If you’ve recently invested in an online marketing strategy, that includes some combination of affiliate marketing, Facebook advertising, PPC, social media, and SEO – then you should be expecting an onslaught of traffic to your landing page, right? Wrong!That idea works great in theory. However, in reality a landing page needs to be handled with kid gloves. Here are eight essential principles for building a landing page, as a part of a broader web marketing strategy.
1. A concise and clear call to action (CTA)
This is the end goal – the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Therefore it needs to work hard for you. It’s more than simply words, ‘Sign Up Now’, ‘Start a Free Trail’ or ‘Shop Now’.
There should be no distractions and extraneous data that obfuscates the main goal. The best landing pages are simple, and accentuate one goal, and one goal only.
Consider what should remain above the fold. This means the information that appears on the site before scrolling is required. This part of the web page should have everything in a nutshell.
2. An offer or promise
Visitors to your landing page will be thinking, what’s in it for me? There’s no other way with web marketing. Also, that’s just the psychology of human beings. This is why it’s important to have an offer or discount in place, in exchange for getting what you want from website visitors and getting their personal information.
Effective landing pages, with incredibly high conversion rates, move the customer deep into the conversion funnel. These sites gather information from visitors, in exchange for an offer or discount. After a time, the visitors can unsubscribe without a fee. In every sense – this is a win-win. You can foster a sense of urgency by making the trial offer for a limited time.
3. Keep it simple
This TED talk below is about the paradox of consumer choice. Research has shown than when consumers are given too many choices, they ultimately take longer to make decisions, and often are put off completely. Therefore, the simpler you make your landing page, the more effective it will be. Narrow down the focus, be brief and succinct, and reap the benefits.
4. Give me one reason to stay here
In the obscure and largely forgotten 90’s song by Tracey Chapman, he asks us to ”Give me one reason to stay here…you gotta make me change my mind”. This is precisely what we must provide visitors to a landing page. Think of benefits, features, and how the product or service fulfils a need or solves a problem for customers.
5. A catchy and memorable headline
Visitors to your landing page got there for a reason. It’s the job of the headline to get them to pull up a chair and stay there a while. It takes a fraction of a second to decide whether or not to stay on a landing page. See this example from Treehouse
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6. An Intuitive Layout for Multiple Devices
Bear in mind that the landing page that’s visible on your mammoth HD monitor, will be different from what other visitors see on older or smaller devices. Therefore, keep this in mind with the design. Keep the vital messages in the centre top of the screen, such as the headline, logo and call to action.
7. Appropriate and engaging visuals
Don’t fall for crappy gifs, stock photos or poor quality videos. Visuals can be powerful when used correctly and sparingly. Sometimes visuals can be used to express an abstract emotion or theme of a blog, but only in a way that will make this obvious to the reader. Also you should avoid including videos that start automatically when the user opens the landing page – This is a cardinal sin. It’s intrusive and annoying, and guarantees that people will exit the landing page as soon as possible.
8. Badges of social authority
Always include social media links. If you have been established a while, then it’s also a good idea to include links to press clippings, testimonials, and a portfolio of work. This establishes credibility, authority and verifies that your business is a respectable player. Don’t overdo it with self-aggrandizement though. Instead aim for simplicity and plenty of white space, with links to more information, should the visitors want to dig further.
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