By Marcus Cook
A landing page is the website page that users land on after they click on a link in a search engine results page, a marketing promotion, or an online advertisement. By optimizing your landing pages, you can improve the results of your PPC campaigns and maximize ROI.
There are many aspects that go into designing a high-converting landing page, but we will focus on the seven key elements to maximize your chances for success:
1. Keep ads and landing pages consistent
If you are running ads to get people from Facebook to your landing page, make sure the acquisition process is seamless. If there is a disconnect from what the ad promises and what the landing page shows, it will turn the customer off. Don’t offer free shipping in the ad to get people to the offer and then not offer it at checkout.
Also, be sure you are consistent with the aesthetic of your page. If your ad has a blue image, your landing page shouldn’t have a red background. It breaks the user experience and will make customers hesitant to move forward. Make sure that not only your messaging is consistent, but also the experience.
2. Grab their attention with your headline
On average, if 10 people see your ad, eight people will read your headline, but only two will read your copy. Therefore, it’s important to optimize your headline as much as possible. I do this is with what I call “The 5-Second Rule.” The 5-Second Rule means if you show a landing page to a stranger, would they know what you are selling within the first five seconds? If not, then you need to rewrite your heading so that your offer is clear and compelling within the first five seconds.
3. Create a compelling call-to-action
So many people just have “Submit” as their call-to-action (CTA). This one flaw can severely impact the outcome of your campaign. Your CTA should entice your viewer to click on it. For example, if you are offering a free e-book, your CTA shouldn’t be “Download Now”; it should instead be “Download My Free E-Book.” This simple change in wording not only makes your CTA more compelling, but also more warm and friendly.
4. Talk like you’re speaking to a friend
Many landing pages talk in a “sleazy used-car salesman” tone: “For a limited time only, you can get two bottles for the price of one …” And then a countdown timer appears at the top of the page, which everyone knows isn’t real, trying to pressure us to buy.
The goal of a landing page should be to sell without sounding like a salesperson. The way to do that is by talking in the same way you would to a friend. If you wanted to recommend a product to a friend, how would you do it? You wouldn’t try to trick them or pressure them into buying. You would just show them the benefits of your product, the reviews, and explain how the product has made a positive impact on your life.
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5. Keep conversion forms easy
When getting someone to opt-in for a webinar or to download an e-book, it’s a best practice to only ask for what need to know and nothing more. If you’re taking sign-ups for a webinar and all you need is an email address, then that’s all you should ask for. Don’t ask for a phone number, DOB, address, or anything else. People have short attention spans and also don’t like sharing personal information. If someone is simply downloading a swipe file, they shouldn’t have to tell you where they live.
The only exception to this rule is asking for their name. This could be beneficial down the road in future email campaigns. If you have someone’s first name, you can refer to them by name, allowing you to come off as a friend rather than salesperson. However, by no means do you need someone’s name to market to them and establish rapport.
6. Focus on benefits, not features
Why was the iPod the most successful portable music player in the early 2000s? Was it because it was first to market? No. The portable music player first got introduced to the market in 1998. Was it because it had the most storage? No. The iPod had a significantly smaller drive than competing MP3 players at the time. So what was it?
When Steve Jobs introduced the iPod to the market in 2001, he did so with the slogan, “1,000 Songs in Your Pocket.” At the time, every other company centered its marketing message around its storage space, its hard drive, and design. They all focused on the features of their product; Jobs focused on the benefits.
When writing the copy for your landing page, remember to focus on your product or service’s benefits, not its features. No one cares that Michelob Ultra only has a 4.2% ABV. People care that they can drink the beer while still following a low-carb diet.
7. Test everything
Too often, I’ll see a marketer run a campaign, and if the results weren’t as expected, blame the ad instead of the landing page. However, I always implore them to look at how much traffic they are driving to the page because if they are getting clicks but not conversions, it often means the issue is with the landing page and not the ad.
So what exactly should you test? Everything you can.
- Headers: Try one header around scarcity and the other around social proof.
- Call-to-action: Have one CTA that says “buy now” and another that says “go to checkout.” Try various colors as well.
- Page length: Try a long-form landing page and a short one.
- Videos: Have one landing page that has a video sales letter and one that doesn’t.
- Your offer: Try an offer with free shipping and another offer with 10% off.
It’s important is that you test each item one at a time. If you test all the variations at once, you won’t know which change may be increasing or decreasing sales. Start by testing only headers. Once you find out which header works best, then test the CTA, and work your way down the list.
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