What goes into a great landing page? Why are some landing pages more effective than others at converting customers? Have you ever come across a landing page that was effective at communicating everything that you were looking for… ever wonder why?
Some websites and mobile optimized landing pages make you wonder “what in God’s name is this?” – while others are beautifully able to communicate what is being offered, and most importantly, what the page wants you to do next. The latter is reinforced with clear-cut messaging to help guide the visitor down a path of conversion. In a nutshell, this is what landing pages are all about.
So why do you need to have an optimized landing page?
- To increase “relevancy” with your customers and site visitors
- To increase online conversions and revenue
- To improve your marketing ROI (more on this later!)
- And lastly, because your competitors are probably doing it too… ’nuff said.
Let’s talk a bit more about each of the above points…
What is relevancy? Relevancy is all about showing the visitor relevant content that is in-line with their expectations – it’s as simple as that. For example, I’m visiting a blog site that caters to pet dog owners and see an ad about “luxury dog collars for sale”, this ad might look interesting and entice me to learn more, so I click on the banner ad only to be taken to a website’s home page that covers everything from pet training to accessories to breeding to etc. etc. etc. Arrgghh!! Why was the banner ad about “luxury dog collars” when the link had no intention of showing me a page about luxury dog collars!?!?!?
In our digital world, the above scenario generates “friction” i.e. I clicked on a banner ad about “luxury dog collars” with the expectation to see content related to “luxury dog collars”. Instead, I was taken to a home page that covered everything under the pet world sun. So now I have to search the site for the content that drove me to the site in the first place! That’s like saying, “Hey, come check out the new car in my garage…” only to show a motorcycle – IT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!
With the nature of Internet behaviour today, most folks, though originally interested in a particular banner ad or link, will likely bounce away from your site in a heart-beat if the “content expectation” is not met. This is what relevancy is all about; leading us to the Golden Rule #1 for optimized landing pages:
Landing Pages – Golden Rule #1: Show me what I clicked on, nothing else!
The second step for designing effective landing pages is to create the “steps to conversion” on your site. Step one of course is your landing page itself, which clearly outlines your page objective and effectively communicates the next steps a visitor needs to take to complete a desired task. In the “luxury dog collar” example, I would include a headline about luxury dog collars, a list of key features or benefits for shopping at the said site, and a clear call-to-action button that tells the visitor EXACTLY what to do next i.e. “Learn more” or “Browse selection”. The page or pages that follow should take the visitor one step closer down the path to conversion. This leads us to Golden Rule #2 for optimized landing pages:
Landing Pages – Golden Rule #2: Give me what I need, within 2-3 clicks.
And of course, if you’re applying the above two rules to your landing page design strategy, then it should be easy for you to follow the third rule as they all tend to build on each other:
Landing Pages – Golden Rule #3: Filter out the noise, or you’ll lose me!
A lot of times, site owners are tempted to add more and more content on the landing page… stuff that I like to call “NOISE”. Every extra link, image, content, design element that gets added to the page is simply noise. This is not to say that you shouldn’t include your site’s high-level navigation links, but often times, I have come across many folks who are unable to resist the temptation to add more links and images promoting other aspects of the business or product offerings. The thinking being, if visitors don’t like the “luxury dog collars”, they might like something else!
Too much noise on landing pages creates “friction” and draws the visitors attention away from the conversion path. It’s also contrary to golden rules one and two. Having content on your page is good for many reasons, but it’s important to remember that your content must be focused and should always tie back in to the business objective of the page.
By following the above three golden rules, you’ll be able to improve the effectiveness of your landing pages and marketing ROI. Oh right, about the marketing ROI stuff… by creating an optimized landing page, you end up increasing relevancy which increases conversion which ALSO increases the performance of your Google AdWords campaigns. The thinking is, with a better click-through-to-conversion rate, your pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns on Google AdWords will also rank well for visitors searching for your product – simply because good performing ads bode well with Google and get rewarded with better placement for targeted keywords.
So all in all, the positive domino effect of landing page optimization is too good to ignore! Of course, there’s never a crystal solution all the time. Different user demographics, traffic sources, market segments, all behave differently. What’s important is to always be testing. Keep trying different variations of landing pages to see which ones work best at converting your visitors. You’ll get the biggest bang for your buck with an ongoing testing strategy in place. That’s the beauty of going digital… you can fail quickly, learn from mistakes, and succeed just as fast. Embrace this approach and you’re sure to accomplish many great things.
Designing effective landing pages is essential for marketing campaigns and your overall web strategy. The same rules and approach can also be applied to other areas of your website too. To learn more about Web Star Research’s landing page optimization or design services, call us at 1-888-WEB-1995. We’re happy to help.