This is a guest post by Andrew Lowen. He is the CEO of Next Level Web, a trusted marketing agency based in San Diego, California. They specialize in Web Design, Search Engine Optimization, PPC Advertising, and Email Marketing. Feel free to follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.
If you clicked through to read this article or if the title made you stop scrolling and give the first few lines a skim, chances are you’re not getting the results you think you should from your landing pages. Clearly, you want them to be effective but it just feels like they’re missing something. If you could figure out what that something is, you would finally break through to your audience and start seeing more conversions.
Crafting a landing page that crushes your competition is no small or easy task. There are literally dozens of considerations when deciding on the best approach. There is also a specific psychology that plays into who is going to click through and why.
No Single Formula
Even if you manage to create a page that is perfectly aligned with your company’s buyer persona or ideal avatar, there are still plenty of variables that will motivate real people to either scroll past or click through. This is why marketing strategies like A/B testing exist. There is no single recipe for a good landing page, but the better ones (you know- the ones that actually convert) make good use of some or all of the elements discussed below.
High-converting landing pages have as many personalities as there are people to read and engage with them. They are also a vital part of any successful online marketing campaign. Different pages have different calls to action.
They appeal to different readers, attempt to sell an endless array of products and services and xfsome even have the arduous task of breaking through to specific niches within an industry or an area of interest.
There are, quite literally, an infinite number of variations in landing pages in terms of audience, intent, purpose, focus, angle, messaging, industry… it can be very daunting. As you read further, just remember this simple concept: there is no one-size-fits-all solution for developing high-converting landing pages.
Do not approach landing pages with the fear that you’ll “do it wrong.” Start by familiarizing yourself with the elements that make the page successful and then add a sense of style that best communicates your brand message.
10 Key Elements
Even taking into account the need to create a unique voice in your landing pages, there are a number of unifying elements that are shared by highly successful landing pages. For all the variables, there are still a few constants that you need to keep in mind if you want to develop a successful landing page. Read through this list and match each element with the pages you’ve tried so far. You might be able to spot several ways to improve them.
Start with a winning headline.
No matter how great your copy is, human nature will always be the same. Almost no one is going to click through to your landing page and read every word from beginning to end. Once you’ve given people a reason to click through, you have to follow through with a reason to stick around. Your headline might be your only chance to win the reader over and get them interested in your message so use this element to your best advantage.
Follow up with a persuasive sub-headline.
The very next thing you want to communicate is the need to take action. Your sub-headline should give the reader some kind of instruction, whether to download your special report or to fill out an income assessment form, here is where you seed it in your reader’s head that they need to do something to put an end to their pain. “Get Started Consolidating High-Interest Credit Card Debt Today.”
Note that the CTA here is only designed to hold the reader’s attention. If you can do that here, chances are you will be able to convince them to do more things for you later.
Value is expressed in the way you present your page, the language you use to describe your product or service, and the potential benefit to the consumer of choosing your brand. You can communicate this on a landing page through thoughtful page design, great copy, and engaging visuals. If your landing page communicates practicality, organization, knowledge, and enthusiasm, it will hold the attention of more readers than a page that is missing one or more of those characteristics.
Keep the focus on the customer.
A huge mistake many marketers make is spotlighting the product or service when they ought to be zeroing in on the user experience. It isn’t about the product as much as it is about how interacting with it will make the customer feel. It isn’t “Take a tour of our luxurious timeshares,” as much as, “Your fantasy timeshare getaway is just a click away.” Just remember, it’s not about you so steer clear of pronouns like “our” “we” and “my” and insert “you” and “your” into those sentences instead.
Communicate a clear value proposition.
Your landing page needs to answer the question, “What’s in it for me?” and it needs to address it repeatedly. Sub-headlines and visuals are the best means for communicating your answer because those are the things people see first. Stay anchored to the pain point and broadcast the solution in the places they are likely to be recognized. Steer clear of lists of features and benefits. These shift the focus onto you and off the customer. If you feel you must, present your features from the customer’s perspective. Do not fire off bullets that simply list product features. That’s when many people decide it’s time to bounce.
Give your page a sense of flow.
Organization is key when it comes to successful landing pages. Present your information in a logical progression. Segment it into specific sub-topics with their own headlines and include pointed calls to action throughout that steer the reader closer to closing the sale. Keep the language persuasive and segue smoothly from one point into the next.
Keep the problem/solution motif in the forefront.
Keep steering the conversation back to the key pain point(s) and keep promising a remedy. The more you do this, the more curious the reader is going to be about your ultimate solution and this is one of the best ways to make them stick around a bit longer.
Use real testimonials.
Please do not ask a copywriter to fabricate testimonials for you. People can spot dishonesty very quickly and testimonials are a perennial red flag for many readers. If you are going to include testimonials on a landing page, at least keep these three things in mind:
- Never use stock images to represent people in a testimonial
- Never manipulate the language in a testimonial, even if the grammar isn’t perfect
- Avoid testimonials with lots of superlatives – set realistic expectations
Transition from pain to pleasure.
Make the subtle shift from the pain point(s) to the solution as the reader progresses through the copy on your landing page. The most effective way to do this is to gradually gravitate from Point A to Point B in your subheadings. Start at, “Get Out From Under Your Crippling Credit Card Debt,” and steer the reader into, “Explore Low-Interest Debt Consolidation Solutions.” Points in between should give reasons why and provide ways your product or service will help the reader a achieve his or her goal.
Display your contact information prominently.
Your contact info should be easy to identify and should be repeated in any CTA that asks the reader to contact you. Don’t refer to the place on the page with the phone number, just list the phone number and be sure the number is recognizable by smartphones so the reader can take immediate and effortless action to call you.
Putting It All Together
As stated, there is no exact science to developing a good landing page, but there are a few non-negotiable elements that you need to include if you want your page to be effective. Start by assessing how you’ve put your landing pages together up to now, then do some brainstorming on how they could be improved.
If you have multiple ideas running through your head, try them all. Split test like crazy until you find the sweet spot that speaks most effectively to your target audience.