How to Create High Converting Landing Pages
Generating ROI on digital marketing means not only driving the right traffic to your site but converting it into sales once it lands there. That is why prioritising your visitors’ landing page experience and creating pages that convert is a vital step in the process of growing the business you generate online.
Whether you are paying for your website traffic via PPC (Pay Per Click advertising) or being found in organic results, then you should focus on making sure you are maximising the value of every visitor that comes to your site. However, it is important to note that, converting might mean a purchase but equally could refer to the achievement of one of your goals for that page. Those goals might include signing up to a newsletter, downloading a content offer, buying a product or requesting a demo, to name but a few. Whatever you want a visitor to do when they land on your site it is vital that the page they land on is designed to lead them to do it.
What is a Landing Page?
Typically, when we think of landing pages, we usually think of the pages that visitors land on when they have clicked on a paid ad on Google, Facebook or LinkedIn for example. However, landing pages aren’t restricted to just paid media. When someone clicks on a page from Google’s organic search results, in effect the page they land on is a landing page too. If someone is searching for a relevant term that you want to be found for and then finds you in the SERP (Search Engine Results Pages), you should ensure the landing page experience your website delivers is the best it can be in terms of its content, relevance, and navigability not to mention encouraging the visitor to take the desired action(s) for that page and so convert.
Top Tips to Create a Landing Page that Converts
What is your Goal?
Before even starting to create a landing page, you need to define your goal for that page. Without that you don’t know what you are measuring success based off it is not possible to measure how successfully it performs. Define your goal (form completion, download, sign-up to list etc) and take the time to consider where your buyers are in their journey and what the action you want them to take should be.
Include the Keywords in the URL and Content
It may seem obvious, but ensure your landing pages includes the keywords you are trying to target or if you are targeting through a medium such as Facebook, ensure the page matches the ad copy that enticed the user to click through. If someone is searching for ‘red coats’ but lands on a page for ‘black coats,’ then they are not getting what they want. This is likely to cause them to bounce off your site instantly and even worse, may deter them from buying from you in the future.
As an aside to matching the content, it is also important that your visuals match. If a visitor clicks on an ad that uses a particular design or style, they will feel more reassured that they are in the right place if your landing page echoes that style. Consistency is key, not only for brand purposes but to maintain the thread of the visitor journey.
Make page speed a priority
Engage with your visitors and their problem
In the past, to engage with visitors, businesses liked to hammer home the features of a product and service. In essence, they liked to talk about themselves – and no one likes it when someone talks about themselves too much! This is an old school way of selling. Now consumers have become much wiser to this and don’t like to be sold to in this direct manner. Audiences wish to be spoken to in a human way and in a way that addresses their problem. It’s a business’ role to educate and offer the solution. The focus should be on the customer, not the business, by understanding and solving their problem.
When writing your landing page content, think about how the copy is structured in a way that addresses the problem they are looking to solve e.g. ‘I need to know how to build a good landing page’ and your buyer personas’ pain points, e.g. ‘I have to launch this campaign; I don’t have a good page to land the visitors on right now so I have to work out what my new page should look like and what it should do’. A good way to structure your copy is relating it to the narrative of a story.
The first stage should be to introduce the character; in this instance it will be your persona. Make your persona the hero in the story, not your products and services.
The second stage in a story is to introduce an incident – in this case, it could be your personas problem.
The next stage is for you (the business) to introduce themselves as an empathetic guide; showing understanding of the problem and showing how you can solve it. From here, you can offer the main Call To Action (CTA) and talk about the consequences (both good and bad) of what will happen if your persona doesn’t take action (more on this later).
Remember, when it comes to writing copy – think how you would like to be spoken to. Connect with your personas by addressing their problems and they will be much more likely to take action.
Use Descriptive Headers
Tying into the point above around copy, it’s important to use headings wisely. Most website visitors skim read text, and this is where headings can help. Headings help to break up the main body copy, signal what the page content is about and help your visitors to find what they want to know and read more effectively.
Limit exit points
You want to encourage your visitors to stay on the landing page for as long as possible as they will be more likely to fill out that form, add to wish list or download the piece of content. While you can link to other places, you may want to avoid linking to an external site early on in the body content for example.
Limit Calls to Action
This one may seem counter-intuitive but if you want your user to book a demo, you shouldn’t include three other CTAs encouraging the user to take a different action. Chances are if you include too many CTAs, no action will be taken as your visitors will be confused, causing friction in the landing page experience. Be clear about what you want your visitor to do and keep it simple.
Use a Powerful Call to Action
Leading on from the previous point, your main CTA needs to be powerful enough to encourage your visitors to take that next step. Consider the wording, what it offers, why your visitor should do what you want them to, what they get for doing it etc. Look at colours and button/form placement to make the CTA stand out from the page. When you have collected more data, you could play around with where your CTA appears. If people only scroll to 50% depth, it’s probably best to place your main CTA above the fold. If you have the functionality, it is worth considering A/B testing different pages as well, to see which type of CTA is most effective for you.
When writing any copy that supports your CTA, it is best practice to think about agitating the pain point your personas have by starting with a negative statement and then tell them the good that will happen if they take this next step you have lined up. You may have talked about the problem and offered a solution earlier in the body text but think about ending with a stellar call to action that really homes in on the pain, solution and outcome. Here is an example call to action for an imaginary organisational and collaboration tool (for the sake of this exercise we will call the business COLLAB).
‘You have enough time in the day, but your current processes mean that your workload is piling up, spiralling out of control and you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and losing sleep. Fear not, COLLAB is here to help you work smarter, not harder. With our easy to use, intuitive platform, you can easily organise your work and manage your time more effectively making you more effective and on top of things. Book a free COLLAB demo to see how it can help.’
Another important thing that’s worth mentioning when it comes to creating CTAs is ensuring they encourage users to take action. Using learn more, read more or click here is lazy and you should always think about being persuasive and descriptive with link labels and accompanying text.
How Can I Improve My Landing Pages?
It’s a common question that people ask, and a good place to start is by looking at the data. Good digital marketing decisions are based on a combination of sound data analysis and human behaviour insights. With that information to hand there are a number of tactics you can use to improve what already exists.
Use Tools like Hotjar & Page Analytics
HotJar and Page Analytics are powerful tools that give you in-depth insights on how visitors behave when on your site and how they interact with it. Using these tools, you can analyse just 1 landing page or multiple landing pages. Data generated can include insights on where people click and don’t click, scroll depth, bounce rate and exit rate. By using this information, you can make informed decisions on how to improve your landing pages.
If, for example, the goal of your page is to get people to contact you by filling out a form; however visitors are only scrolling to 50% of the page and your form is at the bottom of the page, you may want to consider re-designing the page so the form or call to action is delivered earlier on the page. When analysing the data, it’s always important to look at both the mobile and desktop data as experiences on different devices can differ and so the steps you take to improve your landing page could differ.
Conduct A/B Testing
As mentioned earlier, it is well worth considering A/B testing if you have the capabilities to do that. A/B testing is when you take a landing page and then change a variant on the page to see what performs better. Variants could include anything from changing a colour on a button to changing the main header image on the page. The changes you make could be subtle changes however the idea with A/B testing is that 50% of visitors will be taken to one version of the page and the other 50% sent to version B. That way, by testing one variant you can see what page converts at a higher rate and therefore, make informed decisions led by data on the design and content of your landing page. One note of warning, there should only be one area of difference between the pages you are testing, if there are more it won’t be easy to tell what change is making the difference!
Conduct Usability Studies and Heuristic Analysis
Actually testing your landing page with your personas is a good way to understand what barriers are stopping a visitor from completing the desired action. User testing usually involves setting a user (or a set of users) a task or scenario to see whether and how they perform the desired task. In this instance, you could test your landing page to see whether people actually complete your goal correctly. In this type of testing, an observer can watch the participant(s) and take notes but it’s vital that the observer does not direct the user in any way to do something different as this will affect the reliability of the results.
Another way to test your landing pages are to use heuristic analysis. Nielsen Norman highlight 10 usability heuristics whereby you can analyse how usable your website or pages are. Examples include visibility of system status, match between system and the real world (does your content engage with your personas at their level) and aesthetic and minimalist design. It is a strategy that is well worth considering when developing landing pages but in a variety of other situations too.
Get Expert Help with Creating Landing Pages
Don’t let a poor landing pages stop you from getting the conversion rate you need. Our expert team here at Innovation Visual can help your business maximise the traffic coming to your site, why not get in touch to discuss how we can help. You might also find our CRO and website effectiveness services information useful.
Not quite ready to talk to us? Why not download our free guide to creating great content that delivers results instead?