I feel that there is a lot of confusion regarding what a landing page is (and what it isn’t) when I talk with others, so I figured I would quell this debate once and for all. Here you will learn how to properly execute a landing page that funnels traffic and drives conversions.
What Constitutes A Landing Page?
A landing page follows these simple principles:
- No links to other pages. The only option the user has is to subscribe or contact you.
- It has a clear intention and makes it apparent immediately upon being viewed.
- It is short and to the point, it delivers the message in a concise, efficient manner.
- It has clear call to actions at the top, middle, and bottom of the page.
- It loads quickly, is snappy to operate and responsive on all screen sizes.
- It is absent of any grammatical or spelling errors.
- It has the most important content above the fold.
- It properly utilizes trust indicators such as reviews in order to amplify conversions.
- It’s performance is tested constantly, and is constantly refined until conversions are maximized.
Let’s expand more on each of these items to further understand what a landing page is and what it’s intended use case is.
No Internal Links
The purpose of a landing page is to funnel people towards a specific action. Nothing more, nothing less. Landing pages are often times used in PPC (Paid Search) campaigns or other scenarios where you want to maximize your conversion ratio.
This means that you can’t waste your traffic by linking out to other pages, be they internal or external.
- There is no navigation at the top, bottom, or side of the page. No Links anywhere that may take the user off-page.
- Did I mention no links? I mean none. No “About Me” or “Mission Statement” pages either. This even includes any internal “contact us” pages. The contact or subscribe form should be located on the page directly.
- Any “links” you do have such as “learn more” or “contact” should be assigned to Class ID’s, so that upon being clicked they merely scroll the user down the page to the section pertaining to the links anchor text. If you click “contact” high up in the page, it should scroll you down to the bottom where the form is located, not to an external “contact us” page.
Don’t forget about your footer either. People tend to clutter their footer up with “Latest Tweets” plugins and the like, but remember that if the user clicks on that it will take them off page. Users who leave a page rarely come back to complete the desired action.
A Clear Message
More than half of your users will spend less than 15 seconds reading your site. Most of them will only read 28% of a site before leaving. You have only a brief window to capture their attention and prove to them that your site is what they came in search of.
What does this mean? It means your website should:
- Have most of it’s content above the fold. That means the user sees it without having to scroll down at all.
- You should identify what the problem is, why your product is the solution, and then utilize trust indicators like testimonials to increase their trust in your message.
- Your color scheme should reflect that emotion that you seek to inspire in your user (see chart below).
- Again, don’t waste time on talking about yourself, always speak to results, and why you are the solution to their problem.
- Make your content readable. The easier your message can be interpreted by a 4th grader, the closer you get to more conversions. Don’t use heavy jargon, inside jokes, or anything that may inspire confusion in the user. The KISS principle is in full effect here, keep it simple and to the point if you want to capture that largest audience.
How Colors Affect Your Audience
Chose colors that make your users feel the way that makes them want to spent money. By controlling how they perceive something, it affects your bottom line. Blue is perfect if you are trying to impress how secure your product is, while green may be better for a financial product landing page.
Fast Load Times
Similar to the above, how long it takes for the user to see your content will affect not only their perception of your service, but also will determine whether they actually read your landing page or not. This is especially important if you are paying per-click for traffic, as you can’t afford to waste money on viewers who don’t even read your copy.
You should strive to have a load time of 5 seconds or less. Most users will drop off by then, and by 10 seconds no one will be reading your stuff. Consider these statistics when you think about load times:
- 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in 2 seconds or less.
- 40% of people abandon a website that takes more than 3 seconds to load.
- A 1 second delay in page response can result in a 7% reduction in conversions.
- If an e-commerce site is making $100,000 per day, a 1 second page delay could potentially cost you $2.5 million in lost sales every year.
Clear Call To Actions
Your landing page should be centered around one thing, getting people to contact you, give you a lead, sign up for your list etc. Make it easy for them to do that at every step of the way.
Your call to actions should be:
- Bold and noticeable, to the point where their brain nearly forces them to look at it. Orange or yellow are great for this purpose.
- Should have text that drives the user to action. This means “Contact Us Now” instead of “Drop A Line”
- Use the keywords users come to expect. When someone hit’s CTRL-F and searches for “contact”, they should be able to find your contact info immediately.
Use Trust Indicators
This follows the same thing as something we mentioned earlier. You want the user to think as little as possible, and click without hesitation. A great way to remove the mental block people have about a new product or service is to use trust indicators.
Some examples of trust indicators that have been proven to work are:
- Testimonials: Tell them about all of your happy customers and show them that people trust your brand.
- Reviews: Show reviews from trusted sources like Yelp or Google Places. Let them see those 5 stars so that they can be confident with their choice to do business with you.
- Social Proof: There are many other more obscure forms of trust indicators that fall under “social proof”. An example would be when they go to your page and on your social media plugin it shows that you have 10k likes and 1k shares. People are more inclined to do business with someone who has already been vetted by their peers. Another example is to list other businesses in your area, as well as big well-known brands that you have worked with. If they trust those companies, they may trust you by extension and think “If they are good enough for them, than they are good enough for me”.
Nothing brings more immediate distrust than someone who sounds like they are writing from India, or who don’t command the English language with finesse. Be sure to spell-check your content, but be wary that MS Word spell-check is not enough. Spell checkers don’t do a good job at catching grammatical errors. For help with this, try a service like Grammarly which will proofread your documents and help point out errors that you may have missed.
Along these same lines, don’t write like you are publishing in a science journal (unless that is your niche). Writing out wordy sentences reduces readability. Re-read everything you write and think “how many words can I delete from this sentence while still driving home my point”.
Instead of writing: “The off-tan bovine specimen accelerated upwards in a trajectory which put him on course to intercept with a celestial body”, type “The quick brown cow jumped over the moon”. It says the same thing but delivered in fewer, more concise words that everyone can understand.
Design To Impress
Now on to the fun stuff. Make your website appealing, make it a representation of your brand and use it to display the level of polish your customers should expect when dealing with you.
Here’s some examples of what NOT to do, as well as some examples of well executed landing pages:
- Signal to noise ratio is severely off on the entire page.
- Call to action pollution is abundant, they are using way too many CTA’s, to the point where it just looks like spammy advertising. It’s disorienting.
- News and announcements seem completely irrelevant to what the user came to do. Always be adding value at every step. Chase fails at this simple directive.
- Google understands what the user came to do, and puts that front and center.
- There’s no spammy looking call to actions, no unnecessary pictures or videos, no long drawn out content sections.
- The color scheme is genius. Instead of choosing a primary color to affect your emotion, it uses the whole crayon box in the logo and everything else is white.
- They have a single message that they change on the bottom that either calls you to action for something you may be interested in or in rare events some Digital Privacy related petition that they want you to sign.
- The user gets what they came for and without thinking can execute their search. It is fast, simple, and responsive.
How Gregerson Solutions Builds A Landing Page
We play the landing page game at a high level here at Gregerson Solutions, which is why our customers keep coming back to rake in those conversions.
- We immediately give the value proposition above the fold, and make a huge emphasis on what we want the user to do: FILL OUT OUR FORM.
- We use crisp, clean design to show a level of sophistication that the client is trying to portray (he sells million dollar houses).
- We don’t just take, take, take. We are offering value in exchange for your email address by giving you a free home value report from a professional. Always be adding value.
- We don’t clutter up the design. We put the important stuff on top, and make sure the page is balanced. Clear grids, page sections, and a consistent message.
Measure Your Outcomes, Then Adjust
After you launch your landing page, you need to track every metric possible. Always be refining. Use Google analytics to see how many visitors you are getting, how long they spend looking at your page, and what keywords brought the there. Use heatmapping to see at which point in your page people drop off or to find out how many people clicked your Call To Action.
Figure out what works, and do more of it. Find out what doesn’t work, and do less of it. It’s really that simple. If people are clicking on one link more than others, and they both go to the same place, find out why and then replicate it. Try A/B testing software that allows you to serve different versions of your landing page to different visitors and then find out which version of your copy converts the most. Rinse and repeat.