How to Create a Landing Page That Converts
A well-built landing page will help you boost your conversion rate. But landing pages are not miracle workers. If you don’t have a good website to back it up, no number of perfect landing pages will lift you out of the mire. Do both right – the website and the landing page – and you’ll see a significant increase in your sales. Here’s how to create a landing page that converts visitors to customers and doesn’t waste your money or people’s time:
What is a landing page anyway?
In a nutshell, a landing page is a single web page, designed with one goal in mind: to receive the users that “land” on it (by clicking on a web ad or another page) and convince them to do something. You could create a landing page to market something, or you could build it to advertise something. Whatever its purpose, a landing page should stay true to that purpose.
Basically, you can create a landing page to help you with whatever you need. Landing pages usually work best with paid ad campaigns, but that doesn’t mean you should use them to funnel visitors from paid advertising exclusively. You can also catch users coming through organic traffic.
What’s important to remember about landing pages is that they are created with a flow of information in mind, a flow which ends with a specific CTA (call to action). When the user clicks the CTA button, you can say that the page has fulfilled its purpose.
Structure your landing page and create flow.
The thing that many business owners struggle with when they create a landing page is how to structure it in such a way that visitors read through the information and click on that CTA at the end. Fortunately, there’s a recipe for this: the AIDA method.
AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire and Action:
- Grab the reader’s Attention with a catchy headline.
- Pique their Interest by describing the problem in more detail and creating a connection.
- Offer a solution to the problem, describe the benefits of your product – create Desire.
- Suggest Action, by making your CTA visible and clickable.
In other words, the easiest way to make people understand why they need to click the CTA button is by first making them realize where they are, then letting them know that you understand their frustration, then telling them that you can help them and showing them how you can help them. By the time visitors get to the bottom of the page, they should know that, with your help, they can get from where they are now to where they want to be. And if you manage to do that, you win.
Nevertheless, in order for this structure to work, you should always think of how your landing page could benefit people. Offer a solution to a problem your customers have. If you know who your customers are, you also know what they want, what they need, and what they are looking for. Offer them that.
Simple is always best. But what is simple?
In short, your landing page should never say more than it needs to. This doesn’t mean that the page should be tiny. Think about the fact that most people have the attention span of a baby and are usually busy. If you give them too much to read/listen/hear through, or try to keep them on your page forcibly, they will go away (and probably never come back).
Here’s how to simplify things:
1. Follow the AIDA guidelines and write concise copy that fits the CTA.
If you find yourself dragging on about the history of your product and how you came up with the idea and so on… just stop. They don’t want to hear about that. Focus your copy on identifying the problem and solving it. That’s it.
2. Only ask for the information you really need from your visitors.
Unless you’re a talisman-maker, don’t ask people about their birth sign. If you’re not a pet shop owner, or a professional pet-sitter, don’t make them tell you about their fluffy friends. You get the point. Ask them only for the information you need to fulfill the purpose of the page. Too much data to fill in tires people out.
3. CTA buttons should be scattered throughout the page, with the first one near the top.
Sure, you’ve got to have a call to action button at the bottom of your page, but put one at the top too. Some people don’t want all your explanations. They know what they want. Make it easy for them to click and move on.
4. Get to the point early – some of your visitors will not read the whole page.
This goes hand in hand with point 1. Don’t drag on. Creating a landing page is not like writing a suspense novel. Keep it short and to the point. If you do want to give people more information, include a link that sends them to a product page, or a more detailed description of your services.
You need people to trust you.
Your customers will probably not trust you from the start. How could they? They don’t know you. Show them what OTHERS think about your product or service and you will seem more reliable. Using testimonials, reviews and case studies will help you tip the balance towards trust. It’s like getting a friend to introduce you at a party where you don’t know any of the other guests.
People sooner trust other people’s opinions than what you say about your business, so use that to your advantage. Scatter these social proofs liberally throughout your landing page to keep a high level of visitor interest and engagement.
An image is worth a thousand words.
Your clients don’t really like reading text online. Face it, you don’t either. So, if you can do something to make the reading more enjoyable, you should definitely do it.
A good way to go about it is to use pictures. Not just any kind of pictures. High quality pictures.
Use images that suggest how your business could be of service. Use before and after images to enhance the appeal of your product. Or go with the somewhat subversive “smiling people” strategy. Pictures of smiling people on landing pages raise the conversion rate. Makes sense, right?
And if you feel especially creative, use videos. They will not only make the page livelier and more engaging, but they will also boost your trustworthiness. Videos will instill an air of authority to the page.
The headline. Always the headline!
What is the first thing a visitor sees when “landing” on your page? The headline. It’s supposed to get the message through practically in a heartbeat. No big deal, right?
Well… depending on the purpose of the page, it could be challenging to come up with a good headline. If you’re stuck, think about how the title could heighten the user’s interest or suggest an understanding of the user’s frustrations. You can even make it inspirational or motivational.
When creating your landing page, keep in mind that the headline has to be perfectly attuned to the purpose of the page. Failing to do so will annoy your visitors. After all, they were looking for vacation deals and got car deals instead. They might even feel tricked and that doesn’t bode well for your landing page or your business.
A/B testing is not dead. Far from it.
There’s a significant chance that you will not get your landing page right on the first try. It happens to the best of us and it’s OK. Almost nothing in marketing ever happens as it’s supposed to right off the bat. Actually, you’d better test even if you do get it right on the first try. You need to know why you got it right.
When A/B testing (or split testing, as some call it), remember to only change one element at a time, so you know exactly what your test results tell you. Never change more than one element between versions A and B.
As to what elements you should change for testing, here are a few suggestions:
- the page background
- page copy length
- colors for the CTA button
- the font
- the images
- the headline
- the video(s)
One last thing – when it comes to creating a landing page, there is no “universal” solution. Best practices help (a lot), especially an engaging headline, a visible CTA, content structure and flow, a photo or video here and there. But it’s ultimately up to you to know your customers and come up with ways to get their attention and solve their problems.
How many landing pages are you using at the moment? And how many of those landing pages actually convert leads to customers? If you need more hands-on help with creating a landing page, don’t hesitate to get in touch.
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