10 Tips for Improving Landing Pages
We've all seen one. We've clicked on a link to get a whitepaper, and then there it was: the landing page. But what made you fill out the form and give up your contact information? More importantly, what didn't stop you from filling out the form? Odds are that it was easy to do and involved quality branding.
Effective landing pages are essential to successful online marketing campaigns and are probably the single most important 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?
Follow these 10 tips for improving landing pages and see if you notice a difference in your conversions.
1. Provide Continuity Between Ad and Landing Page
Web site visitors see an ad that grabs their attention and click to learn more. If you use graphics and copy on the landing page similar to your ad, the visitors 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.
2. 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.
3. Be Brief and To The Point
Write as little copy as possible to put forth a compelling value proposition that your visitors 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.
4. 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, email 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.
5. 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.
6. Sell, Sell, Sell Your Offer
Whether you are offering a whitepaper, a Webinar registration, a free product sample or other valuable content, your goal is to 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.
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. Leave Out the Navigation
Don't include your main Web site navigation on your landing pages. That only invites your visitors to click away from your offer, which will likely cost you leads. 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.
9. 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 rethink the offer or add a couple of pop-up links that provide extra info without requiring the visitor to navigate away from your page.
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 email 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 senior vice president, product management and supplier marketing, for digital media solutions provider GlobalSpec. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.