Most any digital marketing company can build you a quick and attractive landing page, guaranteed to bring in a fair amount of leads and conversions. After all, knowing how to reel in potential clients and convert them is all part of the job description.
But for the sake of transparency, what is the secret sauce to creating a successful landing page? Is it the copy? The visuals? The offer itself?
What Is a Landing Page? Landing Page vs. Homepage
Before we dive into the elements of a highly-converting landing page, let’s first define what it is—because we totally understand how one could confuse it with a homepage.
A landing page is ideally a page that converts whoever “lands” on it (hence the term). It is often a standalone page created for a specific campaign, sale, or product.
A homepage, on the other hand, is the first thing people see when they visit your website. It isn’t necessarily built to convert the visitors that land there, and unlike a landing page, it cannot stand alone.
Another difference lies in how people find the page.
A landing page is often found organically using keywords or search engines.
A homepage is often visited, not found, and it is more often than not visited due to word-of-mouth, social media, or referrals.
In other words, people find homepages because they’re given a URL or a business name. Landing pages, on the other hand, are often stumbled upon through organic searches.
And now that that’s done, let’s move on to a digital marketing company’s top three best-kept secrets:
Secret #1. Attention-Grabbing Headlines
When writing copy for a landing page, the headline is something you cannot afford to gloss over. Don’t randomly generate one. Don’t use one that you’ve seen before.
And don’t try to cram five or six keywords in there for SEO.
We see you. Trust us; it doesn’t work.
A headline needs to grab the audience’s attention. It needs to be interesting, concise, and accurate. And it needs to be short enough and punchy enough that it tickles someone’s curiosity.
Think the miniskirt format: long enough to cover the basics, short enough to warrant a second glance.
Your headline needs to incite some type of emotion in your target so that they are compelled to read through your page.
Any digital marketing company can agree; a lot is expected from your headline. And crafting the perfect one just isn’t easy. But if you nail it, the effort is definitely worth it.
Below is a checklist of what a great headline should accomplish:
- Grab the reader’s attention
- Immediately inform your reader of your service or product
- Entice the reader into learning more
- Be less than 20 words long
- Use plain but punchy words (no $50 words here, please)
To further illustrate, let’s say you’re selling a chat and/or networking app for business owners. People can download the app, select the industry (or industries) they’re working in, and then meet fellow business owners or representatives who are also looking to build a network based on parameters they input (like location, type of business, work history, etc.).
A good headline for it would be something like, “World’s First Networking App: Make Connections, Build Your Network or “The NETWorking App: Networking Made Easy.”
A not-so catchy headline would be something like, “The Best App on the Market for Business Owners: No Need to Look for Opportunities to Network—Just Make Your Own! New FREE Networking App Makes it Easy and Simple to Make Connections and Build Your Network!”
While both examples give sufficient information, the latter is just overkill. The former is short enough and punchy enough that it could make potential consumers sit down and read more.
Secret #2. Clear Calls to Action (CTAs)
Once your audience knows what you do, it’s time for you to tell them what they should do.
A call to action—or CTA—is exactly as the name suggests. It’s a simple one-liner that answers the question, “Now what?”
Now you sign up for free membership.
Now you give us a call.
Now you visit our online shop and get your discount voucher.
Now you share this page for a chance to win.
Now you watch this video.
Take Netflix, for example. Their call-to-action below is clean and very clear. The use of their text, “Watch Anywhere. Cancel Anytime” shows value and lack of risk, plus they include an enticing action of a free 30-day trial.
Whatever you want your audience to do to take advantage of your offer, tell them to do it. Plainly. Simply. Using clear, direct language. Don’t distract them with other requests and directions. This will just move them away from what you really want them to do—and further away from your conversion funnel.
A landing page that converts is one that only emphasizes ONE CTA. There can’t be two ways about it.
So if you want a prospect to “click here” and avail of a “30% discount coupon” for your online store, don’t tell them—further down the page—to also like and share your Facebook page for a chance to win a free service. And subscribe to your email newsletter, too, so they can be the first to know about more great freebies and giveaways.
Oh, and to also watch this short thirty-second video about your brand so they can better understand why your products are the best on the market.
You can give them more information the further along the pipeline they are. But while they’re on that landing page? One direction is enough.
The last thing you want to do is distract people from their goal (which is to fulfill the prerequisites of your CTA, as discussed earlier).
If you’ve noticed by now, the whole point of a landing page is to eliminate distractions and give visitors one clear, distinct course of action. The headline must be straight to the point. The CTA must be straight to the point.
And as such, it follows that the look of the website must also be straight to the point. Another example? See Promo’s landing page below. Notice the clean colors and text, as well as the simple call-to-action.
If you use eye-popping visuals, loud colors, and a mildly confusing layout, the chances of your audience catching your CTA and actually following it decrease drastically. Sidetracking your visitors with a whole heap of visual junk is just not the way to go.
Keep your designs clean and simple. Standard font, uniform font sizes or font variations all throughout (no 30-point headings paired with 10-point subheadings, please!), lots of white space, and minimal graphics.
A good rule of thumb that a digital marketing company follows? Less is more.
All in all, there is no one-size-fits-all recipe to crafting the perfect landing page. In fact, each landing page will differ drastically depending on the offer, the CTA, the company, the target market, etc. So don’t take these tips as rules. Instead, use them as guidelines. Follow them when crafting your copy and layout, but always remember to adjust according to what you—and your market—needs.