Before you ever spend a dime to drive traffic to your website, give careful thought to the first impression you give your visitors. A great landing page is critical to your campaign’s success. Even a large budget and a flawlessly executed marketing campaign will fail to overcome the negative impact of a bad landing page. Although only one link in the marketing funnel, an ineffective landing page will reduce your entire campaign to waste.
Visitors typically have a short attention span and absolutely no tolerance for a poorly designed web page. You only have several seconds to catch a visitor’s attention. Here are some tips to make the most of those seconds and transform your landing page from a marketing budget black hole to a conversion machine.
1. Good Design: You don’t need to win design awards with your landing page, but visitors will leave before reading a word if your site looks like it hasn’t been redesigned since the tech bubble. Ask people that will tell you the truth to compare the look and feel of your landing page to your competition. Don’t rely solely on your own opinion since nobody thinks their own baby is ugly. If you need design help, get some because you are only wasting your precious marketing budget by sending visitors to an ugly landing page.
2. Use Consistent Messaging: Make sure your keywords are in your ads and that your ad language is prominent on your landing page. For example, don’t write an ad that says “Free Widgets” and have a landing page headline that says “Low-Priced Widgets”. Visitors will leave at the first cause for confusion, or worse, hint of a bait and switch.
3. Create Multiple Chains of Messaging: Don’t stuff multiple conflicting concepts into a single landing page. For example, assume your widget cures cancer and solves world hunger. For best results, form separate ad groups for “cure cancer” and “solves world hunger” and then use two separate keywords, ads, and landing pages. Generally speaking, the more specialized you are the better your results.
4. Strong Call to Action: Don’t bury your visitor with 10 paragraphs of text before asking them to signup for your newsletter or buy your widget. Have your call to action front and center with a big colorful button or short form prominently displayed. If you choose to lengthen your landing page so that users have to scroll, consider repeating your call to action so that it is always in view.
5. Use Testimonials: If your visitor doesn’t already know your brand then you are starting with no credibility. Testimonials are the fastest way to build credibility and convince visitors that you can be trusted.
6. Eliminate Distractions: Funnel your visitors’ attention towards your call to action. Avoid any extra text or images that don’t specifically compel visitors to respond to your call to action. Remove links that will take visitors away from your conversion page.
7. Don’t Use Your Homepage: For the best results, you will want to build multiple targeted landing pages for all of your different campaigns. Using your homepage as a landing page is almost always a terrible idea.
8. Always Measure and Test: The last tip is that the first version of a landing page is never the best. Install Google Analytics and track the performance of your landing page. Take advantage of the free Google Website Optimizer to test multiple pages and compare their performance. Seemingly trivial changes to a landing page can lead to substantial improvements in their ability to convert.
Online marketing is only as strong as its weakest link. Often, the landing page is the neglected link and presents the greatest opportunity for improving your profitability. A really great landing page can easily more than double your conversion rate.