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Tag Archive: Landing Page Design

  1. 50 Reasons Your Landing Page Isn’t Working

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    If you have a landing page set up and you’ve noticed that your conversion rate isn’t growing, or that your audience isn’t engaging with your content, it can be confusing and frustrating. This is especially the case because landing pages are affected by hundreds of independent variables.

    So how on earth are you supposed to tell why your landing page isn’t working?

    In this guide, I present to you 50 possible reasons your landing page isn’t working—with solutions for each.

    Why Landing Pages Matter

    If landing pages are so complicated in the first place, why use them?

    • Landing pages provide destinations. No matter what types of marketing and advertising you’re pursuing, your users need somewhere to go. Landing pages provide that ideal destination.
    • They’re a focal point for conversion. Landing pages give you the opportunity to confront your users with a conversion opportunity, maximizing your potential revenue and/or customer value.
    • They allow for segmentation. Because landing pages are separate from your site, you can also use them to segment your target demographics and cater to them individually.

    So with all these advantages, why isn’t your landing page seeing better results?

    Why You Aren’t Getting More Conversions

    Let’s take a look:

    1. You haven’t measured anything.

    First, ask yourself how you’re able to determine the success of your landing page. Are you going by a gut feeling? Are you just noticing that nobody has filled out your contact form? If you aren’t measuring more in-depth metrics, such as how many people are visiting your landing page or what your exit rate is, you’ll blind yourself to the real variables responsible for your performance. This is inexcusable, especially since so many free tools, like Google Analytics, are on the market. If you haven’t been measuring and analyzing your progress, get started immediately—you’ll need those numbers to measure how effective your correctional strategies are.

    2. It isn’t loading properly.

    Don’t scoff at this. You’d be shocked and embarrassed to learn how many people scratch their heads over why more people aren’t converting when their pages don’t load properly to begin with. Fortunately, this is simple to detect and fix. If you’re looking for the easiest way, try visiting your landing page using as many different devices and browsers as you can think of. Is it loading? Are all your images viewable? Is your form easy to see? You can use a tool like BrowserStack to help test this. Otherwise, be sure to check out Google Search Console, which can tell you if your website is down and help you track down the reason.

    3. It doesn’t view correctly on mobile devices.

    Mobile optimization is a critical feature for your landing page, just like your main website, as the majority of traffic, for many businesses, now comes from mobile devices. Because landing page layouts are especially sensitive to directing users’ eyes and interactions, it’s vital that your page look attractive and engaging on mobile devices specifically. Is the bulk of your content easily viewable? Is all your text readable? Are your buttons easy to find and click, without zooming? Is it able to scroll easily? If not, you may wish to reconsider your design to cater to these mobile users. Again, BrowserStack can help diagnose problems here.

    4. The buttons or form fields aren’t functioning properly.

    Your web form is the star of your landing page; if it isn’t functioning properly, your visitors aren’t going to proceed with converting. Run multiple tests on multiple browsers and devices to make sure your functionality is intuitive and responsive; for example, is it easy to click into a form field? Do you proactively warn your visitors when they haven’t filled out a required field? Are your buttons easy to click? Do your dropdown menus load quickly and easily? Any deviation here could be an excuse to abandon your landing page, so don’t take chances.

    5. You aren’t targeting a niche audience.

    Who, specifically, are you targeting with your landing page? If you don’t have an answer, or you have a generic one like “our customers,” you’re doing something wrong. One of the greatest strengths of a landing page is its ability to communicate with high precision to one specific group of people. If you aren’t taking advantage of that high relevance, your users aren’t going to be engaged. Think carefully about what niche you want to target, considering your competitors as well as your demographics’ dispositions, and narrow your focus to that audience.

    6. Your tone and presentation aren’t appealing to your target audience.

    Of course, if you already have a target audience in mind, you could be suffering from a lack of relevance—or an inability to target those users effectively. For example, you could be using a vocabulary that’s too high for your users to follow, or so low that it compromises your reputation. You could seem too “boring” to your young users, or too “juvenile” to your older ones. Examine your brand voice carefully as it permeates your landing page, and reevaluate the tone you use.

    7. Your color scheme is off.

    When it comes to the colors you use in your landing page, there aren’t many “right” or “wrong” decisions. However, there are a few best practices you’ll want to follow. For starters, your coloration should be in line with your brand and your industry—if the colors don’t feel like “you,” or if they give the wrong impression, it could interfere with your results. Your coloration should also enhance your text’s readability—if it makes it hard to read, you’ll deal with the consequences—and it should help to call out prominent areas of the page, such as your call-to-action (CTA).

    8. Your design is obsolete.

    When was your landing page designed? Who designed it? The fundamentals of web design have changed significantly over the years, with new trends emerging regularly. Users have grown accustomed to seeing things like full-sized background images, minimalistic, clear designs, “modern” fonts, tasteful links, intuitive forms of navigation, and easy-to-scroll content. If your landing page looks like it came from the 1990s, they’re going to be immediately turned away. If you’re confused about what this means or don’t have anything to compare your site to, take a look at some modern web design examples.

    9. Your design is too crowded.

    While it’s not an absolute necessity, it’s generally agreed upon that minimalistic landing page designs tend to work better than ones that are overcrowded with information, like the Adobe example below. Minimalistic landing pages give users space, allowing their eyes to wander naturally and settle upon only the most important parts of your content. Cramming in too much content or too many features can be both distracting and overwhelming, ultimately leaving your users unsatisfied. This doesn’t necessarily mean you should limit the amount of content you offer, but you should space it out to give your users ample room to digest it.

    adobe landing page

    (Image Source: Unbounce/Adobe)

    10. Your headline isn’t compelling.

    The first line of your landing page, the one that’s most visible when users get there, is the most powerful piece of copy you’ll offer. If you don’t grab your visitors’ attentions here, you may end up losing them forever. Your headline needs to be a strong description of what you’re offering, and a compelling reason to stick around and learn more. Get your users excited, and tell them exactly what they can expect from you. If you’re looking for inspiration, Unbounce has some great examples here.

    11. It’s hard to tell what you’re offering.

    Sometimes, visitors aren’t interested in an offer because they don’t understand what it is. For example, let’s say you’re offering a free trial of your software in exchange for a bit of personal information—but what does your software actually do? What are the options when the free trial expires? Why would anyone be interested in this in the first place? If your landing page leaves any of this ambiguous, it could be a reason for its failure.

    12. Your offer isn’t valuable enough.

    All conversions are an exchange of value, in one way or another. If you’re selling a product, visitors are exchanging money for the goods; if you’re generating leads, they’re exchanging personal information for something valuable, like a free consultation. If your visitors see and understand your offer completely, they may still believe it to be too low a value to proceed with. As a simple example, if you’re charging too much for your product, people aren’t going to buy it—makes sense, right? Here, your best option is to use surveys to determine how valuable your offer really is, and make adjustments accordingly.

    13. Your form is too long to fill out.

    People are impatient, and they want things to happen fast. If your form is too long or too complicated to fill out, they aren’t going to invest any time in it. There’s no universal rule here, but try to keep your form fields as minimal as possible, such as asking for a first name, last name, and email address. Feel free to ask for more information, but be ready to back that request up with a better offer in exchange.

    14. You don’t have any visual engagement.

    Humans crave visual engagement. It’s easier to make a decision based on what we see rather than on what we read, because that’s how our ancestors survived for millions of years. At the very least, you should have a handful of images that show off your products, like Loot Crate does in the example below. If you’re not selling products, or if you’re selling something less tangible, consider including other types of images that convey the attitude of your brand or suggest the experience of your services. And they don’t have to be images—videos work well, too.

    Lootcrate

    (Image Source: Loot Crate)

    15. Your brand is inconsistent or invisible.

    Landing pages demand some different approaches than traditional websites, but you still need to have your brand carried throughout. Your brand personality and values should be evident in the image you present and the voice you use in every corner of your landing page if you want to give users a sense of comfort and familiarity. Even if they aren’t familiar with your brand, this is a powerful way to convince them that this is the type of company they want to deal with—don’t hide that personality.

    16. You don’t have information about your brand.

    Of course, your brand is about more than just your identity standards. There’s also a history to your brand, and probably a lot more to your company than you can adequately squeeze into the confines of a landing page. Include what information you can on your landing page without overwhelming your audience, and give them a chance to learn more with a link to a separate page or an embedded video. The information doesn’t need to be there explicitly, but it does need to be available for those who want to do more research on your business.

    17. There’s no contact information.

    Contact information gives people a sense of security. When they see a phone number at the top of your landing page, they’re reassured that someone exists on the other end to take care of any questions or concerns they have. When they see a live chat window, they feel like you care about your customers’ needs. Even if they don’t use these options, the fact that they’re there makes it more likely that they’ll convert, so if you omit them, it could be a source of your poor performance.

    18. You don’t have any trust badges.

    Of the 50 things on this list, trust badges probably seem like the most innocuous. These tiny symbols, proving your affiliation with various trustworthy organizations, may seem inconsequential compared to the functionality of your page and the strength of your design and copywriting, but the fact is they have a massive impact on your eventual conversion rates. If you don’t currently have any on your landing page, consider adding them in, and see what type of effect it has on your performance. You’d be surprised how many people they can convince.

    19. There’s no social proof.

    The majority of today’s consumers aren’t satisfied with a company’s proclamation that its product or service is the best—after all, they’re the ones trying to sell you on it. Instead, people are increasingly turning to social proof to back their decisions. These are things like reviews, testimonials, and even historical customer data—all of which are third-party indications that a company is worth working with. If you don’t have any of these soft recommendations and forms of social proof on your site, it could be a root cause of your landing page’s inability to perform.

    20. The CTA isn’t obvious.

    Your call-to-action (CTA), the main button or final step of the conversion process, should be blatantly obvious to anyone on your landing page. If it isn’t, it could seriously detract from your ability to achieve conversions. You can make your CTA more obvious by making it a button (rather than just a link), giving it a color that significantly stands out from the rest of your page, making it larger, or even placing it above the fold. You can even use subtler tactics, like arrows or other directional cues to guide your users’ focus to this area.

    21. There are too many distractions.

    Enough distractions can ruin even the best landing page. When designing your page, it’s tempting to include as much as possible, such as more information about your brand, other options, or even links to your blog posts and other materials. However, you need to remember that there’s one goal to your landing page; get people to convert. Anything other than that conversion opportunity qualifies as a distraction, and may distract your visitors from ever completing the process. You’ll need to eliminate these distractions if you want to see your conversion rates improve.

    22. You have too many options.

    Common sense would tell you that more options are a good thing—but that isn’t the case for landing pages. In fact, sometimes, fewer options can help you achieve more conversions. When you have too many variants on the same offer, people can get confused and intimidated, but in a selection between two or three choices, there’s usually one standout pick.

    23. It’s too similar to other landing pages.

    Take a look at your landing page and compare it to some of the other landing pages you see from your competitors. How similar does it look? Does it stand out in any unique way? It’s a good idea to look to other landing pages as sources of inspiration and to see best practices at work, but if you don’t have any unique qualities to make you stand out, you could end up alienating a major portion of your audience. Be sure to show off what makes your brand—and your offer—unique.

    24. Your page seems spammy or untrustworthy.

    If you try too hard to sell to your visitors, your site could come across as spammy, unprofessional, or untrustworthy. Gimmicky companies have used spammy, deceptive landing pages to trick people into buying products for years, so consumers have become hyper-sensitive to tactics like flashing lights, big promises, and excessive use of exclamation points. Make sure your landing page looks professional and approachable.

    25. Your customers simply aren’t ready to buy.

    Almost every buying decision occurs in several stages. Customers learn about a problem their facing, then learn about potential solutions, then learn about the companies offering solutions. If you offer a solution to a problem your audience doesn’t know they have, they aren’t going to convert. That means you need to make one of two changes; either refocus your target audience to get people in the right stage of the buying cycle, or change your offer to target the types of users you’re getting.

    26. You don’t have a clear UVP.

    Your unique value proposition (UVP) is a single, concise statement that explains why your offer is important and how it’s differentiated from the competition in a single go. It can be hard to come up with, and even harder to present to your audience in a clear, effective way, but it’s something you need if you want your landing page to become effective. You can use this statement as a headline, or a main focus somewhere else in your copy, but it should stand out to your incoming visitors.

    27. You haven’t listed the advantages of your product or offer.

    It’s not enough to describe what you’re offering. You need to describe the effects of what you’re offering—essentially, you need to explain why your customers would benefit from purchasing this product or taking you up on this offer. Desk does an awesome job with this in the example below; it reduces its complex and multifaceted software to a series of four main improvements. Keep this list accurate, concise, and simple—the flashier you are, the less convincing you’re going to be.

    desk.com landing page design

    (Image Source: Desk)

    28. Your copy is unprofessionally written.

    This may be a hard one for you to judge, especially if you’re the one who wrote it, but if your landing page isn’t performing, it could be due to an issue with the professionalism of your copy. Any single typo, like a spelling or grammatical error, could cause some users to stop trusting you; after all, if you can’t proofread your own landing page, you probably aren’t quality-checking your products or services. Any clunky, awkward, or poorly written sentences could also contribute to this image, so keep your copy as tight as possible to maximize your potential for success.

    29. Your copy is too sales-y or pushy.

    It’s unfortunate that many marketers resort to hard-selling tactics and sales gimmicks to try and earn more conversions. Today’s audience is sick of hearing sales speak, and they’re tired of seeing advertisements. If you try to bully your visitors into converting, they’re not going to comply—they’re just going to leave. Instead, it’s better to be as direct and honest as possible.

    30. You use too many big words or buzzwords.

    In that same vein, your visitors may be distrusting you if you use too many big words or buzzwords. Even if your vocabulary matches your target audience’s, excessive use of big words may make it seem like you’re overcompensating for something, and using too many buzzwords makes you sound lazy and unoriginal. Instead, try not to overthink your writing too much. Explain yourself in brief, simple sentences, again being as direct as possible.

    31. You don’t have any visuals of your offer.

    I already mentioned the importance of having strong visuals earlier in this guide, but here this tip extends specifically to your product or service. People want to see what they’re getting—even if it’s just a hint of it. Establish your visitors’ expectations by showing them a product demo video, or a slideshow of images from different angles, or if you’re offering something digital like an eBook, show them some screenshots or a previous example of your work.

    32. There’s no guarantee.

    People need a sense of security before they buy from you, or even sign up for a free trial. Explain any guarantees you might have, including money-back guarantees, return policies, or how your free trial works once it expires. If you don’t offer this information to your visitors, any hint of a doubt could be enough to dissuade them from actually following through with the conversion.

    33. There’s a human element missing.

    People want to buy from other people—not from faceless corporations. That’s why you need to have more of a human element present in your landing page. You can do this in a number of ways, but one of the most effective is also the simplest; just include more images of people, the way Uber does in the example below. You could also combine this with social proof by offering pictures of the people who have given you reviews and testimonials.

    Uber - Human Element in Landing Page Design

    (Image Source: Uber)

    34. Your landing page has too much content.

    Content is king, but that doesn’t mean you should overwhelm your users with it. If you have too much content on your landing page, there’s no way your visitors will read it all—and even if they do, they’ll likely be too overwhelmed or distracted to take any further action. Keep things concise.

    35. Your landing page has too little content.

    However, concise doesn’t mean light. Your landing page needs to be focused and brief, but shouldn’t be scarce. People need information to be able to make a decision, so make sure you include enough details to reassure your visitors they’re making the right one. Remember, you can always elaborate by linking out to a separate page.

    36. There’s no action-based language to direct user intent.

    Your landing page should also feature strong, action-based language, with verbs that encourage visitor behaviors. For example, callouts like “try it now” or “stop worrying about ____” are more effective than “available for purchase” or “the perfect solution.”

    37. There’s no sense of urgency.

    People make flash decisions on landing pages. If they don’t make a decision within the first 10 seconds or so of visiting, they’re going to leave—and if they leave, they probably aren’t coming back. Reverse your lacking performance by inducing a greater sense of urgency, which will reduce visitor hesitation and earn you more conversions overall. You can do this by including more time-based language, showcasing limited time offers, or displaying the limited quantity still available. Expedia is a master of this tactic, displaying small slide-ins that show users browsing hotels and airfare things like how popular this destination is, how full the hotel is, and how many more flight tickets are available for a given flight.

    38. The price doesn’t seem good enough.

    Note that this is a different dilemma than having an offer that’s not valuable enough. Here, your offer may be plenty valuable, but the price point doesn’t have as much initial appeal. The best way to beat this is to change how you present your pricing; for example, you could take advantage of the psychological effect of discounts by showing your price as marked down from a previous high point.

    39. You aren’t using buttons.

    Everything outside your form should be reduced to button format. Hyperlinks aren’t only ugly, they’re hard to click on mobile devices, so the more easily clickable buttons you can include in your design, the better – especially when you’re tapping your finger on a mobile device.

    40. It’s clear your work came from a template.

    Take a close look at your site as it compares to others. If it looks like it came from a template, it may look unprofessional. That doesn’t mean you can’t use a template—it just means you have to be judicious when choosing one, opting for a platform that looks original, or at least stands apart from the usual options. Similarly, try to avoid using stock photography when you can—it often comes off as cheap and impersonal. Invest in original images that have never been used before.

    41. You haven’t called upon personal brands.

    Personal brands are extremely powerful in the marketing world. They’re personal (obviously), which makes them more relatable, and it’s possible to use them as a reinforcement of your brand’s reputation. For example, you could use your CEO’s image and a quote from him/her to describe his/her vision for the company. Something along the lines of “I built this company from the ground up so we could…” instantly adds some depth to your company’s history and may boost your visibility as well. If implemented correctly, people will feel like they’re reaching out to a person, rather than some faceless corporation.

    42. There isn’t enough flexibility.

    It’s true that as a general rule, you should seek to limit the choices your users have; but this mostly applies to things like product options and service plan offerings. Since you’ll be asking users for something valuable (money or personal information), you’ll need to give them some flexibility when it comes to options. For example, while you’ll need to make some of your forms required, many of your forms should be listed as optional to fill out. Similarly, it’s wise to accept a number of different payment options, so you don’t alienate anyone who feels more comfortable with one option over another. For example, SalesForce offers multiple ways to sign up for its free trial:

    salesforce

    (Image Source: SalesForce)

    43. There’s no social element.

    There are many angles to take with integrating social media into your landing page, so if you aren’t using any of them, you’re missing out on some free extra traffic and conversions. For starters, you could embed some of your latest tweets and social media posts into your landing page as a secondary means of social proof. You could also add links to your social media profiles as a peripheral “soft” conversion (earning new followers in the process). You could even enable converters to share their experience on their social platform of choice to draw even more people to your page. All of these opportunities are free, easy, and can contribute to your page’s effectiveness.

    44. Your landing page isn’t exciting.

    If you want people to convert, you need to generate a little bit of enthusiasm. As we’ve seen, conversion is an emotional process as much as it is a logical one; merely presenting an item and describing why it’s worth what you’re requesting isn’t enough to persuade users. You need to get them energized, so use exciting language and images to jazz them up. Show them pictures of people having fun. Use strong, emotional words to make them sympathetically feel what you’re suggesting.

    45. You don’t have any concrete evidence or numbers.

    This isn’t an absolute necessity for your landing page, but it could be the factor that pushes them over the edge. If your landing page doesn’t have any numbers, concrete evidence, or statistics to back up what you’re offering or what you’re selling, people may be less convinced that it’s worth their time or money. Numbers are objective and inarguable, which makes them some of the most compelling types of evidence you can provide for your campaign. Even a single metric, like your current number of customers, can be valuable here.

    46. You haven’t marketed or advertised your landing page at all.

    Remember, landing pages are designed to serve as a destination for visitors; if you don’t have a stream of visitors to direct, it’s not going to be able to perform that duty. Even a well-designed landing page can’t attract visitors on its own in a vacuum, so you’ll need the help of marketing and advertising to get there. As for the specific channels you use to generate traffic, think about your target audience and choose from there—content marketing, SEO, PPC ads, social media marketing, and other forms of advertising are all viable.

    47. You’re advertising to the wrong audience.

    Earlier in this guide, I listed a poorly targeted landing page as a critical reason your landing page might not be working—but the targeting problem may begin even sooner, if you’re targeting the wrong audience in your marketing and advertising. Think of your advertising campaign as a filter for your incoming audience; this is your chance to choose exactly who should be coming to your landing page. Getting the right audience there is half the battle, so be sure you’re using whatever demographic targeting features you can, and refine your messaging.

    48. Your lead-in doesn’t match your page.

    Sometimes, marketers like to promise more than they can deliver in order to get people in the door. For example, you may claim that you’re offering “rock-bottom” prices for your products—but if a user arrives on your page and sees that these prices are barely competitive, let alone “rock bottom,” they may leave immediately. Truth in advertising goes a long way here; if you make a claim with your lead-in, make sure you’re able to back it up with the content that’s actually on your landing page.

    49. You haven’t diversified your traffic generation efforts.

    There’s more than one way to attract traffic to your landing page. How many have you tried? Even with audience targeting options in place, different traffic channels may offer different advantages for your brand; for example, social media users may be more energetic, and organic search visitors may be further along in the sales funnel. Even if you don’t stick with them forever, you should at least try a number of different traffic generation methods to maximize your potential.

    50. You haven’t experimented with anything.

    The secret to effectiveness in conversions and landing pages—and I’d argue marketing in general—is experimentation. There’s no universally reliable way to predict exactly how your audience will react to something until you actually make the change. And if you don’t change things, you’ll never know if it can be better. Your entire landing page strategy should be a constantly shifting experiment; change colors, change fonts, change layouts, change offers, and keep changing things, one at a time, until you piece together a product that earns the conversions you need. Unbounce and Leadpages are two highly respected and recommended A/B testing platforms for landing pages. Both allow you to create mobile-optimized pages from templates or scratch, and A/B test any element you can think of.

    Now that you’ve reached the end of this guide, you should have been able to pinpoint at least a handful of plausible reasons why your landing page isn’t more effective than it is. Once you put some corrections in place, you’ll be able to optimize your conversion rates and earn a higher overall return, but don’t be fooled in thinking that this new threshold is the ultimate goal; the truth is, your strategy can always be better, so continue striving for better and better results.

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  2. How to Use Landing Pages to Earn More Revenue

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    Every business could use more revenue; it’s why online marketing exists and remains so popular across a number of strategies and platforms. But there’s a tactic that many marketers aren’t using, and it’s a relatively simple one, at least conceptually. It has to do with landing pages, which exist as somewhat separate pages of your website. Depending on how you create, integrate, and monitor and adjust these “landing pages” in the context of your overall marketing strategies, you could stand to earn far more sales—and revenue for your business.

    This guide will introduce you to the concept of landing pages, how to implement them effectively, and best practices for securing long-term gains for your investment.

    What is a “landing page”?

    First, let’s define exactly what a “landing page” is. There are a variety of forms here, but the basic concept is simple. A landing page is a specifically dedicated page of your website tied to some means of attracting customers. Visitors from various channels, such as social media or paid advertising, will “land” on these pages after clicking a link, and be presented with an opportunity to engage. Usually, these engagements are tied to some kind of value, making the focal point of the landing page a conversion opportunity. Usually, these pages are left off the main navigation, as they serve a niche function and may not be relevant for your standard audience.

    For example, you could create a landing page for your social media audience, advertising an eBook you’ve recently written. You could use this eBook as an incentive for new email newsletter subscribers, funneling your followers to the form contained in your landing page and securing a number of successful conversions.

    Landing pages offer a number of advantages, which I’ll get into in the next main section, but first, let’s take a look at exactly why landing pages are one of the best tools you have to increase your bottom-line revenue.

    Revenue and conversions

    The goal here is to gain more conversions, but the type of conversion you seek is up to you. Your conversion could be tied to a direct means of achieving revenue—such as selling a specific product—or an indirect means—such as acquiring more signups for your email newsletter. Either way, your goal is to get users to interact with your page on some level, which will ultimately drive more revenue to your business.

    How can landing pages do this?

    Key Advantages of Landing Pages

    Landing pages give your campaign a number of distinct advantages, most of which revolve around the customizability of the strategy. You can create a number of different landing pages, running simultaneously or one at a time, for any and all inbound marketing campaigns you have in operation, and keep them separate from the rest of your website at the same time. In this section, we’ll explore these individual advantages, and some key opportunities for development.

    Better audience targeting

    First off, landing pages give you an enhanced ability to target your audience. Let’s say you have two demographic segments: you appeal to single, young adults as well as parents of young children. These are two distinct demographics, and you’ll likely use two different marketing methods to target them (such as newer social media platforms for young adults and paid advertising for parents). If you funnel them both to the same website, you’ll have to speak in generic terms, which could lower your relevance and overall engagement, but landing pages give you the ability to segment your audience according to their demographic makeup.

    This is perfectly illustrated by the pizza-related landing pages below. Look how one variant targets families specifically, while the other targets single eaters.

    pizza landing pages design

    (Image Source: WishPond)

    Better analytics

    Using landing pages can also help you get better data from your audience, in a number of different ways. First, you’re isolating your customers’ behavior to only one page; rather than tracking the complicated paths your users take throughout your website to convert, the process is a simple yes/no opportunity. Second, when you have multiple landing pages running at the same time, it’s easy to compare your data apples-to-apples. Take a look at this chart as an example:

    landing page analytics hubspot

    (Image Source: Hubspot)

    Finally, you have a better ability to track your performance over time, which is vital as you make adjustments to your marketing page (and your landing page as well—more on that in the next section).

    Just keep in mind that in order to reap the analytics benefits of a landing page, you need to be actively tracking and measuring this data. The simple installation of a Google Analytics script is likely enough to get you the information you need here, but double check your tracking proactively to make sure everything’s in order before your campaign goes live.

    AB tests and experimentation

    Due to their flexible nature and similar structure, you can easily use landing pages as AB tests and as platforms for experimentation. On a surface level, this makes it easier to analyze and improve your landing pages over time. For example, if you aren’t sure what type of layout to offer, you can set up two almost-identical landing pages with differences in layout, run them simultaneously for the same audience, and objectively determine which one is better. And since landing pages are relatively easy to create, you don’t even have to limit yourself to AB tests—you can do ABC or ABCDE if you have the resources for it.

    AB tests

    (Image Source: Hubspot/ComScore)

    Experimentation here will maximize your landing pages’ potential profitability, so use it often as a means of self-improvement. It’s hard to say exactly what factors will encourage more conversions, so tweak everything to see what works and what doesn’t.

    Short-term campaigns

    You don’t have to use landing pages only for destinations in your long-term inbound marketing campaigns. In fact, they have a distinct advantage when used as measures for short-term stints, such as temporary promotions or seasonal items.

    For example, let’s say you’re featuring a sale on one of your top items, or that you have a new product you’re coming out with. You can use a landing page to build specific hype around your promotion without deviating from your standard website strategy.

    Search optimization

    One of the greatest advantages of landing pages is their ability to be optimized for search. Even though they main not appear in your main navigation, or be straightforwardly accessible to users on your site, they still have the URL structures, titles, descriptions, and on-page content that any page can use to rank for a Google search:

    ultimate guide to onsite seo

    What’s the advantage here, when you could just create a specific page of your website to do the job? The big opportunity is to target niche keywords you may not otherwise include throughout your site. It allows you to cater to specific topics and specific audiences without interfering with the rest of your strategy. Of course, you’ll still need backlinks and offsite optimization if you want your landing pages to rank, but I’ll touch on this in a future section.

    Best Practices for Landing Pages

    Now you know exactly how and why landing pages are valuable, so let’s turn our attention to making the most of each landing page. It’s not enough to simply create a page, tie it to an inbound campaign, and hope for the best. There are a series of best practices you’ll have to follow, in concept, design, content, and execution, if you want to earn the greatest amount of revenue from the tactic.

    Conversion opportunity

    The bottom line for any landing page is the number of conversions it can generate. Naturally, you’ll want yours to earn as many conversions as possible. For that, you’ll need to optimize your page to encourage more conversions, regardless of what “type” of conversion you’re offering.

    • Overall focus. Think of your landing page as a machine to generate conversions. That is your focus. If you keep everything on your landing page focused on achieving more conversions, you’ll maximize your conversion rate. Otherwise, you run the risk of getting distracted with things like promoting your company image or leading users to other sections of your site. Your design, layout, and copy should all “funnel” the user to fill out your form (or complete a purchase), with no opportunities for that focus to be lost. These are concise, singularly functional pages, so don’t let yourself get carried away with chasing secondary goals.
    • Prominent call-to-action. You’ll also need a prominent and final “call-to-action” on your landing page. Even though your headlines and copy should make it clear that you want your users to convert, your CTA (usually a button) will be the final threshold a user has to cross before passing revenue to your business. Make it prominent with contrasting coloration, a strong, compelling phrase, and a bit of explanatory text as well. CrazyEgg demonstrates this well:

    call to action crazy egg

    (Image Source: Wordstream/CrazyEgg)

    A valuable offer

    Conversion opportunities can be lumped into two main groups: product purchases and user signups. In both groups, you’ll have to prove the value of your offer before a user will be persuaded to convert. In the case of product purchases, this means you have to show off the value of your product with bullet points, advantages, and possibly reviews and case studies. Make your user see the true value of your product.For user signups, don’t take user personal information for granted—there’s a value to this, and you’ll have to provide a value in return if you want to receive it. There are several ways you can do this:

    • Free trials. You could offer a free trial of your service, especially if you’re a SaaS company. This will entice users to part with their personal information, and will give you an easy opportunity to sell them on your full services down the road.
    • Free content. This is an extremely popular way to earn new user signups. Here, you’ll create a landmark piece of content, such as an eBook, a template, a toolkit, or even a lesson series, and offer it as an exchange for users’ personal data. Hubspot uses this on a rotating basis:

    brilliant home page design

    (Image Source: Hubspot)

    • Newsletter subscription. You could use your email newsletter as the “value” in question—as long as you can succinctly prove that the content you’re distributing is actually valuable.
    • Discounts. Finally, you can give users discounts or promotions (on your products or an unaffiliated brand’s) in exchange for their information.

    Concise headlines and copy

    The content of your landing page is going to make a big difference in how users interact with it. First, make sure your headlines and body copy are concise—now isn’t the time for long paragraphs of highly detailed content. Provide a link to your main site for users who want to learn more about you, but keep your landing page material as short and sweet as possible. Remember, your goal is to get a conversion. Nothing more, nothing less.

    You’ll want your headlines to be compelling and exciting, so show off your brand personality and use strong, urgent language to motivate your users to take action. Use your body copy to sell your offer (bullet points work great here) and of course, be sure to craft a powerful few-words-long phrase to use as your final CTA. This is one of the hardest areas to nail, so don’t be afraid if you don’t have it perfect in round one—there are plenty of ways to experiment with your headlines and copy as you continue your strategy.

    Aesthetically appealing design

    “Aesthetically appealing” is one of the vaguest and subjective phrases I can think of to describe the layout and visual appeal of a landing page, but it’s appropriate because of how many directions you can take here.

    There’s a basic “formulaic” kind of layout you can use to get started. This usually has your form featured prominently, with your logo, headlines, body copy, and peripheral material (like images and/or video) stacked against each other. This is good to get started with, but you’ll also want to customize your approach—you don’t want your landing page to look like every other page out there.

    landing page design example

    (Image Source: Unbounce)

    The key features here are keeping all your content “above the fold” (a term that means less and less as mobile marketing becomes more significant), using colors and fonts to emphasize key areas and avoid missed material, and organizing your sections as logically as possible. Strive for an “at a glance” style of presentation; remember, your users will be making their decisions rather quickly, so you need to convince them as swiftly as possible.

    One other important note about your design; keep it as branded as possible. You’ll want to feature your logo at the top of your landing page, keep the coloration in line with your brand, and of course leverage the power of your brand voice throughout. Make your brand stand out—even if you don’t convert users, you’ll at least stick in their memory.

    Easy, approachable functionality

    The functionality of your landing page is also important—if users are forced to jump through hoops, or if they become frustrated in any way by your page, they’ll abandon it without converting. These are just a few of the simple ways you can improve your functionality:

    • Don’t force a scroll. All of your most important content, especially your form, should be featured above the fold. If you make users scroll before you start effectively convincing them, you’ll lose deals. Feel free to offer content below the fold, but keep it limited to supplementary material that not everyone’s going to need.
    • Reduce your required fields. This is a huge deal—users want to spend as little time on your tasks as possible, so keep your forms limited to only a handful of fields. If all you’re looking for is subscribers or additions to your database, consider asking only for names and email addresses. If you have a particularly valuable offer, you can ask for more.
    • Simplify your steps. Users should complete your conversion process in as few steps as possible. If you force them to go through many steps of a checkout, they may bounce before ever completing the process. A one-click checkout isn’t always possible, but it’s something to strive for.
    • Improve loading times. This is a basic step, but one that shouldn’t be ignored; keep your loading time snappy by reducing your image sizes, limiting your on-page content (images and videos), and eliminating any unnecessary code or meta data from your back end.

    Trust factors

    Before users will convert, they have to have some level of trust in your brand. Since most of these users will be unfamiliar with your brand when they sign up, this can be difficult to pull off—you need to call upon the value of trust factors to get the job done:

    • Customer reviews and testimonials. Include a handful of customer reviews and testimonials. For some brands, this will mean going all-out with personalized video reviews. For others, it will mean showing off an aggregated star rating. Either way, social proof can go a long way in securing the trust of your newest visitors.
    • Publisher and partner affiliations. If you have partnerships, publishers, or affiliations that will seem valuable to your users, show them off! They take up very little space, and make a big impression with your users. Take a look at how AudienceBloom uses them:

    affiliations

    (Image Source: AudienceBloom)

    • Trust badges. Trust badges are like publisher affiliations, but are usually associated with institutions like the BBB, PayPal, or other places that offer formal certifications for various business elements.
    • Guarantees and trials. You can also secure trust by making the transaction more secure; for example, you can offer a money-back guarantee, or promise a free trial before having to start. Even a simple statement of “it’s free!” can increase your conversion rate:

    free trials landing page design

    (Image Source: Unbounce)

    • Alternate contact information. Give people more options to reach you, such as with a phone number or a live chat window. Most people won’t take you up on this information, but they’ll feel like you’re more “real” if you offer it, and they’ll grow to trust you more.

    Search optimization

    Finally, you’ll want to optimize your landing page for search engines. I’m only going to touch on the basics here, since I’ve delved into topics of onsite and offsite optimization previously:

    • Onsite factors. Make sure your landing page has a title and description appropriate to its purpose, and relevant to potential searchers. You’ll also want to make sure your URL is concise, descriptive, and features as few numbers and non-alphanumeric characters as possible. You should have at least a few hundred words of content on your page, and all your images and videos should be optimize to be crawled by search engines. If your landing page is relevant to the rest of your onsite content, you can even work on interlinking it.
    • Offsite factors. Most of your offsite optimization will revolve around the quantity and quality of links pointing to your landing page. Strategically target publishers to maximize your relevance to your target audience, and diversify your portfolio by including a number of different backlink sources. This will increase your page authority, which in turn will increase your proclivity to rank for relevant queries—just make sure your links are valuable and relevant, which can be hard to pull off if your landing page is focused strictly on sales.

    Integrating Your Landing Pages

    Most of the best practices I’ve covered thus far have related to the layout and structure of a single landing page, existing in a vacuum. Once a user gets to your landing page, these tactics will help you tremendously. But what about the path they take to your landing page, and what about how they relate to the strategies driving customers to them in the first place?

    For these considerations, you’ll also have to learn to integrate your landing pages effectively.

    Match the medium

    When structuring your landing page and drawing up headline copy, keep your chosen medium in mind. For example, let’s say you’re tying one of your landing pages to a segment of your social media audience. In this case, you can assume that most of your users will be on mobile devices, they’ll be looking for fast transactions, and they’re probably plugged into current events. Contrast this with a traffic source like referral traffic from a major source of information—these users will likely be in the middle of a major decision, and will have more time to consider their next actions carefully.

    Of course, it’s possible to send multiple traffic streams to a single landing page, especially if your target demographics have multiple means of communication and interaction. This is a general consideration, and should be treated with a degree of flexibility.

    Match the message

    You’re also going to want to match the message of your lead-in closely. For paid advertising campaigns, your landing page content should closely match the headline and copy you used in your ad. For other campaigns, you likely used a headline or short sentence to draw people in. Whatever the case, you need to keep a degree of consistency, or else your users are going to feel alienated and jarred when they start navigating your page.

    VistaPrint has a great example of message-matching done right. Take a look at the process here—a search for “cheap business cards” leads to this prominent advertisement, which promises 500 cards for $9.99. Click on the link and you’ll be met with the basic headline “standard business cards,” which matches the query and the ad, along with a price and quantity offer that exactly meets the expectations the ad set up.

    cheap business cards

    vista print landing page

    (Image Source: VistaPrint)

    There are no surprises and no sudden changes here.

    Compare and contrast

    Finally, I highly encourage you to launch more than one landing page, even if it’s only two variations of the same idea. Just as conducting a survey with one person doesn’t give you nearly as much information as conducting the same survey with many people, the more landing pages you have to look at in similar live environments, the better. Compare and contrast your approaches, keeping objectively measurable data at the center of your interpretations.

    Ongoing Considerations

    As you continue to run your landing pages in the context of your marketing campaign, there are a few ongoing best practices to keep in mind:

    • Measure everything you can. This is crucial. If you want to glean the most powerful insights from your audience, you need to measure everything you can—that means the basic information like traffic volume and conversion rates, but also lesser information like heat maps of user interaction. You won’t have to look at every piece of data you gather, but you need to gather it in case you want it later; much of your conclusions will be based on historical and comparative findings, so it’s definitely better to have too much information and not use it than to lose data you wish you had.
    • Experiment and refine your approach. Landing pages are not a strategy meant for one-time creation and execution. They are an organic strategy, evolving over time, and only over several rounds of changes will they start to improve in meaningful ways. Furthermore, you can’t rely on your conceptual or hypothetical assumptions to hold true; challenge yourself by changing your landing pages in unique and speculative ways. You are an experimenter, and only through trial and error will you learn, for sure, which tactics are effective and which ones aren’t.
    • Don’t manage more than you can handle. In an earlier section, I mentioned that having more landing pages was better; this is true in terms of the amount of data you’re able to gather, but at the same time, don’t try to manage more than you can handle simultaneously. Each of your landing pages requires attention, maintenance, and adjustment to earn growth, so the more you add to your plate, the fewer time and resources you can spend on each one. Keep your list consolidated to a group you can actively manage, and during the beginning of your campaign, limit your focus to only a few.
    • Hedge your bets. Invest in a number of different areas if you want to see the biggest return for your money; this means using landing pages for a number of separate marketing channels as well as using strongly differentiated designs and content to appeal to your audiences. If you have a major traffic stream (i.e., thousands of monthly visitors), don’t risk them all on one untested landing page; segment your traffic to “hedge your bets” and balance out the winners and losers.
    • Drop what doesn’t work. When you spend hours of time concepting and creating a landing page, you don’t exactly like to admit that it isn’t getting the job done. But like it or not, some of your landing pages, in part or in full, simply aren’t going to work. When you realize this, drop the dead weight immediately. It isn’t going to bring any additional value to you.

    Getting Started

    Marketers everywhere are increasing their online marketing budgets, and you should be doing the same. Landing pages are a cost-efficient way to make almost any marketing strategy you currently follow more effective, and they don’t take much work or experience to get started. In fact, if you’re currently using a template-based site or a convenient CMS like WordPress or Drupal, you can start creating your own landing pages immediately. They don’t have to be fancy at first—so long as they follow the best practices I’ve outlined in detail above. Instead, the true power in landing pages comes with your ongoing adjustment and refinement.

    The sooner you get started with your landing page strategy, the more you’ll stand to earn in long-term revenue, so begin your strategy now—even if your pages aren’t perfect.

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