Features

Ten Tips for Improving Landing Pages

Written on
Apr 26, 2012 
Author
Chris Chariton  |

ADOTAS – One of the first things online marketers create when they are looking to capture viable leads is a landing page, which is a custom-designed single web page a visitor arrives at when clicking on an advertisement or other link. Usually a landing page’s sole purpose is to capture leads for a marketing campaign. Effective landing pages are essential to successful online marketing campaigns and are probably the single largest factor in determining whether or not you will convert a web visitor into a lead that’s willing to give you their contact information.

But how can you ensure your landing page will entice the proper business leads?

By considering these 10 tips to create compelling landing pages, you can deliver a strong, clear message and entice visitors to accept your offer.

1. Brand your landing page. Your company logo and name should be visible on the landing page so visitors immediately know who is responsible for the content. This is important whether your company is widely recognized in your industry or not. Visitors want to know whose site they are on – it increases their comfort level and trust.

2. Provide continuity between ad and landing page. A website visitor sees an ad that grabs their attention and clicks to learn more. If you use graphics and copy on the landing page similar to your ad, the visitor will know they’ve come to the right place. You’ll also be repeating the image or offer that motivated them to click in the first place, further increasing their desire to get what they came for.

3. Sell, sell, sell your offer. Whether you are offering a white paper, a webinar registration, a free product sample or other valuable content, your goal is get visitors to accept your offer. Create a clear call to action and place it prominently near the top of the landing page. Use a bold button: “Download Now” or “Register Today.” Repeat the call to action as text links on other parts of the page.

4. Be brief and to the point. Write as little copy as possible to put forth a compelling value proposition that your visitor will act upon. Focus copy on the benefits of accepting your offer. Use bold headlines, bullet points and short sentences and paragraphs. Remember that people skim-read on the web. There are times where longer, more detailed copy is appropriate, but it should be written keeping in mind that many people will merely scan what is written. Getting right to the point will get it done.

5. Leave out the navigation. Don’t include your main website navigation on your landing pages. That only invites your visitors to click away from your offer, which will likely cost you a potential lead. Giving them several options just in case your offer doesn’t entice them isn’t worth it. You will lose other would-be leads because some visitors can’t resist clicking around, never to return. Stay focused on your offer. Remember that logo you added to the landing page? Have it link to your home page if you want.

6. Avoid clutter on the page. Design clean, open pages. Use big, easy-to-read fonts and plenty of white space. Show visitors exactly where to look (at your value proposition and offer). You may be tempted to cram as much as possible on the page, assuming more information is better. But resist the urge to over-explain. If your offer is too complicated to articulate in a single page, either re-think the offer or add a couple of pop-up links that provide extra info without requiring the visitor to navigate away from your page.

7. Make no mistakes. This is true of any web page. Triple-check your copy for grammatical or spelling errors. Make sure links work and forms submit. Many people are turned off by mistakes and that alone will cause people to click away. You’ll not only miss out on leads, you could damage your brand reputation as well. If your landing page isn’t correct, what does that say about your products or work processes?

8. Simplify the form. Long, complicated forms with many required fields are an invitation to abandon the page. One look at such a form can turn otherwise interested prospects away. Your goal is to capture a lead to make initial contact. Ask for name, company, e-mail address, and maybe a phone number. That’s all you need. The rest of the information can be filled in later as you begin to engage with your new lead and learn more about their needs.

9. Test page variations. Let’s say you’re running an ad for three consecutive months in an e-newsletter. Try out three variations of the landing page to see which performs best. Experiment by placing the call to action in different places, using different words, different page layouts, and long versus short copy. Incorporate your findings into the next version until you have a page that performs at its best.

10. Do something with your new leads — right away. This isn’t about the landing page itself, but it’s important to the success of your campaign. Respond as soon as possible to all leads you get through your landing pages. You could even set up an automated response system that sends out an e-mail to thank the prospect for accepting your offer and providing links to other information that will be of interest to them (now that you’ve captured the lead, go ahead
and give them more content options).





Chris Chariton is vice president of marketing services and product management for GlobalSpec, the leading specialized vertical search, information services, e-publishing and online events company serving the engineering, technical and industrial communities. Chariton oversees many of the company’s marketing initiatives including e-mail marketing, demand generation and social media, public relations and advertising, and product management. She can be reached at cchariton@globalspec.com.

Reader Comments.

There is a #11 to add to this list of landing page tips. COMPLIANCE. Google has strict policies regarding landing pages and websites that either run Google AdSense or use AdWords to drive traffic. Designers must be very familiar with all these details to avoid problems down the road. Google policies regarding landing pages vary by offer type too. For example, there are specific policies for landing pages for financial services above and beyond the normal guidelines. Save time and money by designing compliant landing pages the first time.

Posted by Mike Bailey | 10:28 am on April 27, 2012.

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