Landing pages are often the gap between grabbing a user’s attention and turning them into a customer or client. They are the focal point that you want your target market directed to.
So, how do you make sure your landing pages are designed, worded and laid out to achieve your digital goals?
Below, we provide a recipe for success that includes the essential factors to mastering your website’s landing pages.
What is a Landing Page?
A landing page is an entry point for a particular section of your website. Essentially, it is what you point people to in your on and offline content. A landing page is a URL you include in your ads, social media posts, search engine results and so on. In other words, it is where a user first ‘lands’ on your website.
The purpose of landing pages is to paint a positive first impression of your business, as well as address the particular “need” of each user who finds your site or clicks on your link.
Does your landing page match the content you used to promote it? If you’re bidding for keywords such as “Christmas Dinner recipe” on AdWords, make sure you’re not sending people to a recipe for fajitas, for example. This will damage your Ad Rank and significantly reduce your chances of making it to the Search Results Page.
Similarly, if you encourage people to click a link on social media, make sure the subsequent landing page matches what you’ve said in the copy. Failure to do so will frustrate your followers and you will lose trust and reliability among your audience.
40% of web users will abandon your blog post if it takes more than 3 seconds to load. Slow websites are the bain of many people’s digital lives, so make sure your landing pages are quick to appear on users’ screens.
The larger the files on your webpage, the longer they take to load, and one of the most common causes of slow load times is the use of needlessly hefty photos. Large images can be compressed using Google’s Squoosh, which reduces photos from megabytes to kilobytes, without sacrificing on image quality.
Other factors to keep an eye on when it comes to landing page speed are:
- Server performance/location
- Heavy traffic
- Code density
- Too many plugins
- Unnecessary redirects
- Dated CMS’s
If you want visitors to take a specific action after landing on your page, make sure your Call To Action (CTA) is clear. If you want people to book a room, purchase a product, visit your showroom, or call your office, make sure you direct them to do so via the layout and design of the page, as well as your content. Without a clear, easily navigable CTA, you’ll struggle to reach your conversion objectives.
Make sure your fantastic content is easy-to-find by making your site as navigable as possible. Never prioritise complicated aesthetics over user experience. A customer’s journey should be seamless, and this can be achieved with simple menus, links and consistent design. Divide your content by obvious categories and include elements that an online user has grown to expect: think search bars, home link, alt text, for instance.
If you want visitors to get in touch with you, make that as easy as possible by including forms, clickable phone numbers and email addresses, and responsive maps.
Landing Page Design
Functionality is key to designing a perfect landing page, but appearance is also important. Is your landing page eye-catching? Does it grab the user’s attention? Does it match your business’s branding? Make the most of attractive, alluring headings and subheadings, as well as colourful imagery, to stand out from the crowd and make an immediate impact.
Large bulks of text should be avoided unless absolutely necessary, as these can often turn off visitors. If you do need to use heavy amounts of copy, make sure it’s divided with images so it appears less intimidating to the average web user.
What unique offering are you providing to visitors of your landing page? Google bots can detect plagiarised content and will punish you for using it, so avoid replicating text from alternate sources at all costs.
Ensure your landing page reflects your USPs and add value by rewarding its visitors with completely unique content. Look for gaps in your industry – what can you do or offer that your competitors are not doing or providing?
When it comes to spelling and grammar, there is no excuse for why your landing page should not be absolutely flawless. Especially not when there are free tools like Grammarly that can ensure your content is error-free.
Search engines will punish you for poor language and readability by reducing your Quality Score and Ad Rank (two key factors that determine your chances of appearing on the likes of Google and Bing).
When creating a new page or blog post, it’s always sensible to have one of your team members proofread it.
Over half of web traffic now comes mobile devices. If your landing page is not responsive to mobile users, you will fall behind your competitors. That’s a guarantee. Make sure your images render properly when scaled on mobile to avoid the need for excessive scrolling. Preserving white space to prioritise certain sections of a page is recommended, while the inclusion of buttons and clear subheadings should be utilised to enhance the user experience on mobile.
If you’re unhappy with your server’s speed or the mobile-friendliness of your current blog, why not consider Facebook Instant Articles? They load ten times faster than standard mobile articles and are very easy to create!
Additional things to remember
Your web visitors can come from a variety of places: social media, search engines, networkers who obtain your business card… Make sure your landing page panders to your target market, giving them exactly what they are looking for.
Match and exceed their expectations; if they’ve clicked on a Facebook Ad that promises them the complete guide to paintballing, make sure you give them the complete guide to paintballing! This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many businesses use messy landing pages that fail to address the problem they promise to solve.
Don’t overcomplicate things by trying to tick as many boxes as possible with your landing page. If you have two sales funnels – like renting houses and buying houses – or two target sectors – first-time buyers and landlords, for instance – point them to two separate landing pages. Otherwise, they may think they’ve been led to the wrong landing page.
It’s also worth trying to avoid pointing people to your homepage. Why? Because most of the time it will result in an extra step for the user.
It’s your responsibility to make the customer journey as easy as possible – if you’re encouraging people to book a test drive, link to the booking page of your website; if you’re promoting your hotel rooms, link to a page that allows users to explore said rooms. If you linked to your homepage for these two examples, the user would then have to find the relevant pages themselves, therefore increasing the chance of them dropping off from your site.
Why are landing pages important?
Your landing pages are a digital representation of your business. Getting people to click on your links – no matter where they’re from – is only the beginning. Don’t let a subpar landing page undo your hard work!
Remember, creating an excellent Facebook Ad, tweet or meta description and linking to a poorly designed, worded or coded landing page is the same as baking the perfect cake and filling it with inedible icing!
Need help ticking off all the steps in our recipe for the perfect landing page? Get in touch today!
Content Marketing Exec.