A Beginner's Guide to Landing Pages



Customers today are faced with so many options - What products/services to buy? Who to buy them from? Online or in-store? Local or Global? Should they pay a monthly subscription fee or a one-time payment? They're overwhelmed with choices which means that businesses need to find a way to not only get their offer seen but also to convince them that they are the company to choose. A simple way for businesses to influence the purchasing decision of their customers is to send them to an online landing page.



Landing Page


Hubspot describes a landing page as a website page that allows you to capture a visitor’s information through a lead form. This lead form helps businesses convert a higher percentage of visitors to customers.

Conversion


Qualaroo explains that a conversion is when is a visitor to your website takes an action that you want them to take. This action can vary from making a purchase, to requesting an estimate, to simply downloading a document. Businesses, both large and small, can take advantage of landing pages by learning how to optimize them. Landing page or conversion rate optimization is a systematic approach to improving website performance, which combines analytics and objective (KPIs) to take the website traffic you have and make the most of it.

The Essentials


A landing page has several complicated elements that come together to create a cohesive page. To save you the time of having to read article after article; here are the 5 essential elements to create an effective landing page as listed by Hubspot:

1. Limit Navigation


This page is designed for the user to take one specific action. You don’t want them to leave to visit another page so limit the number of exits from your landing page. One simple way to do this is to hide your navigation pane from the landing page.

2. Deliver Value


Your customers need to feel comfortable to give up their contact information so that means you need to offer them something valuable in return. Make sure your offer is both compelling and trustworthy.

3. Enable Sharing


Your audience can be your greatest marketing tool. Add share links to your landing page to encourage your website visitors to share your content with their friends.

4. Keep It Short


You don’t want your visitors to have to scroll to far so place important content above the page fold and keep your lead form short and within the opening view of your page.

5. Test, Test, Test


If you are to take away one thing from this blog, it’s that you constantly need to be testing your landing page. There is always room for improvement no matter who you are or what size your business. Test different landing pages against each other to see which is more successful.

Additional Considerations


For those who have mastered the essentials, I have provided a list of some additional elements from Qualaroo and Hubspot that I found to have the greatest impact when creating a landing page that will stand out from the competition.

Market Research


Hubspot writes that gathering vital information about you target market and customers will help you create value and provide a desirable customer experience. This sounds like it would be an immediate priority for businesses but sometimes the importance of conducting research to know your audience is overlooked.

The Design


I cannot begin to describe how important the design of a landing page is. If your visitors cannot visually understand what they are looking at, they will not stay to read what you have to say. The design of the page will not only generate interest but it will guide the customer to take the desired action. While the design can vary, you should always be sure you include these 6 elements:

  • Headline

  • Subheadline

  • Visual focus

  • Customer testimonial

  • Core benefits

  • Call to action


The Psychology of Colours


In a study titled “The Impact of Color on Marketing,” researchers found that nearly 90% of consumer decisions about particular products are based on colour. That’s a pretty powerful number that shows how businesses can use colour to their advantage. In other words, know your audience, know what action you want them to take, and choose the colour that will convince them to take that action. Humans are psychologically influenced by colour, whether they realize it or not.

K.I.S.S Principle


Lastly, keep it simple. An eye tracking study conducted by Conversion XL found that it takes 2.6 seconds for a user’s eyes to land on the part of your site that will leave an impression. To make your landing page clear to understand, apply these 5 principles:

  1. Use a bold catchy headline that highlights your benefits

  2. List 3-5 core benefits in bullet point form

  3. Add a visual focus to the left hand side of the page

  4. Make sure your call to action button is clear and distinguishable

  5. Remember that whitespace is a good thing

Landing pages are a simple and effective marketing tool that all businesses and blogs, no matter their size or industry, should be taking advantage of. If you’re planning a campaign, don’t even think about launching it without having first designed a landing page. You’re now equipped with the tools you need to bring in more customers from your website, now it’s your turn to go build.

Originally published on The University of the Fraser Valley's Communications Department Blog, Practically Speaking, on February 26, 2016.

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