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Targeted landing pages aren't just a useful tool—they are a critical component to any company's online marketing strategy.
You may have questions... What are landing pages and how are they different than regular web pages? How are high-converting landing pages created? What exactly makes a landing page 'convert' in the first place?
Where a web page can serve many purposes, a landing page serves just one: To promote a specific marketing offering to customers who have expressed interest. And optimizing them for high-conversions is an art in and of itself.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a standalone web page that was created for one specific purpose.
Visitors arrive at (or "land" on) landing pages after clicking links in emails or PPC ads, social media posts, web pages, emails, etc. They are then encouraged to take a certain action via text and imagery. This action could be anything from signing up for an email list to purchasing a product.
Landing pages differ from regular web pages because they're designed to accomplish one goal and one goal only. It's this focus that sets them apart.
When users land on the Nutshell homepage, for example, they can go anywhere: our product features page, pricing page, blog—there are links to a lot of different locations.
But when they click to visit our "Free Trial" landing page, all of those links disappear. The only thing they can do now is sign up for a free trial or hit the "Back" button. The call to action gains more prominence, as the user has demonstrated interest by following the links in the first place.
In other words, the landing page has zero distractions, allowing visitors to focus on the one thing we really want them to do in this case: sign up for a free trial. Because of this, conversions are much higher than they would be if we put the same sign-up form right on our homepage.
What is a conversion?
You're on Instagram and come across an ad for "The Best Diet Ever." You've never heard of it before, but you're intrigued. So you click on the ad and are instantly transported to a landing page, which you read, excitement growing inside of you with every sentence. This truly seems like the best diet ever.
At the bottom of the page there's a CTA, which says, "Download your free eBook to learn more." You click the button, enter your email address, and then get access to the ebook.
What just happened here? In sales and marketing terms, you were converted from a complete stranger into a viable lead. The folks who sell "The Best Diet" now have your contact information and can send you emails promoting their paid products and services.
Conversions happen when users progress from one "stage" in a sales pipeline or marketing funnel to the next—usually by clicking a CTA, as in the example above.
Landing pages play a crucial role in this progression.
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Your landing pages are important company assets. The question is, how do you create them effectively? There's no one-size-fits-all method, but this four-step process will help:
1. Know your page goals
You can't achieve success in anything if you don't know what success looks like to you. So, before you build a landing page, decide what your page goals are.
Do you want to generate leads by giving away free content? Are you hoping to increase your user base by offering free trials? Maybe you want to boost sales and revenue by expounding on the awesomeness of your company's products and services.
Your objective will dictate the kind of content you create, which means it's highly recommended that marketing teams nail that down before starting any landing page design.
2. Understand your visitors
Next, ask yourself, "Who is our audience?"
The landing page you build to engage college students will probably look a lot different than the one you build to engage soccer parents. Because most college students and soccer moms have different responsibilities, interests, and budgets.
When you know who will visit your landing page, you can craft content specifically for them, which will increase your conversion rate and lead to more success.
3. Create compelling content
Once you know what your landing page is supposed to accomplish and who will visit it, you can start the content creation process. A few tips
Be clear and concise
If your content is confusing, your visitors will bounce. If you ramble on and on, your visitors will bounce. The best landing pages are easy to understand and get right to the point. Remember, the extraneous details can go elsewhere on the website, but high-conversion landing pages are focused.
To be clear, that doesn't mean your landing pages must be short. Include enough content to achieve your page goal. Simple goals, like securing email addresses, will take less content. Difficult goals, like making sales, will require more content.
Benefits over features
A feature is what a product or service does, a benefit is why it matters.
When Chevy tells you that the new Silverado has up to 420 horsepower, it doesn't really mean anything—until they tell you that 420 horsepower will make it a whole lot easier for you to tow your boat to the lake on weekends. This is an important difference to understand.
We're not saying you shouldn't include product features on your landing pages. But all features should be given context to make them more meaningful.
Use appealing imagery
The way your landing page looks matters, like, a lot.
That's why we suggest using proven templates from Unbounce, Leadpages, and Instapage, as well as quality images. If possible, use video to increase visitor engagement, too.
This last tip is especially important. Videos are the preferred content type for many people. They'll also allow you to share information quickly and create a more memorable experience for your landing page visitors. Just make sure your videos are less than three minutes long.
72% of people say positive testimonials boost their trust in a business
97% of B2B customers say testimonials are the most reliable form of content
Obviously, including positive reviews and testimonials on your landing pages is a good idea! Fortunately, it's really easy to do. Platforms like Yotpo will allow you to easily collect and display your best customer reviews on the landing pages you create.
Add a guarantee
Finally, make sure your landing pages include a guarantee of some kind. Why? Because guarantees make internet users more comfortable and increase the likelihood of conversion.
If you're selling a product, offer a money-back guarantee.
If you're selling a service, guarantee 100% satisfaction.
If you're collecting email addresses, add a "no spam" guarantee.
You've probably seen them before, messages like "we will not use your email address to send any unwanted emails." Such guarantees should make it easier for the user to follow the CTA and understand exactly what they should expect from you.
Pro tip: Position your guarantee close to the CTA on your landing page, in a spot where users will see it before they click.
4. End with a killer CTA
A world class landing page will still convert poorly if its call-to-action is subpar. Here are a couple of ideas you can implement to help your CTA "deliver the goods."
Make it exciting
Nobody wants to click on a call-to-action that says "Submit" or "Sign Up." These CTAs are boring and do nothing to remind landing page visitors of the benefits you offer.
Instead, using exciting words and persuasive phrases like "Discover" and "Boost" and "Build a Better [Blank]". We also suggest writing your CTAs in first person. For example, "Boost Your Conversion Rate" is better than "Boost Conversions" because it gives visitors ownership.
Design it right
Your CTA should be easy for your visitors to see. One of the best (and simplest!) ways to do this is to make it bigger than the rest of the text on your landing page.
We also recommend making your CTA look like a button. Buttons are made to be pushed and will subtly suggest to your audience that you want them to click.
Finally, make sure your CTA is a different color than the rest of your landing page so that it stands out. Consult your design team and choose a bright color that looks good and maintains your company branding efforts. Color continuity helps build trust.
Optimize your landing pages for conversion
Landing page creation isn't an exact science. Different audiences respond to different things, which is why A/B testing is essential to the success of your landing pages.
If you're not familiar with the term, A/B testing, also known as split testing, is the process of comparing two versions of a web page to see which performs better. It's a reliable way to test different headlines, images, and videos, CTAs, etc.
Here's what this process looks like in real life:
A landing page is created and launched.
Something about the landing page is changed—the headline, for example.
The original landing page, known as the control, and the edited landing page, known as the variant, are both exposed to a targeted audience.
Metrics like dwell time, scroll depth, and conversion rate are tracked and compared. If the variant performs better, it becomes the new control and the process begins again.
There are two things to keep in mind when A/B testing landing pages: one, you should perform tests on a regular basis. Even the best landing pages stop converting after a while. Constantly update your landing pages so that they always perform well.
And two, only test one page element at a time.
This will help you understand why you achieve the results you do. If you test headlines and CTAs simultaneously, it will be difficult to determine which change led to the new outcome.
If you want more information on A/B testing landing pages, check out this article.
Examples of high-conversion landing pages
What this landing page does right:
The headline is very benefit-oriented. Uber drivers can earn money on their schedule and get paid quickly for their efforts. Who doesn't want that?
The copy is clear and concise. Uber doesn't waste the visitor's time. They tell them what they need to know in three succinct paragraphs—that's it.
They don't ask for too much information. Some landing pages fail because they require visitors to fill out 15 different fields. This is rarely a good idea.
What this landing page does right:
Again, the headline is benefit-oriented. If you're thinking about starting an ecommerce store, you definitely love the idea of making millions of dollars from it someday.
This landing page promotes Shopify's integration with Facebook. So it makes sense that the imagery highlights Facebook stores that were built with Shopify.
The lead capture form is super short—only three questions. The CTA works as well because it's in first-person, shaped like a button, and is a contrasting color.
Build better landing pages
A well-designed landing page will help you grow your email list, book more product demos, sell more services, and otherwise improve your business.
But not all landing pages are created equal…
Fortunately, you now know everything you need to create high-conversion landing pages that completely transform your business! Just follow the tips we outlined in this article:
Know your page goals
Understand your visitors
Create compelling content
End with a killer CTA
Then work hard to optimize your landing page on a regular basis so that it always converts at a consistent clip. Do those things and you'll find success—guaranteed!