Last week, we examined a few common scenarios that demand a landing page. From PPC advertising to lead capture, a landing page lifts your conversion rate and engages your customers, past, present, and future. Without them, you’re shooting in the dark and hoping for the best, rather than setting yourself up to succeed.
While the advantages and necessity of a landing page should be pretty clear, the actual construction still leaves many people scratching their head. How do you make one? What elements should be included?
The first thing you need to remember is that the average internet-user takes mere seconds to evaluate your page. Truthfully, he or she takes less than one second. Rather than frighten you, that should be your guiding principle.
What is the Blink Test?
The Blink Test refers to the fact that most people decide within less than one second whether to stay or leave your page. Quite literally, in the blink of an eye. Does your landing page make it crystal clear why they are there, and how to move forward? If it does, you’ve passed the Blink Test.
A landing page should have one clear, simple goal and call-to-action. No more. No less. It should immediately demonstrate that they are in the right place. If they clicked on your PPC campaign for waterproof socks, that’s what they should see.
So, how do you quickly (remember…less than one second) show them that?
Crafting High Impact Landing Pages – The Critical Elements
1) Your Headline
Your headline should be straightforward and attention-grabbing, appearing at the top of the page, and expressed as a single statement or question. Avoid the urge to simply put the name of your product or service. Instead, a great landing page headline should include the core benefit for them. How will it make their life better? Easier? More fulfilling?
A strong sub-headline, appearing directly underneath, can add to the effect with a supporting statement or evidence.
2) Visual Components
The overall design of your page should adhere to a few proven strategies. First and foremost, keep it simple. You don’t want your page crowded with unnecessary images. Any image or graphic appearing on the page should relate to your topic or end goal. In fact, utilizing blank space is a fantastic technique for highlighting your key benefits or call-to-action. Surround them with white-space so they stand out. If you’re using pictures of people, try and have them looking at your headline or call-to-action. This is a directional cue, and it instantly has anyone visiting your page looking where you want them to look.
Lines (such as pathways and roads) and arrows also create directional cues. Place them to visually guide your visitors.
Your colour choice is also meaningful. You don’t want to give someone a headache because of colour overload. Select carefully. There’s an entire field of study dedicated to colour and how each can affect us. Do some research. Choose wisely. And be aware of the power of contrast. A single, carefully chosen colour scheme throughout is your best bet, and it allows you to then select a contrasting colour for your call-to-action. With it, you can really make your form or submit button pop off the screen.
Finally, be conscious of framing (also called encapsulation). This can be as simple as a box, or literal frame, around your most important details (likely your form and button), or more complex via use of images and graphics that funnel our view. Either way, it’s a mental highlighter.
3) One Clear Goal and CTA
A landing page must have one simple goal. Usually, that’s either the collection of visitor details (name, email address, phone number) or to get someone to click-through to the next page. Don’t overwhelm with unnecessary information. One goal. Provide a few core benefits as to why they should do what you’re asking them to do.
If you want them to click-through, clearly explain how that will benefit them with a few concise bullet-points and a button. Your button text should remind them why they should click it (Save on Waterproof Socks, for example) instead of just saying SUBMIT or NEXT. Be specific.
Likewise, if you’re collecting visitor details via a form, it should be simple, prominently displayed, and easy to fill in. Don’t waste anyone’s time collecting details you don’t need. Name and email address if you’re building an email list. Physical mailing address if you plan on sending out a mailer. Collect only what you need to achieve your goals. And remember to use your visual design to highlight and promote your call-to-action.
4) Trust Indicators
Let’s be honest. Most people have grown wary of giving out their details online. Too much email spam. Too many companies unscrupulously selling user details to other companies.
5) Resistance is Futile
Okay, this last one might be a little melodramatic. You want your landing page to have one clear call-to-action, and you want to ensure that your visitors follow-through with it. It’s not about being pushy or manipulative, but it is about recognizing certain behaviours and anticipating reluctance.
A landing page is designed specifically to reach your goal. It should standalone and be separate from the rest of your website. Visitors get there by clicking through from your PPC ad, or email campaign, or banner. It’s simple, clear, and straightforward. You provide the benefits to them, and you demonstrate why they should trust you. You make it abundantly clear for them how to move forward by either clicking to the next page in the funnel, or submitting their details. There should be no other option. Don’t include your usual navigation menu across the top of the page, giving them the choice to click to another section of your website before completing the call-to-action. A landing page should have one way off of it… by completing whatever goal you created for that particular campaign. After completing that, they should be taken to a thank you page, or post-conversion page that explains the next step. You’re in control.
Crafting high-impact landing pages shouldn’t be rocket science. Follow the strategies that work. If you’re still feeling uncertain, contact us and let’s chat about your marketing and how we can help.