Be a Good Host, Turn Visitors into Friends
By now you’ve probably heard the term “landing page”, and perhaps you’re very familiar with them. Perhaps the concept is new to you.
I’m certain no matter where you are on the spectrum, you will learn something here.
I’m going to share:
What are landing pages (briefly)
Key elements of a landing page and why these elements are effective
Tools to create and improve your landing pages
But why should you bother to read this?
– If you want to waste most of the money you spend on digital advertising, don’t bother to learn about landing pages
– If you want to confuse website visitors and those who interact with your marketing, don’t use landing pages
– If you like to have clear communication with your audience, landing pages go a long way toward that end
What are Landing Pages (briefly)
Whether it is connected to your website or not, a landing page is a page where a visitor lands after you have already communicated to them and they click to learn more (you sent an email, ran an ad, tweeted, posted in your blog, etc). The main concept is that the page communicates about one topic or has one call to action, which is related to the communication you had with the visitor just before they clicked and arrived on the page.
Let me give you an example (albeit this is NOT the best landing page, but it will give you an idea).
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To give one more example, say you have an e-commerce store and sell beauty products. You run an ad that talks about tips to help skin in high altitude, but while your ad mentions this topic, a person has to click through in order to read more. Your landing page addresses the exact topic that the ad was about (caring for skin in high altitude) with the same headline and even the same image, to show the visitor they’ve come to the right place. In other words, your landing pages needs to be exactly where your visitor expected to arrive after clicking on your ad.
If you run this same ad, but instead link to your home page and the visitor has to find the article somewhere on your site, do you think you will get many visitors to engage?
Do you think many people will look for it? No, they will hit “back” within 10 seconds.
Your will visitors feel confused by your disjointed communication, and will quickly leave.
Key Elements of a Landing Page
A landing page wouldn’t have a special designation if there weren’t things that distinguished it from a regular web page (though, many pages on a website will use key elements of a landing page, if they are designed correctly).
1. Message Match: A landing page’s message matches with the communication that came before.
2. Call to Action: A landing page leads the visitor to the next step with a single call to action. This call to action might be to read/watch and learn about a specific topic, download something the visitor finds valuable, schedule an appointment/consultation, or make a purchase. Everything on the page supports this Call to Action.
3. One Goal: This single call to action should usually be prominently displayed at the top of the landing page, and always at the bottom. There should be no other call to action vying for your visitor to consider, and outside links should be kept to a minimum, so that you do not distract your visitor from leaving the page before deciding whether to follow your desired call to action.
4. If your page is designed correctly, your visitors will clearly communicate with you about your call to action: they will stay on your page longer and interact longer (even if they don’t take that next step). If the next step you hope they take feels right to them, they will do it (ie, they will “convert”). If they leave the page without converting, you will still learn something helpful, as your visitor’s decision will help you learn how to improve your page or your offer.
On the other hand, if you are not using a landing page, but sending visitors from an ad to your home page, then you won’t ever know if people aren’t signing up because they don’t feel compelled by your offer, or because your site is not user friendly (ie, you’re not using the key principles of a landing page).
5. Clear Value Proposition: You need to state clearly the value the visitor will get from you/from taking the desired Call to Action. In order to move from visitor to lead (or customer) the visitor must see why you are the expert, how you can help them, and how you have information or a product they need.
6. Mobile Optimized: The world is now largely on the internet through the mobile phone. If your landing page does not work well for viewing on a phone, you might as well not have the page at all.
There are more elements that are important to a landing page, such as good images or video, easy to read, etc, but these 6 elements are vital to having an effective page that does the job you created it to do.
Landing Page Tools
There are a number of companies who provide landing page software. I’ll name a few:
Instapage, Unbounce, Leadpages, and Thrive Themes for WordPress. There are MANY more.
These are all drag-and-drop applications that allow you to create landing pages easily and quickly. You can even duplicate a page, change one element (perhaps the main image), and the software will automatically route visitors to both pages equally, so that you can test elements on the page to see which one converts better.
There are also a few companies that help you analyze your landing pages and how your visitors react on them. My favorite by far is Hotjar. Not only do I think this company really takes care of its customers, but their software is awesome.
What if you could:
– See how far down visitors on average scroll down your page, where they stop, and the parts of the page that are never seen because no one gets down that far?
– See what parts of your page are getting clicks, and know if the design is user-friendly and helping visitors to know what to click on, and what is not clickable?
– Actually watch “recordings” of your visitors while they visit your page, to get a sense of how it feels to an outsider and what people actually look at?
– Ask your visitors questions like, “Are you finding what you need?” and getting immediate feedback from those who choose to answer your questions?
It would be awesome if you could do all this! Well, you can.
Check out this recording of a visitor to my website a few weeks ago. These aren’t true recordings, but merely a combination of the mouse movement, scroll movement, and clicks that are put together by Hotjar to simulate the recording (in other words, you are not seeing the person’s actual screen).
There are many more tools out there. But rather than review a bunch of tools that you might or might not need need, it would be better to go and just start using landing pages where you need them! Then get in touch with me, and I would be happy to do a quick review of any pages you are currently using or planning to publish. Just click on the button below and schedule a consultation.