August 25, 2009
Building a great landing page should be on top of your priority list if you want your website visitors transformed into customers. While a great looking website can grab the attention of your visitors, a strong landing page will keep them involved and get them to buy your products/services.
Wikipedia defines a landing page as:
the page that appears when a potential customer clicks on an advertisement or a search-ngine result link. The page will usually display content that is a logical extension of the advertisement or link, and that is optimized to feature specific keywords or phrases for indexing by search engines.
Wikipedia’s definition sums it up nicely but there is certainly more to a great landing page then relevant and keyword rich content. Here’s 10 things that you should be looking at when optimizing a landing page:
- Relevant Content
A landing page’s content should be directly related to organic search results, PPC campaign, anchor text in inbound links and any other targeted inbound advertising, online and offline. If people don’t get what they expect, they will be more likely to leave.
- Multiple Landing Pages
A landing page shouldn’t necessarily be your homepage. In many instances a homepage is a good landing page. However, for more targeted traffic and better results, you want a landing page to be focused on specific offer and specific call for action. To accomplish this, a given website should have multiple landing pages. Create some deep link landing pages that will focus on specific offer and your conversion rate will be higher.
- Focus on Functionality
More and more visitors seem to judge the professionalism and credibility of a site by its design. To satisfy this, many website owners concentrate on the design aspect instead of focusing on its functionality. A well-designed landing page is essentially worthless if the prospect can’t accomplish anything. While I wouldn’t suggest skimping on the design, it shouldn’t be your priority. Focus on the exact steps you want your visitor to take and design a page with that in mind.
- Call To Action
You got visitors to your landing page, now direct them to take action. Make it clear a highly noticeable without overwhelming your audience. Whether it’s a sign-up form or a “buy now” button, make it the focus of your page.
- Send a Clear Message
Keep your landing page clean and clutter free so your visitors stay focused on your message. Emphasize the biggest reasons that they should carry out the applicable call to action with larger text, contrasting colors, images. Make it easier for them to scan the content by using lists and getting right to the point.
- Offer Incentive
Bribing your visitors with freebies and samples is a proven method of enticing them to sign up. Offer more then your competition but don’t sell yourself short either. Provide a list of reasons why your offer is better and what exactly the visitor can expect. Provide references and testimonials.
- Make Visitors Stay
Avoid sending your visitors to another page unless it is absolutely necessary. That includes any internal navigation as well as external banners. If you remove all distractions and limit navigation options, you stand a better chance of keeping your visitors around.
- Simple is Better
Make it easy for your visitors to complete the action you want them to. Less confusion and decision making for your visitor means better conversions rate for your landing page. Don’t offer multiple choices and throw in optional extras. Focus on the offer the page was created for.
- Power of Freebies
Everyone likes free offers. They are hard to resist and can be a powerful conversion tool. Whether a call to action is free or something free is received as a result of carrying out a call to action, it certainly doesn’t hurt. If your competition charges for something and you offer it for free, you’ll win the customer. Remember, just because you make a free offer doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be quality.
In a recent post “How to Turn Website Visitors into Buyers”, I’ve stressed how important testing is in finding out what your visitors like. Testing various text, call to action forms, layouts will give you true idea what produces the best results as far as conversion. Using a tool like Google’s Website Optimizer you can easily monitor the conversion rate, bounce rate, and tons of other useful metrics found in most modern day web analytics apps. Using these metrics you can easily figure out which version will be your optimal page, one that maximizes the results.
Creating a successful and effective landing page takes a lot of work but should be the focus for anyone involved with a website. Whether you are a website owner, web designer, web developer or a web marketing specialist you must be aware of the components that comprise a solid landing page. After all this can mean website’s success or failure.
Joanna Colek is the owner of Joanna Ciolek Web Design Studio, based in North Denver, Colorado. She offers affordable, custom and effective web design services to small business owners.