The goal for your online business should be to turn visitors into customers. An important part of this process is getting people to view your site in the first place. This is accomplished through paid search, organic search, banner ads and other marketing efforts.
But, it doesn’t matter how many people you are able to drive to your website if you can’t convert them into paying customers. The key factor in whether someone will actually buy from you is your landing page.
It’s the first thing people will see when they visit your site. If it isn’t compelling, people will click away in a matter of seconds. If, on the other hand, it catches their interest and motivates them, then there is a good chance you will make a sale. That’s why you have to work hard to make sure your landing page is as effective as possible. One of the great features of Spring Metrics is the ability to measure the effectiveness of your landing pages and see which are getting the most conversions and driving the most revenue:
You can quickly view conversions, visits, conversion rates, and revenue in real-time to see which landing pages are performing best.
So what goes into a great landing page?
There are many elements involved, and we’re going to take you through them step-by-step so you can convert more visitors to customers.
1. First, a great landing page provides visitors with what they expect to see when they visit your site. You’d think this would be a very basic concept, but many people get it wrong. When a visitor arrives to your landing page from an ad or paid search result, they come there with very specific expectations. They want the tone and look of your page to match the tone and look of the ad that brought them there in the first place. So, make sure your landing page uses the same type of language and similar visual elements as your ads. If your ad promises to provide people with a solution to a given problem, make sure the page makes it clear that you will provide the solution. If your ads are a soft sell, don’t send them to a hard-sell landing page. If your ads are hard sell don’t send them to a soft-sell landing page. In other words, always make your landing pages consistent with your ads.
2. Make sure you create compelling headlines for your landing pages. This is what the potential customer will see first, and will make them decide whether or not to read the rest of your copy. A visitor decides whether to stay on your landing page in five seconds or less – so you have to grab them right off the bat with compelling headlines. The ideal headline will identify the problem the customer is trying to solve and tell them in no uncertain terms that your company can provide the solution. For example, if you are marketing anti-virus software, a decent headline would be: “Worried Your Hard Drive Could Be Destroyed By A Virus? Our System Will Protect Your Important Data” See how that works? The first part of the headline confirms that if they are worried about viruses they’ve come to an appropriate site. The second part of the headline tells them that you are ready to help them with their concerns.
3. Use a fair amount of “white space” on your landing page. Do not cram too much copy or too many images on the page. People need to be able to glance down the page and easily pick out parts of your offer that interest them. If a page doesn’t have enough white space, it can be overwhelming to many visitors.
4. Bullet points are your friend. Bullet points quickly allow the reader to see if you have the solution they are looking for. They also give you a chance to show them the benefits of your product in a digestible, easy-to-read format.
5. Break down the copy that is not contained within bullet points into easy-to-understand, quickly read paragraphs. You are not writing a college essay here. Visitors can easily skim through copy that is broken down into smaller versus longer paragraphs.
6. Provide testimonials from current customers, and use a few of them on your landing pages. Visitors will be more convinced, and have more trust in you, if they see that you have successfully helped others. Testimonials are even more powerful if you can provide a photo of the person who was happy with your product or service.
7. Include a picture of your product on your landing page. Potential customers like to see products before buying. It helps in emotionally connecting the visitor with the product if they can see it.
8. Instead of convincing a visitor to make a purchase on a landing page, test other conversion methods. For instance, offer a free whitepaper, ebook, or guide in exchange for the visitor’s email address. Once they have provided their email address, follow up with a message a day later to introduce yourself, your company, and gain a better understanding of the challenges they are looking to solve with your solution.
9. Keep your landing page clean and as simple as possible. We mentioned earlier that white space is key on your landing page to avoid overwhelming the visitor and to be sure to provide content that is easily digested. Taking this a step further, any information, images, testimonials, trust icons (awards, press mentions, etc) on your landing page should have the sole purpose of converting the visitor into a customer. Keep it simple and clean and make sure that all elements on the page help to convert the visitor.
10. Create a call to action. A call to action is the message that directs the visitor to convert. This should be as direct as possible. Many sites fail at this, because they assume that the rest of their sales message is so compelling they don’t need a call to action. They are wrong. If you want people to buy your product, tell them: “Buy Product X Today.” If you want them to register for your service say, “Register Now!” If you want them to sign up for your software tell them to “Sign up Now!.” Other than your headline, your call to action is the most important part of your landing page.
That, in a nutshell, is what you should have in mind when you are creating a landing page. But, there is one other critical thing to consider: You also need to constantly test your landing pages. Odds are, your first attempt will not be your best. Optimizing your landing pages will be key to your continued success of converting visitors into paying customers. Be sure to check out our two part post entitled “8 Tips for Optimizing Landing Pages” which will walk you through best practices for setting up and testing your landing pages.