Let this be a warning to you and marketers everywhere:
Toward the end of the landing page design process, you’ll be tempted to press a button — THE button. Doing so too early can mean disastrous consequences for your business — wasted hours, massive headaches, and rock-bottom ROI.
When pressed at the right time, however, that same button can lead to increased revenue, new customers, and more leads.
What’s this potentially rewarding yet dangerous button we’re referring to?
The “publish” button.
Pressing it before your landing page is fully ready can doom an entire campaign before it even begins. Without the right tools and measures in place, you risk collecting bad data and wasting valuable impressions.
If you’re about to left-click your landing page into its “live” mode, stop what you’re doing and make sure you get it right the first time by asking yourself the following questions.
Then, if you really want to ensure your page is completely ready to drive maximum conversions, download the rest of our new landing page checklist here.
Is your offer worth claiming?
Step back for a moment and imagine yourself as a member of your audience. Look at your ebook, or your tip sheet, or whatever it is that’s up for grabs on your landing page. Now ask yourself these questions:
- Do I want what’s being offered?
- Would I be willing to give up my name, email address, phone number, and whatever other information that’s being requested in exchange for the offer?
- Is there anything new and original in here, or have I just regurgitated someone else’s content verbatim?
If you can’t answer “yes” to all three, then you need to revamp your offer. Here’s why…
We talk a lot about how important it is to make sure your landing page is optimized — that it’s filled with persuasive copy, a compelling and relevant image, social proof, testimonials, and a clickable call-to-action. But the truth is, without a valuable offer, your landing page is worthless.
The elements mentioned above will get your prospects to convert, but it’s a valuable offer that will get them to come back and convert again (and tell their friends, too).
It’s a simple concept: If you provide them with useful information, they’ll want more of what you have. On the other hand, if what you give them is garbage, they’ll convert once and likely never again.
If they don’t come back, you have a big problem on your hands, considering customer retention is the path to success in all businesses. Research has shown that just a 5% increase in customer retention can boost profits by as much as 95%. You’ll never see a boost like that if your prospect converts once and never comes back.
If you’re having a hard time determining the value of your offer, send it to a few close industry contacts, or even out to a select group of email subscribers. Their feedback will help you figure out whether your content is worth coming back for, or if all your landing page visitors will be one-hit wonders.
Does your content clearly state the benefits of your offer?
Unless you’ve included a preview of your offer on your landing page, your visitors have only its content to determine whether that ebook, tip sheet, or demo, is worth converting for. If it doesn’t do a good job of explaining why they should click that CTA button, chances are few will.
A “good job explaining” doesn’t mean writing copy that emphasizes all the cool features of your service. It means explaining to your prospects what they’re going to get from those features.
For example, if you’re a marketing agency that provides “explosive SEO services that include email outreach, link building, and keyword optimization,” instead rephrase your offer to highlight how your prospect will benefit from those.
Something like this might be better: “We’ll get you found by people hunting for your services in search engines like Google and Bing.”
Remember that most businesses probably don’t know what email outreach, link building, and keyword optimization entail. It’s better to put things in terms that can comprehend.
Have you made your page skimmable?
Look at your page. Does it use a lot of text?
If so, it’s important you make that text skimmable because, by and large, people don’t read content word-for-word. The only time attentive, intense reading takes place, is when it’s being done for pleasure.
As entertaining as you think your landing page may be, no one is there to read it for fun. They’re there because they want to quickly determine the value of your offer.
To make that easy for your prospects, we (and other marketers) recommend you optimize your page for three things:
- Legibility: How easily a reader can differentiate between letters and characters in your text (are the characters “I” “l” and “1” easily discernable from each other?).
- Readability: The ease with which your reader can understand the text (vocabulary, syntax).
- Comprehension: The level of difficulty involved in understanding the subject you’re presenting (concepts, ideas).
To prevent people from asking “What on earth is that letter between the ‘b’ and the ‘d’?” pick a font that displays well at different sizes. It’s hard enough to convince your prospects to hit your CTA button when they recognize exactly what they’re seeing. Don’t make your job even harder by using a font that they have to strain to read.
To keep people from abandoning your page to Google the definition a word like “pulchritudinous,” instead use more commonly known variations like “beautiful” or “attractive.” Then, arrange those words in a way that people are used to seeing.
This is called “syntax.” When your page is optimized for it, your reader will feel as though you’re speaking directly to them in words they’d hear in everyday conversation. Together, simple words and familiar arrangements make for higher readability.
To prevent your readers from scratching their heads at the concepts you’ve outlined on your landing page, try to tell a story. Humans have actually evolved to better understand ideas when they’re presented that way. The easier your page is to comprehend, the less your prospects have to think, and the more likely they are to convert.
Are you using a custom domain name?
Here at Instapage we’re more than happy to host your landing page on our servers. But, we recommend you find your own piece of web property to set up shop.
Using a domain name that ends in “pagedemo.co” has the potential to confuse your visitors. They’ll likely ask “What demo are they talking about? Is this even a real published page? Am I in the right place?”
To prevent prospect doubt and boost your trustworthiness, claim your own custom domain name.
Have you created a “B” variation?
A/B testing is consistently rated by both professionals and amateurs as the easiest and most effective way to boost conversion rate.
The technique involves comparing your original landing page (variation “A”) with a nearly identical version of itself — a variation “B,” on which only one element has been altered. Allow us to elaborate…
Let’s say you’re offering some valuable outreach email templates for PR professionals, and you think you have a strong headline, but you also know it could be better.
At the top of your original landing page, it reads:
“Oh!” your prospects will think, “These templates helped him get published in TIME Magazine! They must be highly effective!”
After adding that authority booster to your second headline, you set out to test the two against each other. You create a duplicate landing page, nearly identical to the original, replacing the first headline with your new one.
Then, when you hit “publish” and drive traffic to both, your analytics dashboard will be able to tell you which is landing page converting better. The one with the higher conversion rate will be the one with the superior headline because it’s the only difference between the two pages.
To create a variation B with Instapage, look to the upper left corner of the Instapage builder for a drop-down with the word “Variation” on it, where you can switch back and forth between multiple pages.
Make sure your marketing tags are in place
Your landing page looks pretty and it’s anatomically correct, so it must be ready for publishing, right?
Just because everything looks good on the front end doesn’t mean everything on the back end is taken care of.
To clarify, the “front end” of your landing page is what your visitors see when they navigate to it — the headlines, videos, form, and CTA button, for example. The “back end,” on the other hand, is where all the code of your landing page sits. These combinations of numbers, letters, and symbols, not only tell your landing page how to display itself, but also how to interact with other software and the users who land on it.
Now, with Instapage, you won’t need to edit the code to design your page. However, to make your landing page even more effective, you’ll have to learn how to add marketing tags to its back end.
When implemented correctly, these little pieces of code, known as “marketing tags,” boost the effectiveness of your landing page by allowing it to communicate with marketing software you already use. These software programs gather valuable information about your visitors that your form can’t track.
Collect a whole range of information about your visitors with Google Analytics tags, and recall those who haven’t converted back to your landing page with the dynamic retargeting tags.
Here are 29 more marketing tags used by some of the biggest marketing blogs on the web (that you can use, too).
Did you build a great thank you page?
In marketing, a good “thank you” not only expresses gratitude but continues the conversation with a fresh lead as well.
At first, it may seem strange to show your appreciation to leads and customers to whom you’ve just given away free content. But remember — while many times landing pages offer ebooks, templates, and demos at no cost, they’re certainly not free.
For your prospect, converting on your offer means parting with the information they consider private. Many times, it’s information that only their family members and closest friends have.
If you’re given the opportunity to enter that tight social circle — to contact them via channels only a few have access to — you had better believe your new lead deserves a “thank you.”
Not just any old “thank you” either.
After your prospect converts, they should be met with a “thank you” that makes them smile, feel appreciated, and want to engage even more with your brand.
A few tips to create a great “thank you” page:
- You need a better headline than “Thanks for downloading.” Stand out from the crowd. Say something different. Be unique. Even something as simple as “Hey! You’re awesome! We hope you enjoy your ebook!” is better than any old generic “thank you” message.
- Your copy needs to explain what’s about to happen next. Will your prospects get their content emailed to them, or will it be downloaded right then and there?
- You should offer related content to your newly converted leads or customers. Underneath your headline, the subheadline “Here’s some more free stuff we think you might find useful,” will direct them toward other content they can supplement their knowledge with.
Here are some more tips on how to create and A/B test “thank you” pages.
Want the full list?
Think your page is ready to generate maximum conversions? Find out by downloading the rest of the 25-point checklist here.