This is a guest post by Ryan Burchey, a freelance web developer and designer situated in Sydney, Australia.
He is the founder of Ryan’s Web Design.
Landing pages are used to convert previously unknown visitors into recognizable leads.
Lead conversion starts when visitors clicks on a CTA, or call-to-action, which leads them directly to the landing page.
Once there, they insert their contact information such as name and e-mail into the designated fields and thus, become what is known as a lead. After they’ve filled out the form, visitors are then redirected to a thank you page which delivers the before-mentioned offer, such as a subscription or a purchase.
How do landing pages work?
You can think of the landing pages as sales representatives which collect the information regarding potential customers.
This allows business owners to create and maintain relationships with their leads while sales reps concentrate on the contacts that qualify the most.
Landing pages and lead generation cannot be complete without a form. Using the information gathered from the forms, you can easily tweak your existing landing pages to make them more efficient and to further improve your lead generation efforts.
Any good freelance web designer can make these tweaks in a blink of an eye.
How can I create an effective landing page?
When it comes to conversion rates, you should aim to hit the 20% mark.
This means that out of all people who get directed to your landing page, 20% should eventually fill the form and provide their information.
Have in mind that the conversion process occurs during all stages of the buyer’s journey so make sure to factor that in. No matter which stage the buyer is in and how much traffic you’re getting, always try to hit the 20% conversion rate mark.
The best practices used for creating efficient landing pages include:
- Writing a clear, action-oriented headline;
- Clearly explaining the offer and visually emphasizing the value;
- Removing any links and navigation menus;
- Making the form length proportionate to the value of your offer;
- Using relevant animations, images, and videos;
- Adding social media sharing options.
Writing a clear headline, heavily oriented towards the action you want the visitors to perform is vital for a landing page. Make sure to communicate how exactly your offer can help the visitors solve their problems and generally benefit from the opportunity.
It’s important to let them know precisely what they’re getting and how they’re going to access it, whether it’s a download, watching a video or downloading an eBook. Include the words such as “download” and “watch” in the header, as well as the type of offer in order to let the search engines know what the page is about.
Next, you have to clearly explain the importance and value of your offer to the visitors.
Don’t worry about telling them more about the company, that can be done later. The explanation should not be longer than 1-3 sentences, with another 1-3 sentences describing how can a person benefit from your offer.
You can use bolding, bullets and lists in order to make it easy for the visitor to skim over the offer. If you’re going to use bullets, try to use between 3 and 5 tops.
Another way to grab and maintain visitor’s attention is to completely remove any navigation menus and links.
The landing page is used to generate leads, so it’s rather important to remove any distractions that might hinder your efforts. Keep the text short and legible and always use a large, easy-to-click submit button.
Finally, the landing page form should always reflect the value of your offer. This means that the bigger the offer, the more information you can ask for in return.
As we mentioned already, lead conversion is a process which can occur during any stage of the buyer’s journey. Whether it’s awareness, consideration or the decision stage, they can all produce leads. Remember to include engaging and relevant images and videos in order to visually communicate the value even better.
Finally, include social media sharing buttons and icons to make it easier for the visitors to spread the news of your offer with their friends and family if they choose to.
Types of landing pages
Depending on the objectives set for the campaign, as well as the length of said campaign (short-term or long-term), most landing pages can be divided into three distinct categories:
1. Landing pages which are integrated into the website’s style and overall architecture.
These are the most efficient ones to make in terms of content, as the information they provide responds to the information available on your website.
The only downside you might experience with these is that they tend to do a poor job when it comes to converting both the visitors navigating from the website itself and direct referrers at the same time.
Additionally, they do need to be optimized for search engines in order to perform well.
2. Landing pages which are not integrated into the website’s style and overall architecture.
These pages offer a stripped down version of the standard content and are mostly used for converting visitors coming from an ad campaign.
When it comes to short-term campaigns, it may be best to create a completely separate microsite in order to achieve the best results.
The main disadvantage of this approach is that it often requires a lot more effort and maintenance and results in a sub-par user experience.
3. Micro-websites with multiple or tabbed landing pages.
This approach is used to bypass the obvious problem posed by the second approach, which is not getting the visitors at just the right point in the buyer’s journey to actually convert.
If the landing page is not performing as well as you’d hope for, you should consider making the necessary changes in order to improve it.
Just make sure that these changes are compliant with the best practices recommended for creating landing pages.
Tweak the language you use, check if the form is asking just the right questions and make sure the form isn’t too long, or you risk losing the visitors attention.
Always start with making small changes, so you know exactly what made the landing page more effective.
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