The pages on your company website can exist for many reasons. They are there to showcase the brand, sell goods or services, publish news and announcements, educate visitors or customers and build your online presence. But in additional to all these obvious and easy to navigate pages, there are bound to be a few others lurking in the background, which have an ulterior motive. These are known as landing pages.
What are landing pages?
Typically, a landing page is set apart from your standard website and has been created for a specific purpose. Generally connected to something like a content or email marketing campaign, a landing page’s main objective is to generate conversions.
Whether you want visitors to sign up to a newsletter, provide personal information or buy a certain product, landing pages typically feature specialised content, which has been written or created to achieve a particular goal.
Why are landing pages important?
Because landing pages have been proven to increase conversions. For example, when buffer redesigned its home page, they managed to secure a 16 per cent increase in landing page conversions.
As opposed to your company website that provides an overview of the company and its services or a social media profile, which gives the brand a personality and voice, landing pages work behind the scenes, striving to bring about distinctive and pre-determined goals. Without them, prospective clients and customers aren’t given much opportunity to take action or convert.
Types of landing page
Generally speaking, landing pages can be split into two main types – click-through and lead generation.
Click-through landing pages
The first type of landing page exists to show customers where and how to buy a product. Any transaction won’t actually take place on this kind of landing page; it simply exists to facilitate a sale. Customers will click-through to an e-commerce store or product page and can place their order there.
This is much easier than creating separate landing pages for each and every individual product a company may have. What’s more, click-through landing pages are often created to be part of a promotional offer or special event, such as the holiday season. Therefore, when it comes to email and content marketing campaigns, they are incredibly effective and efficient.
The content found on click-through landing pages should be produced to reflect the information visitors originally came across. From there, it is possible to encourage potential customers to click a CTA and ultimately convert.
Lead generation landing pages
An email campaign featuring a click-through landing page is fairly pointless if you’ve got no subscribers to send it to. Therefore, you’ll need to find some interested parties who want to receive information and updates about promotions or special offers. This is where lead generation landing pages come into play.
However, asking for your website visitors’ personal details is easier said than done, as not everybody is willing to give this valuable information away. Therefore you’ll need to sweeten the deal by offering free trials, e-books, contest entries or newsletter subscriptions in exchange for names and email addresses.
Think carefully about what information you want to gain from visitors, as your offer may need to reflect this. But according to Hubspot, the emails promoting eBooks got almost twice the CTR of those giving away webinars.
Anatomy of a landing page
There is no fixed template or magic formula for creating a landing page, as it all depends on what you’d like to achieve. Do you want names and email address or just a click to your main website? If you need to explain a certain product or promotion, then a few paragraphs will be required. If it’s a simple giveaway, then one or two sentences should suffice.
While your brand’s intentions and objectives will be different to others, here are some worthwhile guidelines for all landing pages:
• Be succinct and straight to the point with titles and opening sentences or paragraphs.
• Write as much as you need to explain the purpose of your landing page, but don’t overdo it, as the reader could lose interest before arriving at the CTA.
• Try to keep as much content above the fold as possible. Readers won’t want to keep scrolling down.
• Use the same colours, fonts and text size as the rest of your website. Visitors will be put off and confused by inconsistency.
• Use language that encourages, provokes and persuades the audience to take action.
Essential elements of an effective landing page
The preceding guidelines should give you a rough idea of what to include, but here are some essential elements every landing page needs in order to be successful and effective:
• A dramatic and dazzling headline – Grab the audience’s attention with a distinctive headline. If the reader has arrived from an email or content marketing piece, make sure the headline matches its subject.
• One or more striking images – Another way of catching the reader’s eye and reinforcing the landing page’s purpose is to include at least one noticeable image.
• A clear Call to Action – Regardless of your intention, a clear CTA must be present. Don’t be vague about what you’re asking the reader to do and try to put as much focus as possible on your Call to Action.
• Emphasis on your goal – Your landing page copy should be an extended version of your CTA. Don’t be afraid to be explicit with your audience and tell them exactly what you’re asking for.
Test, edit and repeat
It is highly unlikely that your first draft will end up being the final landing page. After testing your landing page and discovering how many people took action, there will no doubt be some necessary tweaks or changes.
However, this is an ongoing process that shouldn’t be forgotten about. There will always be room for improvement with landing pages, no matter how well they might be performing. After all, it is in your best interests to optimise and fine-tune your landing pages, as they can dramatically increase conversions.