7 Steps to Creating Successful Landing Pages

What is a landing page? – Landing pages are pages on your site that combine web forms with valuable offers in order to collect user information and convert users into leads. Users land on a landing pages after clicking a call-to-action, usually in the form of a button, from another page on your website or a 3rd party website.

Click here to view an example of a landing page on our website.

Let’s talk about Content

1
Heading

Create a headline that is both enticing and actionable.

Your landing page heading should tell users what they will receive by filling out the form, as well as how and when they will receive it.

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Remember, most people skim over a page before deciding to dive into the meat of the content (if they even dive in at all).  Also you might already have the user sold on taking action. So, provide the quickest route to the action via the elements that you choose to draw attention to on the landing page.

Example

If you are giving away a free shaving kit to first time subscribers of your newsletter – “Subscribe Today to Receive a Free Shaving Kit Delivered Right to Your Door” is better than just saying “Receive a Free Shaving Kit”.

Yes, “Receive a Free Shaving Kit” is enticing, but it is not clear what action is required in order to get the kit. By adding “Subscribe Today” you’re making your heading actionable.

Also, you want to try and answer “How” and/or “When” the user will receive the value of the offer. In this example, we answer the question of “How?” by adding “Delivered to Your Door”.

* These guidelines are conditional. In some cases you can’t answer the how or when, it all depends on the context of the offer.  In other cases, you may wind up with a title that is longer than it is useful. So, try playing around with sub titles, or drawing attention to that information in other parts of your content on the landing page.

2

Make the value of your offer stand out.

When describing the value of your offer, make sure it jumps off the page.  Try bolding text, using alternate colors, or displaying the value in an image or video. In any case, put yourself in the user’s shoes and ask yourself, “Why should I fill out this form?” or “What will I get in return by taking action on this page”.

3

Include a graphic or video.

Add an image, info graphic, or a video which supports the content, or provides a preview of the value of the offer.

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Example:

  • If you are offering an eBook, then you could provide a screen capture of the cover page.
  • Or, if you are offering a free kit for delivery, then you could provide a teaser video for the kit.
  • You could also display an info graphic that shows statistics supporting a reason why the user should take action on this landing page.

Let’s talk about the Form and Layout

4

Only ask for more info, when the offer is more valuable.

Assuming you are using a form as the desired action on your landing page, you should match the amount of fields on your form to the value of your offer.

Place yourself in the user perspective, and ask, “Is this offer worth the amount of time & effort it would take to fill out this form?”

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This is a tough one, and may need adjusting further down the road if you are too ambitious with the amount of information you try to collect.

You truly need to understand who your target users are and the value that they place on what you are offering. Not just what you think the value is. If you want to receive a lot of information via a form, then you need to make sure the user thinks it’s worth entering all of that information.

Example

If the value you are offering is in the form of a Newsletter Subscription, then you should probably not ask for an address, phone number, and mother’s maiden name. In this case, you might only ask for First Name and Email. You might stretch it a bit, and ask for some other basic information, but leave First Name and Email as the only required fields.

Be Careful of what we call “The form length intimidation factor”. 

Even if you only require the “first name” and “email” fields, it is still very intimidating to see a list of other fields upon first glance.  Remember, the majority of users will skim over the page before diving deeper into the content and deciding to take action. A long list of fields for something as simple as a newsletter subscription will most likely cause a drop-out, and you’ll lose that potential conversion. Keep it simple, once you have converted a user to a lead, you’ll have the opportunity to follow up and capture more information later on.

5

Hide your website’s navigation.

You’ve brought the user this far… don’t lose them to a click that leads them somewhere else.

Hide your website’s navigation, and even your footer if you can.  You might also hide your logo, or move it somewhere else on the page. Basically, do whatever you can to get rid of potential drop-out points and distractions that could lead to your user not taking the desired action on your landing page. You, can offer them the full navigation as soon as their action is completed.

6

Think about tablets and other mobile devices.

Believe it or not… but we have reached the “teeter totter” stage between computers and mobile devices.  Depending on the user demographics for a particular website, one website might have 30-40% of views on tablets or mobile devices, while another website can see in excess of 60%. In any case, it a significant amount!

You need to think about the user experience (UX) for computers, tablets, and smartphones. Do the page’s elements redistribute logically for smaller screen resolutions?

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First off, you need to know how your website handles tablets and mobile devices. Is it responsive? Or, does it have a mobile version? Or, does it not have any kind of mobile friendly version?

Hopefully, your website is “responsive”. In which case, your page elements will redistribute and rescale themselves according to the width of your browser window – no matter the device. This is the current standard for web design, making it far more compatible, with all of the different devices and screen resolutions, than any website with a “mobile version”.

How does this effect layout?

If you are viewing the landing page on a smartphone, then the page will most likely redistribute the different columns into one single column. (Typically columns from left to right on a computer, will redistribute from top to bottom on mobile).

In most cases, you will want to keep the form in the right column of the computer screen, so that it redistributes to the bottom of the column on a smartphone. This way the value of the offer can be explained at the top of the mobile device (single column), and lead into the form with a little bit of scrolling.

However, there are exceptions. For example, in the case of many Newsletter Subscriptions, the value of a newsletter is insinuated and self-explanatory. So, when a viewer clicks on a call-to-action or a “subscribe” button from a previous page, they most likely already intend on subscribing without requiring an explanation of the value. In other words, they’re ready to fill out the form as soon as the page loads. So, what do you do?

If you don’t have coding experience, the simplest fix is to just move the form over to the left side of the landing page. Placing it in the first column (on the computer), so that it shows up at the top of all mobile devices when in a single column view. This takes the user directly to the form, and skips over any distractions, or potential drop-out points – creating the shortest distance between A and B – and placing the rest of the content below the form, just incase the user wants to scroll down and read more.

Let’s talk about Distribution

7

Do you want your offer shared via social media?

Allowing users to share your offer across their social media accounts has the potential to drastically increase exposure for your landing page. However, in some cases, your offer might only make sense at a specific stage within your website’s user experience.

Add social media share buttons if it makes sense within the context of your offer. And, if you do decide to add share buttons, make sure your landing page is optimized for sharing on social media sites.

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Depending on the platform that your website is built on, there are many different themes and plugins that offer the ability to customize the fields that Facebook or Twitter pull from to create a compatible version of your page for sharing on their feeds. You have the ability to upload an optimized graphic, create a custom heading, and craft an enticing teaser description.

As of this moment, Yoast SEO (WordPress) offers this ability within their “Advanced” tab on every post and page in the admin.

Now that you’ve got a feel for how to create a successful landing page – we would love to provide you with a detailed review of your efforts and offer suggestions to help you and your team become pros at inbound marketing.
Contact us today for more information.