The Eagle Has Landed… A Guide to Landing Pages

So what exactly is a “landing page” and how is it different from a standard website page?

A “landing page”, sometimes called a “lead capture page”, is a standalone single web page with a simple design, no navigation and most importantly, a clear “call to action”. Landing pages are most often associated with lead generation however they can also be used to sell a specific product, highlight a service or even showcase a promotion. Landing pages can be built on a sub-domain of your primary websites URL or a landing page specific URL.

With online competition only getting more fierce, having an amazing landing page that generates leads and sales is key to success. At The Rusty Pixel we have lots of experience creating and designing custom landing pages so here are some tips we have learned over the years:

Lights, Camera… Call to Action!

The primary purpose of a landing pages is to convert visitors into leads and sales. This is why the most important aspect of your landing page should be the single focused objective that you wish your visitors to complete, also known as the “call to action”. It is critical that this call to action message is both clear and concise. From the moment someone arrives on your landing page, the specific action to be completed should be immediately obvious and easily understood.

While a landing page can have more than one call to action, we definitely do not recommend it. Too many options only serves to dilute your message. If you have multiple products, services or goals you wish to target, then we suggest creating a separate landing page for each. Giving your visitors fewer options will keep things simple and thus translate into increased leads and sales.

The visual design of your call to action is also critical and should entice the visitor to complete the particular action. Feature the call to action prominently by positioning it “above the fold” (which is the space that shows on screen first without the need to scroll) and include it multiple times throughout your page. Make it big and consider adding directional cues like arrows or attention grabbing elements like icons to draw the focus of the visitor to complete the one goal.

Keep it Simple, Stupid

If you know us, then you know our web design philosophy is “less is more” and that has never been more true when it comes to a landing page design. Simplicity is what makes landing pages so effective and since you are not constrained by navigation menus, sidebars, complex headers or footers, keeping it simple should be… well simple. With a simple streamlined design comes less clutter, fewer distractions and a laser-like focus directing the user attention to your call of action.

This is especially true if your call to action is a lead capture form. Keep it short and sweet by asking the visitor for only the most crucial information that you need, things like their name, email, phone, etc. Longer forms with lots of unnecessary fields or those that require intrusive personal information in order to be submitted are less likely to be completed.

Because there is no navigation, landing pages are by nature disconnected from your main website, this allows you flexibility to craft a design that is completely unique and totally separate from the web design of your main site. Use this opportunity to be create a sleek and simple web design that sets you apart from your competition and turns clicks into conversions.

Be Content with Great Content

“Keeping it simple” doesn’t just apply to the web design, it also applies to the content. So make sure that every word of text, photo and video on the landing page serves the single minded task you wish the visitor to complete. Avoid adding too much information, remove unnecessary content and get rid of redundant elements. Bottomline, if it causes clutter or detracts from your call to action, remove it.

While what you’re left with might be pure gold, it can still be further optimized for maximum effect; Here are some other content suggestions:

  • Avoid popup windows
  • Consider using bullet-point lists instead of long paragraphs of hard to read text… Just like I am doing now!
  • Reduce “risk” in the minds of your visitors by offering a free-trail or a satisfaction guarantee.
  • Build trust by showcasing logos of companies associated with the product or service.
  • Include contact details like a phone number so people know that you are real and have a way of reaching out to you with any questions or concerns.
  • Make the call to action time sensitive to give a sense of urgency to your offer.
  • Foster confidence by including real customer reviews, ratings and client testimonials.

While the call to action is clearly the most important element of any landing page, videos are a close second. Perhaps more than any other element on your page, including high-quality videos have been proven to increase leads and sales significantly. Videos are a powerful and effective engagement medium, allowing your visitors to experience your message with minimal effort. It is also a great way to demo a product or service, explain complicated concepts succinctly and connect to a viewer on a more personal level. Finally, videos give lots of useful information without taking up much valuable space or cluttering things up.

Following these content tips will ensure a streamlined landing page that is both easy to read, focused on the single call to action and effective in generating conversions.

Pay to Play

Since landing pages are just a single page and often don’t contain much indexable content, they usually are not great for ranking organically on major search engines. This is why landing pages are frequently used in conjunction with online marketing strategies and paid traffic such as Google Ads (formally AdWords), social media campaigns, PPC, mass email marketing and just about any type of Internet advertising. For maximum success, every inbound advertising campaign you operate should direct visitors to a landing page and not your main website.

A well designed landing page website can not only increase leads and sales but will also decrease the cost of acquiring them. Remember that the vast majority of visitors to your landing page came from paid traffic so it is critical that you get as much “bang for your buck” out of each click that you possibly can.

It is also important that your landing page content accurately reflects the messaging of the ad, email or link that lead the visitor to your page. People today are not know for the patience (well everyone but you) so if they don’t immediately see what they were expecting they will instead be looking for the “back” button and not your call to action. A good solution is to ensure that headline text they first see, matches the ad text which they clicked. Ensure a good click with a strong message match.

A/B/C: Always Be Comparing

Don’t just create your landing page and forget about it… test it and test it again. Testing different versions of your landing page is a great way to figure out what is working and what is not working. A/B testing as it is called, is done by having two or more versions of your landing page and testing them against each other to see which performs best. Once you have determined a winner you might want to retest it every few months to ensure it is still performing its absolute best.

A/B testing is as much of an art as it is a science — So try experimenting with different colors, images, headline text, copy (or general page text), layout, style, backgrounds, icons or whatever. You will be surprised how even slight changes to elements that might seem inconsequential can have a major impact on the success of your landing page.

Measuring success is usually done via click-through rate or by conversation tracking. Some online marketing outlets even allow you to do A/B testing simultaneously and in real-time, making measuring success even more effective and thus more successful.

This is the End?

Once the visitor has completed the particular action which is the focus of the landing page you should consider what happens next. Besides just a standard confirmation or “thank you” message, you might want to take this opportunity further engage with your visitor. This is often the most overlooked aspect of landing pages but can yield some of the best results.

For example: If selling a product, then this is the perfect time to showcase a similar or related product. If offering a service, you might want to highlight a complementary service or prompt them to upgrade. At the very least you should invite them to engage with you on social media, subscribe to your mailing list or even share their experience with friends. The possibilities are endless so don’t waste this golden opportunity.

No, Now its the End!

As you can see, landing pages are a must-have component of any inbound online marketing campaign. By building a sleek and streamlined landing page with a clear single focused call to action, you can increase leads and boost sales significantly. At The Rusty Pixel we are experts in the designing and creation of amazing custom landing pages that do all of the above – Contact us today for a free consultation and landing page web design quote… Consider yourself “called to action!”