Landing pages offer your audience relevant information and serve up your most important CTAs. Here's how to make sure your landing page is optimized to drive conversions.
- Landing pages are the natural next step in your digital marketing campaign, taking visitors to a webpage with more information about your offerings, with the express purpose of getting them to make a purchase, sign up for your emails or take another action.
- Landing pages are most successful when they have a clearly defined audience and call to action.
- It's not as easy as making a landing page and hoping for the best; you'll have to follow a set of best practices to get the most out of your landing page.
- In this article, you'll learn the purpose of a landing page and best practices to build a landing page that attracts visitors and turns them into customers.
In the world of digital marketing, few things are more coveted than a conversion: Someone clicks on your ad and is interested enough in your product or service to learn more, sign up for your newsletter, or even make a purchase. Those campaigns are anchored to landing pages, designed to motivate your target audience to take action. If you want to optimize your landing page to drive conversions, this guide includes important tips you need to know.
What is a landing page?
A landing page is a page of your website designed for a digital marketing campaign. These pages include specific information, often tailored to a specialty audience, that reflect the messaging and goals of the marketing campaign.
Why do you need a landing page?
While some may define landing pages as any page on your website where a visitor ends up, that's not technically the definition. Landing pages are launched specifically for a digital marketing campaign's purpose.
A landing page is important for digital marketing campaigns because you can use the space to target audiences with different needs. For example, a software program may have many features that are advantageous for certain sectors, such as students, graphic designers and at-home office professionals. Through landing pages, that company can tailor messaging to talk up the benefits for students, launch one page just about graphic design, and have yet another page just to talk about the small business tools the software offers.
Landing pages are also purposeful in their end goal: to get visitors to engage with your company. This can take many forms:
- Registering for an event
- Calling your place of business
- Making a purchase
- Scheduling a consultation
- Downloading a whitepaper or e-book
- Engaging with a chatbot on your website
- Filling out a form
- Signing up for your company's email newsletter
Key takeaway: A landing page is not just any webpage – it's the follow-up to your carefully coordinated digital marketing campaign. The goals of a landing page are numerous and can change with your marketing campaign.
What's the difference between a landing page and a webpage?
A landing page is crafted with the express purpose of getting visitors to take action as the result of a digital marketing campaign. With a landing page, you can fine-tune your messaging and hyper-target its contents to any demographic or audience, allowing you to easily segment users and reach more people who may have different interests that bring them to consider your products or services. Some marketers may use an existing webpage as a landing page, but that's not always the best move for your business.
Key takeaway: Webpages are any pages on your website, while landing pages are created for the explicit purpose of a digital marketing campaign. Sometimes, webpages are used as landing pages for digital marketing campaigns, but that is not their main purpose.
What should be included on a landing page?
The information you should include on a landing page depends on your goals, but some main points should be present.
- Headline: Use the space at the top of the page – called "above the fold" in marketing lingo – to catch your visitor's attention.
- Forward-facing summary of the campaign goals: Use the space directly underneath the headline to briefly explain your talking points or what you're offering.
- Social proof: If you have testimonials from satisfied customers, positive reviews on social media, or happy bloggers who sing your praises, use those items to show visitors that they can join a long list of happy clients when they work with your business.
- Trust logos: The goal of a trust logo is to demonstrate authority or security. Trust logos can include the logos of companies that work with you, badges of awards you've received from other organizations, or business associations of which your company is a member in good standing.
- Calls to action: Also known as "CTAs," these are typically buttons or short forms that entice the visitor to follow through. If you've ever seen a "contact us" or "download now" button while reading content on a website or landing page, you've seen a call to action.
Those may be the main parts of a landing page, but what precisely should you write about within these sections? To decide what to include on your landing page, ask yourself these questions:
- Who am I targeting? Your products and services may be important to separate audiences for different reasons. Tailor your landing page for each target audience. You may even want to create a unique landing page for each audience.
- What does my target audience need to know? As you write your summary and bullets for the landing page, make sure they convey the most important information. Cover the what, why and how in this space.
- What action do I want visitors to take? Whether you want visitors to buy your product or call your hotline, the information you include should be shaped around this key action.
Key takeaway: The information on your landing page should help persuade the visitor to take the desired action on the page.
How do you create a landing page?
If you work with a web developer or have the skills to build it yourself, you can create a new page on your existing website as a landing page. While this page won't be linked on your website's navigation bar or in the footer, it will still help capture leads from your digital marketing campaign. Just be sure that you've properly set up visitor tracking tools so you can monitor the page's performance.
If you're looking for a DIY or more accessible alternative, a landing page builder might be the right option for you. A landing page builder sets out to create intuitive pages that make it easy for your customers to take action. Note that a landing page is not a replacement for an entire website, but you can use it in conjunction with your website or even if your business does not have a website yet.
Some examples of landing page builders are Google Sites, a free tool you can use to build landing pages; Unbounce, a budget-friendly option that's great for small businesses; and Leadpages, which specializes in selling products. Additionally, some integrations you might currently use, such as Mailchimp for email campaigns, may support landing page creation.
Key takeaway: You can create a landing page on your existing website or use a landing page builder to create a stand-alone page.
How do you make a landing page that converts?
To make sure your landing page motivates your audience to follow through on your CTAs, incorporate the following tips:
- Keep it simple. Landing pages should get right to the heart of the action you want your visitor to take. If you want to make sales, include content that directly explains why the visitor should purchase your product. If you want the visitor to fill out a contact form, boil it down to the basics so they can quickly and easily fill out the information you need most.
- Include calls to action. Be clear about the action you want the visitor to take, whether that's to make a purchase or sign up for a webinar. What's more important, though, is that it's easy for your visitors to take that action.
- Prioritize the user experience (UX). The last thing you want to do is frustrate visitors who can't find what they're looking for. Ensure that your content is to the point and easy to follow. This ties in to the call to action: An uncluttered, clean design ensures that the CTA is easy to find and entices visitors to take the action you want them to take.
- Test, test, test. Create more than one variation of your landing page, and compare the results to see which version performs better. Going forward, stick with the landing page that gets the best feedback or nets you the highest conversion rate. This is known as A/B testing.
- Study the analytics. Collecting anonymized visitor data through tools like Google Analytics can help you make improvements to attract, capture and convert more visitors. For example, if you find that only a small percentage of visitors are signing up for a webinar advertised on your landing page, you may want to alter the landing page design to put the sign-up button front and center.
Key takeaway: A landing page should be convincing but get straight to the point. Include calls to action to make it easy for your visitor to do what you want them to do, and employ UX best practices to make the page easy to read and navigate. To ensure your landing page is doing what it needs to do, test it against other variations and review your analytics to monitor its ongoing performance.
What makes a good landing page in 2020?
These practices are essential to developing an effective landing page in 2020 and beyond.
- Keep the copy brief. Your landing page's copy should be short, sweet and to the point. Most website visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on a webpage – so make sure visitors are grasping the most important points before they move on.
- Lean into clean design. While design trends are constantly in flux, the preference for crisp and clean design is here to stay. Your page should be intuitive and easy to follow so the navigation won't frustrate visitors who just want the essential information.
- Consider contrast. Embrace negative space, the blank areas between design elements. This breathing room helps the main elements of your landing page stand out.
- Make sure it works, no matter where it's viewed. Use browser tools such as Google Chrome's Inspect to ensure that the landing page looks right on all types of screens – computers, tablets and smartphones alike.
- Ditch video – sometimes. This is particularly important for mobile landing pages, where video can take up too much bandwidth and load too slowly. However, this could change in 2021 as 5G speeds unroll across the U.S.
- Tap into testimonials. A whopping 97% of online shoppers turn to reviews to influence their decisions. Use space on the landing page to showcase some of your top reviews.
Key takeaway: A smooth user experience is the name of the game, and it should be the main purpose of each decision you make about your landing page.
Launch a landing page for your next campaign.
Before you send out your next digital marketing campaign, rethink what your visitors will do after they click. Are they just going to a contact form, or are they going to a special webpage that appears to be customized just for them? The latter will go way further than any generic page could, and that's where landing pages work their magic.
As you put together your landing page, think about the customer journey: what they need to know and what they need to convince them to act. The result of a thoughtfully designed landing page is increased conversions – and a successful digital advertising campaign.