When designing a web campaign, it’s important to keep in mind the multiple steps your visitors must take before being converted into followers or customers. There’s a lot of opportunity to lose their attention and, as a result, the conversion along the way. The landing page is a crucial step in this process. But too often landing pages don’t actually serve the purpose they’re meant to, and this is usually a result of losing sight of what that purpose is.
A landing page should be a stepping stone between a message and an action. The message would appear on one of your company’s social channels – an ad on Facebook, say, or a button on an email newsletter – and would lead the visitor to the action you hope they will take, whether that’s subscribing for updates, providing feedback on a product, or making a purchase.
What is an Effective Landing Page?
A well-designed landing page will do everything it can to encourage that conversion. A poorly-designed – or just plain absent – landing page, will almost always do the opposite.
Here are a few best practices to make sure your landing page encourages visitors to follow through and convert:
#1 Keep It Simple
There is nothing that will up your campaign’s bounce rate (that’s the number of times a visitor clicks on a link to your site, then immediately navigates away) like a cluttered page that is difficult to use or understand.
Too often, a visitor will click an ad and land on a site’s home page. However, a home page holds too much content to smoothly guide a visitor to the action you want them to take.
Instead, a landing page should be solely focused on the specific call to action, with little distraction. In the same way, each new campaign deserves its own landing page.
#2 Reduce Escape Routes
This is a must for adhering to simplicity. Be super selective with where your page links out, because every link to another page — even if it’s another page elsewhere on your site — is an opportunity for your visitor to not convert.
This is also why home pages make particularly poor landing pages. A home page is supposed to be a visitor’s portal to all different realms of your website. A landing page, on the other hand, has a singular focus.
#3 Make the Call-To-Action the Focus
HubSpot put it well when they referred to a landing page as a “lead-capture” page. This is the focus. Whether it’s a data form to fill out subscription info (see #4) or a buy flashing BUY NOW button, the action should take center stage on your landing page.
Second in line? Still the call-to-action. Your landing page should also include some copy detailing the offer and explaining — in more detail than the ad or post that landed them there — why your visitor should follow through. This is best done with, again, simple formatting. Lists, bullet points, concise text. A long, complex explanation might cause your visitor to lose interest and click away.
#4 Minimize Visitor Input
A visitor is more likely to subscribe to your weekly marketing emails if they only have to submit their first name and email address. Yes, there’s something to be said for gathering data to better understand and target your audience. But there’s also something to be said for quick and easy.
A good trick when it comes to a sale call-to-action — which often requires the tedious entry of credit card and other billing information — is to split up the levels of data entry to separate pages and forms. This way, your visitor-turned-lead/customer is entering more data without being faced with a long form to fill out.
NOTE: Always include a privacy statement when collecting visitor information.
#5 Keep Style Consistent with Your Brand
Sitespect recommends keeping the design of your landing page consistent with the overall design of your website. This not only further solidifies your identity to your visitor, but it reinforces the trust they already exhibited by clicking to the landing page. People are more likely to complete a transaction in a familiar feeling space.
This goes for visual as well as textual elements: keep key words a phrases the same across platforms, to create a smooth continuity on the road from message and action.