Ah, the landing page. As the subject of many a blog post and e-book, landing pages have become a hot topic in the online marketing realm, and for a good reason.
From selling your latest product, to convincing customers to sign up for your email newsletter, you can use a landing page for almost any marketing purpose. However, landing pages only work well when designed and used correctly.
Think of a landing page as your one and only chance to convince a visitor to take a desired action. When your prospect stumbles upon your broken, poorly designed, and incredibly lengthy landing page, what do you think they’ll do? Leave the page, of course.
Unlike many people and companies seem to think, you cannot throw a few words and pretty pictures on a landing page and call it a day. Oh no, my friend. Top agencies and research companies continuously study landing pages to determine what type of design, layout, copy and functionality tactics drive the maximum results.
Creating the perfect landing page takes time, and requires several steps along the way.
Step 1: Why the Heck are You Using a Landing Page?
Don’t be another marketer or business owner who builds a landing page just because everyone else is. Your landing page needs to serve a distinct purpose. Landing pages are commonly used for:
- Online promotional sales
- Email marketing efforts
- Social media campaigns
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Targeting a specific audience/demographic online
- And more
What are you trying to accomplish with your landing page? Sure, you know you’re using it in conjunction with an online marketing campaign, but what are you truly looking to achieve?
Remember, you are trying to entice your audience to do one specific action. Don’t complicate your goal. Here are a few examples of common landing page goals:
- Convince user to contact business
- Entice user to download e-book
- Allow users to easily sign up and/or register for an event
For instance, we build websites for businesses and brands around the world (among our multiple other online marketing services). Therefore, the goal of our landing pages and online advertising efforts is ultimately to set up a free website consultation with members of our target audience. Every online ad we create or landing page we design and build has that singular goal in mind.
Each individual advertising campaign or landing page will vary by the audience you are targeting, the copy you write, and so on — but your goal is always the same.
Once you’ve figured out your goal, now it’s time to get creative.
Step 2: Write and Plan Away
Here comes the fun part: writing and planning.
Your landing page copy will influence the layout, and vice versa, which is why we start the creative process here.
Since you already know your campaign goal and the overall theme, we’ll start with the copy.
Your landing page needs to hone in on the specific needs of your target audience. Your landing page should target a single buyer persona.
For those who are not familiar with buyer personas, the Buyer Persona Institute defines this concept as:
Examples of the real buyers who influence or make decisions about the products, services or solutions you market. They are a tool that builds confidence in strategies to persuade buyers to choose you rather than a competitor or the status quo.
Think about the buyer persona you are targeting with your landing page, and ask questions such as:
- Does this target audience enjoy reading long, extensive paragraphs or short, succinct statements?
- What type of headline is my target audience most likely to react to?
- What is their education level? Will they understand complex sentences and vocabulary terms?
Speaking of your target audience — only write for one buyer persona at a time. The more personas you target, the harder it will be to connect with your audience and convince them to trust your brand. Stick to one buyer persona and truly speak to them through your landing page.
When writing the landing page copy, always keep in mind that your goal is to elicit a single user action. Overwhelming your user with long paragraphs of copy (even if they are capable of understanding them) will make them participate in a single action — leaving your page and driving up your bounce rate. Stick to actionable headlines and sentences that do not burden the user.
The way you lay out your landing page will also affect the overall copy. While also drafting your landing page copy, start brainstorming the layout of your page. As a rule of thumb, the most actionable copy should be towards the top or above the fold, and the supportive copy should be right underneath, should the user decide to venture on.
Keep in mind that the landing page layout should be simple and easy to navigate. Do not clutter your page with endless animated graphics or cute little icons. The more you have your user interact with, the less chance you’ll have of convincing them to pull the trigger and complete the desired action.
In general, keep these pointers in mind when writing your copy and planning your landing page layout:
- Make sure your contact form is instantly visible. The most common recommendation is above the fold and in a vertical manner.
- Have attention grabbing call-to-actions and buttons. The Internet is saturated with bland “Contact” and “Call Now” buttons. Make your buttons stand out either via the text or the appearance. After all, a single button is what’s standing in between you and your user.
Step 3: Time to Design
Once you’ve finalized your landing page content and layout, you’re ready to start designing! Keep in mind that certain design elements may not fare well with your audience and ultimate landing page goal. Flashy text, certain types of animation, and certain colors may not resonate well with your audience. As I’ve stated before, you know what your buyer persona does and does not like.
A few points to note across all landing page designs are:
Do not overwhelm your audience. The more you add to your page, the more distracted they will become. Always consider the hierarchy and flow of your landing page when designing. You don’t want to distract a user by having a video playing, text scrolling and a bunch of colorful things happening all at once, do you?
Design with mobile in mind. Your best bet is to design and develop your landing page in a mobile responsive format. Why? Because you don’t have to worry about the design or content being altered by certain screen sizes. Well, in all fairness, it will be altered. Just altered properly.
Step 4: Launch That Page!
You’ve gained approval from the necessary authorities and it’s time to make your page live. Enjoy the success, my friend…but you’ve still got work to do.
Step 5: Test, Test and Test Again
If you’ve done your research on landing pages and online marketing techniques, you know that A/B tests are vital. Without testing various visual aspects of your page and campaign, how will you know what is truly working? You can test nearly every aspect of your campaign including:
- Landing page copy
- Landing page design and layout
- Ad copy
- The theme of your landing page
- Your landing page
Start your A/B (C/D/E, etc.) tests, compile data, and continue tweaking your landing pages until they are just right.
Step 6: Enjoy It All
Congratulations! You’ve created and designed a successful landing page that works. In combination with your technical and search marketing team, I’m sure you’ve collaborated well and are enjoying the overwhelming success of your campaign.
But don’t celebrate for too long, you’ve got more campaigns to run!
Landing pages and online marketing campaigns are time consuming and tricky. Luckily, you’ve got the creative pros at Titan Web Marketing Solutions on your side. Call us today to get started. 615.890.3600.