We know and you know that not all websites are created equal. Some are so clean looking and easy to navigate that your sweet internet-unaware grandma could (almost) find her way around them.
Others look like… well, failed science projects. You click on a link expecting one thing and end up somewhere completely different. Naturally, you try again, but after 10 minutes, all you’ve done is go in a circle and now you’re wishing you had some sort of stiff drink.
Emails are the same. Some are attention-grabbing while others make you want to gouge your eyes out and/or hide under your desk. And let’s be honest, do you read all of your emails? Probably not. If you’re like us, you get hundreds every day. Ugh. It can get dicey.
Therein lies the challenge of pointing prospective or current customers to the content you want them to see—it’s far too easy for them to get lost or distracted along the way.
Landing Pages: Website Warriors
Landing pages enable you to lead customers where you want them so they can take actions that hopefully turn them into conversions, err…happy customers! PS: If you forget what a landing page is, we forgive you. But go read this article from HubSpot for a quick refresher.
Since landing pages are such a huge deal (and immensely underrated), we thought we’d give ’em a once over with you. Here’s what you need to know about landing pages and how you can create ones that keep your audience coming back for more.
First, What’s Your Endgame?
Before you dive in and request development time and resources to build awesome landing pages, a little planning is needed. This is going to sound so cliche, but set goals for every page. Don’t complain, just do it already.
Maybe you want to collect email addresses so that you can build a mailing list for a new segment. Maybe you want people to download a whitepaper that highlights the benefits of your solution. Or perhaps you want to go for the jugular and convert from that touchpoint (good for you, btw).
Whatever they are, your goals help create the vision and expectations that should guide the look and functionality of your landing pages. Establishing goals also helps identify the metrics that can determine how successful landing pages are, as well as create baselines for future pages.
Resist the Urge to “Go Nuts”
Consumers are exposed to thousands of ads every day. While it might be tempting to make a big splash, don’t overdo things. Reel it in there, soldier. In fact, you should keep landing pages simple and to the point. If a page is too busy looking, it could distract from your message and purpose. Keep images to a minimum. The tradeoff is that you can user larger fonts to call out key points. But again, don’t go overboard.
If you go overboard, all you’ve really done is waste your own time AND lost clients. Simplistic is your new bestie.
Speaking of which, your copy should be very clear and helpful. And concise, concise, and concise. Did we mention concise?
Rambling is rarely a good look, but it’s certainly a huge no-no for landing pages.
- Pro tip: Bullet points are your friend.
- Bonus pro tip: Frequent and fine-tooth comb editing of landing page copy can help eliminate useless clutter. Make every word count. Less is more when it comes to landing pages.
As far as overall design, you want to make sure your brand stands out, so try to align landing pages with your website by using the same or similar color schemes or graphics. Along the same lines, if there’s an email campaign associated with a landing page, make sure the two are consistent in look and feel.
The last thing that you want is someone to click to your landing page from an email and see two very different designs. They might think they ended up in the wrong place, making them hesitant to read your content, or worse, leave the page. Bottom line is keep things familiar between all your channels, while optimizing them to stand out in their unique spaces.
DO Get Bold with CTAs
Worried that landing pages means stifling your creative juices? We’ve got some good news. Your CTAs (Calls-to-Actions) need to stand out and compel people to take action. They need to be direct and persuasive.
Think about the Terminator. He doesn’t mince words and motivates people to take action, even though usually out of fear. While we don’t advocate using fear to land conversions (please don’t scare people), we realize that some people are motivated by fear.
But no, in all seriousness, don’t neglect the CTA. It really should be the only clickable part of a landing page. Furthermore, the design and content of landing pages should center around CTAs and getting people to click those buttons.
And make sure that your CTA lives above the fold. Getting people to visit your landing page is half the battle, so if someone does, chances are they are ready to take action, or better yet, they want to buy your product or service.
Don’t think CTAs are a one-time thing for landing pages. They should appear at regular intervals for scrolling pages. You never know when your killer copy will make someone want to convert on the spot. And we all know how frustrating it is to scroll all the way up or down a page just to click something.
So yeah, those simple looking CTA buttons are anything but. They actually wield a lot power. Treat them as such the sword to your landing page’s powerful warrior hand.
DON’T be Too Creepy
We can’t believe we have to say this, but here goes: yes, landing pages provide a great opportunity to gain valuable information from customers, but don’t ask for too much.
If possible, stick to asking for just names and email addresses at first. Requiring people to provide too much information early on could seem intrusive, and make them navigate away from the page. It also can make the form-filling process longer. Again, always put the customer first and make things as easy as possible for them. That includes making forms simple and quick to complete.
Test, Test, Test
While we think we’ve provided a lot of sound advice (it is what we do), creating perfect landing pages isn’t an exact science. It’s more of a weird science (get it?), meaning that different sites and campaigns will require different landing pages. You’re going to have to experiment, and often.
You can try creating templates, but you’ll likely find that it’s easier to start from scratch. After all, nobody likes forgetting to replace previous copy. Test as many different versions of landing pages as possible. Remember, leave no conversion behind.
The Landing Page that Keeps Giving
Ultimately, don’t be fooled by their straightforward look, landing pages are game-changers. Yes, you need to put some thought into them, but usually, they are much easier and quicker to spin up than websites. Done properly, they can stand out even better than emails. More importantly, they enable you to get in front of people that can benefit from your organization’s solutions.
Still need help with your landing pages? No problem. That’s our job. Contact us and get us on board so we can give you the landing page that keeps your customers stuck to you like glue.