that are more cautious.
Call to action
- Your landing page MUST include a call to action towards the top of the page. This will work on more impulsive people or those who are already familiar with what you are offering. There should be calls to action sprinkled throughout the remainder of the content as different people have different tipping points in the sales process. The call to action should be linked to the order page or subscription form.
- Tell your visitor what you expect of them; "Sign up" "Call now" "Order Now!" There should be no doubt as to what is expected of your visitor.
- Calls for action can appear throughout the landing page, but a call to action should be the last thing your visitor reads.
- Include clear pictures of any products you are selling on this page.
- Beware of too many images, graphics, slow-loading videos, unnecessary animations and other distractions.
- Not everyone has broadband yet, so while your page needs to be good-looking, it must also be lean and quick loading.
- Landing pages are definitely not the place to have unnecessary, superfluous images.