22 May 2017

The Dos and Don’ts of Landing Pages

 

Ten Reasons Your Landing Page Could Get You Fired

Let’s make sure that doesn’t happen!

If you’ve been put in charge of creating your company’s landing pages, then you’ve been entrusted with an enormous responsibility.

Get it right, and you’ll be hero of the office. Mess up, and you might find yourself having to answer some very hard questions – perhaps even while clearing out your desk…

It’s All About the CVR

For casual readers, CVR is an abbreviation for Conversion Rate. Usually expressed as a percentage, it illustrates the ratio at which clicks are converted into sales.

It’s an extremely important number—a basic indicator of success—and it’s the absolute bottom line when it comes to creating a lead-generating landing page.

If people found your business’s website, this means that other areas of the inbound marketing campaign have been successful. Now it’s your time to shine, turning those curious clicks into committed clients.

The following list of 10 landing page best practices DON’Ts will help you avoid some serious mistakes, before we soothe your nerves with a pristine example of how an attractive, effective landing page might look.

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1. No Call to Action (CTA)

Once somebody’s landed on your page, you need to give them something to do next – an action they can follow to take their interest in your business to the next stage.

There are many things to bear in mind here—this is where copywriters earn their keep—but this example, from bag company Man-Pack, does a lot of things very well. By using a playful CTA (“Get Your Man-Pack On!”) that imitates the voice of the customer, they encourage visitors to click through to the sales page.

2. CTA in a poor location

Your CTA also needs to be in a good position – no visitor is going to go out of their way to look for it, so make sure it’s easy to see.

Also, don’t bore readers with your command of 16th century English; instead, give them no choice but to convert with your copywriting prowess.

3. CTA doesn’t stand out

Although we admire your instinct not to be garish, the fact is that people visit a lot of different websites in a given day, and are usually pretty jaded as far as readers go.

As best practice for your landing page, you need to ensure your CTA button stands out—it must be a clear, unmissable focal point—so use contrasting colours to make it ‘pop’. A handy tip: hunting-jacket orange is the most eye-catching colour, according to research.

4. Incoherent or poorly argued content, or poor grammar

Even the most jaded reader will notice poor language on your landing page. Bad or clumsy arguments, risible grammar or spelling mistakes, ambiguously worded content – these errors ruin any semblance of professionalism. Most readers would, understandably, be discouraged from taking their interest in your business any further.

5. Poor use of images

As beneficial as a great accompanying image can be, a poor one—perhaps one that seems arbitrary, or is incorrectly formatted or extremely low-quality—can rob your landing page of professionalism.

Look at the Man-Pack example again, and notice how many ‘outdoorsy’ images (and videos) they include on the landing page. They know their market, and are showing potential customers images they would expect to find, given the nature of the product.

6. Poor headline

This is another job that involves close work with the copywriting team. Suffice it to say, people read far more headlines than they read entire articles – so your headline needs to keep the reader on the page.

As such, not only does it need to be brilliantly worded, but it needs to be stylishly formatted and correctly positioned: clearly visible without the user needing to move their mouse.

7. Too many links

While click-through links connecting users to other pieces of content can be extremely productive, on the landing page they will simply divert visitors from your primary goal: converting their landing to a sales prospect. It would be like a rival estate agent arriving at a show house appointment with all the other viewers, and pitching alternatives to them while you were conducting your tour.

8. No trust indicators

If a visitor landed on your page motivated to make a purchase or request a quote, they need to feel like they can trust your website. Testimonials are a best practice that can be helpful in this regard, but even better. Certification logos, such as partnerships with VeriSign or PayPal, are tremendously reassuring to people. If you have these badges, wear them proudly.

9. No clear value proposition

People need an incentive to click on your CTA. They need a clear answer to the question, “What will I get by clicking this button?” Vague value propositions like “Start here” or “Learn more” are rapidly becoming outmoded, with clear and defined options (e.g. “Free Download”) leading to far more conversions.

10. No iterative testing

Once your landing page is up and running, you need to employ iterative testing to fine-tune and whip it into its best possible shape.

This involves creating a few different versions of the landing page—perhaps with slightly different wordings, a different CTA, different designs or images—and subjecting each of them to a rigorous analytic study where you can determine their conversion success. Google AdWords can give you the framework for this kind of iterative testing by providing both a Converted Click and Cost per Converted Click metric.

When It All Goes Right…

If you avoid these pitfalls and follow our best practices advice, you might end up with something like this: a sleek, professional-looking landing page that offers a clear CTA, builds consumer trust and offers high conversion potential. Make sure to offer the visitor a clear value proposition and a real incentive to click on it.

Need Some Help?

High-CVR landing pages are crucial to lead generation, and are a necessary ingredient of any good inbound marketing campaign.

If your landing page has turned into a dead-end street, contact us to learn how to transform it into an avenue of successful conversion.

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