Have you ever run an advertising campaign that struggled to get results? If you’re experiencing this, I recommend looking at two statistics: traffic from the ad, and conversions. If there was no traffic from the ad, the problem likely lies with the ad itself, such as a weak call to action, or perhaps an ineffective medium. (If you don’t have a way to track traffic, it’s best to back up and start here). However, if the ad brought traffic to your site but didn’t result in conversions, the problem is likely with your landing page.
What is a Landing Page and Why do I Need One?
In its simplest form, a landing page is really just like it sounds–it’s the page on your site where a visitor lands when they click a link or type in a URL that they’ve been given. If this is a visitor’s first time coming to your website, your landing page will be their first impression of your company or organization. Today’s online audience can be very fickle when it comes to deciding where to do business. Studies show that most visitors will make a judgment about a site within a few brief seconds, which is why your landing pages are so important: You have a very small window of time to grab their attention and get them to convert.
If you’re running any type of advertisement or marketing campaign where you direct customers to your site, you need a landing page. It isn’t enough to send visitors to your homepage. Instead, create a landing page that is designed to work for your specific purpose. Think of it this way: if a customer walked into your store and told you they were looking for running shoes, would you drop them off in housewares and hope they make it to the right place? It sounds silly, but we often see businesses creating the online equivalent of this scenario by not utilizing appropriate landing pages.
Creating an Effective Landing Page
There are a few key elements to consider when creating a landing page in order to provide a better visitor experience and accomplish your marketing objectives:
- Keep the landing page consistent with the original point of contact. If a customer sees your ad and then clicks through to your landing page, the message and feel of the landing page shouldn’t stray far from what was presented in the ad. By utilizing similar visual elements and offers or copy, there will be a cohesive and familiar feel for the consumer that will help tell them they’re in the right place to find what they were interested in.
- Match your landing page to your goal. With any ad or campaign, you need to know what your goal is. Are you trying to gather leads? Make an immediate sale? Collect donations? Get the visitor to watch a video? Whatever your goal, your landing page should help facilitate this by making it clear as to what next step you want the visitor to take, and then making it easy to do so.
- Have a clear and effective call to action. A good call to action will command attention and elicit a response from your visitors. Think of this as an action-based invitation that is highly visible. Graphics such as buttons or arrows in bright or contrasting colors are often used, as well as contact information forms and the use of page flow to naturally lead the visitor’s eyes to this element. The text that accompanies these visual cues typically includes an incentive or offer to encourage response. Examples could include “Download Your Free Whitepaper”, “Request a Free Information Kit”, or “Join our Email List to Receive a Coupon”. Your best call to action will depend on your target market and what motivates them, as well as what information or response you’re trying to obtain.
- Utilize the KISS principle to eliminate distractions. (KISS defined) Additional noise on a page can compete with your visitor’s eyes for attention when they come to a landing page, which means your headline and call to action will have a harder time standing out. Eliminate any unnecessary elements and keep the content focused on the task at hand. On the reverse side of this, make sure there is also a way for visitors to get back to the rest of the website or learn more if they choose not to respond to your call to action. You don’t want this to be a dead end for the customer.
- Test, evaluate, and test again. It may take a few tries to find something that works well for your audience, and you may learn new things along the way that can improve the strength of your landing pages even more. Don’t be afraid to test different tactics, designs, or calls to action to learn what works best for you. Analyze your results after each campaign to determine what worked best and what was a bust and you’ll continue to improve your goal conversions.
Landing Page Example: Richard Larson Builders
The URL was LarsonBuilders.com/WinterSavings (and the URL’s are often only live during a specified period of time). This landing page corresponded directly to a winter campaign initiative. You can learn more about Richard Larson Builders on their website.
Want to learn more or need help creating effective landing pages? Contact us today!