How To Make The Most of Landing Pages close

Mel Thompson
Mel Thompson
In Codegent College
19th July 2012
How To Make The Most of Landing Pages

There are many misconceptions associated with landing pages - they can be accused of being old fashioned and ineffective. This isn’t true. Designed and constructed correctly a landing page can become one of your most effective marketing tools. A landing page should be treated with the same surgical precision as a life saving operation. Cuts should be carefully applied, imperfections removed, organs and functions tested. 

There are many different elements to a landing page, however there are a small number of very important characteristics that should always take priority if you want to ensure that you are creating effective landing page communication. So what are those ‘very important characteristics’? I hear you say. Well, it's your lucky day, a few of the best are explained in the article below.

1. Know your audience
With any online communication you must be aware of your target audience. If you do not have a clear, concise one line sentence that describes your audience you might want to do some research. Find out what makes them tick, what their needs and wants are and what other digital communications they are submersed in. Knowing this information from the very start will help you target the user with the correct media to direct them to your landing page, get them engaging with content and then convert them into a lead or sale to a brand that they trust and have loyalty to.

2. Content
Following on from point 1 (Know your audience), doing research and finding out what your audience wants and needs will help you construct the most effective content for your landing page. The content within a landing page should supply the background to your brand, what you are offering and how your brand solves the users dilemma. You must demonstrate how you are helping the user, whether it is offering them money off for a product they are already using or offering them something completely new. The message within the landing page must also be consistent to the advertising that the user has accessed the landing page from. For example if a user clicks on a banner with an offer displayed and is then sent through to a landing page where the offer is not displayed, this is bad practice, all communications must have the same messaging to help consistency and conversion.

A landing page is exactly what is says on the tin, a ‘page’ therefore the content that you add into this must be direct and to the point to fit into the space. You are guiding the user through a journey to make a decision and your aim is to get them to convert as quickly as you can. You do not want them hanging around on the page for hours or being distracted off to other pages through links. You want to be urging them to taken action now on that page. Keep it short and simple with plenty of psychological triggers such as ‘last chance’ and ‘exclusive’ and clear CTAs (Call to actions) helping the user make their decision in the best time possible.

These CTAs should stand out from the other content on the landing page, helping to keep the user journey from start to finish smooth and your conversion rate positive. 

3. Imagery and design
The imagery that you choose to use in your landing page must be cohesive with your content. You must pick imagery that is relevant to your content and audience; the imagery should act as an evidential back up of what you are trying to get the user to do. It must offer them an insight into how your brand will help improve their life.

Do not over clutter on design elements, yes I know you want it to look nice but do not be scared of clean space. You want the user to focus on your landing page message not the pretty shapes and shadows around it. 

4. Above the Fold
‘Above the fold’ is the area of the computer screen that a user sees without scrolling down on their mouse or keypad. As your main focus is to get users to convert smoothly and quickly you should provide your users with all the information required including CTAs to make a successful conversion in this section (above the fold).

5. Trust
It can take a while for a user to gain complete trust in a brand so trying to gain it in a single landing page can be tricky. To help optimise this trust why not include some trust indicators? These come in the form of real life positive testimonials of users showing how the product you are advertising helped them. Press articles and statistics. Providing one or some of these in your landing page can help gain brand loyalty and persuade a user into buying into your product and brand. 

6. Testing
Testing is an important factor when designing and building landing pages as the results can help you dissect what helped you convert users and what didn’t. Testing can be done on key words and CTAs, helping identify which words are most effective with your target audience. You can also test the placing of these CTAs by creating a number of landing pages that have the same content but place the CTA buttons in different places on each page. By doing this you can measure what the most effective positioning for this particular CTA is. Once you have conducted these tests a few times you will start to become familiar with how your audience view and navigate through your landing pages. You can then start applying these rules to future landing pages and create templates to work from on future projects. 

A very important factor of testing that a lot of people forget is to test your landing page as if you were an anonymous user. Once you think your landing page is complete set a test up where you and your colleagues view it is as if you have never seen it before (even better, show people who actually never have). Navigate through the landing page and ask yourself some questions: 

  • Do you get what the product is and what the page is offering you?
  • Is there clear navigation on what you need to do next?
If the answer to these questions is ‘no’ then you need to go back and dissect your landing page again. If the answer is ‘yes’ then you can look at building your landing page and sending traffic to it.

The key is to keep analysing your landing page, it is the only way to know that it's working and having the desired effect.

So there you have it, the anatomy of an effective landing page. Remember, do not bombard your users with masses of content and images, make sure that your objectives are defined before you start and make the path from start to conversion as clear and concise as possible.