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5 Tips for Effective Landing Pages

04/17/2019|Expertise|
5 tips for building a landing page

Well-built landing pages aren’t just a surefire way to increase digital marketing conversions, they can provide a treasure trove of valuable data and insight about your customers. And yet, less than a quarter of companies are satisfied with the results from their landing pages, according to Impact.

With companies like Moz generating $1 million in new revenue with landing pages and online campaigns, one can’t help but wonder why more businesses don’t leverage high-quality landing pages to increase leads, sales and brand awareness.

When you’re ready to unleash the power power of landing pages, follow these five guidelines:

1. Consider the Funnel

Marketing funnels often get overlooked, especially when budgets aren’t astronomical. However, if you don’t know where people are in your funnel, you can’t reasonably expect them to convert on your page. Are they an ice cold prospect who’s never heard of your brand? Or a warm lead you’ve been cultivating? Maybe a red-hot lead who just needs one last push?

Right place...right time?

Studies show that the average buyer’s journey (the time between first exposure to your brand and the purchase) is about 42 days.

Of course, this varies from company to company depending on what you’re selling. In the last year alone, we’ve dealt with buyer’s journeys ranging from one day to over a year here at PLAY Creative. Knowing the user’s status in your marketing funnel helps set the expectation for the page, and helps determine its messaging and goals. Luckily, you can almost always determine a user’s status in your funnel based on how you sent them to the landing page.

For example, users coming from from paid search ads are probably higher in the funnel than someone coming from your email newsletter. The more exposure they’ve had to your brand, the warmer they are.

The colder the user, the more you’ll need to warm them up before they’re willing to become a customer. That’s also why it’s crucial to set expectations for the landing page and define exactly what it means to “convert” a user.

2. Define Your Conversion

Remember that a landing page’s goal won’t always be the same as your brand’s overall goal, like closing a sale or signing a new client.

And that’s why it’s so important to consider the marketing funnel. Knowing a user’s position in that funnel helps you set reasonable goals for conversions.

Two of the most common goals for landing pages are sales and lead generation. Both can be accomplished with a good landing page, but have vastly different outcomes.

For example...

There’s also a good chance that brand started marketing to you and moving you down their funnel. Then, you probably were hit with additional advertising like marketing emails, social media ads or digital retargeting ads for certain products.

Finally, if you clicked an ad, you probably found yourself on another landing page featuring the product. That brand first captured your email address, warmed you through their marketing funnel with ads and emails, and primed you for the sale. If you ended up buying the featured product, that means the second landing page also converted you—just in a much different way.

Those two landing pages achieved different things, but still converted both times because they were highly considerate of where you as a customer were in their marketing funnel, and had clearly defined goals.

3. Build Around a Single Goal

Like every ad, every landing page’s strategy should start with the same question about your user: What do you want them to do?

Once the conversion is defined, it should inform every aspect of the landing page from the messaging to the layout and everything in between.

Funneling users toward your singular goal doesn’t just mean the landing page focuses on the outcome. It also includes stripping away everything else that distracts from that goal. Your website’s main navigation, external links and even other clickable offers—everything must go!

It might seem counterintuitive to remove your site’s navigation. Remember though, your landing page should have one singular focus, and every aspect of the page needs to lead to that. Every clickable link, button and banner is a possible exit point that leads visitors away from that precious conversion.

4. Don’t Sacrifice Branding or UX

Web marketing guru Neil Patel says that “if you’re an unknown, you’re unsafe.” Web platforms like WordPress have made it easier than ever to create beautiful, functional websites, but that’s a double-edged sword.

The democratization of good web design and UX has raised the bar for what users expect when they land on your website. Most visitors spend less than 30 seconds on a website on average, so if you don’t legitimize your landing page with good branding, intuitive UX and fast load times, you could lose visitors without as much as a single click or scroll. It’s estimated that bad UX causes tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue worldwide each year.

Similarly, your website and landing page need to maintain branding to maximize familiarity with the user. The design and tone of a landing page needs to match the design and tone of whatever media sent a visitor to a website, whether that’s a paid search ad, an email, a billboard or any other type of ad.

When a visitor is familiar with your website’s brand thanks to an email or ad, it creates comfort and trust.

5. Test and Tweak

Once your landing page is up and running and you’ve defined your conversion, you can start watching key metrics to determine how you can refine the page into a lean, mean, conversion machine.

Key metrics we like here at PLAY Creative include:

  • Heat maps
  • On-site time
  • Conversions!

Metrics matter!

Watching metrics teaches you a lot about your target audience and how they respond to the landing page. It's just as important to know when to use certain metrics. For example, bounce rates can be an important stat on websites, but not necessarily on a landing page. A high bounce rate could even be a good thing if users are converting. If users aren't converting, though, high bounce rates can be a terrible thing.

Heat maps, like those from Crazy Egg, can show you how far people tend to scroll down on your page, where they click most often and where their eyes gravitate to. Have a hot spot that’s getting lots of clicks? Move a CTA button there! If the heat map shows that users leave the page before reaching the bottom, though, it might be time to shorten the content or bring your CTA higher up the page.

The important metrics to watch will vary from page to page and are largely determined by the page’s single goal. That goal, of course, should be clearly defined by the user’s position in your marketing funnel.

When that page launches and gains traffic, the next step is to observe and report, and improve the page accordingly.

Need some more insight on how you can use landing pages to generate leads and make sales? Fill out the form below to get in touch. We’d love to tell you more.

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