“Landing pages are the new direct marketing, and everyone with a website is a direct marketer.” - Seth Godin
A landing page is a page on your website where you direct users in order to get them to perform a specific action. Its main purpose is to introduce your potential customers to one of your services or products and to get them to either buy it or try it.
Pretty much any online marketing campaign is centered on a landing page. This type of page is the one that makes or breaks the campaign. Ideally, it will get the viewer to go to the Contact Us page or, better yet, lead to direct downloads of product offers.
Not only can you use a landing page in order to promote a specific product or service, but you can use it to generate new leads. Whenever a new user runs into your landing page, they should be compelled to fill out a form with their contact information.
A very important aspect of online marketing is not only generating traffic, but where you send that traffic. According to online marketer and author Seth Godin, a landing page has five specific purposes:
- To get the user to click on another page
- To get the visitor to buy your product or service
- To get the user to give you their contact information
- To get the visitor to promote the page
- To get the user to give you feedback via a comment form or any other way
While this may all seem pretty straightforward, what usually happens is that, if you don’t specifically know what you’re doing when designing a landing page, things can go south easily. While simplicity is the one element all successful landing pages have in common, this does not mean that they are by any means simple to create. In fact, there’s always a lot of work behind the scenes in order to create a good landing page.
In what follows, we will be focusing on ways to create a landing page that does all this well by focusing on two highly important aspects of the landing page, namely the copy you use and the aesthetics and design of the page.
1. Use Short Sentences
The shorter the sentences on a landing page, the better. Nobody likes long, drawn-out explanations. Short sentences have many advantages. One of them is making their content easy to understand. Another is making readers feel at ease with the copy. That is to say short sentences make the copy feel easy and fast to read.
If you’re naturally verbose, writing copy like this can be a problem. Something that helps is trying to compress what you want to communicate in under five short sentences. This will let the reader scan your page and quickly get the gist of what you’re saying. Compelling copy not only lets its readers quickly understand what it’s about, but it makes them understand it so well that they instantly know who to share it with.
Writing copy in short, simple sentences will save both your visitors’ and your own time. They will quickly understand what you’re trying to tell them and you won’t have to deal with all sorts of questions that arise from convoluted statements.
2. Clarity Is Key
Your landing page should make sense. That goes without saying. Still, so many landing pages don’t. Instead they make their message a bit of a mystery. They hide whatever it is they’re talking about in only marginally relevant quotes and convoluted copy. Don’t do that.
There is literally no benefit to cluttering your landing page with irrelevant things. Your readers will only become confused and frustrated with it and will be more likely to leave than to do what you want them to.
Don’t use your landing page to try out a new ad campaign. Don’t make your viewers think of other stuff. Don’t ask them too many questions. Tell them about what your product or service and why they need it and then show them how to take action immediately. While we’re on this topic,
3. Include a Clear Call to Action
You don’t need a page that sells a product but that doesn’t direct to where you can actually buy it. A landing page is not an advert – it’s where people wind up after clicking on one. While you’re at it, don’t just toss in a “Buy Now” button on the page and call it a day. Instead, let the reader know what the price is right then and there.
Hiding the price doesn’t really make sense, does it? Sure, seeing the price may scare away some people but, then again, those people won’t buy whatever it is you’re selling anyway. Being straightforward about the whole thing has advantages, though. For one thing, being up front about the price will make you seem more trustworthy.
4. Be Personal
While we’re on the topic of trustworthiness, nothing boosts it more than being personal. That is to say, make sure people can relate to what you’re saying. While there are many ways to do this, one of those that has proven most effective on landing pages is the testimonial.
Now, the testimonial is a great tool when used properly, but it’s easy to be tempted to alter it one way or another. The problem with that is that people can tell when a testimonial has been fabricated. Not only will they not fall for it, but the increase in trustworthiness the testimonial was following will turn to a most definite decrease when people realize the testimonials on your landing page are anything less than completely unadulterated.
Okay, so the testimonial is great, but what do you do when you don’t have any on hand? Well, you go for another means of making your content more relatable. Create a video, a story or an illustration that drive your point across.
Aesthetics & Design
1. Highlight Important Information
This is something many landing pages do wrong. What you need to focus on is putting all the most important information on the page above the fold. This means that you will make all the key elements on your landing page visible without ever having to scroll.
This is highly important because it lets your viewer immediately know what you’re selling. Usually, the information featured above the fold includes the name of the product or service, its function and the call to action.
Any other information, like the company details or extended documentation should be below the fold or on another page altogether.
2. Avoid Clutter!
This point is directly related to the previous one. Many businesses use their website’s home page as a landing page. This is usually a mistake because, even though technically possible to pull of a home page that doubles as a landing page, it’s much harder to drive the point across as the home page needs to provide more information than the landing and the message of the landing page can be easily lost or missed.
This brings us to the simplicity we were discussing in the opening of the article. The simpler you make your landing page, the better. Just include the important information – that will both help you look more professional and keep the user focused on what you want to show them.
3. Choose Your Images Carefully
The following sentence will come as a shock to most internet content generators. Use images sparingly. People creating content for the internet are accustomed to blogs, where the only rule regarding images is that more is better. We use them to provide breaks in the text, to make articles more manageable, to help the reader break down their content in main ideas and just to keep them scrolling.
Well, landing pages are nothing like blogs. Images here serve little to no purpose. What they do is distract from your main point and increase the pages’ load time. That doesn’t mean you should swear off images altogether. Just be picky on what to use.
4. Leave a Little Breathing Room
You may have noticed that the main theme so far has been minimalism. Keeping with that, don’t be afraid of negative spaces. These serve an important purpose in web design. For one thing, they leave the viewer room in which to think.
Think of it this way, a site with little to no negative space is like an over-zealous salesman that won’t stop talking. These salesmen are usually not that effective and they scare potential customers away because they don’t leave them time to think.
Avoid this type of sensory and informational overload by making sure your website has plenty of negative space in it and thus lets the viewers think about what they’re being shown.
That pretty much wraps up our guide on the central aspects of a successful landing page. Do you have any tips of your own on how to make your landing page more effective? Please don’t hesitate to let us know what they are in the comments section below.