With all the talk of social media strategy, search engine optimization and content marketing, it’s easy to forget the purpose of these tactics — sales. A well-rounded inbound marketing strategy doesn’t mean a thing if it doesn’t translate to new business. That’s why most discerning business owners value leads more than clicks, tweets or shares.
Whether it’s on a home page, affiliate provider website or mobile screen, a strong landing page can mean the difference between collecting leads and wasting budget. Clarity, simplicity and professionalism, all contribute toward a great landing page. If you’re looking to reinforce your lead generation strategy, it may be time to optimize your landing pages.
The following guidelines will help you create high-conversion landing pages to meet your marketing goals:
1. An Appealing Headline that gets User’s Attention Immediately
Can you imagine a landing page without a headline? I’m sure you cannot. On the contrary, it’s possible to create great landing pages without body copy. The Pocket landing page is a perfect example of how you can create captivating landing pages without a body copy. The key is to write exceptional headlines that eliminate the need for body content.
A headline is probably the first thing visitors notice when they reach your landing page, unless you have an eye-catching graphic on the page.
The basic purpose of a headline, whether it appears on a website, newspaper, or a hand-out, is to summarize the text that follows. Therefore, the moment visitors view your landing page, the headline should make it clear what you are offering. And throwing in a couple of benefits will add the much needed punch to the headline.
So follow these rules to write an effective landing page headline:
- Sum-up your offer as clearly as possible
- Explain what exactly the visitor will get
- Keep it concise
- Add benefits
If your landing page headlines contain all these elements, the visitors will quickly understand what the page is all about, helping them make a quick decision.
2. A Copy that Clearly Highlight your Value Proposition
To be specific, the landing page copy should communicate your value proposition effectively to motivate visitors to make a purchase, sign up, or download.
The Evernote landing page serves as one of the finest examples of how to describe the value and key features of your product or service to the visitors in a clear and concise manner.
Keep these guidelines handy while writing the body copy for your landing page:
- Use bullet points or short phrases to highlight key benefits
- Break up large paragraphs
- Keep the content brief and focused
- Focus on the value visitors will get
Your landing page copy may include something as simple as a promotional discount, or a free limited period trial. The point is, don’t flood visitors with information. A landing page is a chance to convey a message. Make it clear and memorable. It should simply answer the question WIIFM – what’s in it for me?
3. Captivating Design
Not a long while ago, businesses used to get away with sterile, unprofessional-looking web pages. But the Internet is undergoing a collective makeover. Now it’s all about user experience, and without a doubt, design plays a key role in making it memorable.
Your landing page design can communicate as much as the content itself. An appealing page features a combination of text and graphics. When designing your landing page, consider where you want to direct the visitor’s attention. Do you have a hot new product? Maybe you recently redesigned your logo. Make a visual impression on your visitors and they’ll be more likely to read what you have to say.
Apart from the overall layout of the landing page, images are a critical factor in capturing the imagination of visitors. Remember, 90% of information transmitted to the brain is visual, and visuals are processed 60,000X faster by the brain than text.
However, make sure that the image resonates with the landing page design and the message, without adding clutter and distraction. For example, if you are promoting a new iPhone app, it’s logical to include a screenshot of the app in the landing page. The landing page of Weatherton app is a good example.
4. A Clearly Laid Out Form
Lead generation is one of the main functions of a landing page. If your business structure includes sales reps reaching out to prospects, you need information from interested prospects.
Whether you direct visitors from a tweet, blog post or banner ad, give them the opportunity to learn more about your business with a lead form. Take any information a prospect is willing to give you and do your best. Visitors should be able to fill out and submit the form from your landing page.
Following are some best practices you should follow for a lead-capture form:
- Place the form above the fold to make it visible immediately.
- Keep the number of form fields to anywhere from 5 to 10. (Source: The Optimal Number of Form Fields: 7, Oracle-Eloqua)
- Use Smart Forms to auto fill the fields already filled by returning visitors, so that they don’t have to type the same information each time they fill your form.
- Don’t ask for information that doesn’t help in qualifying your lead.
The above lead generation form on Birst landing page is an ideal example of optimum number of fields that enable you to qualify a lead.
5. Call-To-Action Buttons that Stand Out
Call-to-action (CTA) buttons are critical to your lead generation efforts. A click on the call-to-action buttons is the ultimate goal of any landing page. Therefore, it’s very important that your CTAs are well optimized to deliver the expected results.
See how Klout has used CTAs on their landing page to grab visitors’ attention. They tempt visitors to click on them.
To make sure that the CTAs on your landing page perform:
- Make your CTA buttons stand out from rest of the content and layout by using contrasting colors.
- Use large-sized CTA buttons to grab the attention of visitors.
- Use relevant text in CTAs, which aligns with the message on the landing page. The CTA text should indicate exactly what action the visitors need to take.
- Avoid using vague text, such as ‘click here’ or ‘submit’.
The bottom line is to think strategically while creating call-to-action buttons. Believe it or not, good CTAs can create a big impact on your conversion rate optimization.
6. Social Sharing Options to make the Landing Page Sharable
Once visitors reach your landing page, you should put in every effort to get extra value out of those visits. Adding social sharing buttons/links on your landing pages will enhance your lead generation results.
Let’s say if the visitors really like your offer, it’s highly unlikely they won’t recommend it to their connections on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or other social channels.
That’s the reason why adding social sharing buttons on your landing page makes sense. More people sharing your landing page will result in more leads and more online visibility. Though a conversion is the ultimate goal of any landing page, getting shares on social media won’t hurt.
The Sound Asleep app uses social sharing buttons effectively on their landing page.
Most Internet users are concerned about their online privacy. They don’t like to be bothered by unsolicited emails or web spam. That’s one of the reasons why they abstain from filling online forms, especially on landing pages.
To make your landing page even more credible, add a privacy statement below the lead-capture form that assures the visitors that their information will not be sold to third parties.
Mobile Optimized Landing Pages
Here’s another strategic initiative that you can take to reinforce your landing page optimization activities – creating mobile landing pages.
Marketing managers have been toying with desktop landing pages for years, but there’s a new wrinkle in the landing page format: mobile browsers. Marketingsprofs.com reports that 24 percent of total web traffic came from mobile devices in the first quarter of 2013. That’s a hike of 78 percent from the same time last year.
Though creating mobile landing pages is not a standard part of the above 7 landing page best practices, it extends the reach of your regular landing pages and allows you to target mobile users.
In the end, keep in mind that mobile landing pages are confined by space, so providing relevant information is quite challenging. Make sure to apply mobile best practices while creating mobile landing pages.
Landing page designing and optimization requires a great deal of effort, which is highly justified. Even a small element, such as a call-to-action button can make a huge impact on your lead generation efforts. Therefore, the key is to take your time, and follow usability best practices to design a landing page.
Even if you are not confident about the quality of your landing page, create different versions, and conduct A/B testing to find what works best for you.
As a final thought, ensure that your landing page answers these three key questions of a visitor within 5 seconds – What’s the purpose of the page? What exactly am I getting? And how will I get it?