Industry news

Build better landing pages: here’s how

By August 25, 2016 No Comments

If you’re investing the time, money and resources into managing an email marketing or advertising campaign, you want to give it every opportunity to convert. While it may not be realistic for you to create a dedicated landing page for each and every marketing campaign, it is extremely beneficial to add the practice of landing page optimization into your marketing mix.

Highly optimized landing page examples

Photo: Landing by flickr member John Benson

Here’s why:

If someone has already made the effort to click on your marketing email or ad, you want to do everything in your power to convert them once they land on your site. According to a 2015 study conducted by Wishpond:

  • 13.28% = the average landing page conversion rate for B2B landing pages
  • 9.87% = the average landing page conversion rate for B2C landing pages

How well do your campaigns currently convert? Exactly. Driving people to a page that dramatically increases the chances of visitors doing what you want them to do is worth the additional investment in resources or technology (not to mention the skills you’ll learn in the process).

How do you start a practice of landing page optimization?

If you have the skills in house (designer, writer, coder) to build and refine your landing pages, rejoice! Brief your team on the why and how of designing landing pages, share some stellar examples and make sure everyone understands that landing page optimization is an ongoing process, not an end result.

If, like many of us, you don’t have the skills in house, there are several tools, such as Hubspot, Optimizely and Unbounce, that enable you to create and tweak landing pages using a WYSIWYG tool. In other words, lonesome marketers with no coding or design chops can do this too.

The key components of a strong landing page

Focus on one goal and drive to it

What is the one thing you want visitors to do when they click on your newsletter or ad? Build your entire landing page around this one thing. Tell people what to do using a strong, clear call to action. And wherever possible, remove anything that does not contribute to this one conversion goal.

Keep copy clear and simple

Your headline needs to echo the language and message in your ad or subject line. There are two reasons for this:

  1. Your visitors will respond better to a headline that reinforces the first message they see.
  2. If you’re managing an AdWords campaign, matching your ad copy and landing page copy will improve your Quality Score.

Call out one strong customer-facing benefit in your headline, and reinforce it with simple and direct copy. Don’t try and say too much up front. Call out the benefits of your product or service at a glance — your visitors are more likely to scan than to read.

Speak about benefits, not features

Rather than listing all shiny features of your product or service, flip it so each feature addresses its benefit to consumers. For example, don’t write “high resolution display”, write “catch every detail in high resolution”.

Keep your forms short and sweet

I know: you want that extra snippet of demographic information from your customers. But with each additional question, your form completion rate will go down. If you are creating landing pages intended to drive sales or leads, slim down your forms to the fewest possible fields.

Keep only what’s necessary for the conversion

Kill your darlings. Review your page with an eye to removing any distractions that could take away from the conversion. Ask a second or third set of eyes to help you find those unnecessary links or copy snippets, the ones you get attached to and don’t want to lose but maybe should.

Target your creative

The more you can target your landing page creative to the demographic, vertical or product featured in your ad, the better your chances of success. Are you selling drones to 40-something men who live in California? Feature content that speaks their language.

Use testimonials and trust indicators

Include your strongest testimonial, ideally from a customer in the same demographic that your campaign is targeting. Have you won any awards, earned media mentions, or security certifications? Include these on every landing page.

Make it responsive

When 50% of newsletter readership is mobile, you need to assume that at least half the people visiting your landing page will be doing so from a smaller screen. It goes without saying that all your landing pages need to be mobile-friendly, and ideally responsive for mobile. Make sure you test all landing page across all devices. And ensure that your form fields are “smart”, i.e. they make it as easy as possible for users to enter data using their mobile devices.

Keep on testing

It’s no surprise that we advocate testing your landing pages. If your audience or subscriber list is large enough to run a statistically relevant test, create one variation to test against your control. You don’t have to go it alone: tools such as Optimizely and Unbounce make it easy to test and manage landing page variations.

Know it’s a process

Building landing pages for your campaigns is not something you master overnight. Start with one campaign that has sufficient traffic to enable you to optimize and refine. And begin the adventure of adapting your content to individual campaigns, and tracking the results.

Landing pages we love

Ready to see some great landing pages? Here are two optimized landing pages that put these tips into practice.

Optimized landing page examples

Landing page best practice example

Please wait...

Author Chrystian Guy

More posts by Chrystian Guy