Originally published on December 11, 2015. Updated April 3, 2017, and June 25, 2020.
Digital marketing has a lot of jargon, and when you first hire a marketing agency, you’ll probably hear them mention something called a landing page. Rather than making you sit there, scratching your head, let’s quickly run you through the basics of how to create a high-converting landing page.
What is a landing page?
At its most basic, a landing page is any page where you send your website visitors so that you can offer them something in return for information. Generally, it’s designed to rank high in Google results for a targeted keyword search – for example, if you’re trying to get students to sign-up for a course, you’re trying to get homeowners to sign-up for a special deal, you’re trying to get investors to sign-up for a real estate seminar, you’re trying to get local residents to sign-up for a competition, or you’re trying to get customers to sign-up for something like a free consultation or free download. You can also share it on your social media posts so people go straight to the page that has the information they need.
They keyword here, in case you haven’t noticed, is sign-up.
A landing page is a sales page. It needs to contain all the details of whatever product or service you’re trying to sell, presented in a persuasive way that will make people want to sign-up and learn more. When they sign-up, they become a lead. They’re passing along some personal information, including their name and contact details, and inviting you to begin a conversation with them. This practice is called inbound marketing, because instead of chasing a customer, you’ve provided the information they need and they’ve come to you. This makes them much more receptive to your message.
Still with us? Basically, a landing page is a standalone sales page that will create a positive impression of your company, build trust between you and the visitor, and increase your conversion rates.
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How do landing pages convert sales?
Another term you’ll hear marketers casually throwing around is conversation rate. A conversion rate is the percentage of people that are converted from visitors to your site into qualified leads. This is what we talked about before, when they sign-up and invite you to begin a conversation.
A landing page can achieve high conversion rates at any stage in the buyer’s journey. But in order to do that, you’ll need to identify which stage your target is at, create an offer that will help them, and write your page using content and context that is appropriate to their position.
Since the vast majority of website visitors are in the awareness stage of the journey when they visit your page, more of the landing pages you create will focus on them. You’re inviting them to take the next step and engage with you. Once they engage with you, you can educate them about why they need you. Once you educate them, you can work toward driving the sale. This process is known as the sales funnel, which is another term you’ll get used to hearing.
Learn more: Is marketing the new sales?
How do I create a landing page?
Landing pages come in all different sizes and shapes, but when it comes to creating a high-converting landing page, you’ll start to notice a few basic elements that are consistent across the board. Stay with us, because we’re about to run you through a few real-life examples so you can see what we mean.
- Unique offer: Your landing page should have an attractive and unique offer, designed to solve a problem, answer a question, or give knowledge. Your headline should be clear and precise. If you feel that you need to add more information you can always add a sub-header. Example: Here’s a fun and unique offer from the University of California, Davis.
- Related image or video: The image you choose for your landing page should clearly relate to your offer. A short video is a great chance to show your product or offer a sample of your expertise and knowledge. Example: Check out this powerful landing page from Patreon.
- Benefits and value proposition: Make sure your landing page include a short explanation of how this offer can make your target audience’s life easier, solve their problem, or answer their question. Try to avoid the features of your offer and focus on how the features will benefit your customer. Example: This example from Shopify does a great job establishing value.
- Trust elements and social proof: If you want someone to give you their personal information, or their hard-earned money, then they need to trust you. Your landing page should show visitors that you are qualified, trustworthy, and in demand. Example: Add aestimonials, awards, or press coverage. Check out this great example from WebDAM.
- Simple structure: Your landing page should be able to answer a vital question within the first few seconds that it’s viewed. Your potential customer should be able to see what the offer is, how it can benefit them, why the need it now, and how they can get it. To make this easier you want to avoid clutter on the landing page. Example: Check out this page from Bills.com.
- Opt-in form: Make sure that you’re customizing the the title and submit button on your landing page to match your offer. Limit your form fields and only ask questions that will help you learn about your lead and what they want. Remember that the information that you ask for should be equivalent to the value of what you’re offering. Recent studies have shown us that a two-step opt-in has a higher conversion rate than the traditional single page. A single page opt-in is one in which your landing page also contains the opt-in form. With a two-step opt-in the first step is to click on a link to show interest and the second step is to opt-in and provide information. Example: This great opt-in page keeps it simple and clear!
- Sharing options: Make sure that your landing page is easy to share. Add buttons from your favorite social media sites! It’s highly likely that if your visitor finds your offer helpful then there is someone else within their social circle that will also benefit from it.
What are landing pages used for?
There you have it! Landing pages are a simple and powerful tool to invite people to start a conversation with you about your product or service. Deciding on a strategy and structure can be a little tricky, so you may want to consider hiring a professional marketing company. They’ll refine your sales funnel in no time, so you can increase your conversion rate in no time.
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