The first thing business owners or marketers should do when reviewing their digital presence is making sure their website (landing page) is in the best position to convert traffic into leads and leads into paying customers.
What’s the main purpose of a website? If you’re creating a website just because you know your competitors have one and you want to match their efforts, you are already severely behind the eight ball. A website is meant to inform, educate, and most importantly, provoke action.
Having a fully-built out website is great, and much needed for the purposes of SEO and showcasing all of your products, services, and business information. But when you’re driving traffic to your website, through paid ads in particular, chances are these people are only going to see ONE page. And if this one page (or, LANDING PAGE), isn’t optimized for conversions, you might as well be throwing your money out the window.
Feeling overwhelmed? Not to worry; all you need to do is follow this 10-Step process to ensure your landing page is performing at its peak potential. Let’s get into it!
#1: Match Your Brand/Theme
You may have heard the term “brand consistency” before, but have you really thought about why it’s important? For the people who have seen your company’s logo, tagline, or content before, they expect a certain “look and feel” attached to your company, and if they even have a thought of confusion or mistrust, you most likely have already lost them as a customer.
For example, if you are posting to Instagram and only using graphics with black and red, and then all of a sudden you use blue and green as CTA and button colors on your landing page, your brand name won’t be triggered in people’s’ minds and they will leave your page.
If your website visitors haven’t seen your brand before, keeping things consistent on the page is your main focus. You don’t want to mix and match button colors (max of 2, recommended is 1) or alternate font styles and sizes. Keeping your content consistent is key to marketing across all channels, and on your landing page in particular.
#2 Modern Design
Whether you’re on a first date, at a business meeting, or visiting a new website, first impressions are everything. A person or company can “WOW” you 99/100, but if the 1 time they didn’t with an outdated website that isn’t mobile responsive and looked like it belonged in a time-machine was the first time, the next 99 impressions won’t really matter (or exist).
Even the least tech-savvy individuals can spot a website belonging in 1999 a mile away. What would you think if you went to Amazon.com to purchase a pair of boots and this is what you saw?
Would you be more or less inclined to make a purchase? If you answered less inclined, you would be with the vast majority of people who would think that this company is either out of business or is not going to give you the shopping experience you expect in today’s day and age.
Mobile responsiveness is the other huge factor to consider. If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, Google and other search engines will severely punish you in search rankings, and you won’t show up anywhere for the keywords you would like to rank for. Since over 60% of website traffic comes from mobile devices, you need to be in a position to capture this rapidly-growing audience. People will leave your site instantly if they have to scroll from side to side and zoom out to view your site on their phones, and conversions will be virtually non-existent.
#3 Relevance to traffic sources
Google Adwords has a metric called “Quality Score” which determines the cohesiveness between the keywords being used in your ads and the content on the landing page you are driving traffic to for said ad. Your Quality Score is ranked on a scale from 1–10, 10 being the best. The reason Quality Score is so important to be aware of is because Google determines how often to show your ad based on this number and will potentially lower your cost per click if your score is high. You want to make sure that your landing page written copy strongly correlates to the traffic you are sending.
For Facebook, email, and any other type of traffic referral sources, you want to ensure that the offer you are promoting is the same and expanded upon once the user reaches your landing page. We’ll talk about how to make an appealing offer a little later on, but for now, it’s crucial that your offer is easily visible, understandable, and contains all of the necessary details for a customer to make a purchase or take some sort of action without having any doubt of what they are signing up for.
Being clear and concise while at the same time being as descriptive as possible should be a main goal of your landing page. This may seem contradictory, but if you’re able to achieve the combination, you will be set up for success.
Avoid vague, cliche statements such as “Solutions for Success” or “The Best of The Best.” These phrases elicit confusion, “What solutions?” and “Best of the best what?”
You want to keep your paragraph descriptors short, but packed full of keyword-related content. Make use of icons with text and lists to give you the flexibility to phrases in a way that looks clean without using complete sentences.
Add long-form copy below the fold. In simpler terms, if you have to write a long description about who you are, what you do, or what products or services you sell, make sure that this is written out underneath the content that shows up first when someone lands on your page, This copy will certainly help your Quality Score increase, and it will give you more leverage to show up in search results if you are trying to eventually rank your landing page,
#5 Compelling Headline
Your headline is what the eyes of the user will go to first. This is because the font-size will be larger than anything else on the page, possibly a different color, and most importantly, contains your most compelling reason for taking action on the landing page.
Once again, the clarity and enticement of your headline will be the difference between capturing attention and losing the potential customer completely.
Is your headline compelling enough that it doesn’t sound like it was pulled from a generic list of headlines? Think about how many websites you visit per day and subsequent attempts to capture your attention that are made. Writing a compelling headline starts with using industry-related buzzwords, including extremely relevant keywords, and finishing with a distinct Call-to-Action.
Example of Good Headline for Boots:
Dance Like A True Cowboy — Save 20% Today Only!
Example of Bad Headline for Boots:
We Have Amazing Boots!
#6 Visible and Noticeable Call-to-Actions (CTA)
Call-to-Actions are what gives a person the final nudge to take action on your landing page. CTA’s come in many variations such as a product showcase, click-to-call buttons, submitting a form, signing up for a newsletter, downloading a whitepaper, and much more.
In my opinion, if you ignored everything but one single thing in this entire post, this would be the one element to remember and implement. If you don’t have any CTA’s above the fold on desktop AND mobile, you will be wasting your time and money. People do not have an attention span, and when you finally capture someone’s view, you must make the most of it. If they have to scroll down the page in search of your form or phone number, this is when agitation sets in and they will immediately go to the next result on Google.
If you think this is “In-Your-Face Marketing”, it is, but it’s very much necessary in today’s competitive landscape. Everyone is constantly fighting for each other’s attention. It’s the marketers who figure out the secret sauce of turning that attention into action that will be the most successful.
#7 Offer Enticement
An offer, promotion, sale, deal, or value-add is what will drive interest from those who are either on the fence about taking action, as well as bringing in brand new customers who have never seen your products or services.
There a few types of offers that are extremely effective to promote and then reinforce on your landing page: Urgency Offers (must purchase within the next X hours), Exclusivity Offers (must be one of the first X people to take advantage of the offer), Contest Offers (enter email for a chance to win X or take $X off next order), Seasonal Offers (Black Friday or Christmas sales), etc.
There are many more types of offers that exist that I’m sure you’ve seen on some of your favorite websites. The key is finding what types of offers work best for your business, and making these offers front-and-center.
Promote the offers on all of your distribution networks, and make sure your landing page is in a position to close the deal once people get to it.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. Make use of interactive website plugins such as a countdown to the time when an Urgency Offer is set to expire.
#8 Visible Form
Forms are the quickest way to capture people’s information without forcing them to call you. When used properly, forms can be used to build email lists and lead funnels consisting of people who came to your landing page and took the time to fill in their information for you.
While many landing pages have forms to fill out, many of them aren’t optimized to collect the maximum number of leads possible.
The biggest problem with most forms is the amount of fields. It all goes back to that attention thing. Say you’re traveling and have a 10 minute Uber ride to your hotel. Would you be more inclined to fill out a form that asks for your Name, Email, and Phone Number, or a form asking for your Name, Email, Phone Number, Address, Company, Areas of Interest, Website URL, Referral Source? Obviously, all of that additional information in Form 2 will provide you with better data to input into your CRM system, but what good is all that data if you only get it for half the people that would have otherwise signed up through Form 1? Unless you have already nurtured your leads and they are further down the buying cycle, it’s much more efficient and effective to collect higher level info and put them through your sales process from there.
Another issue with forms is validation errors and spam, especially when dealing with open source website platforms like WordPress. Make sure when you are building the form that users must enter all the information that is marked mandatory before submitting the form. If you test the form and find out that someone can hit “Send” without typing anything, that must be addressed so you don’t inflate any conversion tracking that you are measuring. Also, there are plenty of anit-spam plugins you can install for free such as Honeypot for WordPress. Trust me when I say this will SAVE your inbox and also protect against hackers getting into your site and causing unimaginable problems.
#9 Authentic Testimonials
Testimonials are supposed to add immense social proof to your product or service offering. Have you ever gone to a website and wondered if John or Jane Doe was actually a real person, or just characters created by the company to make you believe people had amazing things to say about them? In many cases, it’s very difficult to tell, especially if it’s just words. This is why I always recommend video testimonials in addition to just the written blurb. It’s incredibly more difficult to fake a video of someone, especially if they can be traced back to their LinkedIn.
If you can’t get video testimonials, you need to make sure that you properly link out to all of the necessary information that will support the testimonial in addition to getting a picture of the person who wrote it. These links will include website, LinkedIn profile, and any other projects that you worked on with that client. If it’s an e-commerce customer, make sure that it states somewhere that he or she is a “Verified Purchaser”, and link out to other reviews made by that person (if possible).
If you are selling more than one product on your landing page, and don’t have reviews for each product, make sure to at least include the ratings for each product. Perception is everything, even if your sister or nephew is the only 5-star reviewer, that will make a huge difference.
#10 Supporting Imagery
We’ve talked a lot about the importance of the written copy on your landing page, but what about images that highlight your offers and make your page stand out from an aesthetics perspective? Choosing the right image can be daunting, especially if you don’t want to steal other people’s property (which I would never recommend doing).
Having original images that are unique to your business are definitely preferred. Not only does it make you stand out, but it also shows that you put in the effort to make your landing page look nice and gives an added sense of assurance to your potential customers.
I would also avoid using the generic stock images that you find on just about any website. We’ve all seen the business men and women sit around the table, pointing at a whiteboard, or family playing with their labrador retriever in the park. While these get the job done, you are essentially blending in with all of the other websites people visit all the time.
Your images should mean something, and they should also be customized to your offers. Using a tool such as Canva allows you to instantly become a semi-professional graphic designer in which you can add text over images, pick from thousands of pre-made templates, and gives you inspiration for creatives you’ve never even thought of.
Creating, optimizing, and distributing your landing pages can be stressful, but once you have a toolbox of best practices, you become much more dangerous to your competitors. Some of the best platforms to build landing pages are ClickFunnels, Unbounce, and WordPress. If you are reading this and would like a more in depth analysis of the best landing page platforms for different uses, please comment below or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Landing pages are the holy grail of making money selling products or services online, and if you’re able to slowly master the art of persuasion in digital form, in addition to using this guide, you will soon be the king of your niche!
My name is Kris Dellarciprete and I am a Digital Marketing Expert at Momentum Digital. I have been creating, optimizing, and consulting landing pages and conversion rate optimization for over 4 years. I pride myself in keeping up with the latest trends in the industry, and constantly invest my time into internal and external projects that further my development in the aforementioned areas.